MiniAllSorts - an online group - has a challenge going to make something in a matchbox for an occasion or holiday. It started as a Valentine, then included St. Patrick's, then it was decided to add all the other holidays.
Inspired by this challenge and also realizing that I didn't have anything for St. Pat's, I decided to make something.
Whenever I start a project on my own, there is always something that sparks the idea. But the idea doesn't tell me how to make it or what to put in it. To help with that, I like to look at images I find on the internet. This time I started with images I found on pinterest. But I also looked at ones from google.
Next I made some sketches of how it might look or be laid out. I had in mind that I would have the matchbox open and maybe even allow it to slide up and down. I abandoned that last idea because I decided it would complicate matters. These sketches are important to me and so this time I used my phone (Galaxy Note 4) that is like a small tablet and OneNote. This worked quite nicely - allowing me to sketch and take notes in the same place.
Now it was time to put my sketches and ideas in the real world. I have this tendency to view things in my mind that can't work in real life. So to that end, I found a container that I wanted to use as the cover. I was thinking of a much smaller plastic box, but couldn't find it. But once I set the matchbox next this one, I realized the smaller one wouldn't have worked.
See in this pic this size box will give me room around the box and above. The other box I thought I wanted to use would have been tighter all around.
My idea was to have two levels. The inside box would be the lower level where the leprechaun will live (his lair) and the upper a building of some sort.
Here are some items I pulled from my stash of swaps that I think I might use in the project.
I absolutely love 'shopping' in my swaps and totefavor stash. It makes it worth it when I do another swap to recall the fun I have using the things I have received. Although it takes time (months to years) to use them, I enjoy playing with them.
I found a pic of a rainbow that I thought I would use on the front but I didn't use it. I figured out that the matchbox cover wasn't very big and I wanted a door of some sort. I did pull from my stash a door that was for 1:48 scale. But it would take up the whole cover. So there goes my idea of the door and rainbow.
Since I was creating two levels and the idea is that the leprechaun is going to go from one to the other, there needs to be a way to get from one level to the other. So I knew I would cut a hole in the floor of the second level. It is possible that the hole wasn't necessary. I am glad that I did as when viewed from certain angles it is there. The ladder does go up into the opening I made. Here is how I decided where to make the hole. I laid out the main items to be used.
This is actually my second attempt. The first cut was too close to the side. But that is par for the course when designing your own project.
The second level needed support so I decided to add a wall around the matchbox and behind the fireplace. This was all cardboard (backs of notepads) so weight wasn't much of an issue.
This from the underside.
This pic is after gluing the two levels together, painting and making a ladder. The ladder is made of cloth covered wire that I just glued together. The pile of gold is painted waiting for the top layer of 'coins'. It is a cut and shaped piece of builders foam.
I abandoned the idea of a building of any sort (was thinking of a Rainbow Motel) and go more natural. My solution was a tree trunk around the matchbox cover.
The trunk is thicker paper wrapped around twice. I fringed the top thinking that would look like wood splinters. Maybe...
I cut the sides of the trunk to give the feeling of roots. I wanted something of the matchbox cover to show, but not too obvious so I went with the striker. Plus I needed an opening/doorway.
The texture is achieved with wrinkled tissue paper. I feel it is important to always use a ragged edge and to wrinkle the paper first. I also used a wad of tissue paper in the top of the stump. The color is by starting with a darker color, then layering two or three more colors using dry brushing. Dry brushing is removing excess paint so that can just hit the highlights. I use the back of my hand or a scrap paper toweling to wipe the excess paint. If paint is still wet when you brush with the new color, it will blend with the prior one. Which sometimes that is good and sometimes not.
The rainbow was made on plastic. I drew a rainbow on paper, cut the plastic to shape and glued over the pattern. Then to add the glitter, I did one color at a time. Glue in the section for the color. Added glitter, shaking it off at a few moments over a paper plate so I could recapture the excess (well most of it anyway). Once dry I removed the paper backing.
Let's take a tour of the finished project.
First the rainbow - the plastic was a bad idea, cardboard would have been just as good. I did have to deal with the curve of it either way, plastic was too flimsy. It couldn't be too high (due to selected clear box for cover). I did end up switching it to a slightly larger and taller plastic box/cover. Not much taller, with the shorter one the rainbow is just resting on the stump completely.
I am really pleased with losing the 'motel' idea and using the stump instead. The peek of matchbox inside the door is not intentional. But I like it.
The fairy by the door is by Joanne Whisenhunt. The wee stump she is sitting on and the chair on the other side I am unsure who made them. Apparently my notes aren't as good as I think.
This is the lovely fairy chair beside the opening that shows the striker on the side of the matchbox.
If my notes are correct (I use Access to store this info, but early lists weren't detailed enough) this lovely bathing area was made by Linda Knapton.
The gazing ball in this pic was made by me and makes it look really large. Not the best shot of it either. But check out that grass.
When I went to my stash for grass I found a square of this grass paper. I got this in a supply swap and it was perfect for this project. Except for the color variation, I think I will buy some on my own.
That pile of gold really glitters. The wee pot was a wood turning I painted. I got as a prize from QC.
The bed is BPF I painted white used in another project and then took that project apart. So I repainted it and added this fabric that looks like a quilt.
The fireplace was made by Betty Perry. It seemed perfect for this room. The plates and the green teapot I think were made by Laura Miller. There is also a table, wicker chair and chest in this room - all swaps.
This was a very simple project and took only the weekend to do from start to finish. It helped to have ideas, materials and swaps - all on hand. Other than the swaps, the cost of this project was very small.