This is my newest project, one I’ve been collecting pieces for, but which hasn’t quite come to fruition until now (and believe me, it’s still a long way until “done” even now.)
I decided I wanted to make a fantasy-type structure, with some basis in the Tudor / medieval period, and part in the fantasy realm (ie: I could break rules and have some fun if I wanted.) 😉
I also had this piece of soni-tube that I wanted to turn into a tower for a really long time, so I decided that my design would be based on the “original wizard’s tower” that has now been expanded into a house and home for the wizard, his wife, and their Magic Emporium (yes, it looks like it needs capitalization, don’t you think?)
The second requirement was that there is only a very specific location it could fit into, which limited my height of the house-proper, as well as the size of the base. The tower, on the other hand, can be considerably taller since it can rise up beside the shelf that the other roof has to fit beneath.
And the last requirement was that it had to be cheap and relatively easy for me to do, instead of waiting on my husband all the time. I love miniatures, but they can add up, and I’m not a huge fan of powertools and cutting pieces of wood. I decided that I wanted the flexibility of using materials like cardboard, foamcore, and papermache that would allow me to not only keep the structure light, but make it easier to create, plus allow me to add some of the organic structures I was thinking of (my original idea was that the house had been “grown” by four trees forming the four corners…I’ve since abandoned the notion as too complicated, though a few trees will definitely still be included.
So, now to the pictures. On the left is the tower, or the first two floors of it and the front door. The top is a octagon-ish structure meant to look like half-timbering (not pictured.) This is before I used egg-carton to create the stone. Beside is the front door, which is also looking rather sad and forlorn, and very obviously cardboard (I’m hoping that in later photos it doesn’t look quite so obvious!)
To the right is the photo of one of the main wall sections of the house structure. There are five wall segments and they’ve been hinged together to allow me to completely close up the house, but also access it when I want. Originally, this section was supposed to be solid on the front (which you’re facing) and open on the right. But, that’s since changed and now it’s only the back that will open. I didn’t bother to include the photo of the other walls because frankly, at this point, they don’t look that exciting.
What you see is the basic foamcore structure. On top of that I’ve stripped the foam and scored it with a wire brush to make it look like rough wood timber (in later pictures, you’ll see it actually looks pretty good – which you can’t see here.) Then between the timbers are egg carton “bricks” since this is meant to look like distressed / crumbling render, and the paper mache both gives the building a bit more structure, plus provides the texture of rough render. I might be one of the few people who still happened to have a phone book around, and now I’ve saved them since it’s lovely thin paper, perfect for paper mache, and easy to tear into pieces.
By the way, I used a very simple mixture for my paper mache, and it worked out great. Just flour and warm water mixed until you get a creamy mixture, kind of very thick soup, but still smooth. And trust me on the warm water – it makes it so much nicer when your hands (and probably everything else too – do you see the edge of my table there?)
That’s all I have to share this week. So, what do you think?
I know, not a lot to look at right now, but it gets better. I’ve forgotten to take photos of a few steps, so the next ones you’ll see will look amazingly colorized. Plus, the walls are actually standing, which makes it look a lot more, well, house-like. 😉
Thanks for stopping by the read. And remember: what happens in the craft room, stays in the craft room. Have a great week, and happy crafting!