Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

If it weren't for the worldwide predicament, I could invite you for a sleepover.

We certainly have enough beds. Instead, here is a little dollhouse mattress making tutorial.

My project for January was to construct 1:12 scale dollhouse beds. They are made entirely of scrap materials I had in my stash. I loosely followed the YouTube tutorial by Julie Warren. Some of the beds will go to Dawn @livecreatively365 for decorating and dressing, and the rest I will paint and furnish with mattresses so that people can add their own finishing touches.

These are the colours I have in mind. The beds still need some sanding and several coats of paint, but I couldn't wait to get started with the mattresses so let's jump right to that.

I had a large piece of old stripy curtain in my stash. You can see in the selvage that it was originally blue with a charcoal stipe but now it's a gentle, faded grey. Perfect!

 

My first attempt was the mattress on the left, following Ara's tutorial at Bentley House. Hers is a tutorial for a no-sew mattress using foam core board so if you are averse to sewing, head straight over there. Ara's tutorials are inspirational. I spent hours trying to glue the sides of the mattress neatly. I don't really like using glue on fabric. I believe that if it can be sewn, it should be sewn. Eventually, I gave up and sewed the mattress by hand, but it still didn't look great. Then I invented my own method. Ta da, mattress on the right. I can make three of those in an hour.

The core of my dollhouse mattress consists of three layers - a piece of cereal box measured to fit the base of the bed, a layer of 14mm foam, and a layer of blue craft felt. This is what I had in my stash. When I make more mattresses, I will use slightly thicker foam and possibly quilt batting instead of felt but the materials I had on hand actually worked better than I expected. Glue the layers together.

Mark out a 15mm block grid on the card, then use an awl to poke a hole at each intersection. You can see that I snipped a small triangle off the corners of the card. This is because I want the mattress corners to be rounded.

I used a piece of card the same size as the mattress as a template and added a 10mm seam allowance all around. Cut the fabric with the stripes running lengthwise. Next, I cut a 30mm-wide strip of fabric long enough to go around the mattress. This time the stripes run across. Sew the strip around the mattress cover. Here you can see how it looks on the wrong side and turned right side out.

When making miniatures with fabric, ironing the seams is very important. Compare left and right, smooth seams make all the difference.

The mattresses inside their covers. You can see the wrong side and the right side. It should be a snug fit.

Fold the raw edges over the card and glue down. Start with the long sides, then glue the short ends.

Now comes the fun part. Using a long needle and strong thread, start from the back and sew a little tuft in each of the grid holes you made. It is important to stick the needle straight through the mattress. Make a 2mm stitch on the top side of the mattress, then poke the needle straight through to the back and out the same hole. Move on to the next hole and tuft the entire mattress. You can pull the stitches tight as you go. Because you're using a continuous strand of thread, it's possible to pull on the thread at the back to tighten or release the tufts until they are equal.

Back and front of the finished mattress.

I tidied up the back by gluing a piece of grey felt over the threads.

I love my dollhouse beds so far.


This little bed is mine. I'm ready to crawl under the blankets and read a book.

28 comments:

  1. Very sweet Megan! Those warm coverlets and favourite teddy hopefully makes you feel a bit better and brings some mini comfort. Thank you for the mattress tutorial - they look great! Well done.

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    1. Thank you, Shannon! I've been admiring the beautiful bed in your French shop.

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  2. I agree, fabric is meant to be sewn. Your tutorial looks so easy and I love your choice of the well worn stripe. If I did come for a sleepover, would my bed have a cute teddy bear on it 😉?

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  3. Preciosas telas para colchĂłn! Son preciosos y perfectos,muchĂ­simas gracias por el tutorial!!
    Besos.

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    1. Thank you, dear Pilar! I hope that you are well.

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  4. Thank you for what looks like a straightforward mattress method. The bed are gorgeous and in the nicest colours. Your finished bed and covers is just beautiful

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  5. All your beds are stunning. especially the one dressed up and inviting!
    Thank you so much for your own tutorial as well as for all the links.
    Stay safe!
    Hugs, Drora

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  6. So interesting to see your mattress making method. The beds looks so inviting......

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    1. There you go, now you can make one quickly too ;-)

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  7. This is a very clever technique. I have to beds to do, so I will try it out
    Thank you! 😊

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    1. Thank you, Ersilia. You're so clever, I'm sure you can improve on my technique. Next step, some piping around the edges.
      I'm still in love with your Noah's Ark. Before this year is out I'm going to make one.

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  8. Hi Megan! Wow, soooo many beds, yes, it must be enough to invite many of your (blog)friends ;).
    They all look wonderful, and still so different to each other, great work.
    The fabric for the mattresses is so well chosen, just prefect. Thank you for sharing the tuto of Ara, and also for yours, it's very helpful. I also don't like glueing fabric together I prefer to sew.
    The result of your miniature bed, its matress and bed linen is gorgeous. Here it's not yet time to go to bed, but if it would be I was soon gone to dreamland together with that sweet mini bearie of you ;).
    Hugs, Ilona
    PS PS This evening I see your blogpost twice (with a few hours in difference) on my reading list of my blog dashboard, but that doesn't matter: I can see it now :)!!

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    1. Thank you, Ilona! I'm following the progress of your farmhouse with interest.
      As for seeing my blogpost twice, a few things have changed with my website address over the last two months. I will explain it in my next post. For a whole month from 7 Dec to 7 Jan, no one could see my blog, now it is back and there seems to be a duplication. If you continue seeing my posts twice, you might consider unsubscribing from one post and see whether that fixes the problem.

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  9. Megan te ha quedado una cama muy dulce y a la vez muy delicada con la colcha y las mantas en los pies. El tutorial genial , muy bien explicado. CuĂ­date,besos

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    1. Thank you, Emily. I hope you weren't reading with a pencil behind your ear. My grammar is subsiding into the gutter!

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  11. Oh that looks wonderful! Such sweet little beds and great mattresses. That final picture! So adorable. Love!

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    1. Thank you, Sheila! As always, when life is tough, there's a serene mini world to escape to.

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  12. Fantåsticas tus camas y los colchones quedan genial con tu técnica.
    Muchas gracias por el tutorial.

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    1. Thank you, Eloisa! I hope that you can use the tutorial for your own work sometime.

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  13. Wow, so many beautiful beds - you could open a hotel! Thanks for sharing both the tutorial from Ara and even more your own method, it was very well explained and shown. And what a find this fabric was, just perfect.

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Thank you, Birgit. Someone says it looks like the Seven Dwarves are about to move in here, I do hope not, I have more than enough to keep me busy. Being a hoarder is a definite bonus during pandemic times. I am finding all kinds of things in my stash that I had forgotten about!

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