Do you know somebody very little who needs a bed? A tiny rag doll perhaps? I’ve made you a tutorial for a sweet wooden dollhouse size bed made from clothespins and craft sticks. It is perhaps my greatest gift to humanity. Also, I had an unbelievably good time figuring it out and making it. So obsessed…
It is the latest Miss Thistle Society project, the quest to fully outfit the tiny rag doll’s world. Of course she needs a super cozy bed. The epic instructions for the bed are below and find the instructions for an easy tufted doll mattress here.
I hope you make sweet little beds! Tag your posts on instragram with #annwoodpattern and #missthistlesociety.
how to make a doll house bed from clothespins
note : It is very helpful to read through the directions completely before beginning.
*This post contains affiliate links – if you purchase supplies through some of these links The Miss Thistle Society gets a small commission.
- 6 clip clothespins and a few extra for clamping – I’m using these.
- 11 jumbo craft sticks – The sticks are 6 inches by 3/4 inch – available in most craft stores or you can find them here.
- small bamboo skewers – 1 or 2 depending on the length – I’m using these.
- wood glue
- wax paper
- wire cutter
- exacto knife
- OPTIONAL – spackle, sandpaper
- 8 – 3 and 3/4 inch craft sticks
- 2 – 4 and 3/4 inch craft sticks
- 2 – 4 and 1/2 inch bamboo skewers
- 6 – split clip clothespins
- And 1 whole craft stick
Separate the clothes pins by twisting. I used old but sturdy scissors to cut the craft sticks and wire cutters to snip the skewers.
Accurate measuring is very important to all of this fitting together. And cut your craft sticks as straight as you can.
1. Make a mark on one side of 4 clothespin halves 1/8th inch from the notch on the flatside.
2. Apply wood glue to the end of one of the 3 and 3/4 inch craft stick pieces.
3. Working with wax paper underneath press the craft stick against the clothespin -as shown- at the mark. The stick should be at a right angle to the clothespin.
4. Repeat the previous step so you have two glued sets. Let these dry undisturbed on the wax paper until thoroughly set.
5. Make 2 more sets and add a second stick to each. Add the second stick next to the first – closer to the tapered end of the clothespin. Let these dry as well. You should now have 4 glued sets of sticks and clothespin halves.
6. You can use a ruler to check that your sticks are at a right angle to the clothespin.
7. When the glue is dry gently peel your pieces from the wax paper. Begin with the single stick pieces. They will be fragile so handle them gently. You will also need 2 more clothespin halves and one of your 4 and 1/2 inch skewers.
8. Flip one clothespin and stick set over so the flat side of the clothespin with the notch is facing you. Apply glue to one end of a the skewer.
I’m shooting pattern steps for some sweet little star folk – there are five stars with different expressions and a sleepy moon. They can be ornaments, a garland, a twinkly mobile or someone could be an adorable meteor shower for halloween. It’s a quick and easy project – look for the pattern early next week.
And in other ornament news – I know it’s early – but in 2013 and 14 I tried to wait until what felt like a festive and civilized time to mention my Crate and Barrel ornaments and they were sold out before I told you about them. So I’m not taking any chances. You can find the sleepy goats and lambs and baking mice online now and they should be in stores by the end of the month. I’m pretty excited about them.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the mini holiday ornament survey – I’m so glad I asked!
The questions were:
When should holiday patterns be available?
Is there a particular ornament you would like?
And do you prefer kits or downloads?
Regarding timing there were equally strong opinions for early and not too early. A lot of responders do not want to hear the word Christmas until October at the earliest but I was surprised at how many people answered July or June – about 1/3 of responders. That ship has sailed for this year ( I’m shooting for mid September) but I’ll keep it in mind going forward. If you are somebody that likes to start early there are three patterns from last year available – a little boat, a whale and a bird.
The overwhelming majority of responders would love to see woodland creatures and nature/ botanical inspired things. You’re forest people like me! I love it. There will be a woodland creature ornament pattern coming your way soon and for now the little mushroom pattern makes a great ornament. Just add a hanging string and I love using wool scraps for ornament fungi.
On the question of kits or downloads – downloads win by a landslide. But you would like to see some hard to find or specialty materials available as an optional purchase – great idea! I’m on it. If you’d like an email when new patterns or supplies are available you can join the mailing list here.
I also learned that I have incredibly kind readers. There was email after lovely email with marvelous ideas and insights and in addition to the survey responses personal notes that stunned me with their care and thoughtfulness. Thank you – I appreciated every word.
This August feels so thick and slow and sleepy, everything shimmers and that strange cicada sound – it all feels a little otherworldly to me. Even the creatures I’m making are golden and languid. August is also when I work on holiday designs. I’m planning on some ornament patterns for the shop and I would love your opinion on a couple things. I posted a survey
here – it’s super brief – just 3 questions and as a thank you you get a coupon for 30% off patterns (the survey is closed). I had fun with my handmade Christmas last year and you can check out that post if you’d like to get an early start – there are links to patterns and free projects and ideas. Also in the holiday department – I just saw samples of designs I made for Crate and Barrel this year and I can’t wait to show you – I’m so happy with them.
Have a lovely weekend – I’ll leave you with a couple sleepy Fortuny creatures.
Louis, he got all dressed up for you in his summer best.
The toadstool pattern is just about done. I’ve got a few steps to reshoot and then a little more work on the document and it’s ready to go. I’ve taught this class a couple of times and that definitely helped in writing the steps.
It took two years of experimenting to get the shape I wanted in my toadstools. Two years of almost there but not quite. I am pathologically persistent – relentless. The most difficult part was finding a reasonably efficient way of making the concave shape for the underside, reasonably efficient and reproducible. I tried so many things – some with interesting results – like foam padded bra inserts – but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. What I ultimately came up with is simple and has a lot of flexibility – the shape and effect can be varied with little adjustments – it’s fun to play with.
(photo by Andi Schrader)
I loved teaching the class – the steps seem odd until all of a sudden a toadstool appears. I hope one of the takeaways from my botanical experiment classes and this pattern is thinking innovatively about shape building and materials.
So stay tuned and if you would like to be notified by email when new patterns are released you can sign up here.
I love fabric. I do – I think I’m genetically predisposed and I’m attracted to the possibilities. I use mostly found and salvaged things, garments, quilts etc. but I get pretty excited about a good solid fabric store too. My favorites in New York are New York Elegant Fabrics on 40th St. and Purl in Soho. Purl is so pretty – I stopped by yesterday for supplies for two of the new patterns I’m working on.
I could have spent the whole day there and I wish I had taken a couple photos – the shop is beautiful, they are truly masters of display – the place makes you want to make stuff and buy stuff. I’m working on a lamb pattern that will be out next week and something new – that’s what the metalics are for – I hope I can show you the prototype for that the end of next week. And I’m building ships, I always build ships in the spring.
It’s a pearly grey day in Brooklyn – perfect for twinkle lights and twirling ships. This one is the large ship from the ship pattern collection – I modified the sides a bit – made it dip a little lower on the sides in the middle. You can get all kinds of interesting effects by playing with the side templates. I’m putting together a post of ships and boats made from the pattern- if you’d like to be included you can email photos to me at ann at ann wood handmade dot com.