Monday, January 17, 2011




You will need:  print out of patterns on plain paper (set printer to print at 7.51W x 2.01H)  +  .080 (approx. 3/32” thick)  Davey Board ( Davey board is an acid-free, strong, warp resistant  board sold in art supply stores with book-binding supplies. , Daniel Smith on the west coast & Hollanders on the east coast are two good suppliers).  It is an excellent alternative to wood but you may choose to use wood if desired  + glue stick or repositionable glue + needle file or drill + acrylic craft paint + fine sandpaper or and emery board  + Delta Gel Medium  mixed half and half with a Raw Umber acrylic paint +  1/16” dowel (round toothpick) +  quality craft glue + thin jute or cording in natural color for rope.

       1. Rough cut runner patterns and lightly adhere (using a light coat of glue
stick or repositionable glue) to Davey Board with bottom edge of runners
flush with bottom edge of board.  Use a sharp craft knife to cut out runners;
it will take several passes with your knife.  Keep your blade sharp with a
sharpening stone and cut away from your fingers.  Cut sled top and braces
 from the same Davey Board.  Slightly round-off corners of sled top with
sandpaper.  Cut dowel to size.

2.  Use a needle file or drill to make rope and dowel holes in sled runner fronts

3.  Paint pieces with craft acrylics, your choice of colors…forest green used
here.  When paint has set use fine sandpaper or an emery board to sand
back paint on areas that would naturally get the most wear…remember this
is a “working” sled.  Coat the runners with brown antiquing medium and wipe
back off while still wet…this will age you piece.

4.    Insert the dowel into the holes in the runners, outside edges flush and
holding with glue if necessary.

5.    Glue the top piece and the braces between the runners, top piece flush with
 top edge of runners and braces placed as shown.

6.   Cut approx. 8” of “rope”.  Put some craft glue in your fingertips and run it
along the rope as you slightly twist it.  When glue has set insert one end into
rope hole in runner from the outside, tie a knot to hold.  Repeat for other side
when you have determined how long you want your rope to be

7.   You may add a carrier box to the sled if desired.

8.   Optional:  You may add faux nail heads to the sides of runners by using
a toothpick tip to dab on the tiniest of dots of craft glue.  When the glue has
almost set, flatten it with a fingertip.  Color the glue dot with permanent
marker pen in brown or black.
From 1/16” sheet basswood (I used Woodsies) cut a bottom 1-1/16” x 1-11/16”;
two sides 1-9/16” x 9/16”; two ends, 1-1/16” x 9/16”.  Glue the edges of the sides
and ends to the face of the bottom piece and to each other to form a box. 
Age/weather as desired.  As seen a mixture of half and half Raw Umber Acrylic
paint & Delta Gel Medium was applied and wiped back off while still wet. 
Add graphics of your choice or use the label printie given here.  Fill with firewood.

PRINTIE (Click to enlarge and save to computer)

1.      Make a printout of the two mailbox pieces on matt cardstock.  Make
 printout of mailbox color sheet on bright white paper.  Cut out pieces.

PRINTIE (Click to enlarge & save to computer)

2.     The colored side of the pieces are the inside of the mailbox.  Score all
the back section.  Clip tabs around back section & fold them inward; fold back
section forward on bottom line; do not score or fold front section.

3.     On mailbox top piece score on tab lines; fold tabs inward.  Lay top piece
 on a slightly giving surface and roll over its center section with a round pencil
to slightly curve it (colored section inward), this will prevent creasing.  Glue
tabs of top piece to underside of bottom section of base & back edge over
the tabs around inside of the mailbox back section.  Check to make sure that
 the top is curved evenly and make any adjustments as necessary. 

4.     Tightly wrinkle up two sections of the rust colored paper.  Unfold it and
smooth out as much as possible.  Cover the bottom of the mailbox and what
would be the front of the mailbox in one piece of the prepared rust color
paper, using glue stick.  While the paper is still damp from the glue smooth
out more wrinkles.  Trim paper to fit.  Use the 2nd prepared piece of wrinkled
to cover the mailbox top, smoothing and trimming as needed.

                       PRINTIE (Click on picture and save to computer)
5.     Use a brown watercolor pencil to add rust/age to the inside of the front
door of the mailbox. 

6.     On another color piece draw a line 1/16” from one long edge and score
along the line.  Put glue on the 1/16” section and fold it over for a double
thickness of paper.  Cut the doubled 1/16” section free.  Make three of
these strips. Color any exposed white edges with watercolor pencil. Glue
one around the mailbox back edge, starting and stopping at bottom edges;
 repeat with another strip for the front edge.  The third strip is used to face
 around the edges of the mailbox door, bottom edges flush with, overhang
to top.

7.     Make a triple thickness of the rust color paper with the top and bottom
layer having the color on the outside.  When glue has set, cut a 3/32” wide
strip.  From this strip cut & form the door pull and the  latch. Cover exposed
edges with water color pencil.  Glue in place on the mailbox top and outside
of door as shown.  Also from this piece cut a flag and glue in place on side
of box.

8.     From 1/16” thick wood (I used Woodsies) cut a mailbox base 1 ½” x ¾”,
from 3/16” thick wood (I used triple thickness of Woodsies) cut a post
support ½”square, and  from 3/8” square stripwood a post 2 1/2” long. 
 Color all three pieces with a mixture of 1/3 each of black acrylic, raw umber
acrylic, and Delta Gel Stain, wiping back off while wet for a weathered look. 
Glue the base centered under the mailbox; glue the support centered on the
base.  Cut a hole in the snow and thru the Styrofoam in the base to fit the
post.  Glue the post in place and when set glue the mailbox assembly atop it

9.     Add a bit more snow around the bottom of the post.  For added interest
poke some snippets of dried foliage in the snow around the post.  Add snow
to the top of the mailbox…I know, it is a bit scary to do this after the hard work
of creating the mailbox so to make things easier make a “frost” a sample
piece first and us that as a sample.

10.  Note: For lettering on the side of the mailbox you may use iron on
iron-on transfers, hand paint or print over the top of the color sheet using 
your computer before assembly.



Cut out covers.  Score and fold on spine.  Cit a faux "pages "
piece, slightly smaller all around than the cover from cardboard,
foamcore, or what-have-you, depending on the thickness you
would like your catalog to be.  Glue page piece into cover.

PRINTIES (Click to enlarge and save to your computer)


1.  Print birdhouse pieces, except for House Platform, on cardstock (I prefer
Epson’s Matte Premium Presentation Paper ). 
2.  Before cutting out, score house between tab section and side, & between
back & front & sides; score from the center top of front section down to the
front/side corners, repeat for the back section.
3.  Carefully cut out.  Use 1/8” and 1/16” round paper punches to punch holes
 in house front.  
4.  Color the wrong sides of the house and roof with a dry colored pencil in dark
gray (this does not have to be a perfect job; it is just too lightly cover the white
of the paper). 
5.  Fold house inward on all scored lines.  Glue back section over tab to hold;
glue bottom tabs to inside.
6.  Cut out roof piece and score along eave/roof sections on all 4 sides; score
across center of roof.  Clip eave section to roof at the center score, on both sides. 
Fold the eave sections in at approx. 45 degree angles to roof.
7.  Glue the roof, centered over the top of the house, on the triangle tabs and the
edges of the sides.  When the glue has set a bit make sure the front & back
eave edges are at 45 degrees to the roof and then glue one clipped end over
the other at both the front and the back peaks. 
8.  Carefully crease the side eaves inward so the corners are in line with the
corners of the front & back eaves; add just a tiny dab of glue to these corners
from the underside to hold them together.
9.  For perch, cut an approx. 3/8” length from a round toothpick, starting at a
 pointed end.  Round off the fat end with sandpaper.  Color the perch with
black and brown water color pencil for a weathered look.  Glue the pointed end
of the perch snugly into the 1/16” hole in house front.
10.  Cut platform piece from mat board.  Using glue stick, cover the bottom
smoothly with printie cover paper and then the top & sides with the 2nd larger
 printie cover paper, clipping and trimming for a smooth, neat finish.  Glue the
house to the platform, back edges flush.
11.  Add a bit of sawdust to the platform to act as birdseed.  You may just tuck
the birdhouse into the tree with a bit of glue or you may choose to add a wire
or string hanger to the roof.

PRINTIE (Click on picture and save to computer)

1.     Cut the shovel blade and 2 top supports from cardboard (the type/weight
that backs tablets).
2.     Use a pointed stylus to indent the lines as shown on the front and back of
the shovel.
3.       Use fine sandpaper to slightly bevel the edges of the short ends of the
fronts of the top support pieces.  Glue the supports to the front and back of
the shovel, top edges flush.
4.     To age & weather the shovel use a mixture of 1/3 each of black & burnt
umber acrylic paint and Delta Gel Medium to paint onto shovel;  Wipe back
off while still wet until the finish pleases you. 

5.     Use thin sheet aluminum (a perfect use for those metal containers that
hold tea candles…simply cut the sides free and flatten it) to cut a bottom
piece; score it lengthwise with a pointed stylus and fold it in half.  Glue it
encasing the bottom edge of the shovel, using E600 glue, sparingly. 
Use a pointed stylus to indent lines across this piece and to add faux
screws, as illustrated.
6.     Cut two shovel braces from the aluminum sheeting, slightly rounding off
corners.  Use E600 to glue to front of shovel.  Indent screw faux screw holes
7.     Lay the blade on a giving surface, such as your knee, and roll over the
bottom half of it with something like a round dowel or pencil to slightly curve
it forward.
8.     Cut a 3-1/4” length of 3/32” round dowel.  Note: as seen the dowel
handle is smaller but I decided it needed to be bigger, so do as I say
not as I did.  Sharpen one end to a point and round off the other end. 
Use the aging medium to weather.
9.     From the aluminum sheeting cut a handle ferrule ½” x 5/16”.  Wrap the
ferrule around the pointed end of the handle, seam to back.  With the handle
on a flat surface press down on either side of the pointed end, causing the
sides of the ferrule to flatten.  Pull the handle out of the ferrule, add a dot
of E600 glue and insert it back into the ferrule.  Glue the handle by its ferrule
 to the blade.
10.  From aluminum cut a handle brace 3/32” x ½”.   Slightly round off the
corners.  Lay this brace over the handle, placed as shown.  Press down on
each side of the brace to flatten it on either side.  Use E600 to adhere the
 brace in place.  Emboss a screw head into each end.
11.  Use the aging medium to weather the metal pieces.

Click on picture and save to computer


Print out bag on bright white paper.  Score between bag back and tabs &
between front and back of bag.  Glue bag front over tabs.  When glue has
 set scrounge up the bag a bit. Fill bag with sand.  Glue top closed.

Click on picture and save to computer

The trees are stems from commercial dried foliage.  I have found that there are
many types that work well.  I always seem have lots of stems left over after snipping
off the foliage…and in the mode of a true miniaturist, one never tosses anything. 
 After choosing your stems strengthen them by painting them with a half and half
coat of craft glue and water.  Some stems may need a bit more bulk, especially
 towards their bottoms.  To add the bulk, wrap with layers of brown floral tape
(craft store purchase...if you have not worked with floral tape before, the process
involves stretching the tape as you twist it on…it is self-sticking).  Brush on Spackle
Plant trees in place on the base with a bit of glue, poking down thru the Styrofoam.  

The handsome female St. Bernard is a 1:12 figure from Schleich .  There is also a standing male to be had.
Either could be harnessed to the sled if desired.  Their site will find a dealer
in your area.  I found mine at our local feed store.

The two squirrels under the trees are cut from a Lemax figurine.  Lemax has
quite a few animals that are in good scale and with the aid of a Dremel Moto
Tool (and good dust mask) can be cut from their original bases.  They are
then embedded in the base with Spackle filling in as needed.
Woodland Animals # 12516, Set Of 4 Polyresin Figures


No sledding here in the lowlands of the Pacific Northwest, but lots and lots of rain.  It is what keeps everything so green in this lovely part of the world, but oft times I do worry about my feet morphing into webbed toes.  For me rainy and dreary outdoors is the perfect excuse to hole-up in the studio and create to "brighter days"

So although it seems like I just packed away Christmas it is almost time to think
of hearts, cupids, and such.....ah yes, Valentine's Day....
Expect an invitation to a Party!




  1. Thank you Joanne this si so cute. I have my frame, doll and felt, gloves, sled and just a few more items go get..Can I use any spackle for the snow? I have some already in a jar almost full. thak you for your talant and sharing so freely. I can't wait for valentines project!!

  2. Wow! I just found your site and I am so excited to try some of your ideas. I'm also going to tell my BFF and mini buddy about your blog. Thanks you for your excellent directions and the amazing tutorials.

  3. And here I am, BFF and mini buddy. FANTASTIC!!! Thank you Jean for telling me about Joanne's site. I am blown away by your amazing imagination, Joanne. It is wonderful of you to share your knowledge with us. Thank you...

  4. Hi, thanks for another fantastic project. I have finished one and the others are in the queue. Having a problem printing the patterns in Winter Chores part 2. I click and save as instructed but when I print the item it comes out much too large. Usually the patterns have print dimensions to use but not this time. What am I doing wrong??

    Thanks again for sharing your talent and creativity with all of us in mini world.

    Judith Pier

  5. Que interesante es tu blog,que escena mas bonita que has preparado,te felicito,ya tienes una seguidora más te invito a visitarme.Besos.

  6. Seu blog além de muito bonito, com ótimos trabalhos, super criativo também ensina e isso é maravilhoso, pois é muito importante passarmos o que sabermos .
    ""Feliz aquele que transfere o que sabe e aprende o que ensina.""
    Cora Coralina

    tudo de bom

    abraços da amiga


    visite meu blog

  7. QUESTION: In part 2 of Winter Chores I'm having a problem with the printies ... they are printing out too large. Usually you print dimensions to use. PLEASE HELP.

    Joann, I just love your projects and unbelievably happy that you are sharing your talent and imagination with us on your blog.
    I've probably learned more about making miniatures through your projects than anywhere else! THANK YOU.

  8. Muchas gracias por compartir el tutorial, y un placer ver tus trabajos

  9. wat een mooi project
    dank voor de workshops
    groetjes Emma

  10. wat een leuke dingen heb je gemaakt
    dank je voor de voorbeelden

  11. I love this project and am in the process of recreating it. I am at a loss at where to find commercial foliage for the tree though. I live in Canada. We do have Michael's here, although there is less selection. Thanks!