This may seem like a dumb question but how do you feel about the “Tiny House” craze? Funny thing to ask since this is a MINIATURES blog and almost everyone reading has a tiny house or two…but I mean a miniature version of a “Tiny House” – the kind everyone is building to downsize?
This tiny house project was designed by my good friend, Wilhelmina Johnson for an event our club hosted in February for Society of American Miniaturists. Our club made 84 tiny house kits for a day-long workshop. The project included a loft bedroom, separate bathroom with shower and a kitchenette with modern appliances.
I have already given a few small tutorials from the Tiny House project (sink and faucet, coloring books and flat screen TV). In the next few blog posts I will describe how I customized my particular Tiny House. I won’t give all the instructions since the design really belongs to SAM, but I will just give some dimensions and my readers can figure out the particulars. The finished "Tiny House" measures 15 inches long by 8 inches wide by 12 inches high at the back wall. This would be only 120 square feet (excluding the loft) if it were full size! Here is the original design (side view) finished by my dear friend, Harriet Turner. Note the simple but functional wedge shape and sky-view window:
Over the next few posts I plan to cover these projects, all part of the Tiny House:
- Modifying roof line
- Exterior paneling, windows, and trim
- Electrical and wiring, hiding the battery
- Loft “built-in” bed
- Modified (and modernized) commercial door
- Some Fun Accessories - tall floor lamp - loft cushions and bolsters- planters
Changing the Roof Line (or How to join two pieces of Foam Core)
The roof line of the kit was designed to be angled and straight, going from 10” at the front wall to 12 inches at the back wall. There is a loft (partial 2nd floor) at the back where the roof is higher.
To join the pieces of foam core, have on hand a large very flat surface (counter or table), wax paper, some T-pins, blue tape and wood glue (because it can be sanded). Cover your table/surface with wax paper.
Then insert the pins into the smaller piece where the pencil marks are. Now with both pieces against the wax paper covered flat surface (no glue yet!!), push them together lining up the marks. This is to make holes for the pins when glued in. Now pull them apart again.
Time for glue (this will be messy). Take each pin out and put glue in the hole then replace the pin in the same hole. Then put lots of glue along the entire edge where the pins are poking out. Line up the pencil lines and push the pieces together again keeping sides flush against the wax paper. There will be lots of oozing glue (this is OK if you are using the wax paper to protect your surface).
Smooth some extra glue over the seam so it kind of fills in the crack. Weight down overnight (use another piece of wax paper on top of the seam).
There! You now know how to join two pieces of foam core (will you ever use that information or will you have enough to just cut a new piece?). Anyway...
Planning location of windows, doors, etc.
When building with Foam Core (or really, any material), before cutting windows and before trying to glue the sides together I do some planning:
- Where will the furniture and kitchen go? What do I want to be visible through the windows?
- Will there be lights and where? If so, how will I route and hide the wiring (later blog on that).
- Everyone is a little different in how they plan their project but before I cut any windows or doors, I have already decided what furniture I will have, what wall it will be placed on, where lighting will be and even some wall decorations (and colors to use!).
A page from my Tiny House Sketch book:
Well this was not the most glamorous subject, nor was it cute or even very fun. I confess I really just suffer through the construction so I can get to the interior on most projects. Next blog post – exterior covering and window trim (still not very fun but necessary). You may be surprised at what the exterior paneling is made from! Until next time!