Dana's Hints
Dana has been delighting us all with her great hints on the "mini talk" page, so to preserve these gems I made this permanent home for them. They are presented pretty much the way Dana posted them - personal comments and all.
Please enjoy the efforts of a very creative person. Lars

I would love to have others send me hints to post. Please if you have a hint, idea anything, let me know!! We can have the first "interactive" mini idea page!!
einstein@insomedia.com     Dana

Cut the pictures of any games from catologs/ads. Glue it to the appropriate sized piece of wood. Glue pieces of paper to the rest of the wood, simulating a box.

Before you cut out the projects included in the monthly miniature magazines, cut the page out. Spray both sides with a "Matte" finishing spray. This will not only add strength, but realism.

Use one of those "Cover your own buttons" to make a "cover your own pillow". These are sold in most fabric stores...

NEVER FORGET to look through the "Fat Quarters" section of the fabric stores.... You can find tons of tiny prints for around $.99

ASK---ASk---ASK--- Your local upholstery store for any out of date/style samples.... They throw these away!!! ( I know.. So horrible is the thought!)

The lids from jellie jars??? Turn them into table tops...

Cut apart the plastic strawberry trays to the size you need. Spray paint these with the color you like. They really are life-like!

Use a cake decorating tip and a pastry bag to make your own. Fill the bag with spackling and pipe it directly on the wall or onto waxed paper.

I love this... Take cloths pins (2 or 4 the spring kind) and glue popcycle sticks to the outside ends and the inside of the pins... Works GREAT! I also favor the "bull-dog" paper-clips used to hold paper together...

Thanks everyone for putting up with my absence these last few months... That means so much!!

To make "tiny" bars of soap, cut out small blocks from a regular sized bar of soap. Use a hobby knife or a pin to scribe a design into the top. Set these bars in warm water for a few seconds, and then smooth the edges.

Have you ever run out of nails? Use a straight pin and cut the head off.

Knitting Needles and Ball of yarn
Use a small piece of cardboard to wrap embroidery thread into a ball. Paint two straight pins and stick them through the ball.

Remove Bulbs
Are the screw-in miniature bulbs a pain to remove? Drill an 1/8" diameter hole in the end of a pencil eraser. Use this to remove them..Much easier.

Butcher block
To create a butcher block counter-top, saw off 1/8" strips from the end of plywood. Glue these side by side, sand and varnish.

Marbled Look
For a "marbled look".... I found Contact paper (drawer liner) that looks exactly like marble. It's great too.. just cut to size, remove the paper backing and stick.

Keep it in Place
If you have pictures that you'd like to keep in a certain spot... glue a small magnet onto the back and on the wall. This works great for doors you'd like to keep open also.

This hint was sent to me by Sandy S. leather glove, I have made a marble bag out of the ends. Also old childrens knit gloves can be used to. Cut the finger end off and roll end for a winter hat.

Picture Frames
Miniature picture frames from buttons with unusual borders work great.

Mini flowers
Find a few tiny white flowers, add a few drops of food coloring to the water. The flowers will "suck" up the colored water. (My kids love to do this with Daisy's) Next buy a small jar of Silica Gel and dry them. Don't let anyone tell you drying flowers this way is hard! It's very simple.

Mini Straws
Those plastic ties that hold the price tag onto new cloths.. Cut off both ends and you have a realistic straw.

Tiny Decals
You've seen all the fancy finger-nail decals available... These work great on cups, saucers and wood..

Use a three-pronged fish hook. Cut off/file off the barbs and glue glass beads to each hook.

If you only need a small amount of fabric make sure you look in the remenants area of your fabric store, I use "fat quarters" constantly for mini work and my million other crafts..

Cut approx. 3/8" from a pipe cleaner. Fold this around a short length of floral wire. Glue to attatch. If you need a certain color, dye it in food coloring. You can cut leaves from floral paper, or do what I think looks more natural, Cut a length of floral tape approx. 1", fold this over a piece of wire, (1/2" on each side). The wire becomes the "vein" of the leaves. Cut the tape to the shape you like. You can use this same idea to create longer leaves. Cut the sides in a "fringe" like manner and group a bunch together for a green plan. You can also "shade" them with paints.

Using fine string, coat it with glue. Lay this on a piece of waxed paper and sprinkle parsley flakes around it. Pat them down to add more. You can also "build" a small tree by wrapping/and or glueing different lengths of wire to a "base" wire.

Put a "blob" of glue on the end of wire. Now, dip this into powdered instant coffee.

Use styrofoam... Break it into small pieces. If you want a "buttered" look use a VERY thinned amount of paint and dab it onto the styrofoam before you crumble it.

Cotton Candy
Buy the colored Q-Tips and cut off the ends. Use a colored marker to add color. You may want to use a pin to fluff it up a bit.

X-mas Presents
I cut small blocks of wood into different shapes and wrapped them.

I hope I can explain this well enough.. Cut a square of cardboard (I use foam board) approx. 3"X 3", Take a flat-headed sewing pin and push it through the center. Turn it over. Cut a length of silk ribbon for the "tails", fold it in half and push it down the length of the pin add a drop of glue to the top of the ribbon. Using more ribbon run the end of it over the needle, add a dab of glue and go back and forth over the pin (glue each time) until you achieve the fullness you like. Let dry and slipp off the pin.

Using a syringe (I get mine from the local pharmacy), pipe GOOD white glue (Elmers works) onto a piece of waxed paper. Start with a "dot" and drag it down in the length you want.

Plaster Moldings
Using cake decorating tips and pastry bags, pipe spackling compound directly on the walls or lay a picture under a piece of waxed paper and pipe a frame around the edges.. Paint, add glitter and gold paint to make a gilded frame.
I hope everyone can understand my instructions, if not let me know.

Happy New Year!!
Between the snow, rain, 65 Mph winds, mudslides and flooding I think we've had our share of nightmare weather for quite awhile.... And to top it off... Seatac had a record-breaking 56 degrees at midnight the other day! Unreal! I am impressed!

My daughter brought me a pine cone..This is what I did..
Cut top section off, turned it upside down, painted it "drab green"..and potted it! I really looks like a true cactus! You can add small flowers to the top if you want to have it in bloom.

Mini credit cards, labels etc....
Look in your "Sunday" paper (Wednesday also in my case), look for the tiny "coupon" images, credit card pictures etc... and laminate them.

Pressed Botanical Pictures
Find tiny flowers, weeds even in your garden. Press them and using plastic laminate to "create" glass arrange them as a botanical picture.

Bird Feeder
Cut to length a piece of clear straw. Drill holes through the straw. (Heat a needle and use it to melt holes if you haven't a small drill) Using round toothpicks, push through the drilled holes to create a "perch", make two "perches. Take a sequin and glue this to the bottom of the feeder.

Mini Wheels
Use black/silver "snaps". You can find these in any fabric store..

A "Crafty" Hint
Those irritating strings of glue from your glue gun?? Use a hair dryer to melt them away!!
Same goes for any mistakes and or removals...

Never forget to "check out" your local Model Railroad store.. They scale things too..

My condolence's to those of you who, like me, spent the last 48 hours putting together all those *&^%#@#!* parts.. Not to mention those ...... D*mn stickers!! Micro Mini's, Barbie houses, 10 in 1 game table (which I will NEVER admit the actual time it took to put together! True humiliation!) UUGGGHHHH.. And thankfuly, So I thought.. a telescope we could use right out of the box.. YEAH!! But then again, that would just be too easy.. (insert any 4 letter word of choice here), it took two days to figure the thing out! We live about 350' above the bay (Puget Sound). I can see Whidbey Island by looking out my window, but can I see it through a telescope?? Like it could be so simple... I did, (three days ago.... hanging my head...) see the craters on the moon!! Really neat! Haven't seen it since ...but..well.. Murphys Law and all that...

Thank you Sandy, Lars and Ricci.. for taking the time to tell me I'd been missed. I've never been happier!!!

Make Your Doll Stand Upright
Make a slit in the bottom of a "Dixi Cup", turn it over and shove the legs through. Arrange her dress to hide the cup.

I used the knob and stem from a pair of screw-on earings... Paint them, drill a hole where you want to put them (only if you want them to turn).

Brass Drapery Knobs
This one I LOVE!!!
Buy a piece of brass tubing. Make sure the inside diameter will fit miniature door knobs or drawer pulls.. The finished rod is incredible....

Painting/Staining Nasty Little Areas
Buy a box of padded "eye-shadow" applicators and use them..

Paint The Rim Of An Object (like a pot):
Brush a tin coat of paint over waxed paper and press the rim into it..
I'm so sorry to have left all of you for so long. Building houses is not always, all it's cracked up to be.. 2 for sale (still!!) 1 custom 98% complete (add the "whiny" home-owner who thinks everything is free) and 1 new custom to start. Add to that, the bank I have been with over 10 years, sold to a.... we'll say California based "Bank from Hell", who in one week lost two deposits of $3500. They found one of them but, one is still missing... They even sent me the "deposit slip", but can't find the money.. It get's even better.. But I'll spare everyone!! LOL :^)

My ever so sweet.. (add the sarcasm of choice here) husband Doug aka Einstein... has started to build a "Carraige" house in 1" scale exactly as you would build a regular house. This thing has 2X4's 1X's and even TJI trusse joists... Everything is the EXACT same as we build... So now the battle of the "Best House" is on...... See now.... he thinks like a guy.. (no offense..LOL) Everything is mechanical, by the book. My way is simple... "I can do anything with a Dremel (of which I have 4, and he has to beg me to use them. LOL) and "super Glue!!!! I wrote before that I had even turned my Dremel into a table saw... Well.. Einstein took the blade and hid it. It did fly off once, and make a nasty cut in the floor.. But,... nobody got hurt... LOL!!! By the way... My house is better... LOL

I made a list of hints... but I lost it.. These are off the top of my head..

Take the "movie club" mailers that you get in the mail... paint black a wooden block cut 1/2" X 7X8" X 3/32" Glue the mini cover to the top and the title to the spine.

This is the perfect time of the year to do this since new growth is starting. Cut from a tree, bush, etc.. new growth that has (for lack of better words) "mini limbs" on it. Make sure you leave enough length for the "trunk". You can use a product called "Foliage" from Woodland Scenes... Or use parsley, which is great for vines... I tend to use two or three different colors ranging from dark to light. Paint the "tree limbs" with glue add the foliage....

To get a "perfect" straight line around your walls... Cut a block of wood and tape a pencil to the top of it.. Then slide it around the room.

If you happen upon a home under construction, ask the builder if he/she (I had to add that!) has leftover materials.. They will of course, and to give them away is by far cheaper than paying to remove them. Look for someone building a "stone" fireplace. The "stone" is synthetic and can be broken into small pieces for tons of things. I have also been to the lumber/hardware stores and have been given permission to take broken pieces of marble, slate, etc... It saves them money to have someone else clean it up...

I'll find my list of hints and post them...

Project of the Month
Rag Basket: by Uncle Ciggie's Miniatures
1 Cloth covered wire (20 gauge, 18")
3 Different color strips of fabric (3" x 6")
1 Dowel (3/4" wide by 1" in height)
Tacky Glue
Needle Nose Pliers
Cut 1 6" strip from each color fabric, approximately 1/8" wide Cut 1 3" strip from each color fabric, approximately 1/8" wide Cut 2 1/4" of wire off the 18" long wire. This will be your handle to the basket.

Covering Wire with Fabric:
Starting with one 6" strip of fabric, place a dot of tacky glue at the tip of your wire and angle your fabric to cover the tip of the wire and wrap fabric around the wire adding a dot of glue periodically. Continue with this procedure using the remaining 6" and 3" strips. Be sure to cover the wire completely with each fabric strip. Set aside and let dry for about 5 minutes. Take you 2 1/4" length of wire and cover that in the same method as your longer wire.

Shaping Rag Basket:
Starting at the top and using your needle nose pliers, start a coil. Continue the coil until it's the same size as the flat part of the wood dowel. Place the dowel over the coiled wire and then begin wrapping wire up and around the dowel until you reach the end of the wire. Take your covered 2 1/4" wire and curve around the dowel to form the handle and glue into the sides of the basket.

Fill your basket using a variety of different things. Moss and fruit look real great.
Submitted by Itzer@aol.com (Karen)

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Last updated 6/22/97