Monday, March 17, 2014

Mid-Month Tutorial #3: blackfrangipani's chest of drawers

Sahra: Hi everyone! Yuzuha took a little break this month, I hope you don't mind me covering for her!

This one is a bit more complicated than the last two XD

The list of supplies on blackfrangipani's page is much longer than mine...
I opted for her simpler instructions when it came to things like attaching the drawer handles...
so I will be including my list of supplies. To see blackfrangipani's list,
please click the links above. :)

1. Scissors
2. exacto knife
3. scrapbooking paper
4. paper glue (I used Elmers)
5. strong hold glue (I used gorilla glue)
6. beads
7. thin balsa wood
8. foam core
9. ink pad
10. sharpie marker
11. rubber band
12. matchboxes
13. pencil
14. paintbrush
15. paint that matches inkpad

Let's begin!

Step 1:
Remove the matches from the match boxes!
In blackfrangipani's tutorial, she used 10 matchboxes...
but I figured for my first try, I would make something more like a jewelry box,
and only use three.

Step 2:
Using Elmer's glue, I covered one side of the matchbox.
Step 3:
Repeat this step until all of your boxes are glued together.
(If you had boxes being lined up side by side, you would glue their sides together as well)
Step 4:
When you have all your shelves glued together,
wrap a rubber band around them (make sure they're all lined up straight!)
and let the glue dry completely.

Step 5:
While we wait for the body of the chest of drawers to dry,
we can start working on the drawers.
To begin, you will need the stamp pad and a marker of matching color.
Step 6:
Coat the front, back, sides and bottom of the drawers in your ink color of choice,
then allow to dry.
Helpful Hints:
1. Ink is messy, put a piece of paper under your work station.
2. Dabbing ink took FOREVER! Sliding the drawers in a back and forth motion over the ink pad was much quicker.

Step 7:
Sit back and eat some cookies...
now is when you have to wait for everything to dry.

Step 8:
Now you'll need a pencil, the foam core and an exacto knife.
I also recommend having a spare matchbox around, for measuring.
On the foam core, trace the bottom of your chest of drawers.
blackfrangipani says she likes to add a layer of foam core to the bottom of the chest of drawers 
because it gives it more weight, and makes it feel more realistic. I am inclined to agree.

Use the exacto to cut the foam core out.
If you have shaky or unsteady hands, I recommend using a ruler when you cut,
but I just did it freehand.

Step 9:
Glue the foam core to the bottom of chest of drawers.
Before I attach the foam core, I use the marker (the one that matches the ink color) to color in the edges of the foam core.

Wrap a rubberband around the chest of drawers and let dry.
(You might be saying, "DUDE! You *just* said you colored the foam core... and now I see it, it's totally white!... this is the back side you're looking at... when the chest of drawers is comepleted, the back and sides will be covered, so no need to color them in :) )
When this is dry, though, it is a good time to color in all the edges of the cardboard with the marker that matches your inkpad.

Step 10:
Trace the sides and back of the chest of drawers (including the foam core) onto the wood
Cut the wood using your exacto knife.
(again, if you have an unsteady hand, use a ruler to help guide your cut!)

Step 11:
Glue the wood paneling to the sides.
I did the sides first, and then the back later, after the sides had dried.
Apply weight to help keep the wood panels flat as they dry.

Step 12:
Now let's work on the shelves some more!
Trace the bottom of one of the drawers (I used the extra matchbox for this)
onto the back of the scrapbooking paper that you want to line the drawers.
Cut the rectangles you've traced out, and press them into the bottoms of the drawers.
There is no need to glue them. :)

Step 13:
Once the body of the chest of drawers is all put together, and before applying the scrapbooking paper,
color in all the edges of your piece with the marker that matches your inkpad.
Now... mine didn't line up as nicely as blackfrangipani's did... so I also went in with some paint and a paintbrush and filled it in a bit.
Step 14:
I apologize... but evidently I got over excited and forgot to take pics of the next few scrapbook paper cutout steps. I glued all of these pieces on with Elmer's Glue.

Anyways, trace the sides and back of the chest of drawers onto the back of the scrapbooking paper you want to cover it with, then cut those out. 
Next, trace the top of the chest of drawers, but make it a little bit longer than the top, so you can overlap it onto the back. (You can kind of see the line where the paper from the top of the chest of drawers is covered by the paper on the back.
In gluing application, put the top piece of paper on first, then cover it with the back piece.

Trace the fronts of the drawers onto the back of the scrapbooking paper you want on your drawer fronts, then cut those out and apply with Elmer's glue.
Step 15:
Next, we will break out the heavy duty glue.
I used Gorilla Glue... which was scary... that stuff is serious gluing business...
but dang does it work!
Anyways, I opted for blackfrangipani's simpler drawer pulls.
You can go check out her post for directions on more elaborate ones.
Put a little dab of glue where you want the pulls (and legs, if you opt to add legs to your chest of drawers) to go, then attach and let dry (for as long as the glue bottle recommends)

The end!
You have a little chest of drawers!
You can see where I needed to take more care in not scuffing up my paper edges. *sigh*

Sahra: I love these little drawers!

The only *real* problem I had with this tutorial was blackfrangipani's suggestion of using ink.
I've no idea if my ink was too cheap, or what... but it DID NOT DRY... and continued to get all over my fingers, and thus all over my paper, and I was constantly afraid of getting it inadvertently all over my dolls as well.
I would not use ink again.
Or, at least, not THAT ink.


 I really love this tutorial!
Overall, once you have the basic stuff you need to make it,
it's a pretty cheap tutorial with pretty awesome results!!!
Thank you, blackfrangipani!
I think for a first try, this turned out pretty cute, if not a bit... er... wonky.
As my father-in-law would say, "Not a right angle in the thing!"
... but admittedly, I wasn't *as* careful as I could have been when letting things dry and set,
so with practice, I think I could do better... and I would not blame the tutorial for the wonkiness of my chest of drawers.


  1. Making miniature furniture is always a bit tricky. In my experience, I use balsa wood and when I apply PVA glue the whole thing just warps -____-'

    Nevertheless, cute shelf. Now Sahra can tuck away her little bits and bobs :)

    1. This stuff actually didn't warp too badly... I think it was my lining up of the actual matchboxes that made it a bit wonky, LOL! I used some fairly thin stuff though. In her tutorial she says she uses cardboard... but cardboard seemed too thick to me, based on what she had pictured. (at least, what we call cardboard here in the US)

  2. This is a fantastic tutorial. Your little set is crazy cute and totally functional. A lot of ideas can be built on top of this. I will be giving this one a go later. Thank you so much for posting it and giving it a go!

    1. Thanks for reading XD ... yeah... I should mention... I always post my "first try" for these... because I think that's more fair than me practicing making it a few times and posting that result, LOL... since I want to show how easy these tutorials are (or aren't) "out of the box" so to say! I'm pretty sure with very minor refining to my technique, I could make an even better chest of drawers.

    2. I totally understand you wanting to post your first try but I think the one you made looks great. I was just thinking about alternative materials and even going to a larger scale or two. The Glico milk caramels come in a few different size boxes very similar to the match box style. They even have a large box (which is what I usually get when the option is available). The inside box would need some adjusting but would be a prefect scale for the DDs or larger Super Dollfies (plus would give me the chance to eat all the caramels I wanted... I love those things).

  3. Hehe I saw you tweeting up a storm with tutorials like this one! The people who think of these are so creative, that it's crazy! I built a little figma room a while back(still need to take photos), and it wasn't close to the perfection I imagined, so these things definitely take practice and skill. I also found out that straight lines are really important >_>''s a cute box, and I am happy that you posted your first attempt so we can see what it's really like to build one for the first time! I'm going to dig around for matches now...

    1. Oh no! That must mean my pinterest pins are being tweeted?? CURSES to when they add little checked boxes that I don't realize they've added! (Hopefully it wasn't too annoying 0_0)

      Yeah... I've decided it's dumb to always just pin these tutorials, but never do them, XD
      This one was a really well done, comprehensive original tutorial, so I highly recommend it XD ... but yeah, straight lines are important... and how you lay things to dry. I have some ideas for next time that I think will fix my wonky angles.

      ... and yes... LOL, I always will post my first attempt... no matter how awful it is XD But I think I may do follow up posts on later attempts XD

  4. Hi Heather, that's a great idea to check out tutorials and show them here! Very useful! I would not use ink, it would be all over, also on my dolls, knowing my clumsiness :-D. The result is very cute! The Pure Neemo dolls are fabulous too, I look forward to following your doll adventures. Greetings from Belgium.

  5. Your little chest turned out adorable!!!

    BTW the problem with your ink is the TYPE of ink... Pigment ink is designed for porous surfaces, or it needs to be heat set. Personally I prefer permanent DYE inks such as the StaZon brand! It's like Sharpie markers in ink pad form! If you don't want to buy new ink pads, I would say just use your Sharpies along the edges of the pieces since you end up covering up the middle anyways.
    Thanks for sharing the original tutorial, plus your trials... now to remember to pick up some matchboxes next time I'm at the store! :-)

  6. ooooh~ i know someone who has templates for miniature figure boxes^^

    i just thought i'd share her stuff^^

  7. I wonder if you use acrylic paint rather than ink pads would it be a little better? But of course some dark colours, I'm always suspcious of due to danger of staining ^^;