Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Create a 1:6 Scale Holiday Garland Part l

1:6 Scale Holiday Garland Tutorial
~By Lisa Neault

In my last post I spoke about preparing another how to while stuck in the house on the cold weather, a 1:6 scale Holiday garland for my Bespaq fireplace, which will reside in the salon of the dollhouse. This will be a how to in parts, and I will attempt to explain how I create each of the items, what tools and materials are used, so hopefully you can create your own.

Above is the Bespaq fireplace shown, it is about 9 1/2 - 10 inches high. I have created a wire
form that will allow the covered branches to hang over the mantel so it will look large, and full like a 'real' Christmas garland.

You can decorate your garland any way you like, there are loads of options: miniature toys, candles (with 1:6 scale you can use those thin birthday candles, and have 'real' candles!) bows, ornaments, either handmade or bought from the craft store, and stockings. Sticks can be cut down for logs in your fireplace and orange metallic paper used for flames to simulate a warm fire.

Ok, let's get started.

You will need: Lycapodium (otherwise known as Princess pine) I ordered mine at http://www.kitz.com/ but you can also order it at http://www.minichristmas.com/ and also Hobby Builder's supply, (though fairly expensive there-) http://www.miniatures.com/ Debbie at Mini Kitz! is great to deal with, and sells loads of great supplies.

You will also need floral wire, 26 gauge, wire or florist's cutters, hot glue gun, and hot glue. You can use thinner wire if you wish, and cover the wire with floral tape. I wanted to do this step, but wanted to finish this part so I skipped wrapping my wire form today.

Start by taking several lengths of wire and twisting together. To create shorter limbs, cut the wire in half, and then twist around your main frame so to speak. If the wires are extra long, 'loop' them as shown in the picture to the left, and twist again. You will need a form for the hot glue to hold when adhering your princess pine to the wire. Measure your wire frame against the mantel and your fireplace, so it will fit. Fiddle with the wires and see how they drape.

When I was measuring the frame, I also layed it in front of the fireplace, and on top. I then added more wire limbs as needed. Long limbs should be at each end, shorter limbs should be towards the middle, so they will curve and meet each other.

Remember, you do not want any of the wires showing after the pine has been applied.

You should have a wire form similar to this, when finished with adding limbs to the frame.

Now, let's add the princess pine to your frame. You will need:

Princess Pine


hot glue

glue gun

something to cover your work surface, this will be messy

Let your glue gun heat up. While that is heating up, take your princess pine and cut small leafy bunches off. If you order from Kitz! like I did, it is already cut in small bunches, so you just have to cut it to fit your spaces.

Put a dab of hot glue on one of the wire ends. You will be building the garland, so you will start at the ends of the limbs. Put a blob of hot glue on each end, then press a small leaf of princess pine on each one. Be careful of burning your fingers, or glue strings.

When you are finished with each limb, it should resemble something like this. Don't worry, it looks simply awful right now, but will look presentable when you're finished.

Adhere more glue on the limbs, working your way up, with blobs of glue and more princess pine pieces, until the wire is fully covered. You will find that underneath it does not look finished. While adding pine on the top of the limb, you can also add a dab of glue on the bottom and 'finish' that limb with adding more pine. Build your way up each limb, and cover all exposed wire.

At this point there will probably be glue strings all over your limbs, wire, covered base, and also your hands and your clothing. Begin cutting the glue strings off, or any blobs of glue that dripped. Finish this, and adjust your wire limbs.

Here are some pics of the finished garland, now all it needs is lots of ribbon, bows, and Christmas ornaments to adorn it! Part ll will cover how to make the ornaments from beads and brass wire, and adhere them to the princess pine, and decorate with bows.

Vanessa & Agnes adjust the garland on their fireplace. My fireplace will reside for the holidays under our tree, which is small this year and sits on a table. The ornaments I create will be of gold, burgundy, w/ touches of silver to match the ornaments /colors on the tree.

Here is a better pic of the fireplace from the front, with the ends of the limbs hanging over the edge of the mantel.

The finished garland! Merry Christmas, and stay tuned for the ornament and decorating tutorial- here- part ll!

Progress on the house: Because of the cold weather, I haven't been able to progress much, it has been either too cold or too damp (we've had freezing rain, ugh) to paint or prime, or paper the interior or exterior. Because of that, I've been preparing some supplies and getting items together so when I start, I won't be held up looking for supplies. More later - and enjoy!


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