Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Virtual Convention

In November I was privileged to participate in a virtual luncheon.   I presented a program on kit bashing.    This is a term that scares most people, but is essential to me to make projects my own.   This is the presentation.   Hope you enjoy it.


Kit Bashing for Beginners
Virtual Luncheon
Sheila Barker
Key West, FL
I am so very glad you can join me today for our virtual luncheon. We are going to have a great time
and enjoy some really good (non-caloric) food. Hopefully when you leave, you will have a better
understanding of and less fear of
I know, I know – that is way past your skill level. You follow kit instructions to the letter including the
colors and the accessories. You love you minis and see no reason to venture away from the
instruction. However, that means you are creating duplicates of others designs. You probably
wouldn’t want to show up to this V-luncheon wearing the same identical outfit that all the others are
wearing. You wouldn’t decorate your living room identical to your best friend’s living room – Would
you?
You generally don’t learn a new skill by jumping in with both feet. You dabble a toe in the water and
make sure the temperature is good and you get a little further in the water. Then you might wade in
waist deep – then take off for a great swim. That’s the way we begin with kit bashing.
Kit Bashing is basically – modifying a kit to suit your own tastes and/or purpose. Doesn’t sound too
scary, does it? I hope to get you into kit bashing with small steps.
I know this is quarter connection, but my first example is of 1 inch scale to show you some of the
things you can do.
Let’s start with the
furnishings.


K-I-T B-A-S-H-I-N-G. Does that send a scare through you?
Tables
cutting off table legs to
make a coffee table.
Here is one that was
very easy. You can
lob off the legs with a
hand held cutter or
small saw – now see,
that is not too scary.




I hope you are still with me. You haven’t broken any rules,
you’ve just make a cheapie little table, much more useable for
a scene.
Let’s go where most of us start with quarter inch furniture.
That love-hate relationship we have with little plastic furniture.
You know the ones.
Are you one who uses those little plastic chairs and tables for your mini sites? Now let’s tackle
those. These little chairs can certainly be painted and upholstered, but they still look like plastic
chairs. How about making a secretarial chair and a square end table? Easy. Get out your cutter
and cut off the legs of the chair (all in one piece and cut off the feet of the table leaving about 1/8 inch
of the leg.






Okay, now you have four pieces. Let’s glue the table legs to the chair seat and cut a little piece of
wood and make a square end table.
The tabletop can be painted, decoupage or any finish
you’d like. The chair should be painted and seat
cushions put on the seat and then add little gold beads to
the feet and you have a great rolling secretarial chair or
craft room chair.
Still two pieces of furniture but vastly different from
the way they came out of the package.
Remember you still have a tabletop that can be
saved for other projects.
Do you buy furniture kits? I love them and generally if I find one I like, I buy several. Last year’s
name hutch was one of those that I bought several. The hutch is wonderful by itself.
Well, not wanting to
leave things at the status
quo, I made a buffet and
a double bookshelf.
Assemble the base per
kit instruction. Now you
will need one piece of
scrap wood. I used a
pop stickle stick and cut it
the size of the top of the
buffet and glued to the
bottom of the hutch.
Presto – here is the
finished two pieces out of
one kit.



Now I hope you aren’t scared of trying to modify your little kits. It really makes your projects yours
and not just like everyone else.
– Start by
Add sky light - A one-inch square filled with clear plastic (or thin Plexiglas), trimmed-out
with very thin wood makes a nice way to get a better view of your great room box without
adding lights.
I hate stairways inside houses. For my taste, they take up way too much room and destroy
a lot of display space that could be use. In those cases where it works, I add stairway to
outside of house (turns a residential house into a boarding house , an apt for the downstairs
shop owner or upstairs apt for adult child, etc) Construct stairs as normal and add to a little
platform attached to the side of the house. Add a printie door (both inside and outside) and
you have an upstairs entrance. Remember to make your platform an integral part of the
scene, add pet, plants, handing laundry – whatever fits your theme.
Add a door to a bedroom for an outside patio or outdoor shower. Here again, either cut a
door, or add a printie to both sides and you have a great entrance. Living in Florida, outside
showers are really popular and that is easy to construct or add a patio.
If you have a kit where the window openings are not precut for you, feel free about changing
out the windows. Add square top in lieu of rounded top windows, double in lieu of single
window. How about adding a picture window? That can also be added at that time.
I hope the ideas are flowing for you. Don’t hesitate to make a kit or a room box or a doll
house your own. Generally the design or a project is something you like or you would not
have purchased it, but it is nice to make it your own so it reflects your interests and
personality and not that of the designer of the project. The more you try the more
confidence you will gain and the more kit bashing you will do.
Happy Kit Bashing!
You can follow Sheila’s miniature projects at "http://www.Raggedykingdom.blogspot.com

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