Floors: Part 2

The floors are mostly done. The sides need to be trimmed and I’ll coat the inside with something to seal the banana bark. It seems to like to splinter and peal, so I want to protect them from what I’ll be doing to the rest of the build. 

Of course there is the mandatory post completed step play session. It helps me visualize the space better. For instance the full bed takes up more space than I expected (which is fine since I’ll be making a twin bed). 

Clearly, just a bed isn’t quite enough: the bed from the trailer, the blanket is a vintage tie that is just wrapped around the bed,  a few random rugs, a clock charm, and an old pottery jug that belonged to my mom.

I’m pretty sure the floor in the flower shop took 3x’s longer, but it’s a bigger floor and I probably used about 5 million skinny sticks. I’ll be working with fabrics soon. Some fabrics I’ll need to make stiffer, others softer, and some will need to look worn and well loved. 



A couple of months ago I came across a pair of placemats at a thrift store. They were a woven fiber, I’m thinking banana bark. The colors and textures of the fibers were exactly what I wanted for my HBS Creating Contest floors. 

Since I forgot to get a picture of the placemats, here is a picture of a banana bark mat that is very similar to the placemats I bought. 

After cutting apart the placemats I noticed that the strips of banana bark were very wavy from being woven together. I needed to figure out how to get them to lay flat. Nobody likes a wavy floor. My first idea was to soak them, press them between a towel and something heavy, and wait for them to dry. 

While the banana fibers were soaking I finally glued the framework of my structure together. The inside will be visible through the front and the left sides. The right side and back will be completely blocked off, or at least that’s the plan for now. 

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The idea of waiting for the banana bark to dry pushed me to plan B…the “craft” iron. Each strip got dried off, ironed until it was dry, and placed under a heavy board to keep them flat. I suspected that they weren’t completely dry, so plan C…I layed them out in the driveway to use the power of the Florida sun to dry them. That seemed to work, until I realized that they had curled on the edges. Thankfully, running them under the iron one more time seems to have flattened them out for good. 

  Laying the floor is slow going. The strips aren’t the same width and some of them are curved. It will all work out in the end. I’m really loving the variations in the banana bark, creating a nice aged wood plank effect. 

 If I have any of the fibers left (even if I don’t I can always order sheets of it on the Internet), I plan on wrapping some around wooden dowels to create logs for support beams. I’ll need to plot out how big I want the base for the whole build to be. Initially I was hoping that I could keep the overall footprint smaller than the flower shop, but I’m thinking it will end up being about the same. 

A Porch with a View


Welcome to my little slice of the Kenyan savanna. I’ll give as much detail as I can about where everything came from. If I leave anything out feel free to ask.

I wanted the tent to be lived in, but not too messy, warm, and welcoming. All of the rugs in the tent are from miniatures.com. They were each faded and worn using paint and the sanding bit on my Dremel.


The chairs and the folding stool were designed by me using pictures from the internet as my models. I wasn’t happy with the “leather” seat on the stool, so I replaced it with a canvas one. The chairs are made using the thinnest dowels I could find at the craft store, glue, some black card stock, some paint, and faux leather vinyl. The vinyl had a fuzzy backing on it making it too thick. Using that handy sanding bit on the Dremel I was able to sand the fuzz of the back. That made it much thinner and it ended up looking like the back side of a hide. Win, win! After some paint, stain, and a few thin black lines, I ended up with a seat material that looked pretty convincing.

The little cup was a birthday present to myself. I bought it and the little journal at a local dollhouse store called The Toy Box. The journal was aged using sandpaper and given labels using tiny pieces of masking tape. For the papers, I found images of old antique naturalist journals on google, resized the images to be roughly 8×11, and then printed them using my computer. They were just crumpled a little to make them well used.


The little black mamba started out life as a tiny bright orange snake with black stripes. It was surprisingly easy to paint him the right colors. He means no harm. He’s just looking for a snack.


The Moroccan inspired lantern was made using a pair of earrings I had bought weeks before I even received my kit. I added some jewelry findings and beads, chain, paint and a tiny little LED light. The battery is hidden under the rain tarp and can be turned on by applying pressure in just the right spot.


The bottles for the butterfly jars were purchased from the craft store or miniatures.com. The table was made from a slice of closet dowel. I had received the little Coleman lamp last year for my birthday. With a little thinking outside of the box, I was able to electrify it.

The flooring was made with placemats that were found at a local thrift store.


The little black pot was another Toy Box purchase. The fire grate was made using toothpicks and pieces of wire. The basket is a piece of woven cotton webbing (used for belts) glued together in a tube and painted. It’s filled with tiny little pieces of wood from my yard.

The yellow grasses (there are 2 different textures) are from decorative brooms that I picked up at thrift stores. The yellow flowers and patches of greener short grass are also thrift store finds. The rocks around the fire pit are from my driveway. I also used very old potpourri, that was easy to crumble, as dirt and debris.


I’ll give details about the inside when I share more pictures of the inside.


I loved how this picture turned out, until I realized I had left the piece of card board that I was using as a reflector in the picture. Doh. Oh, well.


The wood beams are dowels that I sanded with the Dremel, stained, and painted. The roping is jute string and the fabric is simple cotton muslin in 2 different colors that I sewed together in panels.

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Not a bad view.