Saturday, 4 May 2013

1:12 Lean to conservatory

It has been awhile since I have posted, simply because, my camera died. I now have another camera, so I am finally able to update my blog. I have been working on this conservatory for a good few months now, since October 2012, it was a spur of the moment decision. All of the kits, were too big, and I wasn't keen on them anyway, and the basic structure (excluding the wall/floor tiles) cost about the same as a basic kit, in the region of £60 I think. I used wood from wood-supplies. This is their catalogue The perspex I bought on Ebay, in A4 sheets, and the lead tape is for golf clubs. The MDF base was cut to order, by Spalding DIY, also on Ebay.

Now for the bit, that upped the budget. I used Richard Stacey York stone flags, these all had to be cut in half. The Victorian floor tiles, are by The design I used, is called Stevenson, with a Kingsley Border. I have been looking for an excuse to use the tiny tiles this company makes, and this small floor space was the perfect excuse. Slightly nightmarish to lay, but so pleasing in the end.  I had to redo this floor, so I am so glad I used their advice to lay on a piece of card (though I used graph paper) then glue in place, as I made a mistake and had to soak them all off and start again, which would have been impossible to do if they had been stuck straight onto the MDF. Always follow the instructions!!! :D

The conservatory is based on a bespoke one that I saw on the Victorian Greenhouse website. The interior ceiling is not finished, and there a few holes need filled, and other bits and bobs to do, but my blog was neglected, so here is a work in progress.

The roof is one sheet of perspex, held in a frame using wood supplies no. 287. The lead tape is self adhesive, and normally used for weighting golf clubs. I used some 1:12 scale dado rail underneath it and the copper glass clips were made using strips cut from medium, Art Emboss copper.

The door was made from scratch, using wood from wood-supplies.  The quadrant piece (around the windows, for example) is not the boxwood quadrant available from wood-supplies, as it was much too expensive for the amount I needed, so I used square pine dowelling, and sanded one edge down. The door handle, is a fluted vintaj bead and pin. The oval eye brass shape, is from A Miniature marvel.

Stevenson pattern, with Kingsley Border, tiles from dollshouse-tiles.

The rim lock is made from wood, card, thread (edge detail), and painted black ,  the handle is a fluted Vintaj bead and a tiny bead cap, on a pin.  The plant stand is made from coffee stirrer sticks, lollypop sticks and square dowelling. It has an intentional broken slat, based on a real French one that I saw online. The tub is a bought one, with a wash of white primer. The plant, is paper, carefully cut into long thin triangular strips, painted, then glued onto a cocktail stick, with the surplus cut off.

View through the door, you can see the ceiling is not finished. Still working that part out.

The hanging shelf, hopefully, the picture helps to explain. There are two tiny drilled holes behind the link. I used a "U" shaped piece of copper wire to hold the link in place, held with tweezers and using superglue on the ends of the "U", to "staple" the link to the wood.  The U shape was formed against a needle the same width as the space between the holes, then the ends trimmed.  Since attaching the chain is quite fiddly, its best to mark out which link needs to be attached, by laying the four chains out flat, pinning either end with a fine needle, be careful not to open the links, like I did,  then count the chains, marking the ones that needs to be attached, using a little spot of paint, rather than said needle. Even one chain out, you could end up with wonky shelves.  By the way, it is surprisingly strong, I don't have anything on it for the photos, but it has been piled high with stuff, whilst I was playing around with it. It will need to have the chain anchored though, as it swings a bit. I used a fine 24 LPI brass chain and 1.5mm wood, which made it quite fiddly, but I think it would look great with a thicker chain and thicker wood, which would definitely be less fiddly. I was going for the ethereal look :D

I used Richard Stacey tiles for the wall. Each tile had to be cut to fit, which I did by soaking the tile in water, then using a stanley knife to scribe a snap line. The snap line was then tidied up using various grades of sandpaper. This wall took forever to do, but I am pleased with the result. Once each tile was in place and grouted, I sanded the surface, to give it a worn, softer appearance.

I used a Tamiya scribe to cut the perspex. I highly recommend this tool, for anyone working with perspex. I had tried using a stanley knife, with disastrous, perspex shattering results. This tool, cuts cleanly, as you can see from the perspex sheet it is sitting on

It started off looking like an aquarium. The perspex is held in a frame, like the roof, using no.287 and no.242 from wood-supplies, which has a groove along the length that the perspex fits into, and the window panels were created by sticking double beading no.305 directly onto the perspex, front and back. The door, seen in the background to the left, is also made using wood-supplies wood.

The MDF wood base, cut to order by Spalding DIY. I don't have a table saw, so thought this was a great service for anybody in the same boat, in the UK.

I also bought some glass beads to fill cushions with. I saw someone else had used these for stuffing, sorry, can't remember who they were, but they are perfect. These are used for weighting reborn babies, the size I  have used is 0.7 - 1mm.  Any smaller and it might go through the weave. I got a 400g bag from Mohair bear making supplies on Ebay, but you can buy them from all over the place. They are quite cheap. .

The glass beads make the cushion heavy, and you can "dent" them. And they are delightfully squishy.


  1. Great post, I enjoyed reading this! Love the conservatory, you did a wonderful job on it. Great use of materials and lovely details. And now you'll have lots of fun filling it with plants and flowers, how pretty it will look then!
    Thanks for sharing all of your sources.

  2. Thanks Josje. I am working on some plants now. To be honest, the only reason I built it was so I could fill it with plants :D May take some time before it looks "filled".

  3. Your conservatory is beautiful. I like floor.
    The cushion is so cute.
    Bye, Faby

  4. Hi Sarah, this is the best conservatory I have seen yet. Thanks for the post, it was fantastic! I will be following closely from now on!

    1. Thank you so much :D I would love to see little conservatories pop up on more blogs, there are so few of them about. Recreation miniature is making a greenhouse, which hopefully will be ready soon, can't wait to see it, the facade alone is amazing. Worth checking her blog out if you haven't already.


  5. Hello Sarah,
    Fantastic work. the floor is gorgeous and worth all the trouble. The wall looks beautiful...the entire structure is perfection.
    Big hug,

  6. Hello, Sarah. I finished reading all of your posts. I had always looked, but I had always had the time to translate. I really like what you do. The donkey, lingerie, Christmas decorations .... but your purchases are well thought out. Delicious Christmas skit. Your conservatory will definitely be unique and full of surprises. Thanks for the tips and the useful links. Are you one of my favorite blogs. See you soon!

  7. Many thanks Blanche. I understand the translation problem, I spend alot of time looking at foreign language blogs. Thankfully our pictures do not need to be translated :D

  8. Magnifique cette serre. Un très grand BRAVO.

  9. Really great job you have done dear, I am impress with your blog.

    Conservatory Renovation


  11. It's just beautiful, really best I've seen, thank you for sharing with me.


Thanks for your comment :)