The idea was to create a cabinet for Beatrice in the style of a shop. There wasn’t any desire to make this any particular scale, what we wanted was a cabinet of a certain size and so that dictated the dimensions. 14.5 inches (365mm) wide and 13.5 inches (340mm) high (to the top of the sign).
Each window opens with the hinges embedded in the wooden frame. The main box was made from MDF along with the doors – do wear a mask and use some form of dust extraction (eg Microclene) as MDF is one of the worst materials to machine. The windows were cut out of the front panels and then trimmed with mouldings.
We don’t see it very well in these pictures, but the sides are bricked. This was achieved using air drying clay that was rolled out to approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) thick and then fixed to the wood with PVA. Whilst the clay was wet the bricks were marked out. The clay needs to be left to dry for a couple of days before painting, but using clay you can build up some great brick/stone effects on MDF.
The lights were wired in using flat copper strip that was stuck around the inner surface of the main box. Eight LED’s in total, four each side of the main window were glued into a piece of aluminium U-section and then wires soldered to connect these to the flat copper strip. An old battery box and switch was fixed in the bottom of the main box.
The box was first hand painted in white undercoat. This was sanded down and then sprayed with enamel paint. Once dry the glass (from a clip frame) was cut to size and fixed in place with thin wooden strips.
The backing paper was bought from the local model dolls house shop and fixed using normal wallpaper pasted – this was the most scary moment as the paste makes the paper go very soft and needs to be handled with extreme care.
Beatrice wrote the name across the top with a felt tip pen so that any errors could be wiped off. Once correct the name was painted with brown enamel paint – three coats of paint gave the right look.
More designs in the gallery page.