Crafting: Miniature – Margaret’s Shop
Time Required: 10+ hours
Review of kit: 4,5 out of 5 stars
I’m a huge fan of miniature dollhouses. Years ago, I already made a dollhouse. It was just the house itself, though, no furniture. Back then, they didn’t have fully furnished kits (at least not that I could find) but the last few years, I’ve seen these kits pop up more and more often and I have to say, I actually prefer it. The nicest part about making these dollhouses is decorating them. Without furniture and decorations, it’s basically just a shell waiting to be completed.
Anyway, on to this particular kit. When I saw this for just 9.95 EUR in the Action store in Belgium, I had to have it. When purchasing similar kits online, they easily go for 30 or 40 EUR, so this was a steal.
I purchased three kits in this series (basically, every kit they had in store): Margaret’s Soap Shop (pictured above), Madam Fleur’s Boutique (a bridal shop), and The Happy Florist (a floral shop).
I liked the design of Margaret’s Soap Shop the most, so I decided to start with this kit.
When opening the box, I saw it was literally filled to the brim. The box contained a manual, lots of bags, wooden panels, a LED light, and so on.
Above is a bit more detail of the things included: clay in various colours (to make the soaps), fabrics, printed paper to cut designs from, small buttons, and so on. Everything was divided neatly in little bags and the manual explained what was in each bag.
As far as manuals for miniature kits go, this was actually one of the best manuals I’ve come across. The instructions were clear and easy to understand. I tried my hand at other miniature kits in the past where I struggled to comprehend half the stuff written in the manual, but that was definitely not the case here.
One of the first things I worked on, was the desk that was supposed to go in the center of the shop. The hardest part about this was tying up the bags around the balls of ‘soap’ that you can see on the left of the above picture. As per the manual, all the furniture was supposed to be completed first, before working on the shop itself.
Next thing I crafted after finishing the desk, was the above display. The structure itself was quite easy to make, but I do recommend using a good glue. Having glue that doesn’t take ages to dry and leaves no marks, makes all the difference when working on these kits.
For me, the main downside of this kit was that there was still some stuff that needed to be painted. Some of the house’s trim needed to be painted white, other part had to be painted green. I don’t necessarily mind painting, but this took up a lot of time (especially to let everything dry in-between) and since each piece needed multiple layers of paint.
Also, if you follow the manual to the letter, step-by-step, then you will end up having to paint multiple times. I just painted everything all in one go, as this was faster.
You can see above all the items that needed to be painted green. Since I was working on the house mostly in the evenings, it took a whole evening to paint everything, while I would have preferred to keep working on the house itself.
After finishing the furniture and painting the windows and doors, the next step was to put the house together. The above picture shows the front of the house, right before I put the wallpaper on it.
It was not that difficult to connect the back wall, sidewalls and the front of the house but as I mentioned, you definitely need good glue.
Once the house itself was built and the lightning fixture was added, as per the manual, I could now add the furniture, starting from the furniture in the back of the room. As you can see on the picture, I had to make a ton of soap. Making the soap was not that easy, especially the heart-shaped soap took ages and still ended up looking rather ‘meh’.
Another view of the interior of the house, this time with even more furniture added.
And then now, the big reveal of the finished soap shop…
… And the interior.
Plus, another close-up of the interior.
Although this took over 10+ hours to make (probably a lot more than that, but I didn’t really keep track – it definitely took multiple evenings over several weeks), I still recommend it to everyone who enjoys miniature kits. As I said, the manual is easy to follow and it’s one of the more creative kits out there. Plus, even if it took some time, I didn’t get bored once and I was really curious (and happy with) the end result.