Friday, 8 February 2013

Distress Yourself Miniature Chair Kit Review

Towards the end of 2012 a few of you mentioned that you would like to see more doll's house and miniature themed posts on this here corner of the web. I couldn't agree more. All things mini remains one of my major hobbies, not to mention the first craft I ever took seriously, and I've been having a think about how I can bring more of that to this blog, without alienating those of you who enjoy a broad range of crafts and vintage adventures. Watch this space... 

Anyway, it seemed rather good timing when Kat of Four Little Walls contacted me to ask whether I'd like to review her new 'Distress Yourself' chair kit. Ever one for doll's house fun and crafting combined, I said a hearty yes please. 



Here is the kit. Included was one wooden chair thickly coated in off white chalky paint, some sandpaper and a tip sheet. It was all very simple. I got to sand that chair as much or as little as I liked, the intention being to give it a pleasing shabby chic distressed effect.

Because I like to go for realism as much as possible with my miniatures, I decided to sand where the chair would come in contact with the person sitting on it, to make it look as authentic and well-loved as possible. So I spent quite a lot of time where the, ah - posterior - would be, the back of the legs and the back. Once I'd given it a wipe with a barely damp cloth I finished my chair with a coat of matt varnish, as suggested on the tip sheet.


Here is my chair all finished. What I liked about this kit was that the chair has a very classic feel, so it would work in any style or period home. I'm even thinking about painting a little stool to go with it. I tend to think of doll's house lovers falling into two camps: the crafters - those who like to make most if not all their items, in a sort of magpie, patchwork style and the collectors - who buy their furniture and other pieces and will quite often happily pay a lot of money for a good quality sofa or desk to proudly display in their (often large and beautiful) doll's house. 

I fall into the former group, of course, and enjoyed this kit because it fulfilled my desire to make the piece my own. I probably couldn't make a chair, but I do want to customise everything in my house. It's probably also a good idea for those new to the hobby or crafting in general, or indeed the collectors, because as much as they like ready made, they don't necessarily like the mass-produced look (I have a slight problem with some items sold by The Dolls House Emporium for this very reason). My chair was ready to pop inside its new home within fifteen minutes, varnished and all, which makes for a satisfying few minutes' work! The chalky paint worked nicely with the sandpaper too; no need to ruin my hands scrubbing away at the same spot.



The Distress Yourself chair kit costs £7.00, and I believe Four Little Walls has plans to add other pieces to the range. Although as an enthusiastic crafter with sandpaper never far away I may choose to paint and distress other furniture myself, I reckon this kit will appeal to those who enjoy quick and easy doll's house projects or anyone wanting an entirely customised and realistic look for their furniture. I'm also pretty sure that pre-teen me would have thought this was a brilliant way to kick start my adventures in all things mini.




What do you think to my new chair? It makes me want to go and sit in the garden on a warm summer's day. Oh, and Four Little Walls is offering 15% off all online purchases before 28th February with code 'minilove'. 








Disclaimer: For the purposes of this review I was sent one Distress Yourself chair kit. My views are honest and my own.

18 comments:

  1. Anna this is gorgeous, I am truly fascinated by your little inn, and would love to see an updated post on it!

    The idea of customizing your own little pieces, definitely appeals to me (probably from all that jewellery making!!) Do you have any people to go inside it yet?

    ps I have to say I do love your nail polish in these photographs, and the floral background (Cath Kidston?)

    xx

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    1. I shall try and arrange a little pub update, work on it had been slow for a number of reasons lately but I have lots of ideas planned! Ah yes, nail varnish is Barry M's Mint Green, thank you! x

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    2. Oh, and I'll try and do a post on the doll situation soon! x

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  2. Very cute! On my old street my neighbours (both elderly) had huge dolls houses and collected as a hobby. They were not crafty as such and would buy furniture etc in. Some of the rooms in the houses were very impressive! However, I much prefer your crafted dolls house spaces, as I can see the love and care that goes into them.

    Claire x

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    1. It's amazing how much some pay for their doll's house furniture, but then they make for very impressive display pieces. I like the living in, real, homely look, even if that means things are often a little wonky! x

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  3. How sweet, I think the fact that you can make such small things is amazing, I'm too clumsy for all that! I for one wouldn't mind more miniature posts, but please, don't make the writing too small or else I won't be able to read it! :) x

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    1. Duly noted Ada, if the writing gets too small miniature magnifying glasses will, of course, be provided ;) x

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  4. Ah yes, I'm one of those people you mention in the opening of this post, so I'm super happy to see this :) Although we haven't got the little boy's dollhouse set up yet because we're waiting for his new room to be finished, I am beginning to turn my mind to what we might put inside it. This post certainly has me thinking, and I adore the finished "scene" with sweet little pillow, book and dog!

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    1. A dog is an essential in any doll's house! I can't wait to see yours all set up, and hope you found a good supplier of kiddies' doll's house furniture, and have plans to make your own, too! x

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    2. My son will definitely want a dog - will look out for a cute one. All we have so far is some rather bland bathroom furniture (on offer in John Lewis at Christmas) but I definitely want the house to be full of homemade things, it will be so much more special!

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  5. Ahhh I wish I was like you. It looks so satisfying and part of me would love a dolls house to dress and fit out. Unfortunately it would not last 10seconds in a house dominated by boys and I am not sure that I have the patience. I love reading about your mini-adventures however and look forward to reading many more.

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    1. You could always have a bash at room boxes! x

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  6. Love, love, love!!! :-) x adventuresandteaparties.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Jo, such a fun kit to play with. x

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  7. Looks like great fun! My granny was a serious dolls house collector and I inherited all of it when she passed away. I've had my own dolls house since I was little, but now I have all of her stuff as well and I have no idea what to do with all of it as a lot of it isn't to my taste. I've had a necessary brake from dolls houses whilst I've been at uni, but when I ge back to it in the summer this is precisely the sort of thing I'd love to do. Thanks for sharing!
    Alex x

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    1. I'm excited that you're going to have a whole new hobby to throw yourself into soon! I'd say either refurb the furniture you have so you like it, or sell it to a lovely new home and use the money to fill your doll's house with lovely new items. Have fun! x

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  8. I love this little chair and the idea of crafting mini things. I may have to go and dig my old dolls house from my parents loft just so I can create things for it! I will not be in the collectors camp lol!!

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    1. Hooray, I'm all for bringing childhood doll's houses back to life! x

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