Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Shoebox Kitchen for a Little Mouse


Back in August, while browsing the new Cath Kidston catalogue, I found the most delightful crafty competition. You had to make a room from a shoe box and furnish it with only items from around the house, then send a photograph of it off to the Cath Kidston website.

Well, Bella and I were most excited about this, as I'm sure you can imagine. We started plotting and searching and rummaging. Fabrics were selected, colour schemes dreamt up and the kitchen cupboards were raided. Nothing has a box or lid now. Items were held up and examined for size and suitability, then ruthlessly added to the pile. Tea bags were decanted into jars, stock cubes now rattle about among the jars and tins, we only have eleven silicone muffins cases now...you get the picture. 

Next time John puts his "smart" shoes on, he will be confused and probably quite irritated to find them in the bottom of the wardrobe in a plastic bag. The box was sacrificed for Project Shoe Box Kitchen  (none of my shoe boxes were big enough you see...)


Would you like a little tour? From left to right...

It's is "wallpapered" in some Cath Kidston fabric, and the flooring is striped cotton fabric covered in sticky back plastic.

1. Little scraps of gingham make tea towels stuck to hooks made from pins. The poster on the wall is from a tin of travel stickers bought when I renovated an old suitcase.
2. The table top is made from the back cover of a notebook. I liked the laminated/Formica effect. The place mats are crafting felt and the plates and cakes are all buttons.
3. One of my favourite parts - the lamp shade is made from a silicon muffin case.


4. The stools are made from buttons topped with felt, and the legs are paper straws.
5. The flower pot, made from an empty cotton reel covered in ric rac trim, holds pipe cleaner stems and bead blooms. The drawers are three small match boxes taped together.
6. The sink is a square plastic lid from a bottle of moisturiser, and the taps are picture hooks.
7. The window was cut out with a craft knife, then I tidied up the edges by sticking double sided sticky tape around to make a window frame, then didn't peel off the second layer of tape. The view, torn from a magazine, is very different to the view from my kitchen window! A girl can dream... The roller blind is more gingham fabric wrapped around a straw to create the tube shape of the roll.



8. A brass roman blind ring makes a towel rail, with a felt towel.
9. The plate rack is made from part of the metal spiral from a spiral bound notebook, sticky-taped to some pink card and pinned precariously to the wall. More buttons for plates.
10.  The large range cooker is an empty tea bag box covered in plain white paper. Buttons make hob rings and drawing pins the knobs.




It was very much a joint effort. I did anything involving craft knives, scissors and extra fiddly bits (like unpeeling double sided sticky tape) and Bella did almost everything else herself, requiring some help here and there with holding things in place and fixing things. Bella likes to play with her mice in it, although it's all a bit wobbly. The plate rack had to go as it kept falling off the wall, but otherwise it's all ok.


It was a lot of fun. We are dreaming up shoe box bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms, in different colours. I'll just need to buy some new shoes first...for the boxes, of course.


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Don't forget there is still time to enter my little giveaway, should you so wish. A huge amount of rain fell over our little island this week, causing much misery and stress for many people. Thankfully, we are all ok here - I hope you are warm and dry where you are. 





45 comments:

  1. So cute ..... wish i were a mouse!
    love jooles x

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  2. Oh Gillian, it's amazing! I particularly like the plate rack (even if it did fall down) and the lampshade - genius! x

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  3. I love it! Love it! Love it! I want to live there! Your little Mollie Makes Mouse fits in perfectly! Ada :)

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  4. That is so very gorgeous Gillian. Can't wait to see more rooms - go shoe buying immediately!

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  5. That is fabulous - I love it completely. In fact I wish my kitchen looked like that...just perfect for a mouse.

    Nina x

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  6. Wowsers you crazy talented lady you! That's simply stunning. x

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  7. This is gorgeous! My children would consider themselves too old for this but I'm not!!!!

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  8. Hi Gillian,
    WOW! I hope you win the competition, it is so, so cute, adore the plates! Well done you two! I want one!
    Ivan ;-)

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  9. This is just amazing. I've been a lover of miniatures all my life. I hope you guys win the competition.

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  10. Wow this is so brilliant Gillian. So much detail, I love the plate rack and the towel holder - so clever! Hope you win. x

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  11. That is brillianto!!! It reminds me of when I was little and I used to make rooms using just plasticine. This beats it hands down. But what imagintation! I think it's really lovely!
    Margaret P

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  12. How great is that. What makes it extra special is that you made it with Bella. I'm sure she'll remember the days when you put all this together.
    Memories to treasure.
    June

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  13. It's wonderful - you really deserve to win with that and I'm sure Bella loves it. I remember my cousin and I being inspired by Blue Peter into making furniture for Sindy dolls out of old yoghurt pots. This is just so much more classy!

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  14. Love it, absolutely brilliant. I love small things, if you make more rooms please make sure you show us :) x

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  15. This is amazing. Clever you and clever Bella! x

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  16. It is incredible. Tell Bella I'm terribly impressed x

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  17. Oh, that is so cute! Bella has a future in interior design!

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  18. Wow this is amazing! Well done Bella (and mum!). I bought the Made by Joel book a while back. There are some great projects in there. You may have seen his blog. This reminds of that. Genius!

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  19. It's wonderful, I saw that competition in the magazine and thought what a lovely idea. My favourite part is the table and stools, loving the 'Formica' table.

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  20. I want to come and play! It is wonderful, well done Bella :) xx

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  21. So cute! I remember doing something similar when I was in school - we had to design a bedroom in a shoebox. So much fun! x

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  22. So adorable! I could move right in...too cute!! Sorry to hear the weather has been rainy, but I am glad to hear you all are okay! Hope the sun returns soon!

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  23. Wow, Gillian, this is beyond cute. I want to come play at your house, you make good stuff!!!! I would even bring my own shoebox : -)

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  24. I'm blown away by this! It is too cute, and too adorable for words. Kellie xx

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  25. What an absolutely delightful project! Such fun to plan and do and the result is enchanting. No wonder Bella's mouse looks so happy! E x

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  26. Aaaaaaaaaah! This is sooo cute! Love the little details, and the button plates. Just delightful.

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  27. It's fabulous. I wish I were a mouse, I don't have that view from my kitchen window.

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  28. OMG this is the best little project!! & I just bought new shoes!! I am so going to doing this with my fabulous little niece.... wishing I was tiny so I could have tea & cakes with you in your tiny perfect kitchen ;-)

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  29. goodness me! so imaginative! love it, and I bet Bella loves it too. so much fun!!

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  30. That's adorable Gillian ... I love it ... Bella must be so proud of it ... did you enter the competition ... Bee xx

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  31. What a lovely little home! Mayybe it is nice to take a look at this weblog http://the-mouse-mansion.blogspot.nl/ It's about the books of two mice, Sam and Julia and the writer of the books made a huge mouse mansion from bananaboxes. It's placed in the central libary in Amsterdam.

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  32. Oh wow what a wonderful little kitchen, what a clever pair you are, there are so many adorable details! So you entered the competition right? You MUST have won, surely?!

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  33. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Yes, we did enter, but I'm not sure how we'll do as the entries will apparently be judged on under 13 and over 13, and since ours is a joint effort...I don't know. But I am very excited to see the other entries, I hope they show them all on the website.

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  34. Oh. My. Goodness. Gillian it's wonderful!!! Bella you are clearly taking after your mum when it comes to creative talent. I can't wait to see what you do with the next shoebox! And good luck in the competition :D

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  35. Gillian, it's a.mazing!! I absolutely love all the details, and yes, I have to join the ranks of those saying that your plate rack is just inspired... wonderful! I wish we could vote for entries as you (both!) deserve to win hands down. Now I'm wondering where I can source some real stripy stools like yours for my own kitchen.. :-)

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    1. Ah, thanks. I love the 1950's candy stripe of those straws - real grown-up big ones would be fabulous! Gillian x

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  36. Looks brilliant! Well done Gillian and Bella :-) x

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  37. This is amazing and so beautiful! Like Ruth, it took me back to the Blue Peter days of making rooms for my Sindy with toilet roll tubes and match boxes. Nothing I ever made was as perfect as this though. I can't choose a favourite bit - I love it all!

    Also loving your Mollie Makes series and wondering what you'll be making out of this month's issue? I fancy having a go at the hedgehog or a Poppy Treffry embroidery.

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    1. Hi Julie, thank you. I think I might make the leaves that go with the hedgehog from issue 19, they are very pretty and autumnal. I haven't even had a chance to look through issues 17 and 18 yet, I must rectify that straight away!

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  38. This is absolutely amazing! I'm so impressed that you say Bella did loads of it. I espcially love the kitchen window and the plate rack. Of course you must buy more new shoes now. xxx

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    1. I do need more shoe boxes! I will have to start begging people for their boxes and recycling materials.

      Bella did have help and support from me, I didn't just sit her down with the shoe box and say "create!" xxx

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  39. Ingenious! The things you used to create different things! I absolutely love the flowers and the plates!

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  40. I have just discovered this and I am totally in awe!!! The button plates - genius, absolute genius!

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