01 of 08
Use Scraps of Wood and Plastic to Make Bottles for a Dollhouse Change Table
To add to the accessories for a miniature change table or dollhouse nursery scene, I've set up instructions for making simple baby bottles, baby oil bottles and powder shakers using scraps of craft wood or plastic. To shape the basic square stock to make ends for bottles, I used a pencil sharpener. If you don't already have one, an inexpensive drafting pencil sharpener from the art store is a good buy. They have blades which can be replaced to keep them sharp.
You can use any scraps of wood or clear plastic to make these bottles. I used a section of a disposable chopstick to make the baby bottle and baby powder bottle, but 1/4 inch square craft wood stock will work as well. For scales smaller than 1:12, large match sticks may work as well.
For the plastic baby oil bottle I used a discarded plastic toothbrush handle. The clear plastic on these handles is usually fairly soft, and can be easily carved or filed to shape.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Use a Pencil Sharpener To Shape Wood for a Miniature Baby Bottle
To make the baby bottle with a nipple I used a piece of square wood stock cut from a disposable wooden chopstick. You can use suitable sized square stock craft wood roughly 1/4 inch (6mm) square or slightly thinner for a 1/12 scale bottle. I inserted my wood stock into a pencil sharpener to create a conical end to make the nipple, and also to round the corner edges at the top of the main section of the bottle body.
Make sure you put your wood stock squarely into the pencil sharpener so that the top of the bottle is shaped evenly centered on the square stock.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Shape Clear Plastic Scraps For Miniature Bottles
To make the clear bottle for miniature shampoos, baby oil etc. I used a scrap piece of clear plastic from a used toothbrush handle. Toothbrush handles are made from fairly soft flexible plastic which can also be cut with a pencil sharpener. Choose an appropriate section of the toothbrush to fit into your pencil sharpener and make sure you center the plastic stock. Gently twist the plastic in the sharpener to shape a conical top for your bottle.
Once the rough shape for a bottle has been made from your length of plastic, use a razor saw and a miter box to cut the bottle to the length you want. A carving knife or a craft knife that holds scalpel blades securely can be used to gently carve the top of your bottle to whichever shape you wish. If you have any scratches after cutting your bottle free from your plastic scrap, use micro mesh sanding pads or other automotive polishing materials to sand out the scratches.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Shape the Baby Bottle "Teat" or Nipple
The nipple or teat of the miniature baby bottle is shaped by rounding the pointed end of your sharpened wood or plastic form using sandpaper. Modern baby bottles have flattened style teats made of clear silicon, while bottles from the 1950's and up have rounded rubber teats. I shaped mine on my wood stock without cutting it free of the stock. In the photo above I show it cut free so you can judge the size of the rounded end.
Notice how the shape of the main bottle section has flattened shoulders just under where the nipple will sit. The shoulders are shaped with a sanding block and fine sandpaper.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Paint the Miniature Baby Bottle
Once the miniature baby bottle has been shaped with a pencil sharpener, I used a sanding block to angle the corners of the bottle where it joins the rounded conical top (see the photo). Many old style baby bottles had flattened corners on squared, rather than round bottles. Before proceeding to assemble the bottle, it is easier to paint the sections. I painted the tip of the wood with a blend of ochre and brown acrylic paint and painted the main body of the bottle white, to show it is full of milk. When the paint was dry on both sections I applied two coats of high gloss acrylic varnish. You could also use clear liquid acrylic floor polish to coat your paint to a high gloss.
Set the wooden bottle shape to dry thoroughly before proceeding.
If you are making a clear baby bottle you can skip the painting step, unless you need to paint "milk" in the center of a clear acrylic rod.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Cut the Baby Bottle Sections
When the paint has thoroughly dried, cut the sections of your dollhouse baby bottle free. The brown nipple on the end is cut with a slight end to hold it above the main section of the baby bottle, the baby bottle section is cut just above the area where you shaved the shape with the pencil sharpener, creating corners and a narrower upper surface for the nipple to sit on.
The main section of the baby bottle will now need to be finished and painted on the base.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Assemble the Baby Bottle Ring
I used a band of polymer clay to make the screw top ring for my miniature baby bottle. If you have a piece of suitable plastic trim, you may be able to simply glue that over the top of the bottle and base of the nipple to finish your bottle. First check that your plastic trim can be glued easily. To begin, glue your nipple section into the center of the base of your bottle as shown, set the bottle assembly aside to dry.
To Make the Screw Top Bottle Ring From Polymer Clay
There are two ways you can make this ring. You can roll out a narrow band of polymer clay, then coat the discard center piece from your bottle assembly with a release agent (cornstarch), and shape the ring over the discarded wooden section. (see photo) If you bake your ring on the wooden section, you can remove it carefully from the wood while it is still warm and flexible, and set it over the nipple end of the dollhouse bottle, gluing it in place before it completely cools and hardens.
The alternate method is to shape the ring in place around the bottle and nipple, then bake the assembly for the suggested time for your clay. Most acrylic finishes and pva glue will stand up to these low oven temperatures for the five to ten minutes baking required. You do run the risk of your painted finish discoloring!Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Finishing Details for Miniature Baby Bottles and Powder Shakers
Finishing a Miniature Powder Shaker
The miniature powder shaker was shaped the same way the baby bottle was made, but cut shorter than the baby bottle, and not given a coat of gloss varnish. A top was made for the shaker by pressing a ball of polymer clay flat on a baking tile so it sat over the top of the shaker. A ring of tiny holes was pressed into the clay top using a cooking skewer. The top of the shaker was baked, glued to the top of the wooden shaker, and white pan pastel was brushed into thin pva glue to make the 'talcum powder'. The sticker decorating the powder shaker was cut from a 'fruit sticker' and applied to the powder bottle.
Finishing The Miniature Baby Oil Bottle
This bottle could be for baby wash or shampoo, or any manner of other items. I shaped the top cone of the bottle from a square toothbrush handle, then sanded any scratches in the plastic base using micro mesh sanding pads. I applied a small scale sticker from a child's sticker book, and placed some scrapbooking 'lace' edging along the bottom of my bottle. The bottle cap is a circle of foil cut with a paper punch, then glued to the top of the bottle and embossed down with a paper embossing tool. If you have any fine scratches in your plastic, you can finish your bottle with a coat of clear acrylic floor polish or acrylic clear coat paint.
There are many ways you can paint and apply stickers, decals, or acrylic mediums mixed with paint to make bottle lids and other details like lips or raised bottle sections. Experiment with simple materials and see how many ways you can create a range of bottles and jars for your baby's nursery.