Did You Know?

We welcome any and all tips and tricks that have helped you in the past.

Please send them to Kathy Price

 Here are some helpful articles that have been featured in The Gazette.

Basics of LED Lighting

Displaying your Miniatures
Container Displays
These are articles from the Miniature Gazette that inspired Preble McDaniel's Swap Mall:
September/October 2008 Miniature Gazette Cover and Final Pictures
September/October 2008 Miniature Gazette Instructions
You'll find a lot of inspiration in past Miniature Gazettes! See them here. (If you're logged into miniatures.org, you'll see current Gazettes as well as past. Not a member? You can still access older Miniature Gazettes! 

Organizing Tips from Preble

Popular Scales and Conversion Charts

Printing on Fabric

Robin's Helpful Hints

Recycled into Miniature (Part 2(Part 3)

Using Alcohol Inks

  • You can use lightweight, shrink free spackle for multiple uses? If you mix it with acrylic paint, it makes good stucco, it will frost a miniature cake, and it can be cast into bricks and stones.
  • Spackle can also be mixed with acrylic paint to seal Styrofoam. This is great for garden beds and other landscaping.
  • Elmer's glue and cocoa makes perfect chocolate frosting. And because of the glue, it’s critter proof! 
  • Sandpaper will sharpen your scissors easily – just by cutting through it several times. Medium grit works the best for this application.
  • To sharpen your punches, punch aluminum foil several times and you'll notice that your punch cuts better.
  • Pick up glitter with a lint roller or tape.
  • It’s hard to make sure a nail goes in straight sometimes. Use a comb to help guide the nail as you hammer – and then simply slide off when the nail is secure.
  • Does your glue gun get stringy? Keep your glue sticks in the freezer before using. Take them out and put them right into your glue gun.
  • To eliminate those pesky strands once a project is finished, use your hair dryer. You’ll see them melt away.
  • Do you have a tape roll that you haven’t used in a while? If it’s hard to peel the end off, put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds and it will loosen up.
  • A plastic ice tray is a perfect place for holding teenie tiny items that have no other place to go. Pill dispensers also work well.
  • To make small fabric pieces easier to store, wrap them around cut pieces of a cereal box. You can then sit them up in a drawer and sort through them easily. This also works well for trim and lace only you will probably want to use cut pieces of index cards.
  • If you lose the lid to an Exacto blade or other pointy object, buy small cork pieces from your craft store or use wine bottle corks.
  • If you drop pins, easily pick them up with a magnet.
  • Put a wet wipe between the lid of your Yes glue and the glue pot. You'll never struggle to get the lid off again. A paper towel might work as well but it might not be as strong.
  • If you have a small glue bottle that is constantly plugging, put a small damp (NOT dripping) piece of paper towel in the bottom of a yogurt container or pill bottle and store the glue nose down in the bottle. It will not plug until the paper towel dries.
  • If you are doing a water scene, invest in some two part epoxy from a hardware store or craft store. You'll go broke using Realistic Water from Woodland Scenics. 
  • Use a drop of superglue or Zap a Gap with regular tacky for a sturdier bond that sets up faster.
  • Wipe a small amount of Vaseline around the threads of your new glue bottle tops to keep them from gluing shut.
  • When you lose the top closure for your tacky glue, use a piece of plastic wrap and a plastic electrical nut as a substitute. Save the little tops from your old glue bottles for the next time you lose one. They also make good 1" coffee cups.
  • Those same tops also make a good mold for making clay pots for 1/4 scale flowers. Just form your clay around it. The pot you form will easily slide off.
  • Use old lids from margarine tubs, peanut butter jars, and carry out food for paint and glue pallets. They clean up easily or can just be disposed of. 
  • If you prefer to use artists' pallets, cover your pallet in aluminum foil for easier clean up.
  • Squish a couple of toilet paper tubes side by side into a jar or coffee cup to keep paint brush types separated.
  • Very Small knitting needles make good precision glue spreaders. They’re easy to handle because of the length. 
  • Mix matte Mod Podge half and half with water in a spray bottle and spray it over loose sand to set it up securely.
  • You can realistically drape fabric by spreading a thin layer of glue on the back of it and applying it to tin foil. Once it dries it will hold almost any shape you drape it in.
  • You can also drape quilts, tablecloths, and curtains by sewing a thin cloth covered floral wire into the border or the hem. It will hold pleats and folds indefinitely.
  • If you run out of strip wood for your small scale project, try using quilling paper. You can paint it, or you may find just the color you need.
  • Cut the vinyl makeup brush cleaners from the dollar store to fit the bottom of your paint water cup. Swish your brushes clean while you’re painting. Use it with soapy water after painting to clean your brushes.
  • The brushes from your used mascara can be cleaned and painted and/or flocked to make 1/144th scale bushes and trees.
  • Sandpaper makes great small scale shingles. It’s also good for texturing clay baked goods like cookies and cakes.
  • Crumpled tissue paper glued to a project and painted when dry makes a great fast, lightweight medium to use as stucco.
  • Small snippets of pulled bunka make a woolly coat for your wooden or plastic sheep. Flocking can make them look like they were just sheared.