This article was originally written in August, 1999 for the miniatures site at About.com, when my camera and photography skills were a bit primitive.
My favorite thing about working with miniatures is the way they force you to look at common objects in new ways. I rummaged through my jewelry making and sewing supplies to find all the pieces and parts to put together some small accessory trays suitable for a mini dressing table or boudoir.
Here’s the big pile of junk I assembled for this project. I raided my button drawer, as well as my beads and jewelry findings. Now let’s see what we can put together.
For this tray, I used a cameo backing as the base. I wanted a mirrored tray, so I used a small piece of aluminum foil on the center section of the base. This was glued in place with a thin layer of glue stick, making sure I kept the foil nice and flat. The bottles were made from crystal and filigree beads. The crystal bottle in front has a small gold bead on top, held in place with a sequin pin and a little glue. The low flat container on the left is a gold bead, with a small crystal held in place on top with another sequin pin and glue. The hatpins and holder are head pins trimmed with tiny seed beads and pearls, held by another gold filigree bead which acts as the hatpin holder. Everything on these trays is glued securely in place with E6000.
This is another brooch backing for the tray, available at most craft stores in the jewelry making department. Aluminum foil is used for mirror in the bottom of the tray. All the bottles are made from silver or crystal beads, with smaller beads and pins used as the bottle tops. Hatpins are made by sliding a beads onto a regular dressmaker pins, and gluing them against the heads.
OK, you get the drift. This one is made using a large flat button as the tray, and a small filigree button as the powder box. Beads make the perfume bottle and hatpin holder, and head pins are the hat pins.
To bring this back around to mixed-media work, I’m thinking of making a couple of these for some small shrines. Perhaps it’s time to merge my mini-making skills with some of my assemblage pieces.