Pat Davies shows us how to make this stunning 1920's bath...
Art Deco Bath
In this workshop I am making a 1920s/30s recessed bath. I didn’t have a square cornered bath to hand, so I thought I would try using card to create the same effect.
I haven’t given detailed instructions on creating the interior of my box as everyone’s idea of décor and layout will be very different, but below is a brief description of how I made the basic structure. I used a redundant room box that had seen better days. It was rather large so I reduced the inside measurements by installing a false wall at the back using core-board.
To make it more interesting I made one half deeper than the other and then divided it up so there were alcoves.The raised floor level in the bath recess was created with dense polystyrene (if you don’t already have some ask at your local DIY shop/store, they often just throw it away). I then covered it with black, glossy faced, cardboard.
I did find some Art Deco designs, again with a glossy finish which came in a packet of 24 sheets with 12 designs and these proved very useful and effective.
You will need:
• Glue – Deluxe Materials Speed Bond works well
• Sharp craft knife
• Old artist paint brush for applying glue
• Various papers and paints for decoration
• Black glossy card
• Bath taps (upright pillar or shower taps on stand-pipes)
• Super Glue (optional)
Decide on the bath you will be using and measure the length and width. Then you can decide on the height. Mine is a roll-top bath 5-1/2” (140mm) x 2-3/4” (70mm).
Using the above measurements as a guide, I cut two side panels and two end panels from the core-board
• 2 side panels - 6” (153mm) x 1-7/8 (48mm)
• 2 end panels - 3-1/2 (89mm) x 1-7/8 (48mm)
Using the Speed Bond glue, join these four panels to form a box and leave to dry. At this point you may have to tidy the joins, just to smooth any ridges.
Measure the top and cut another panel to fit flush, but don’t glue into position yet.
Lay the top panel on a flat surface and place the bath face down with more space at the tap end.
Draw around the rim of the bath, remove the bath and draw another line about 10mm to12mm inside the original.
Cut out so you are left with a hole that the bath will fit into with the rim resting neatly on the top. You may have to tweak it a little to get the bath to fit flush.
Mark the position of the taps and the receiving holes. I used shower taps because I had a spare pair.
Cover the exterior of the box frame, starting with the top panel. I chose black glossy card for mine.
I placed a little silver coloured washer over the receiving holes for the taps to give it a finished look. If you’re using pillar taps this can be placed into position and glued. If you have shower taps that are attached to standpipes you may have to shorten them before you thread them through the receiving holes.
To give added strength I glued a block of core-board underneath where the taps were to be fitted.
Glue the finished top into position making sure all edges are level.
When the glue is completely set, carefully measure the front, back and two end panels, then cut out four panels using the black glossy card and glue into position.
If desired you could now add embellishments of your own - contrasting motifs, maybe a smaller raised panel in the centre with a gold frame or perhaps cut the glossy card into tile shapes.
This feature was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue.
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Pat Davies of Lili-Anne Miniatures
T: 01702 304919