30 January 2023
Learn how build a beautiful miniature loveseat to adorn your garden scenes with this step-by-step guide from Ruth Flewelling Lesbirel.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to add a beautiful miniature bench to your garden scene. What more romantic spot is there than this little loveseat for a very special marriage proposal in miniature?
DIY miniature bench tutorial
You will need
- 1.6mm thick sheetwood
- 2mm x 2mm, 5mm x 5mm, 2mm x 6mm stripwood
- Red and green heavy paper
- White paper
- Green florist wire
- Fine brass wire
- Tiny flat-backed crystal
- Blue velvet paper
- Lightweight card
- White acrylic paint
- White glue
- Super Glue
- Steel ruler
- Small saw
- Emery board
- Needle files
- Needle-nose pliers
- Grid paper
- Heart, leaf and small star paper punches
- Ball stylus
- Needle tool
- Wire cutters
- Wooden cocktail stick
Preparation - miniature bench
1. Cut the upper back of the bench from mattboard, four curved-top ends from sheetwood, two 35mm long lower side rails, four 35mm long seat supports and one 90mm long lower cross rail from the larger square stripwood. Cut two 89mm long seat frame pieces, four 13mm long lower rail rests, four 14mm long seat rests and five 102mm long seat slats from flat stripwood. Cut ten 35mm long arm slats from the smaller square stripwood. Sand all pieces smooth.
Assemble rails and seat frame
2. Work over grid paper to ensure square assemblies. Tape the five seat slats spanning 35mm. Glue a seat support at each end, with two more dividing the slat space evenly. Glue the front and back seat frames against the edge of the slats, centred end-to-end. Glue the lower cross rail to the centres of the two side rails, forming an I-shape.
Join rails, seat and arms
3. Glue the lower frame rests to the inside of the curved-top ends, even with the bottom. Glue the I-shaped rail onto its rests between the front and back curved-top ends. Glue the seat frame rests to these ends and against the lower frame. Glue the seat end frames onto these rests and against the ends. Glue the arm slats on each side, joining the front and back curved-top ends.
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4. Glue the curved back between the back arms as shown, with a piece of the smaller square stripwood behind the back, spanning the lower edges of the curved back and the two arms. Add two more cross pieces of the same square stripwood to the back below this, spanning onto the arms and dividing the space equally. Glue on two more pieces of square stripwood above the first one, spanning the upper curved portion of the back and dividing the space equally again.
Completing the back
5. Glue a piece of smaller square stripwood vertically to the front of the centre back touching the underside of the top curved piece and the top of the seat. Glue the same stripwood uprights to the back at both ends and at the first flattening of the curve on each side, again touching the curved top and the seat. Paint the completed bench. Let dry and repaint.
Creating the miniature rose
6. Use the ball stylus to punch and vein two leaves and a small star from heavy green paper. Punch eight heart-shaped petals from heavy red paper. Cut a 38mm length of florist wire. Curve the tops of the petals outward over the needle tool. Lightly crease the petals down the middle. Cut three petals along the crease, crease again to the point and glue these half petals, points up, overlapping around the tip of the wire, forming a bud. Glue five more full petals, points downward, overlapping around the base of the bud and bending each one outward to resemble an opening bloom. Pierce the centre of the star and cup it. Slide the star onto the stem so that the sepals curve away from the bloom. Glue the sepals against the base of the flower. Finally, glue the leaves to the stem, on alternate sides.
Creating the miniature ring in a box
7. Form the wire around the needle tool with pliers. Cut this circle and superglue the crystal onto the join. Cut the template pattern from velvet paper and emboss the fold lines with the ball stylus. Fold the box and lid and glue the six narrow end tabs to the inside. Glue the eight triangular side tabs, one pair at a time, inside the adjacent sides of both sections, forming an open ring box with an attached lid. Cut a small slit in the centre of a short strip of white paper the width of the box. Glue the strip in a circle and glue this ring holder into the box. Finish by embedding the ring into the box, ready for romance!
Top Tip! Work slowly with the ring box, allowing the glue to dry a bit as you go. Use one tip of a wooden cocktail stick to apply a small bit of glue to the tabs and fold them with the dry tip. Form each box side by placing a scrap of flat stripwood inside and pressing the freshly glued side against it.
Looking for more Valentine’s-inspired miniatures? Discover the secrets behind the art of miniature floristry with this feature from Gosia Suchodolska.