Well, I thought I was going to make a room box—basically a wooden shoebox—designed to display a pastry shop counter scene, and I started to collect a few little odds and ends. But somehow, it all got out of hand. I think I've spent about $65 so far on this much more ambitious conception—all in, even including paint and glue and whatnot. If I splurge $20 on "slate" tiles, I think my 1:12 scale patisserie will look quite chic, without being too shamefully extravagant.
Here's how it happened. One day I was browsing Kijiji and I spotted this kit for $20. It's a modest little house, but I noticed the front windows, and thought "Hmmmm, could be a shop." That very day (my birthday, as it happens), I bought it from a nice mom and her two sons, who had won it as a prize at a local event.
Here's what the windows looked like when I assembled the kit. I made quite a few alterations: I cut off the front porch, left out the roof trim and sliced the interior window frames out. Then I cut out acetate "window panes" and drew leading on with a Sharpie. I built up the roof of the bay window section and added trim and a sign, all made from leftover bits of wood from the kit.
The letters are foam stick-on ones from the dollar store. I may change them out at some point, but for now I like them. I also cut out the non-functional door, enlarged the door frame and put in a swinging door I bought for another project for $5 (it was too short for the house I'd planned to use it in).
The door number is a scrap of painted wood. The easel is from the dollar store, and the "chalkboard" is a piece of black foam painted with acrylic paint. The balloons came off my birthday cake.
Here's the inside when first built. I did a lot of trimming-off of extra bits of wood, like the vertical divider in the attic roof. The floor is a plastic one ($8, I think) I had intended for a different house.
This shows the inside of the windows. Later, I used leftover wood scraps to build a sort of window seat-display shelf in the window, as well as baseboards. The kit came with mouldings for the outside windows, but none for the inside, so I traced and painted interior ones out of dollar-store foam sheets. You can see a broken bit of furniture in the shot above. I repaired and painted it as a display shelf.
Here's the whole interior, painted, and with a few little cakes in the window. I like a weathered and distressed look, so I painted a brown wash over everything and sanded the edges. There's a tongue-depressor floor in the attic (dollar store again).
There will be a curtain on the windows (dollar-store sheer ribbon), and I'll spent $2 or $3 on a door handle. The mirror was part of a lot I got on Kijiji. The candies are dollar-store glass jars and beads, so about $2. I'm going to manufacture some "chocolate boxes" out of wood bits. More to come...