Helen Campbell.

The American girl's home book of work and play online

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large to cover a small hot-water dish, to hold four or more
eggs in their cups. One side of this cosey may have a bird's
nest with eggs in it, or a hen and chickens in embroidery.
The other side has the crest or monogram. A cover or mat
for the hot-water dish is made of a piece of green baize, cov-
ered with an imitation of moss, made of knitted wools.
This cosey is finished in the same manner as the teapot-

A small holder is almost indispensable, as the handle of
the teapot becomes exceedingly hot when covered up by a
good cosey.

In order that all should correspond, this, too, may be made
of plush, with a quilted satin lining interlined with folds of
flannel. The crest or monogram will suit for the centre, and
the edges should be covered with a variegated cord.

These three articles are very suitable for a wedding-present,




DOLLS were once supposed to belong solely to little girls ;
but they are now so beautifully made, and so real, that to
own a large one is next to playing with a live baby, and has
a great advantage over that amusement, in that it will never
cry, or rebel at being put away when the play ends. For
any little girl who really loves dolls, there is not the slightest
need of writing any of the thousand ways of playing with
them. My dolls were just as much alive as I was ; and there
were parties and- weddings and christenings and funerals, just
such as are part of all homes. Almost every child now has
doll's bureaus and trunks, so that all the little clothes can
be kept in perfect order ; and to teach the dolls the best way
of doing this will take a great deal of time. But it is with
dolls as with people : unless they have houses of their own,
it willbe impossible to live in just the right fashion. And
doll's houses are so easily made, and there can be such pleas-
ure in furnishing them, that there is no excuse for not having
at least one in every family. There is no occasion for buy-
ing an elaborate one at a great toy-store, or even spending
money on the carpenter ; for very good ones are made by
simply using well-made packing-boxes ; those for books being
smoothest and nicest, but those in which canned goods are
packed answering very well. Two of these boxes can be set
one on another, each divided into two rooms by a thin board,
or even pasteboard, fitted in. It is not hard to cut windows,


which can have glass fastened inside ; and the whole should
be neatly papered inside and out before beginning to furnish.
The book-boxes are usually three feet long, and a better shape
than the can-boxes, which are too deep for the width. Choose
a dark-gray or light-brown paper for the outside ; and by read-
ing the directions for cardboard houses in Chap. V., Part III.,
you will get an idea of how to finish off about the windows,
and can even imitate a roof and chimneys if you like.

For the first house, four rooms are quite enough ; and, if
you choose to begin with a small box and small dolls, almost
all the furniture can be of stout cardboard. Remember that
a big doll in a little house is as ridiculous as an old-fashioned
giant would be in ours, and have every thing match and har-
monize as nearly as you can, not only in size, but in colors.
For instance, in the parlor do not have a red sofa, and a blue
chair, and a green table-cover, but remember that crimson
or dark red must have soft browns, or olive-greens, or even
gray, with it ; that blue in a bedroom may be combined with
gray, pale pink, or garnet ; and that green goes well with
oak, or with gray. This is the way a tomato-can box I know
about was furnished for very small dolls, a father and
mother, and one baby in a little cradle. Bessy had talked it
over with her mother, and decided, that as the young couple
were just beginning life, and had not much money, they
ought to be willing to live in a very simple way ; and so a
small "flat" was just the thing. Bessy's father divided it
for her into three rooms, and cut doors between ; or, rather,
he marked the doors, and Bessy cut them out herself with a
jig-saw, which she could handle very well. Windows were
cut out, and a thin piece of mica fastened on with gimp-
tacks ; and the sashes were made of pasteboard pasted on.
Then the whole was papered outside with a light-gray paper,
and left to dry. A roof had first been made by sawing the


side of the box in two, and then nailing it on the top, gluing
it together at the top, and fastening on a little chimney.
This was all papered in dark red, like a Queen Anne roof.
Inside there were three rooms, parlor, bedroom, and the
dining-room and kitchen in one. This troubled Bessy. Bui
her mother said that a lady never made work as she went,
as an ignorant woman always did, and that it was quite
possible to have a kitchen-stove behind a screen, managed
so that hardly anybody would know it was there.

Curtains were made first for all the windows, two in
the bedroom, three in the parlor, and two in the kitchen.
Those for the parlor were of cheese-cloth, with broad hems,
and a narrow lace sewed on. The rods, from which they
hung by little brass curtain-rings, were very small lead-pen-
cils, which looked like ebony, and rested in two little picture-
screws, into which they ran easily. The bedroom had rods
also ; and the curtains, bedspread, and chair-covers were
blue chintz with a small pink rosebud in them ; while the
dining-room had cream-colored linen shades that were rolled
up and tied. Between parlor and bedroom hung a portiere,
also on lead-pencil rod, and made of deep-garnet merino.
The parlor and bedroom floors were carpeted with thick
garnet-and-blue stuff left from covering a chair; and the
dining-room had a gray oilcloth, in imitation of little tiles,
and a rug in the middle, made of dark-gray canton-flannel,
with a deep-red border. With carpets and curtains, it began
to look like a house ; and then came the furnishing. For
the parlor a toy-table had a red merino cover, matching the
portiere, with a border of ribbon in gay Persian colors ; and
a sofa was made by taking a small paper-box, six inches long,
two wide, and one high, and, after laying cotton-wool thickly
on the top, covering the whole with the friendly merino.
Three pillows, each two inches square when finished, were


also made, and the edges of all finished with very fine old-
gold cord. The rocking-chair, and some reception-chairs,
were all cut from cardboard diagrams given in Chap, i, Part I.
The bookcase, made from a paper-box, with pasteboard
shelves fitted in, and the whole painted brown, was filled
with the tiny volumes sold in sets at any agency of the
American Sunday-school Union ; though even they were so
large in proportion, that it was like having a library of big
dictionaries. Two ottomans were made from very small pill-
boxes, stuffed with cotton, and covered with merino. The
mantelpiece was a piece of pasteboard, fitting between the
windows at the end, an inch and a half wide, and tacked
against the wall, after being covered with the merino, and
a very narrow fringe to match sewed on the edge. On it
stood some tiny vases and ornaments. Four chairs and a
rocking-chair were cut from cardboard, after the models
given, and a toy-piano which stood in the corner, and which
had been on the Christmas-tree as a present to the mamma-

The parlor had a dark-red dado three inches high ; above
it just common brown wrapping-paper, finished with a half-
inch border of dark red, and, where the dado joined the paper,
a very narrow line of gilt. Bessy framed some pretty photo-
graphs, and one little water-color, an Easter-card, by
having glass just the same size, and pasting narrow black
ribbon around the edges ; and she had enough for all the
rooms. The bedroom was papered in pale blue, with gilt
border ; and the dining-room in gray and red.

The bedroom mantelpiece was covered with chintz like the
curtains, and edged with a very fine plaiting of the same ;
and that for the dining-room was in gray crash, with red
worsted fringe. The bed, bureau, and chairs were at first
cut from cardboard. But Bessy's success with sofa and otto-



FIG. 90. BED.

mans had given her confidence ; and she made a bed from a
paper-box six inches long, four wide, and one high. The
cover she took off, turned the box upside down, and sewed
the cover to it, making a high back, as in diagram below,

which was bent over,
and cut in a half-circle
to form a canopy like
this. All this back was
covered with the pink-
and-blue chintz, and a
plaiting of it set around
the edge of the canopy.
The mattress was made
of cotton-cloth cut just
the size of the bed, a
piece half an inch wide

set in all around it, and the whole stuffed with cotton, and
tufted like any mattress. The sheets were cambric, nicely
hemmed ; the blankets, fine flannel, buttonhole-stitched in
blue worsted ; and the spread of chintz. Square pillows and
a bolster were made, and the sides of the box covered with
chintz. The toilet-table was another box, four inches high
and five broad. A little glass was
hung at the back, and the whole
draped with dotted muslin tied with
narrow pink-and-blue ribbon. Two
pill-boxes covered with chintz made
ottomans ; and there were a small
bureau, and some little chairs made
from high but small round boxes
cut like a barrel-chair, as in the diagram below, and covered,
also, with chintz.

For the dining-room, Bessy already had a little table and




four chairs ; and these were in the centre of the room. A
little pantry was made from a small cigar-box, fitted with
shelves ; and another little table had some shelves fastened
to the back, and became a sideboard, filled with the metal
teaset, and little glass tumblers and dishes ; and behind the
pretty screen, made from a toy clothes-horse covered with
Christmas-cards, stood the little stove, and all the pots and
pans hanging near it.

Here housekeeping went on every day, as carefully at-
tended to as her mother's. The
family went to bed, and got up.
The little bedclothes were hung
out to air ; the breakfast was got
and cleared away ; the baby had
its bath, and took a nap ; and
then the parlor was dusted, and
the bed made, and every thing
put in order for the day. There
were dinners and tea-parties ;
and little accounts were kept,
and stores laid in, and all the
round of daily work carefully
gone through with. The baby
grew up, and married : the father broke his leg. Every
thing happened that could happen. And at last the house
gave way, first to a much larger one, with real carpets, and
a hall and stairs, and furniture, some of which Bessy carved
herself ; and at last to a little room, where her mother had
a little cook-stove like the one in " Little Men," and where
Bessy herself actually cooked from receipts given in a book
called "Six Little Cooks." Her brothers cut the wood for
it, and considered themselves paid by an invitation to tea ;
and, as she grew more and more skilful, older people were
rather anxious to be invited too.



Given a set of toys such as accompany Miss Huntingdon's
" Kitchen-Garden System," and there is not a child that will
not learn easily and happily the dreaded routine of the daily
work that must be done. The transition is an easy one from
the make-believe to the real, and a child who has had this
training will never feel the terror of housekeeping that fills
many a girl before marriage. The doll's house will have
taught the best and easiest way of taking care of the real
house, which need not be the burden it is, were there better
training in the beginning.




THERE is a disposition to sneer at several varieties of or-
namental work which do not meet all the requirements of
the present rage for high art. Wax flowers, leather-work^
etc., are regarded as having had their day, and owning now
no real right to existence. It is a fact, however, though
such work is out of place among the elaborate decorations
of the modern house, in the large proportion of houses, where
hammered brass, and cloisonnee y and miracles in embroidery,
cannot come, that harmonious color, and arrangement of sim-
ple materials, will give an effect of suitability which is often
wanting in more pretentious houses. And in any case, the
chief use of these materials is, after all, to educate the eye
and hand ; and the child who makes her tissue-paper flowers
as much like nature as possible is making ready for better
work with better material, and if a taste for carving, or mod-
elling, or painting, develops itself, may owe it to close study
of what can be done in leather or wax.

Tissue-paper comes first in order; the materials costing
little, and the tools being so simple. French tissue-paper,
as it is called, though really made in England, is the best,
and comes in all colors, at about sixteen cents a quire. A
little highly glazed paper will also be needed for calyxes, etc.
The stamens and pistils are sold at wholesale, but may better
be made at home. The tools needed for really successful
work are moulding-tools, curling-pins, and a pair of nippers,


with good scissors, and a heavy lead or brick pincushion
stuffed with bran, which can bear a heavy pressure. Some
gum tragacanth or arabic, a little box of powdered starch,
some colors (also in powder), and a little raw cotton, will also
be needed, with some fine wire of two sizes. It is best, if
you make the patterns yourself, to take real flowers, and copy
them as exactly as you can. When each pattern is cut, write
the name on it, and keep an account of the number of petals,
the shape of calyx, and every point you might otherwise for-
get. Never cut more than three thicknesses of paper at
once ; for not only is it likely to slip, but it will spoil the fine
edge of the scissors also. Tweezers make very good nippers,
and are used in crimping the petals of carnations and some
other flowers ; the petal being laid on the cushion, and plaits
being made in it by pinching the paper between the tweezers.
Fingers can be used, but the creases will not be as crisp and
natural. The calyx for the flowers is cut out of the glazed
paper ; and glazed cotton thread can be used for stamens, by
first waxing it, and then dipping the ends in mucilage, and
then in the powdered colors. Stamens can also be made of
horse-hair. A daisy is very easy to imitate. This is cut out
in a circle, divided into twenty-three pointed petals, each
divided from the next by a cut about a quarter of an inch
down the length. For the centre, cover a small button with
net, and dip it in cement, covering it before it dries with
either yellow mustard-seed or seed-beads. Let them get per-
fectly firm, and then dip into the powdered yellow. For the
stalk, wind green tissue-paper closely round fine wire, and
fasten it to the back of the button; then pass the calyx over
it, and gum firmly in place. For a bud, cut a smaller corolla,
and gum the petals very lightly together, dipping it slightly
in the carmine powder.

For the rose, the petals of which are given here, cut ten


28 5

smaller petals out of the palest part of the pink paper, and
the others of somewhat deeper color, the three outer ones
so as to have the upper part of the petal of the deepest
hue. Mould each set of petals together, by placing them on
the cushion, and drawing the ball-tool of the requisite size
firmly down from the top to the bottom of the petals. This
will hollow and crumple them so as to present the crumpled
appearance of vrose-leaves ; and the edges of the larger ones
must be curled back with the curling-pin or the nippers,
by drawing these sharply behind them. The small petals
should then be placed within the larger ones (excepting the
five of No. 4, and three of No. 5, which are put on sepa-
rately), gummed at the
points, and put on in a
body, by taking them all
up together with the nip-
pers, dipping the points
in gum, attaching them
to the cluster of stamens
forming the heart of the
rose, and winding a little
fine thread round each
bunch of petals. The five largest petals and the three outer
ones are put on, with gum and thread, below and between
the others ; and the stalk is passed through the prepared
calyx and seed-pod, and finished by winding narrow strips
of green or brown paper, gummed at each end, round the
stalk. The buds and leaves are fastened to the stem by
winding paper round them in the same way.


The large white roses are made in white paper, either pre-
pared for the purpose by tinting stripes of it with primrose-

FIG. 93.

Five of No. 4; ten of No. 3; five of No. i; three
outer petals.



FIG. 94.
Ten of each size (3, 4, 1,2,); five outer petals.

color (in which case the petals must have their points cut
out of the striped part of the paper), or wholly white, in
which case they must have a little pale chrome rubbed into
them. The paper for yellow roses is generally prepared

with stripes of a deeper
shade across it ; but, if
unshaded, the petals
must be colored in the
same way with a deeper
shade of chrome.

Some of the varie-
gated roses are very
pretty made in paper of
different colors, mixed

together according to the color of the real rose. All are
done in the same way, with due observation of the charac-
teristic peculiarities of each species.

The single and double poppies are cut out in separate
petals, and put on, with gum and thread, round the seed-pod.
If not prepared, they will require to be painted in the cen-
tre of the petals. The larger ones must be cupped by draw-
ing the ball-tool down them, as directed for rose-leaves ; and
they should be crinkled by drawing the nippers, slightly
opened, down several of the petals placed one upon another
on the cushion. This will form rib-like marks, and pucker
up the lower part of the petals.

Carnations require only a little crumpling in the fingers.
They must be folded in and out, to give the appearance of
the real flower, and the stalk, with its forked pointal, drawn
through each of the circles, and then through the calyx ; the
centre of each circle being touched with gum, so that they
may adhere to each other.

The pomegranate is very effective in paper. A little



foundation bud should be made by rolling a strip of the
pomegranate paper round the wire stalk ; and the smaller
petals are put on in threes together, five in a row, the larger
ones being placed round them in like manner. All should

FIG. 95.

a. Chrysanthemum, five of each size. 6. Carnation, five. c. Pomegranate, a, twenty; i,
fifteen, d, Pyrus Japonica, five. t. Wallflower, i, one; 2, two; 3, two. f. Cineraria, g.
Jessamine, h. Clematis.

be well crumpled and crinkled with the nippers before they
are put on ; and the points must be gummed together, so
that the flower may not fall to pieces. The blossom must


be gummed into the calyx, which is generally lined with
cotton-wool ; and the stem must be covered with reddish-
brown paper. A spray of pomegranates should be made
with two or three buds at the top, three or four flowers, and
some leaves underneath these.

Chrysanthemums are pretty in paper. They are often
sold in tinted circles of various sizes, but the white ones
may be cut out of paper tinted with a little primrose-color
in the centres. The points must be ribbed by drawing the
nippers, slightly opened, sharply down each ; and this is most
easily done by placing several circles together on the cush-
ion, and moulding them together. They are not so easily
broken thus as when done separately. Then they must be
separated, and gummed together on the stalk ; the smallest
petals closing up, and the larger ones lying flat behind them.

Paper leaves are the least natural form of this work ; and
it is better to use either wax or linen ones, the latter being
very inexpensive. If made at home, they must be cut from
the stiff paper, dampened, and pressed into leaf-moulds ; and
when dry, a wire is pasted down the back, another paper
leaf cut, and gummed over it, and the whole pressed again
into the mould. Poppies are easily imitated. Chrysanthe-
mums are very pretty, and several diagrams are given here
that can be followed readily.

Crinkled lamp-shades are very pretty ; being simply a large
circle, with hole for the top of the shade, the whole twisted
closely, and then unrolled. Other lamp-shades are made by
tracing a pattern on them, and cutting it out with very fine,
sharp scissors, putting a contrasting color underneath. For
covering up unsightly chimney-places in the country, nothing
is prettier than a cascade of tinted tissue-paper which has
been cut into fine fringes, and then crimped. Flowers may
be made, and arranged with ferns and grasses for the centre.


For younger children a pond-lily mat, made by gumming
paper pond-lilies closely about a circle of cardboard, is one
of the prettiest and most satisfactory things that can be
made from paper ; and the flowers add much, also, to Christ-
mas decorations. Tissue-paper, as every one knows, is used
for pattern-costumes ; and at least one large party has been
given where every dress was of this material. For dolls it
can be used with the greatest success ; and any girl can have
as many changes for her young-lady doll as heart could de-
sire, and get many hints to be used on her own when older.




WHOEVER learns to handle cardboard carefully, and to cut
out with a steady hand the many beautiful designs that can
be used, has taken the first step toward successful wood-
carving. But cardboard is far cheaper, and also less trouble-
some to manage, than wood ; and a girl of any ingenuity can
make cardboard furniture for a small doll's house that will
imitate perfectly any style they choose. Nearly ten years ago,
" St. Nicholas," which has do-ne so many good things for chil-
dren, described in the number for May, 1874, a city of card-
board, called " Christmas City," in which the tallest buildings
were just two inches and a half high, and which had stores,
and a bank, and churches, a city-hall and hotel, and a number
of public buildings. Later, the maker of this made " Holi-
day Harbor," with ships lying at anchor, and storehouses
and docks, and a train of cars ready for loading on freight.
Cardboard for such uses must, of course, be smooth; that
with holes being used only in embroidery, and in a few orna-
mental forms.

In making a small cottage, there would be seven pieces to
cut from the sheet of cardboard, which must first be drawn
on it, a front and a back exactly alike. Two sides, like
this, are also to be cut, and then the two halves of the roof,
and a little chimney.

In cutting out, lay the cardboard on a board, and use a
sharp knife, following the lines exactly. Cut out the win-



dows and doors. For the windows, a bit of mica may be
pasted inside for glass, first pasting two narrow strips cross-
wise for sashes. The window-piece is to be cut in two,
lengthwise, pasted each side of the window, and painted
green or brown for blinds. A bit of colored paper will imi-
tate curtains behind the sash, if mica cannot be had For
the doors, take two very narrow strips of paper, and paste
half of each strip on the back of the door, and the other on
the inside of the front. When the paste dries, the door






will open and shut. A very narrow strip of dark-brown
paper pasted all around the edge of the door will look like
a moulding ; and a door-knob and bell can be painted. Four
little cleats, half the size of a match, must be used in putting
the whole together. A cleat is to be pasted to the inside
of the front, at each end, and allowed to dry in the sun.
When they have dried, wet each with paste, and lay the two
sides against them, making the edges even, and letting them
dry. The cleats can be pasted to the back while you are

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Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 18 of 28)