Monday, 22 August 2016

How to make a FRENCH PRESS for your doll's house.

One day last week, I was wandering aimlessly through the land of  Pinterest, looking for items for my future Italian Kitchen and happened upon this Japanese tutorial on how to make a miniature
FRENCH PRESS
coffee pot.  
Actually I was specifically looking for a tutorial on how to make an Italian Moka coffee pot when I came across this Pinterest site, even so, I decided to have a go at making the FRENCH PRESS instead.  I thought it would be quick and easy; and, as usual, I was WRONG!  

The first pot took me HOURS to do and undo.  In the process, I got glue all over my hands and all over the pot and had paper towel stuck to everything everywhere else. After I had wasted an entire day I gave up and went to bed.  I was back at it again early the next morning.  However, not much noticable progress or improvement so I tried making the FRENCH PRESS again for the 3rd time.... and then again.... and finally by day FOUR, after my 6th attempt, a pot turned out to be acceptable. 
Here is the French Press which originally inspired me:
                                     http://www.kh.rim.or.jp/~shou/howto/howto_tea4.html

This Japanese site used a glass pitcher as the base for the coffee pot.  Since I didn't have one, I substituted a pencil cap from a Chanel lip liner, which had been gathering dust inside an old forgotten makeup bag.  I used the clear plastic end caps because they not only appeared to be the right circumference for this project, but also they were very easy to cut with a razor saw, and each pencil cap was long enough to produce coffee pots. 


I cut the pencil cap into 3 sections and saved the center section for a different project.  
side note:  I have since found that irrespective of the price of the pencils, most pencils are of about the same diameter so check your dollars stores if you are looking for pencils with clear caps as well as inside your makeup bag. 
I sanded the raw edges with a metal file and then smoothed with an emery board.

The container on the left slightly tapers towards the base, but the tube on the right is the same width from top to bottom and is the easier one to construct.  So I will be demonstrating this tutorial using the tube on the right. 

I used a slightly different construction for each coffee pot so you may see some variations as you go through the photos but what I have written is how I made my 
FINAL 
 FRENCH PRESS 
Please feel free to modify any of these instructions to suit yourself.  
 I glued a small clear piece of plastic cut from a
"Pringles potato chip" lid, to the base using
QUICK GRIP GLUE.
I had also tried E6000 and CRAZY GLUE but the
Quick Grip was
the easiest (for me) to use on this project.



After the glue has set,  
trim away the excess plastic from the tube and sand the edges smooth.

FYI
Initially, I tried to make a spout for the coffee pot by cutting one out and gluing it onto the surface.  

I made the first 3 pots that way
 BUT THEN
  I found the tutorial listed below through
Pinterest,  and I scrapped what I had been doing in favor of this new procedure-
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-r-eabikHY
Much easier!!!! 




So as per the video; I heated up my glue gun WITHOUT the GLUE STICK, and using the hot nozzle, I lightly applied even pressure to the rim  of the plastic tube, drawing it upwards and down.
I removed the gun, then quickly shaped the spout with my fingers if it was uneven. 
by the way, 
practice this method on a throwaway piece first so that you can gage how much pressure to apply and how fast the plastic will melt.




and
TA DA!!!...
This is the result
(HAPPY HAPPY DANCING! :D)
****
 For my 1st, and 2nd French Press, I used the tea light
metal to construct the outside cage for the coffee pot.   



I smoothed it out using a large ball stylus, and then cut thin strips using the longest, sharpest scissors I own.
For the 3rd and 4th French Press pots, I substituted the metal wrap saved from a wine bottle.  It was heavier than the candle aluminum and I liked the results much better.


I applied the metal strips starting directly under the spout, guiding it across the bottom, then up to the opposite side of the tube.  I used the Quick Grip sparingly,
(or as "sparingly" as I was able considering how this product

 gushes like a garden hose! )
However, the excess glue can be picked off with tweezers after the metal has been positioned.



(needless to say, I spent a lot of time picking off the excess glue from every single pot I made.) 
{:(  

above and below shows the wine bottle metal as strapping and also the angled tweezers I used to remove the overflow of  rubbery glue. 

I added a long cross-strip of metal to the side, underside and up to the opposite side of the container.
A top band was glued horizontally to overlap the top ends of the side bands, then I trimmed the excess metal using a straight edge razor blade.
I lightly burnished the metal with a ball stylus to ensure that the bands were affixed to the "glass".


When the bottom band was on, then it is time to make the handle.
I used two different methods.  
The first three pots have handles made of sections of those plastic sock "thingamabobs",
 which I cut down to size and glued onto the coffee pots. 

Since I know that "thingamabobs" might not be readily available in your area, I found an alternate solution.  I doubled up some plastic stitch count markers,
(dollar store)
glued 2 plastic circles together and then cut the rings in half and trimmed them down again to fit the contours of the pot. 


I found 2 tiny gold seed beads that were of equal size and glued them to the plastic handle then onto the pot. 
 I glued 4 gold beads onto the bottom of the container for the feet.  
This was a whole lot easier than making the strip metal feet which I'd done with my first 2 attempts.
Later, I touched up the handle with black nail polish, followed by a finish coat of clear matte nail varnish.


Once the body of the FRENCH PRESS had been completed, then it is onto the making of the lid and the mechanical plunge filter.
For the filter, I used 2 small metal snaps which were able to slide inside the interior of the coffee pot without getting stuck!

OH, BY THE WAY
 I need to mention this too, 
that when making the plunger for the tapered coffee pot 
(the one with the tapered end), you will probably have to use a smaller set of snaps otherwise your filter will only go down part of the way before it gets stuck. So adjust the size of your snaps accordingly, so that the filter will slide all the way to the bottom of your container.
I used both the top and the bottom of the small snaps as the filter.  




I clipped off a long length of a large silver paper clip 
or you could use a (section of florists wire) 
whatever will allow the wire to fit snug and secure inside the center depression of the press fastener.  I glued a small crimp bead to the end of the wire first and then I glued the snap fastener to the end of the wire. 

When it was dry, I picked off the excess glue which had of course, oozed out. 


Then I slid the length of the plunge filter into the coffee pot.
***

The elements for the lid of the French Press are pictured below.
I am showing an uncut Super-sized paper clip

only to illustrate the order of the beads 
as they are strung onto the plunger. 

IMPORTANT! 
The lid is assembled and glued together off of the wire, then it is slipped onto the plunger while it is standing upright inside the pot.  
This way you are able to gage the correct length for the plunger, before you cut off the excess 
however,  
Remember to leave enough wire at the top for the bead handle to be glued to.

Below is the combination of jewelery findings I used for the CAP. Keep in mind that the photo is not yet showing the plunger snaps on the bottom end.  


 The large crimp bead is glued inside the larger hole of the bottom half of a large gold SNAP.  
The crimp bead keeps the plunger aligned and will allows the plunger to slide up and down inside the lid.  The snap forms the lip of the lid, a bell cap provides the dome.  A round bead becomes the knob handle.
IMPORTANT!
 glue the lid components together,
but
DO NOT glue the Stem Wire directly onto the CRIMP BEAD inside the cap!
the plunger stem needs to be able to slide up and down through the crimp bead
the only portion that is glued directly onto the wire is the knob handle

I painted the knob with black nail polish and when it was dry, I used a clear MATT sealer coat on it.
I clear coated the exterior of the pot with clear nail varnish, which clarifies the plastic so it reads more like "glass".  


Then when it was completely dry, I used an eye dropper to squirt  real coffee into the FRENCH PRESS, and then into a tiny cup!
ahhhhhh

now THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN ABOUT! 
tastes like coffee but looks like tea? 

time to eat! 


a line up of the usual suspects
***
My first attempt at a French Press, is on the far right and my last French Press is on the far left.
I made 6 pots altogether with a total of 4 survivors.  

I made plenty of mistakes on each coffee pot however, by the time I got to #4
I was finally satisfied enough to be able to call it quits so I could move on, 
because 
I still want to make an
ITALIAN MOKA COFFEE POT
which I'd mentioned to you earlier. 
and So it's
 arrivederci FRENCH PRESS...
and it's 

PINTEREST-

HERE I COME!


ciao ciao

elizabeth