A handful of straws, such as are used for lemonade and soda-water, several large sheets of writing-paper, and some small-sized pins—these are your materials. A pair of sharp scissors, a ruler marked off into whole, half, and quarter inches, and a lead pencil—these are your tools.
We will begin with the old-fashioned four-post bedstead with its canopy and valances . It is easily put together, but you must be careful to cut the straws for the posts all exactly the same length, making them about seven inches long, and to have your measurements for the other parts quite correct, in order that the bedstead may stand perfectly upright. Select four straight straws for the posts—sound and whole. Split straws will not do.
The mattress and canopy are exactly alike; each has its valance, and they are just the same size; so directions for one will answer for both. Cut an oblong of writing-paper eight and a half inches long and six and a half inches wide. Be sure that the ends and side edges form perfect right angles; if they do not, the bed will be crooked. The edges of your sheet of writing-paper are at right angles to one another, and if you use the top edge of your paper for the top edge of your oblong, and the side edge of the paper for one side edge of your oblong, the rest will come out all right.
Now draw perfectly straight lines across your oblong from top to bottom, just one and a half inches from each edge . Then from side to side draw two more straight lines; the first one and a half inches below the top edge and the other one and a half inches above the bottom edge. This gives the mattress with a border all around. In each corner of the mattress, a little more than a quarter of an inch from the end and side lines, draw a small cross as shown in . Be sure these crosses are placed correctly, and are exactly alike in mattress and canopy. Now cut out the four squares at the corners of the oblong, as indicated by the heavy lines in , and insert the point of your scissors in the centre of each little cross and snip along each line of the cross. Do not make the slashes too deep.
Cut the edges of the border, or valance, into small points, as in ; then bend the valance down at the sides and ends of the mattress. The dotted lines in the diagrams show where to bend the paper. Make the canopy just as you have made the mattress, but cut deeper points on the edge of the valance.
Through each of the four straw bedposts run a small pin two and a quarter inches from the end of the straw .
Push the long ends of the straws up through the slashed crosses in the corners of the mattress until the bottom of the mattress rests on the pins, then run a pin through each straw just above and close to the top of the mattress. Between the two pins the paper can slip neither up nor down. Run another pin in each straw post half an inch from the top, slide the canopy down upon these, and fasten with more pins, as you did the mattress. Make the bolster by folding a piece of paper the proper shape and cutting the end edges in points for trimming.
Now you not only know how to make the bedstead, but
Make the legs of the table three inches long. Cut the top of the table four inches long and three and a half inches wide, and the shelf three and a half inches long and three inches wide. Measure one-quarter of an inch from each edge of the table top and draw straight lines as in . This will give you a narrow border all around the top.
Make and cut the little crosses in the corners of top and shelf, then cut out the squares at the corners of the top and bend down the edges. The shelf of the table should be one inch above the bottom ends of the straws, and the top of the table one-quarter of an inch below the top ends of the straws.
By making the straw legs of the table twice as long, and the top and shelves narrower, you can have another useful article of furniture, for by adding two shelves of paper on the straws, and fastening them in the same way, this can be used as a cupboard or shelves on which to place the tiny doll dishes or clothes. The table can also be made into a little dressing-table, by simply using for the back legs straws twice as long as the front legs and then slipping a square piece of paper on the straws that extend above the table, to serve as a mirror. Just as the paper is slipped on the straws for the back of the chair , silver paper is pasted on this to make it look like glass.
With these few patterns you can make any number of useful articles to furnish Miss Dolly's house. You can make small beds and large beds, small tables and large tables, and many sizes of chairs.
You can make
This furniture will be especially useful in playing with paper dolls, and by using different colors, in colored papers, you can have a blue room, a pink room, and a green room.
You can make tissue-paper sheets and spread for the bed and pillow-slips, too, if you like. Thus dolly can be tucked away snugly for the night.
The ingenuity exercised in the construction of these simple articles will encourage the development of deftness and skill in the little fingers, which are ever ready to imitate anything that teacher can make.