Making a Miniature Mop
by Debbie and Chuck Holcomb
If you're doing a dollhouse or a room box, and it has a kitchen, laundry room utility room, porch or anything else of the kind, chances are you'll want to have at least one mop...either brand new or used and grungy, hanging around, or even in use!
Here are instructions to make a very nice little mop that Debbie just came up with, and made for our kitchen room box.
- Supplies: 3-4' white embroidery floss
- 4 1/4" length of 1/8" diam. wooden dowel
- Fine sandpaper
- Tacky Glue
- Ex-acto Knife
Procedure: Cut floss into 1 1/2" lengths, saving out one piece about 6" long. With sandpaper, round one end of the mop handle dowel. With Ex-acto knife, cut a shallow groove, around the circumference of the dowel, 1/4" from the squared-off (mop head) end. Using tacky glue, glue the pieces of floss to the mop handle, so they are pointed UP the handle, toward the rounded off end. You only need to glue about 1/8" or less of the floss onto the handle. Glue the pieces so the ends are flush with the squared-off end of the handle.
Okay, once the pieces are glued, tie a single overhand knot around all of the pieces of floss with the 6" piece of floss, in the groove that you cut into the handle, leaving the long end attached. Put a drop of glue on the knot, and snip off the short end.
When the glue is dry, carefully separate the pieces of floss into their 6 individual strands, then fold the pieces of floss down into their normal orientation. Make sure the long piece of floss sticks out from between the short pieces.
Gather all of the strands in one hand, and push them slightly up toward the handle end of the mop, so they form a "doughnut" of strands around the base of the handle. This is where you will tie them off, leaving about 1/4" of the strands above the tying-off piece, to form the doughnut. Wrap two or three times around the handle, tie an overhand knot, glue it, and when the glue is dried, snip off the excess.
Examine the strands, to make sure they are all the same length. They may require some trimming to even them up.
For a "used" mop, dip the mop repeatedly into a "dirty" water wash of brown and gray acrylic paints and water, drying between dippings by blotting and spinning the mop. You will also notice that you can "mold" the mop into shape by wetting it, and setting it into position and then letting it dry there. This is useful if you want to display it hanging over a line, twisted up and thrust into a bucket, or slumped in a corner, like a dirty and dejected cat.
Make sure you wait until the glue is fully set before you do this, if you use tacky or white glue, since they are water soluble. You can substitute crazy (cyanoacrylate) glue, which is waterproof, if you'd like to hurry it along.
It should only take an hour or so to make these, and they really look great.
Have fun with these, too!
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Last updated on: Friday, March 28, 1997.