printables: delivering fast solutions for wallpaper and flooring

Choosing wallpaper and flooring is probably my favorite step in building miniature homes. I love colors and patterns, and I think reaching this point is where you really begin to see your house come alive.

I don’t have a dedicated miniatures supply store nearby, so I tend to shop on the Internet, mostly dollhouse sites and Etsy. I’d comb through the choices and then order papers by mail. Although, I had seen downloadable prints, I own a low quality, black and white printer, so I didn’t think this was an option.

Obviously, the first problem with mail delivery is time. The late comedienne, Joan Rivers, used to tell a joke about an actress who would “stand in front of the microwave oven and yell, ‘Hurry!'” A week for delivery–over a month once when I didn’t notice the print was coming from the UK–was agonizing.

Finally, the wallpaper or flooring arrived, and I’d sigh. Not quite right. The color was off, or the pattern was too busy or bland. Ugh. For my second project, the Westville, I had barely begun construction when I found an upholstered sofa that I loved. While the fabric was pretty, it was deceptively difficult to match. I’d hold it up to my computer screen and ask, “Is that color right?? Will this work??” I simply couldn’t find a suitable fit.

In addition to delivery times and color matching, a third challenge comes from within: I can’t be bothered with measuring. I’d just order two or three or four sheets of paper, run out, reorder, and wait.

So, what to do? Several of you knew the answer to that question before I even asked. (Plus the title offered a giant hint.) Printables.

As a bit of a Luddite I had no idea I could sub-contact the job. Office supply stores offer, well, printing services. Who knew? And they’re fast. And they’re professional. Discovering this opened up a whole new world. I began ordering tons of papers to mix and match and test and toss. If none worked, who cared? I could order more and get them in an afternoon. Brilliant! The majority of you are probably shaking your heads in unison wondering how anyone wouldn’t be aware of this option. But on the off chance I have a twin out there in the universe, there you have it. Printables. You’re welcome.

By the way, the sofa I couldn’t match? I ended up photographing the fabric on my headboard, thus, making my “own” wallpaper. Another option for finding the perfect fit. Sometimes, the answer isn’t on the Internet. It’s right under your nose…or above your head.

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