First I masked off the glass area on both sides then sprayed both inside and out with a couple of coats of White Knight Spray Stone, an aerosol product that produces a finish that looks just light asphalt. Perfect for the industrial city look I was after.
While this was drying I found a picture in a Belle magazine which would give the illusion of the balcony being part of a bigger block of apartments. Cutting this to the same size as the wood backing of the frame, I glued it in place.
I measured a scrap piece of bass wood to fit over the bottom part of the picture for the balcony front, then a piece of mini corrugated iron from a model shop, which I carefully bent over the top and glued in place.
Finally, I cut a length of dowel to fit across above the balcony wall, painted it gloss black (by pushing a pin into one end which I used to hold it while I was painting then to suspend it from my drying rack on the laundry door to dry)
Once the Spray Stone was dry, I peeled off the masking from the glass and cut a floor piece from a piece of sandpaper. Then all that was left to do was chose and arrange the furnishings while I waited for the black dowel to dry enough to be glued in place.
I already had the folding chair which I stained with coloured wood wax, but if I was making this again I'd probably buy something like this which has a much more modern and IKEA-like look about it.
For a true inner city vibe I added a laptop, a cordless phone handset, a coffee mug and a stovetop espresso maker (which started out life as a zipper pull that a fellow miniature friend gave to me. Removal of the hanging tag with a pair of wire cutters, a lick of black model paint in the usual spots and it turned into one of my favorite mini pieces...)
For the Country House balcony:
I wanted a much more laid-back holiday vibe for this piece to contrast with the Town House balcony. When I found the beach picture for the back wall in a back issue of Australian House & Garden the rest of the box fell into place.
Once again, I masked off the glass on both sides but this time I painted the box with a tester pot I bought to match the colour of the apartment building in the picture, which I glued onto the back wall.
The balcony railing was built on top of the picture, using a layer of greaseproof paper to stop the glue seeping onto the actual picture. I cut scrap basswood to size, glued it together and once it was dry, painted it with a second test pot I'd bought to go with the trim colour of the apartment building in the picture.
The sun on the wall was an earring I'd had tucked away in my mini workbox for years which I painted with a mat terracotta coloured model paint.
Tiled flooring was was made from a piece of black cardboard from the newsagents which I then glued squares of terracotta coloured card to, making sure to leave space for the "grouting" to show through.
Once the railing and box were dry, I removed the masking off the glass, glued the railing to the back and the sun sculpture to the wall.
From my collection I chose a beach-like director's chair from Betty's Wooden Miniatures which I'd had for years, a miniature magazine I'd made, a crocheted hat and a pair of Fimo jandals (thongs/ flip flops) which I'd almost thrown away as I'd broken one of the straps (not that you'd notice the way I glued them in place), a Chrysonbon glass and a selection of miniature shells and rocks that I'd collected from the beach on Quail Island in Lyttleton Harbour and had tucked away for years for just such a project.
Finally, note how I angled the chairs so the two settings would work well when displayed together.
Which balcony would you prefer to be sitting on?