New Orleans Style Miniature Mantelpiece

A new craft I’ve picked up during the pandemic has been making miniatures. There’s something amazing about how realistic miniatures can look if you include the right details. But other details can be left out entirely without issue.

I’ve decided to design my own miniature kit of a New Orleans style shotgun house. Specifically one where a performer lives because I’ve been lucky to have been in so many and there’s just something so fun and authentic about them. Recreating one has been both familiar and sentimental so far.

The cost of laser cutters is too high for a new hobby (or maybe even an old one!), so I’ve gone all in on using the Cricut to cut pieces for my creations.

My first project was to create a mantelpiece. Every old New Orleans home I’ve lived in has had one and usually one in most rooms. I’ve even lived in a house that had one in the bathroom!

They’re never functional and, if you’re lucky, they will be bricked in. Otherwise, random debris falls out of them or your cats try to climb inside them to who-knows-where.

I’ve created an SVG file which can be used with a Cricut, laser cutter or most cutting machines. You could also print it out and use it as a guide to hand cut balsa wood or cardboard.

If you’re into Cricut, I have the project available here. Or you can download the SVG file from Thingiverse here (slight edit: since I’m a new Thingiverse user this link won’t work for about 24 hours from publishing this post).

Some images of the process and final product!

I found this great old brick photo to paste on the back and give it the bricked in look. The longest edge of the brick should be about a half inch to be to scale for the mantelpiece size (1:24 scale).

Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash. Original can be found here.

More updates on the Shotgun house design soon!

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