March 10, 2019

Little by little!

Step by step I started to work on the tattoo parlor in these past weeks - thank you for all your comments on my last post, they gave me a great boost of motivation! 

I finally managed to Inkscape-draw the outlines of the tattoo parlor and to send it for laser cutting to This time I decided not to try adapting to a kit, but instead to create exactly what I wanted. The end result is better than I expected:

I made a lot of juts and openings in the walls and base of the building, so that there is an extra support when I glue them together. I added some pasteboard to the bottom of the base, first of all to make it smoother, so that I don't end up scratching all the surfaces I put the building on, but also to ensure that the pieces I will put on top don't slide past the openings.

Once this was done, I assembled the pieces and glued them together, except the front wall and the roof, which are going to be removable.

You can already see how the building will approximately look. Of course the door is missing, as well as the huge windows. I will also have to add the stairs that lead to the upper level.

In the meantime I was also working on a workstation for the tattoo supply. I started with a polystyrene sheet and marked the pieces I wanted to cut out. Sorry for the quality of the pictures - we still have to install all the lights in the house!


Once I cut all the pieces, I glued them together with some extra thin cement for polystyrene. It glues very fast so the workstation got assembled pretty quickly.

 Once I glued all parts together I sanded all sides to get rid of any misalignment.

Then I cut long strips for the front corner sides of the workstation and thinner strips for the drawers. (Sorry to disappoint, but this is going to be just a "fake" workstation, without functioning drawers.)

Once the fake drawers were in, I needed to choose the wheels and I remembered that I had bought some from the DHN Show in Arnhem in 2018, but when I found them I was pretty disappointed by the small size of them, compared to the workstation.

I looked some wheels up online, but they were either too expensive or not in the size that I needed them, so I ended up doing some on my own. I baked some back polymer clay, rolled it to the desired size of wheels.

Then I cut it into individual roller, sanded them, and hand drilled a little opening in the middle.

To attach them to the workstation, I cut some tin sheet into strips with a curve on each and, bent them over a wooden piece and drilled a hole on the middle of each of the curved ends. (I used the first hole on the wooden piece as a guide to where to drill the hole on the next piece.)

Once the tin pieces were ready, I combined them with the rollers, by putting a very thin nail through the holes and clipping off the excess on the other side. I first thought to secure the headless end of the nail with something, but the roller keeps in place surprisingly well and also turns surprisingly well I must say. I think the trick was to keep the drilled hole a bit smaller on the roller so that the nail is almost "attached" to it. And ta-daa! Here are the wheels.

The headed side of the nails are meant to face away from the workstation when attaching the wheels on the workstation for a better look.

Then of course I had to paint the polystyrene and I knew that normal paint wasn't going to do it. As a result, I forced myself to try something new and paint it with enamel, despite of all the "danger" messages that come with it. I opened all windows and doors and started painting in the cold. To be honest, at the time I had the first layer of color on the workstation, I understood why many people might want to go for spray painting instead of painting with a brush, in order to get a more equal distribution of the color. Some places ended up having a thicker layer than others and when I continued with the next layers (for which I had to wait at least a day), then you could still see some of the brush strokes, which I hoped not to have with enamel. There it is, another thing noted on the list: "Try spray painting" - anyone who can give me some tips on that?

Once the layers of color were all dry, I glued the wheels with some all purpose super glue on the workstation. This worked miracles. I always had a very bad experience when gluing tin to some other material and at this point, I had already thought for 4 days about how to attach the wheels on the workstation! But when gluing on polystyrene, there seems to be a different chemical reaction and to my surprise the tin of the wheels bonded really strongly with the enamel covered polystyrene. This was such a joy that even the coldness of the room did not bother.


Finally I enamel painted also the drawers to match the look of the workstation to the real deal. I'm pretty happy about how it turned out to be honest.

It has been over a year since I had chosen the color palette that I wanted to go with for this build. I realized that I actually want something more out of the ordinary. Here is what I initially had chosen:

But for some reason this feels a bit like a home decoration to me now, so I changed the greys and browns with black and orange - yes, orange! And to top it all, I thought why not green as well! Given that this is going to be a tattoo parlor, it has the right to be a bit more aggressive. Here is approximately the colors I will have, with the addition of some redder orange.

One of the next things I'll work on will be to create the tattoo table and a sofa for the waiting lounge. For this I ordered some leather from the USA (Etsy), and it turned out to be beautiful! It is very thin, approx. 1mm thick, which will allow me to easily wrap the pieces of the tattoo table (black) and sofa (green). It's always a bit tricky when ordering from afar, but the quality of this leather is really good and it smells really nice as well. Below the card from PeggySueAlso, in case you're looking for something similar.

The color in the following pictures is a bit off, seen that it was taken in the evening, again, I had insufficient lighting...

This is all for now folks. Will keep you updated.

Wishing you a wonderful Sunday! - Susi


  1. Oh I've been waiting to see how this was progressing forever! I love your wheels. If you end up wanting something slightly different for a mismatched look on other pieces you could try some Lego wheels.

    1. Thank you Sheila, Lego is a great idea indeed, I had not thought of it. I just mentioned it to my husband - who is way over his 30s - he said that I can't have his Legos!!! :D

  2. You are sooooooo Clever!!!!
    The wheels along with the workstation unit is Super! :D

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! I can only say the same about your "planter box
      a la 'Venetian Style"!

  3. Nice to see a blog post of you, Susi, the plans for this tattoo shop looks wonderful!
    I'm astonished seeing your work station grow, it looks gorgeous, just like a real one. Thank you for showing us how you made the wheels, very clever of you.
    The colorscheme for your shop is awesome, quiet and with great highlights in color.
    It was good to see you back in Arnhem at the show, it's a pity I couldn't find you back among all those people later on, for a nice talk ;).
    Good to have you back in the blogworld, Susi.
    Kind regards, Ilona

    1. Thank you so much Ilona!
      It was good to see you too, and at my favorite stand on top of it! I saw someone else in the corner and by the time I came back you had moved on I guess. I'm sure I'll catch you next time for a good talk :) Heb een geweldige avond!

  4. Awesome! Just awesome, Susi! Can't wait for more!

  5. this comes along beautifully. envy you for being able to make the drawings for laser cutting... this is something I need to look into ;-)

  6. Qué bien que ya está en marcha, me encanta tu idea de un salón de tatuajes y por lo que veo, promete!!! ♥

  7. I love those wheels and the whole piece of furniture. It looks amazing!