Thursday, February 18, 2021

Hobbies on a Dime – Making Dollhouse Miniatures

 Hobbies on a Dime – Making Dollhouse Miniatures

by Mel Dawn

Have you been stuck at home with limited resources and been trying to find something for you or the family to do? Crafting is a great way to stay busy, but it can be expensive too. Dollhouses and miniatures are rapidly becoming popular again. But don’t worry if you don’t already have a dollhouse, as you can make what is called a “room box”, which is just one room from any standard cardboard box.

Here’s how to get started with some common objects and repurposed items from around your home. 

Determine Scale

In the dollhouse miniature world, scale is extremely important. The most popular scale is 1:12: that’s one inch for every 12 inches or foot. For example, if your microwave oven is one foot wide, you can make a toy microwave from a tiny bit of cardboard that’s one inch wide.

If you own a ton of action figures, the common scale is 1:18. Barbie is 1:6. If you start making items, don’t worry if an item seems a bit out of scale, as that’s all part of the fun. 

Supplies Needed

Most people will already have basic supplies at home. Set aside a pencil and ruler, tape, and glue. Have a look through your office or craft supplies. Old cards or scrapbook paper will make great room box walls. The great thing about miniature-making is that you need only a tiny amount of supplies. 

Re-purposed Items

Dig out your recycling bin and have a look through it. Save any small bottle caps, cardboard, and plastic containers. Have a look through your junk drawer. If you have a ton of screws, o-rings, paper clips, etc. you may also get ideas on what to make. If a small appliance has broken, you’ll have wonderful fun taking it apart. (Tip: make sure it’s unplugged first and avoid the power source!)

Miniature Ideas

You can start small, by making some miniature books from recycled magazines with cardboard covers. Plastic bottle caps can be for a kitchen waste bin. Used straws can be repurposed for candle holders or lamps. 

After you’ve created your first miniature item you’ll start thinking up many more ideas on what else to make. Soon you’ll be setting aside old or used items that others will call trash, but you’ll call treasure. You’ll know you’ve graduated to dollhouse miniature expert when you see everyday items repurposed as something entirely different.

Have fun with your new eco-friendly dollhouse miniature hobby! 

In image:

Bathroom sink made from deodorant cap, paper straw, bottle cap, lip balm insert, scrap wire, sequin, real soap (Purchased: 2 gold taps).

Pillow and slippers: scrap fabric and ribbon.