A Dollhouse And Miniatures: 12 Common DIY Mistakes.

When you own or craft a dollhouse and miniatures, at first you might make all these common mistakes while crafting them. I know that I have been there!

Today I am going to try and help you out by going through all of these possible faults. Especially if you are just starting out, this blog post might help you, I know that I have been there! πŸ˜‰

Let’s dive right into the topic.

Mistake number 1: Buying A Dollhouse That Is Way To Big To Start With.

I really think that this sounds obvious, no? I don’t mean to sound judgmental or mean, but if you don’t know what you are doing yet in the miniature world, then “testing the waters” with a smaller size dollhouse would make more sense, sorry.

It probably would be less frustrating to learn everything step by step with the help of a room box, or two, for example πŸ™‚

A large dollhouse selling on Etsy.

Because there is so much to learn, from attaching the wallpaper to installing the electricity, and so much more!

Mistake number 2: Please do NOT use a glue gun!

There are several reasons why NOT to use a glue gun for your dollhouse or miniatures:

  • Hot glue begins to cool immediately, thus making joins impossible to assemble and having seams completely flush.
  • Going further with the latter, hot glue makes it impossible to control the amount that comes out of the gun.
  • It can be a total mess to use, with strings everywhere.
  • Eventually two pieces of wood will fall appart again.
  • miniatures are far to small to be glued together with a glue gun, even pieces of fabric.

I know that I have advised a glue gun before in a former blog post, but I sure changed my mind, and I learned it the hard way! Tacky glue or Elmer’s glue is so much better!

Save yourself a ton of work and don’t use a glue gun πŸ˜‰

Mistake Number 3: Miniatures And Dollhouses Will Not Take Too Much Space, Right?

Having a dollhouse is like making a puzzle: if you don’t have the space for it, it will be on the dining table forever and ever. How are you going to have the family over for Christmas then? πŸ˜‰

Lots of crafters reserve a separate room just to make or renovate a dollhouse or miniatures, that might be a thought?

If you decide to stick with smaller sizes miniatures (like the 1:24 miniature kits from Robotime, for example), you could save some space. Like I did with mine, I just put them on my bookshelf.

Book nook insert
My book nook kit.

Mistake Number 4: Thinking That A Dollhouse And Miniatures Don’t Cost As Much As The Real Thing?

Quite a few people assume that buying or crafting miniatures (kits) or dollhouses (kits) is not so expensive.

Sadly, buying those last ones isn’t just all that you need, you also need to have your power tools and crafting materials ready for use.

I have made a video before of my crafting place and all the things I needed to purchase, even before doing anything.

Furthermore, you could choose to fill your dollhouse with a bunch of cheap miniatures, so that it’s “not empty”. But in my opinion, I think it would be better to save your money and get the pieces that you really want in the end!

I have seen it: the miniatures that I like the most are usually quite expensive, that is because these are true pieces of art, made by true professionals πŸ™‚

Of course, if you have the skills or develop them in time, you can craft a lot yourself and I wish you much luck with that!

Mistake Number 5: Not Using The Right Tools To Craft.

I have mentioned this point before in a previous blog post, and if you want to craft a dollhouse yourself, DIY, then you would need most of these power tools.

Also, I use my mini table saw a lot and all of the crafting materials that I mentioned above in my video, you will need them one time or another.

People seem to underestimate a lot all the things they need to craft a lovely dollhouse or miniature piece πŸ˜‰

powertool
You need (power) tools to craft well.

Mistake Number 6: Thinking That Making A Dollhouse And Miniatures Don’t Take Much Time.

I think that you can definitely say that it takes about 20% longer to build something than you would have estimated (or what is suggested for a kit in the manuals), especially when you have never done something before πŸ˜‰

Mistake Number 7: Feeling The Need To Follow Manuals To The Letter.

For the first 2 miniature kits from Robotime that I assembled, I followed the manuals exactly into detail.

After that, I ‘kit-bashed’ my third one, resulting in having totally different colors, floors, and some pieces of decorations. I even made a few of my own.

This is the original assembled kit.

Miniature Dollhouse Kits 45

And below is the video on my Youtube channel is what I made of it, totally “kit-bashed” πŸ™‚

So, as you can clearly see, you don’t need to follow instructions for everything. No one will ever tell you that you did something wrong, so don’t worry!

Be careful though not to do something different that is clearly needed to do in a particular way. That is why it would be handy to read the manual carefully first.

Mistake Number 8: Trying To Craft Everything For Your First Dollhouse.

This one is pretty straightforward: you can not craft everything for your dollhouse yourself.

Multitasking on Media
Multitasking, @Picture By Senado Federal – Senado NotΓ­cias no Twitter Moments, CC BY 2.0

With experience, you will figure out what suits you the most, what “niche” you are interested in, and what you will specialize in.

You can not craft all at once: dollhouses Γ nd furniture Γ nd curtains Γ nd miniature food, etc., all at the same time!

That was the intention when I started my first project: my backyard shed, but I soon gave up on wanting to make everything myself, and I would really advise you to do the same.

Maybe you could make a list and figure out what you would like to do first and see from there?

Mistake Number 9: Putting Up Baseboards Before Glueing The Wallpaper.

Here opinions can vary, but mostly any dollhouse maker will tell you to put up the wallpaper before you glue any baseboards to the wall.

Simply because it hides the edges of the wallpaper beneath the boards. This would be the same for crown moldings.

miniature wallpaper
Add your wallpaper before the baseboards.

Mistake Number 10: Buying A Miniature Kit That Is To Complicated.

If you ever buy a miniature dollhouse kit, please don’t make a mistake that I made and start with a complex one.

I started out with the one from Robotime called ‘Cathy’s Flowerhouse’ (the greenhouse), and I was almost about to give up! I think you understand why when you read the blog post about it ;-).

It’s frustrating when something is too complicated.

Mistake Number 11: Feeling Obligated To Always Choose The Same Style.

It basically comes down to doing whatever you like. It is not because you bought a dollhouse in a particular style (search my website for all the different styles out there), that you have to always follow that same style for your furniture, for example.

Or that you can’t switch windows or need to do your garden in a certain way! It is totally up to you! Taste can change during the years or you might get tired of the look of your house.

It is all a matter of taste in what style you want to craft!

Some professional artists really need to be careful of details, because they are making a custom order dollhouse.

But that doesn’t mean that you can not put a beautiful piece of furniture that you got for your birthday in a dining room that has a completely different style. Again, you do you!

Mistake Number 12: Thinking That There Is No One Out There Willing To Help You!

This is pretty obvious: you can not do everything by yourself, without the advice of others or checking out how others craft a piece of miniature furniture, dollhouse, dollhouse, fairy garden, etc, etc.

helping hands 2
Ask for help!

There is social media (my Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook-group) or tutorials in miniature magazines, for example.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!

My Final Conclusion.

I hope that this blog post warned and helped you enough when you are a beginner in the mini world, trying to avoid mistakes πŸ˜‰

If you have anything to add or do you have any questions? Then please leave a comment below.

Or as ever, don’t be shy to join my Facebook group.

I wish you happy crafting!

Best regards,

Lizzy

4 thoughts on “A Dollhouse And Miniatures: 12 Common DIY Mistakes.”

  1. Everyone who is interested to build a Miniature Dollhouse should learn more about the 12 common DIY Mistakes, I must say I made more than one and I learned the hard way how to do it the right way, Start with a big project like a nice big house when I didn’t have any idea about how to do it, when I bough a kit of a small model, with easy instruction, it went better and I managed to build it and it did look even nice! Thease are great tips for anyone who is interested to start working on this amazing hobby!

    Reply
    • Hi Alejandra,

      Thank you for your positive comment and I wish you happy crafting further on, without mistakes πŸ˜‰

      Best regards,

      Lizzy

      Reply
  2. I am a photographer and the pictures I could take of these Dollhouses are endless. There are so many ideas I could test that I am excited already. Thank you very much for this post. It has helped me decide that I will purchase a couple and try different concepts for photography! The aesthetics of these miniatures is awesome.

    Reply
    • Hi Ann

      I am sure that miniatures will help you greatly to learn how to photograph smaller things πŸ˜‰

      good luck!

      Best regards,

      Lizzy

      Reply

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