If you are new to the dollhouses and miniatures hobby, it is hard to find what you want to focus on and where to get information, isn’t it?
I know that I was pretty overwhelmed when I started to get an interest in the smaller things. And it took me years to figure out what I wanted to give a try and what I absolutely don’t want to buy or craft.
After writing more than 100 blog posts so far for my website, I think I can now show you a complete oversight of niches in the mini world that you could mostly focus on.
Because honestly: it would be impossible to craft or even just collect everything that is out there in the small world!
Let me try to help you decide and let’s get straight into things with a long list of FAQs!
1. I Want To Create Things DIY – Can I Do It? – TUTORIALS
In short: yes, you can!
It all depends on a few things though:
- Do you have enough space?
- Are you willing to buy crafting materials?
- Do you want to dedicate time, effort and mostly: are you patient enough? 😉
- Most of the time it is something you do on your own. Sometimes partners help out, sometimes they think that you have a “weird” hobby.
But the good thing here can be that in some countries/areas there are miniature clubs and workshops.
I would suggest to check them out if you’d rather connect with people that have the same hobby!
If the answer still is “yes”, then by own means: go for it!
That being said, and I’m sure there are a lot more tutorials out there.
On my site, you can find 31 tutorials so far! These are about any kind of DIY project ideas and what you need. A small list:
- DIY making dollhouse furniture.
- How to paint miniatures.
- Miniature 3D painting – insights and tutorials.
- I have 2 pages on how to craft miniature treasures from trash and/or everyday items, number 1 and number 2.
- A tutorial on miniature pottery.
- How to make a dollhouse DIY in 12 steps.
- 5 tips on miniature wallpaper.
- How to fix your dollhouse electrics.
- DIY how to make rooftops, stone walls, doors and windows and floors, in miniature style.
- How to make a miniature stream, waterfall,beach or fountain.
- 8 tips on how to create a fairy garden.
- wool felting instructions in miniature size.
- What is paper mâché?
- How to photograph miniatures?
- How to make miniature food?
- How to make miniature lights?
- What is laser cut and why is it used in the dollhouse world?
- Basic crafting materials: what are craft table saws?
- How to make miniature shoes.
- and so much more..
This list will be even more expanded in time. In the meantime: you can always search for a topic in the search button on my site and maybe you will get all the info you need right here on my website?
2. Are Dollhouses And Miniatures Expensive?
The answer to this question is complicated. In itself, of course, miniatures aren’t expensive, because they are small (really Lizzy? hahaha).
Also, if you can make a lot of things DIY, then you can save a lot of money doing this hobby and still get fantastic results.
The only thing that can get expensive when you start out DIY style, is buying all the different crafting materials.
But if you maintain your biggest and most expensive equipment like they should be maintained, most of them can last you a long time or even a lifetime.
Now, as with any art or niche collection, you can buy cheap stuff or on the contrary high-end pieces. So basically, it can get as expensive as you want it to be. A few ‘expensive’ artists that come to my mind are:
As for dollhouses, the difference in price can vary a lot if you make them DIY style (see FAQ number 1), buy a finished and complete dollhouse or if you prefer to assemble a dollhouse kit. (more about miniature kits later).
Last, but not least comment on this question: you can also make money with miniatures and dollhouses. Especially on Etsy, where most miniature artists sell their products sooner or later.
Or even make money by using Etsy in another way, you can read all about it in this article.
3. I Do Not Have Much Room In My House, Can I Still Have This Hobby?
I sometimes see this question passing in my Facebook group: ‘ I see so many gorgeous dollhouses and miniatures here, but unfortunately, I don’t have the room for these.’
First of all, maybe you could have room for it after all, as miniatures exist in a lot of different scales.
The most used scale in the dollhouse world is actually not Barbies-size (which is 1/6), but on a scale of 1:12, because it all started there historically with the dollhouse of Queen Mary.
If this size is still way too big to fit into your house, then maybe you can have a look at the miniature houses or kits on a scale of 1:24. Those are for sale plentiful and exist in lots of different brands.
I have for example fitted 4 of those for now on my bookshelves and there is still room left :-).
Also, there are dollhouses and miniatures on an even smaller scale, like on a scale of 1:144. Wouldn’t those be able to get some space in your house haha? The 1:144 scale house in the picture below belongs to “Faithminiatures” on Etsy.
Then finally, if you really can’t find any room left in your house to put your dollhouses/miniatures or room boxes, why not hang them on the walls, in a frame of a painting or a kitchen cutting board, for example?
4. What Kind Of Crafting Materials Do I Need?
I have written a lot of blog posts on this question and so you might want to check out the category ‘crafting materials‘ on my site.
Yet again, it would depend on what exactly you are going to craft in the miniature world.
You love to make miniature food or pottery?
To make pottery, however, you would first of all need to learn how to do it, and then you would need to buy a mini pottery wheel.
Do you want to build a dollhouse totally DIY from scratch?
Then obviously you need a way bigger list of crafting materials.
Most of the time, lots of these things are already present in a household that has a ‘handyman/woman’ around, but still, you need to consider buying some extra power tools.
What Kind Of Glue Do I Need?
Another frequently asked question is: “what kind of glue do I use for a fairy garden/miniature kit/my wallpaper/my dollhouse/etc etc”? I have written several blog posts on this topic as well:
-In this article, I wrote about all the different glues and sealers you can use indoors and outdoors (don’t let the fairy garden topic fool you, these glues can be used for miniatures in general).
-The second article added three more types of glue that I tend to use the most (a glue gun being an exception for several reasons), especially tacky glue (indoors).
-A glue that is a sealer at the same time that I LOVE to use as well, especially for my fairy houses, is Mod Podge!
And finally, if that is what you want to get into, 3D printing miniatures! Mind you, this will take a while to learn and lots of trying, and trying again. So far, I have written several beginners’ blog posts on this topic.
– What are 3D printers: a beginner’s guide
– DIY 3D printing miniatures – an oversight
– 3D printing miniatures – a tutorial
And, of course, which 3D printers are out there that are most used to 3D print miniatures.
Aha, I forgot this one. Of course, you need a magnifying lamp. It was one of the first things that I got and needed, there’s no avoiding it sorry! :-). Some more explanation on why you need one is to be found here.
How do I know which mini craft table saw I should buy?
Well, for that I hope that I can help you out with these 3 reviews on table saws!
Are you curious about what my workplace looks like? Have a look at my Youtube video where I show you around!
5. How Many Different Styles Of Dollhouses And Miniatures Are Out There?
Sometimes people could be having a hard time figuring out what kind of style of dollhouses that they like because the options are very wide in the miniature world.
To help you out there, I have written several blog posts as well about all kinds of styles and historical dollhouses.
Each blog post mentions a few examples of miniature artists specializing in particular styles, pictures and videos included. There will be more articles coming in due time:
- The Edwardian time period and dollhouses.
- Georgian style homes and dollhouses.
- Dutch Cabinet Dollhouses.
- The Victorian age and style dollhouses.
- My favorite: the Tudorstyle dollhouses.
- Gothic dollhouses are quite trendy!
- The Federal style is quite popular in the US!
More to come: Gothic/abandoned style dollhouses/ modern style etc..
6. What’s Up With These So-Called “Miniature Kits”?
Well, it is a pretty simple concept.
When you buy a “miniature kit”, you get a package containing all the separate pieces that you need to assemble a dollhouse/dollhouse furniture/ a one-room room box/book nook, or anything else, like a trailer for example.
Normally, everything that you need is included, except things like glue/scissors/tweezers/paintbrushes, etc..
Now, there are a lot more big brands of miniature kits, besides the unique ones from Etsy (Etsy of course has designed kits from personal and small shops, instead of just kits that “everyone” has).
To name a few big brands that I have talked about on my site:
Then finally, for complete houses, one of the well-known brands out there is Greenleaf, they claim to be the oldest company in the world for large dollhouse kits.
This will probably get updated as I get on with my site because I’m sure there’s more!
UPDATE: I now have a quick oversight of my top 5 brands of miniature kits, check it out!
7. Where Can I Find More Information On Dollhouses And Miniatures?
First of all, on my site, of course, lol! You are in the right place here and I do intend to write more and more blog posts over time, for sure!
That being said, there are many other ways to find some fantastic information.
I especially like Facebook groups, like my own, but there are lots of others. Also, miniaturists that sell on Facebook, tend to have a page setup as well. I have a second Facebook group, but at the moment it is very new and it is only for buying/selling minis.
You can find any kind of niches separately (fairy gardens, book nooks, 3D printed, etc), or in a general topic, on this social media channel. In all kinds of languages, not just in English.
I do not like Twitter as a means to find miniature topics, I found it just not suited for this.
On my site, you can also regularly find blog posts on professional miniature artists that I admire greatly, like these 5 from Europe.
Furthermore, you can always subscribe to my community with a weekly newsletter and be up-to-date.
And last, but not least, Youtube for sure has lots and lots of video’s/tutorials on dollhouses and miniatures. I have my own channel as well and about 12 video’s so far on there.
On paper, you can have a subscription for dollhouse magazines, dollhouse TV, or real-life gatherings.
8. What Are Lundby Dollhouses?
9. What Are Fairy Gardens?
It is a small, secret garden where fairies, gnomes, or other little creatures build their homes and move in 😉
Haven’t you seen any yet? In my garden, 2 families have already settled in. Don’t believe me?
Here’s the proof, I filmed the whole thing, got them hahaha! (at about 1:50 min into the video, the first part is the making of the “acorn-guy”)
Would you like some more ideas on how to create a fairy garden (you don’t even need to own an actual ‘garden’), just click here.
Also, I would think that a long list of fairy garden plants would be handy, no?
And how about having your kids helping out with the making of a nice place to live for those magical creatures?
10. What Are Book Nooks?
Book nook dioramas or book nooks are relatively new in the miniature world, but I just love this new ‘trend’.
Most of the time book nooks are made to resemble an alley or a part of a street, but they basically can be anything that can get placed between 2 large size books on a bookshelf.
Or why not: a library in a library haha?
So you would need 2 sides that can resist the weight of the books that lean against the book nook.
If you still don’t get what I am talking about here, have a look at this blog post that I wrote about them.
So far, I have made one myself with the help of a (laser cut) book nook kit that I got from Etsy. And I think it is damn gorgeous! (pardon my French).
In the meantime, I have reviewed a lot more book nooks here, with themes like Harry Potter, Lord of the rings, and so much more!
11. How do I know on which scale my dollhouse or miniature piece is in?
For this question, I can easily refer you to this blog post. Are you still confused? Maybe you could post a picture and sizes of your dollhouse in my Facebook group and I or someone else can help you out!
12. What Are Greenleaf Dollhouse Kits?
Everything you need to know about these oldest miniature kits in the world is right here in this blog post.
13. What Are Blythe Dolls?
I have written about these peculiar dolls some time ago. Read all about Blythe dolls here.
Also, if you are looking for stores that sell authentic Blythe dolls, you could have a look at this blog post.
14. 12 Common Mistakes That Are Made As A Beginner.
Well, we all make mistakes, read about what kind of faults here and try to avoid them! 😉
My Final Conclusion.
This blog post will still get expanded and updated in time because I am sure that you have a lot more questions than these about dollhouses and miniatures!
Do you want to add a question? Just go ahead and leave a comment below or be welcome in my Facebook group, which has over 2000 members so far!