Have you been creating a DIY miniature house lately and did you have any frustrations when assembling it, because you weren’t sure about the DIY miniature house materials? You are not alone!
Let’s be honest here: the craft materials included in these DIY miniature kits, like glue, tweezer, or even the paint, are either:
- not sufficient (not enough glue, not enough or bad paint, not enough electric wires..)
- are not éven included
- or just not working as well as they should
Today, I will guide you through a mix of my own experiences with these craft materials needed to build the kits or information I gathered during the years on several Facebook groups.
And I also have some extra tips for you about these kits that were waiting on my phone, in the form of screenshots (now I can finally delete them lol), to share with you, so let’s go!
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DIY Miniature House Materials: How to choose that darn dollhouse glue?
We have all been there: even íf glue is included in these DIY dollhouse kits, somehow it is either not sufficient at all for the whóle project, or it is handing out “threads” like candy being distributed on Halloween.
So when you have fínally finished this paper-miniature flower from that special DIY greenhouse kit, it is covered in glue and looks awful! Grrrrrr!
So I have made a list based on my own experiences and others, and which one to use ( on several other occasions as well, not just the miniature kits):
1. Aleene’s (fast grab) Tacky glue
It took me a while to read about the fast grab version of Aleene’s Tacky glue, but I am glad I did!
I used to only use Aleene’s regular Tacky glue for my other 1:12 scale projects.
And that was fine as long as I could hold parts together for at least 30 minutes until they dried.
But doing this on such a small scale, as most of the dollhouse kits are on a scale of 1:24, well, I got frustrated.. Again, lol!
So I looked for tips on Facebook groups and this is where I found the fast-grab version of the Tacky glue, and most of all: it doesn’t have any “threads”!
A few pros and cons though:
- yes, fast-grab tacky glue does stick together faster than the original version, you just need to make a little distinction between the used materials: paper and wood dry more quickly, and plastic parts take longer to dry.
- dries clear
- doesn’t stick to my fingers as much
- doesn’t smell as “chemical” as superglue, for example
- does not adhere well to Styrofoam.
- is slightly messier than expected
- the spout hole often plugs up
2. Mod Podge
I have used Mod podge as well, mostly for my fairy houses, as Mod Podge has an outdoor version (with a varnish function as well as a gluing function), and that is what I needed for this kind of small house.
Now, to be honest, I haven’t used Mod Podge yet for my miniature kits, but I did also use it to add a floor to my treehouse, for example.
And oh boy: it is sticky! To be clear: it’s not like you are using super glue, but at the least, it sticks together quite easily. You still need to let it dry though!
Check out the price of mod podge and more details here.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons:
- Mod Podge exists in lots of variety, which also means that it not only works as a glue but also as a varnish, sealer, finisher, etc. There is even a “glitter and sparkle” -version and I love that!
- Mod Podge is water-based
- It is quite easy to use
- Well, it just sticks fine, haha!
- I would not advise using Mod Podge for tiny projects like paper stuff, as this glue has a rather thick consistency. So only use it on bigger surfaces, like larger wooden furniture, floors, and walls.
- In my experience, if you use Mod Podge outdoors as a varnish and you actually place your houses outdoors, when it rains: it tends to turn white (which goes away again when drying). So beware of this.
3. Gorilla Wood glue
Using Gorilla glue seems perfect for wooden pieces, like skewer sticks or popsicle stick crafts.
Lots of people seem to use this glue to create wooden floors in their miniature kits, because most of the time, the paper included isn’t very tasteful haha
To assemble other things, this glue doesn’t seem very popular. (sounds logical;-) )
Check out the prices of Gorilla glue and more details here.
- Does a very good job in gluing in what it was designed for: wooden parts 🙂
- Well designed applicator
- Holds up well, even for outdoor items
- it can get messy/runny so have items nearby to clean up/wipe away access and be very sparingly with this glue. ( put some on a toothpick)
- has a slight smell
- it seems that the bottles sometimes are clogged when opening
4. Elmers glue
Elmers’ glue is known for its ability to create ‘slime’, so it looks like it could be fun for kids to play with.
And you could even create a sea-glass effect if you apply the glue to the glass.
As for our DIY miniature house, the opinions are mixed.
I have used it a long time ago for all kinds of applications, but it seems to work great for fabrics.Check out the price for Elmers glue and more details here.
- Elmer’s glue is very affordable
- safe for kids and non-toxic
- gets washed out of clothes quite easily
- gets a high rate of 5 stars on Amazon
- it looks hard to squeeze out the glue from the bottle for kids/doesn’t flow fluently
- making slime with this product can get very messy
- this glue can be a hit-or-miss experience, most like it, but some do think it’s awful
5. Beacon’s Fabri-tac
Beacon’s Fabri-Tac works great on fake leather and all other fabrics.
It works nicely for the pillows, tablecloths, etc of the miniature kits. You could even repair your real-size shoes with this glue, if you wanted to 😉
- The smell is not too overwhelming
- Easy to use
- only a thin coat of glue is needed
- this glue is very durable and lasts for decades
- the only negative reviews I found were more on the sending mistakes from the seller, not really about the glue
6. Plastruct Plastic Weld
This solvent adhesive is for clear plastic parts, like windows/coffeemakers, etc, and of course for the dust cover.
Do yourself a favor, and get this glue for what it’s meant for, and do not use any of the other glues for this type of job!
Otherwise, your greenhouses and little windows will stain with glue for sure.
Check out the prices and more details here.
- perfect glue for your little plastic windows, plastic glass doors, dustcovers, greenhouses, etc..
- if used well, it glues in seconds
- It evaporates quickly so that the plastic surfaces reharden after melding together.
- It seems also great for 3D prints
- not a “negative”: but beware to shake it up before using, because otherwise parts really will not stick together!
- the in-bottle brush is too big if it is intended for scale models. (again, you could use a toothpick)
- If you try using it on something that it was not designed to work on, Plastruct will not work
7. Needle-tipped glue bottles
Needle-tipped bottles are a must-have if you really need to do some precise glue application in your DIY miniature house, although you do have to be choosy when searching for a brand to purchase.
Use the tips for precise application and cut them to a length you are comfortable with.
Fill the bottles, if possible, with the glue you are going to use and now you can do very precise miniatures!
DIY Miniature House Materials :More tips and necessities!
- Have spare electric wires (1mm) and heat shrinkable tubes available, because trust me: you will break a lot of them, especially in the beginning.
- Less is more, you don’t need a gigantic amount of glue to glue things together.
For small paper parts, wires, and such, I put a tiny bit of glue on a toothpick and work with that.
- Just say no to hot glue guns, believe me, especially for that scale!
- A set of precision-tipped tweezers will be your best friend.
- A set of precision jewelry pliers will save you some frustration as well.
- Using a metal ruler is also a must-have for your DIY miniature house.
Even better is a square metal ruler that has both inches and cms because worldwide projects online can be sometimes in one of the 2 metric systems, so using this ruler makes it easier to measure everything!
- Sandpaper sheets in various grits are also something that I use often. (did you know that you can even create “brick walls” with sandpaper? )
- Invest in a nice craft knife.. I like to use an X-acto knife with long-lasting blades, but also using a ‘Fingertip crafting knife‘ from Fiskars is a VERY handy tool!
- If you don’t want to buy a dustcover or they are simply not available for certain kits, you could use this trick if you have a bookcase:
Get a see-through shower curtain, cut it into the right size to cover a part of the bookcase where you placed the kit, and attach the edge of the plastic with velcro.
- A set of artist-grade oil-based colored pencils or Derwent Inktense pencils will make detail work and fine straight lines much easier.
- Having a series of plastic storage boxes like the ones that I have in my Youtube video on my Youtube channel, can be very handy as well!
- I wish I had known this before, USE LIQUID GLOVES PRODUCT! Not only does it protect your hands and fingers with a coat of invisible liquid, but it also treats cracked and dry skin!
Not always absolutely necessary miniature house materials, but handy!
1. Magnetic Gluing Jig
Are you like me and use bottles, heavy pieces of wood, boxes, etc, if you need to glue pieces together that take a longer time to dry for your DIY miniature house?
If you would adore a better system, then this magnetic gluing jig, specially made for small furniture, is a terrific solution!
You can place your assembled pieces in a corner and push the magnetics against it so that you don’t need to wait for 30 minutes or more for certain glues to really cure. Isn’t this a fantastic invention?
Check out the price of this tool and more details here.
2. A UV gluing pen
Now, I haven’t seen a lot of this method yet, but a few people seem to use a UV gluing pen.
I didn’t even know what this is until I saw the video below, which will explain everything that you want to know!
( I can’t seem to find any for sale on Amazon sorry, you might have more luck!)
3. A Brush rinser
A brush rinser is a plastic device that you can use to clean paintbrushes more easily, especially when using different colors for one miniature project.
Now, is it absolutely necessary? No, surely not! You can easily just use an old cup, but it does have some advantages.
The advantages of using a brush rinser I explained in this blog post.
4. The Chop-It
Another peculiar tool, this time this device can be used if you need to cut some extra materials, like pieces of wood, etc..
Check out the Chop-it on my new blog post here!
My Final Conclusion
Please do share your favorite tools and glues that you prefer to use for your DIY miniature house in the comment section below, and I will add them to this blog post 😉
Because everyone is different and we all like to do things differently. If you are using something that is the easiest for you, just stick with it!
If you have any more questions or something to add, please let me know below or join me on my social media channels or cozy Facebook group😉
I wish you happy crafting!
My name is Lizzy, and I am an amateur miniaturist obsessed with everything in the dollhouse and miniature world, ever since I was a teenager.
I love to write as well about all things happening in the miniature world, hence the reason why I created this blog!
I wish you happy reading and crafting!