Hello, my fellow crafting-challenged friends! Let’s talk again some more about homemade dollhouse furniture today!
I have written before about the topic of creating your own dollhouse furniture, but today again we will be diving a bit deeper into things.
Because with a little bit of patience, creativity, and possibly a magnifying glass, you too can become a DIY dollhouse furniture extraordinaire!
Homemade dollhouse furniture: why make it yourself?
There are several good reasons why you would want to create your own DIY dollhouse furniture, and here are a few:
- By creating your own furniture, you add a touch of personality and style to your dollhouse and make it totally to your own taste.
- Creating your own stuff gives you control over the design, the materials used, and even the color scheme.
- Another advantage of homemade dollhouse furniture making is great savings! Let’s agree that buying furniture can get a bit expensive, especially when trying to furnish a complete house.
Creating your own furniture can save you a large amount of money, especially if you can repurpose your waist, for example.
- Just seeing the satisfaction of admiring your own hard work pay off and your home has a new great decoration piece!
Designing and planning your dollhouse furniture: where to start?
You might wonder where to start on your journey to furniture making, let’s try and take you through the process step by step:
- 1. Think about the style you want. Do you want a modern look with sleek lines, or something more historical, like the Tudor style or Victorian style, etc?
Deciding about the latter is a bit more complicated though, keep that in mind!
You can look for inspiration in dollhouse magazines or anywhere online. Most of all my own website haha!
- 2. Choose the materials that you want to work with.
Now, choosing what kind of materials you want to work with is not an easy choice, because there are a lot of possibilities and it can depend on your skill level and the number of tools that you have or want to purchase.
Further down this article, we will get into more detail on all the possible materials to use like popsicle sticks, balsa wood, cardboard, polymer clay, and even matchsticks!
Decide beforehand which materials will work best for you and your budget.
Take a look at my Youtube channel below where I create a miniature swing from matches!
- 3. Create a rough sketch.
Now that you have a general idea of the looks of your homemade dollhouse furniture, you will need to create a rough sketch of each piece including the measurements.
This will help you determine the scale and shape of the piece and starts you thinking about any details you would like to include.
This sketch doesn’t need to be an architectural wonder, I know mine aren’t haha!
- 4. Measure twice!
Before you start building any dollhouse furniture, make sure to check your measurements at least 2 times.
This is better because when you want to design furniture, it is really important to be precise to ensure that it will fit in your dollhouse and that you won’t have different measurements when creating it.
- 5. Build a prototype.
I admit I tend to skip this phase, but it is probably better to create a prototype to figure out any design flaws.
You could use simple materials for this such as cardboard.
- 6. Cut out the separate pieces along your building plans.
Before doing the final step of assembling, you need to measure and cut out all the pieces of the furniture separately, this means all the legs, arms, seating, etc for chairs and beds and all the separate pieces for other types of furniture.
- 7. Assembling and decorating. Or the other way around?
This is where you either assemble the furniture first and only then paint it, or the opposite: paint first and then assemble.
I know this is confusing, and it is for me too, but that’s because opinions are totally different about this on social media!
In my opinion, it is better to assemble and thus glue together the homemade dollhouse furniture first, because otherwise there is a risk of the paint getting scratched or chipped during assembly, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix.
Also, if you paint or decorate afterward only, you can ensure that everything fits together well and that joints and such are clean and smooth before finishing it.
How to measure and scale down furniture to miniature size?
This is the part where I can proudly present to you my own scale converter that I developed for you on my website.
It is always present on my homepage as well, if you can’t find this blog post back in the future!
This scale converter will help you figure out the measurements from one scale to any other scale, in cms, but also inches! Handy no?
So you just need to measure the length of let’s say the leg of a chair in real size and use this convertor to transform it into the scale that you want to make your dollhouse furniture in!
Convert any measurement in a known scale into another known scale.Convert in scale
to in scale
Tools and materials needed for making homemade dollhouse furniture.
In general, to create dollhouse furniture you will need a few tools and materials:
- a (table) saw.
Now, you don’t always need a table saw if you would stick to creating furniture with everyday materials or cardboard, for example, but I did buy one from the beginning of my miniature journey, and I have used it a lot.
So it is up to you honestly.
- a Mini drill.
Again, it is totally up to you when purchasing a mini drill, but I have used it a lot as well for several different projects. It can cut, sand, drill small holes, and so much more, in a very precise way.
You could sand and such everything by hand, but for wooden homemade dollhouse furniture, this seems like a drag to me 😉
- A crafting knife.
Now, this is definitely something you need in the miniature world!
- Wire cutters Pliers.
Again, these are necessities!
- Wire stripper tools and craft tweezers.
- Rulers, scissors, measuring tape, paintbrushes, (acrylic) paint, and screwdrivers.. All the little usual things that you need for any crafting project basically!
A very important part of the miniature furniture world and discussed a lot on Facebook groups, is the right choice for glues.
When you click on the link above, it will take you to an expanded article on glues!
Just beware to never ever use a glue gun to glue dollhouse furniture!
More in particular:
This could mean thin plywood if you are experienced, but also balsa wood, which is a lot easier to cut.
For upholstery, cushions, table cloths, curtains, etc..
For Cushions and more..
- Varnish and sealant
- Decorative elements (such as beads, buttons, or stickers)
- Organic materials
In the fairy garden world, for example, a lot of materials found in nature are used, like (willow) twigs.
But even (flat or round) stones can be used as I did for my fairy houses.
These are just a few materials and tools that you will need to craft homemade dollhouse furniture, you could need a lot of other things, depending on what kind of project you have in mind.
Up next are a few methods that I could think of to create DIY dollhouse furniture.
Transforming Trash into Treasure: Upcycling Materials for Dollhouse Furniture
One way of creating homemade dollhouse furniture is by upcycling and repurposing waist and leftover materials.
A few things pop into my mind:
- Use wine corks.
Using wine corks is pretty new to me and it seems a little bit “rough” and unrefined, but here we go, you can use corks to create a miniature chair for Barbie, for example 🙂
- Use old jewelry:
Old jewelry or pieces of it you can use to create things like tiny chandeliers, picture frames, and more.
Small beads can be used to create vases, candle holders, perfume bottles, etc.. But those are not really furniture haha 😉
- Bottle caps:
Bottle caps are used a lot in the miniature world and you can use them to create stools, tables, a miniature trash can, etc.
Find many ideas on Pinterest or Facebook groups!
- Egg Cartons:
You can use egg cartons to create dollhouse furniture as well, and we have found another video for you haha!
There are lots of great miniaturists who specialized in using cardboard to create miniature chairs, sofas, beds, and more.
- Old buttons:
Use old buttons to create little miniature chairs, as I did in a video of my own making!
While you are at my Youtube channel, please don’t forget to “like” the video and subscribe to my channel, thank you!
- Use matchboxes!
And last, but not least: use matchboxes to create fantastic homemade dollhouse furniture!
In the next video below, you can see how I created a miniature desk from these waste materials and turned it into a treasure!
Dollhouse Furniture on a Budget: Tips and Tricks for Frugal DIYers
I know that we just spoke about creating dollhouse furniture from waist and that this is really budget-friendly, but I have a few more tips to build your own affordable homemade furniture 😉
1. Create Fairy Garden Furniture from scratch.
Another fun way to create affordable homemade dollhouse furniture is by creating fairy garden furniture, as I mentioned before in this article.
You can find tons of ideas on how to create this type of furniture in my former blog post.
2. Upgrade used or older/vintage dollhouse furniture/do a makeover
The possibilities for upgrading a miniature furniture piece are basically endless and it would take me a whole new blog post or several blog posts to teach you how to do this, so today, we are not diving deeper into this sorry haha!
One fine way of doing a makeover on vintage dollhouse furniture, however, is upgrading them to the Shabby-Chic Style, I love it!
3. Use Everyday materials.
A third way of making affordable miniature furniture is by using everyday materials like paper, popsicle sticks, and matches.
Again, you can find tons of examples on my Youtube channel and from other artists as well! I’m sure that you can find lots of tutorials online 😉
DIY Dollhouse Furniture: How to Create Miniature Masterpieces from wood?
Creating homemade dollhouse furniture with wood can be a lot more challenging than with the methods I talked about first.
But the procedure stays basically the same and it goes like this:
- 1. Choose the type of wood.
One type of wood is easier to craft with than the other, so you need to decide which type you are going to work with.
Balsawood, basswood, and plywood are very popular options to craft miniature furniture with, but be aware that for plywood you need a stronger tool to cut it with. (see further)
- 2. Create a building plan.
As always, you need to create a DIY building plan, but for wood, I think it is more important for it to be very detailed, to the mm actually, because any deviation in measurements, can have a huge impact when assembling the project.
So when it needs to be very precise like in this case, I would rather look for building plans online that are already created. Unless of course, you know what you are doing 😉
( this is just my own view on the matter)
- 3. Cut out the wooden pieces!
To cut out balsa wood or basswood, using a crafting knife, aka an X-Acto knife, is sufficient and efficient enough.
To cut out harder wood like plywood, I would definitely recommend using a table-saw.
Be very precise with the cuts, to ensure that the pieces for the furniture fit together properly!
- 4. Sand the pieces!
The best way to get rid of rough spots on the wood is to sand them. Sand the edges very slightly to create an even look and have a nice finish.
- 5. Time to assemble!
The next obvious step is to use wood glue to attach the pieces together, but you can also use fast-grab tacky glue.
Always follow the building plans and if you are able to: clamp the pieces together until the glue is dried and strong.
When the project is dry: remove any excess glue.
- 6. Paint the furniture.
An important part is to paint the homemade dollhouse furniture. This can get a bit harder and more tricky, but I will review another tutorial by Domestika soon!
- 7. Finish up!
Apply a wood finish of your choice, such as stain or varnish, and add any decorative details such as nails or screws, upholstery, cushions, etc..
Some examples of miniaturists that craft homemade dollhouse furniture with advanced techniques!
There are some really advanced professional miniaturists out there that create breathtaking miniature furniture beyond the basics, and I would like to share a little list!
1. Victoria MiniLand
Victoria Miniland has a huge collection of handmade dollhouse furniture and so much more.
They sell miniatures from all over the world, made by crafters worldwide at home and lots of this work takes a huge amount of time, dedication, and knowledge.
This store coöperates with the best professional miniaturists out there and gets 5 star reviews.
Could you take it to the next level like this? 😉
Check out this homemade dollhouse furniture here.
GAGAMA has a large collection of miniatures for sale, but especially the handmade miniature furniture contains pieces of art!
Check out more details on this handmade dollhouse furniture here.
As I talked about these wonderful miniaturists before, I wanted to mention them again, as they craft something different than the previous 2, and that is colorful modern dollhouse furniture.
Take a look at their interview for my blog here!
Check out more details on this modern dollhouse furniture here.
Mistakes to avoid when making homemade dollhouse furniture.
In general, the mistakes that you should try to avoid to make miniature furniture would be exactly the same as when creating anything dollhouse related.
So I would like to refer you to my latter article on this topic.
Furthermore, I would like to finish up this article (gosh, over 4200 words haha) with this fantastic video on the topic by “Fixing Expert”.
My Final Conclusion
I hope that you enjoyed this looooong article on homemade dollhouse furniture, I just kept writing and writing haha! (sorry if too long)
If you have any more questions on the topic, please feel free to ask them in the comment section down 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!