Have you thought about what exactly you want to make? Or do you, like me, want to make everything yourself? Well: I gave up on that last one, I just can not make everything myself. So every now and then I buy mini dollhouse kits and I started to love them. (more HERE about all the different kinds of miniature kits).
Because for some things you would, for example, have to be:
– a silversmith or goldsmith (and have the equipment for making silver cutlery for example for a castle/ Victorian house/royal house/a fancy mansion..) or
– a carpenter (owe a mini turning lathe) or
– a very good seamstress (owe a sewing machine to make pretty curtains/sheets/clothes etc ) or
– a pottery baker, but mini ones
And for sure, some things I just buy, mostly online. In my country Belgium there are almost no offline stores for miniatures. Just for those, I would love to have been born in England, Holland, or the US. Don’t worry, other than that I love living here 😉
Well, except for the politics and our politicians, uh let’s cut this haha. The focus of this website is our hobby: dollhouses and miniatures 🙂
Decide on what you want to make yourself.
When I first started out with dollhouses, I had no clue what I was doing. I imagine you are in the same boat as me at this point.
I watched a lot of YouTube videos and the first project I wanted to take on, was the backyard shed as you can see in this picture.
I thought I had the right measurements and people can’t really tell when they see it in reality, but it is completely, utterly not in the right size.
The most used size is 1/12, which is the one I use as well. The walls are too high and so is the ceiling. If I would put it beside another 1/12th dollhouse, you would clearly see the size is incorrect. Using my imagination, it could just be a giant backyard shed, but most of us don’t have a shed as big as this haha. Maybe you can see that in my video on my Youtube channel:
Naturally, the same problem goes for furniture or other miniatures. I would advise at first to decide if you really want to make that shed/treehouse/house yourself or try some mini dollhouse kits first. So you can get the hang of the decorating part: painting, wallpaper, floors, maybe make your own staircase…?
If you are not willing to do that, there are some pretty good-looking mini dollhouse kits on the market! Even second-handed.
Oh yes, also it depends on the style of house you want to have or make. Obviously, a Victorian dollhouse is a lot more complicated to make than a modern dollhouse to just put your daughters’ barbies in. ( you might as well buy a barbie dollhouse if you want that, it’s a totally different subject than what we are aiming for here, to be honest ).
Decided that you want to build yourself? Just gooo for it!
It took me 40 years to get the confidence (and equipment), to just get started and build my first ‘dollhouse’. In my case, it was my backyard shed.
Rest assured, at some point, you just want to give up. You see all these beautiful projects online and things just won’t get together as they do on YouTube or Facebook pages.
But if you are patient, which you would have to be to make miniatures and dollhouses (I’m sorry), you just try and try again and one day there will be that ‘woesh’ you have been waiting for! Anybody can craft beautiful things, if you just put your mind to it, you will be addicted in no time!
Make building plans!
Before you go and cut out and saw your tiny house parts, make building plans and most of all: stick to them! Also, be thorough, as a millimeter here and a millimeter there, more or less, can make a huge difference in the dollhouse-making world. Unless you like the ‘shabby’ look, I actually love that :-).
For example, you want to make furniture. IKEA has online building plans for its kitchens. Take the real-life measurements and divide them by twelve. It’s really that simple.
Cut out every little piece before you assemble them. Put them neatly on a piece of paper so you can clearly see where everything goes.
What I do is write a letter on each piece (from ‘A’ and so on), how many of them there are (for example 4 of the same pieces of a chair), on the paper, and put those pieces beside the same letter on the paper. And make sure there’re no cats around causing disaster 😉
No big house yet? Make a room box or others!
I have seen soooo many pretty ‘dollhouses’ online, it is amazing how creative miniaturists can get. Not just room boxes, but miniature scenes in old guitars, books, painting frames, milk jugs, old mini-trailers, bowls, and glass, or even real tree stumps! Or you can buy a miniatures kit and pimp it up.
My latest project is my ‘treehouse’ with a real, thick branch, right in the middle of my ‘box’. I’m working on it as we speak. The walls are done with architect paper and fake loam (you can buy it in some stores for children’s toys or again online).
I will talk about this project of mine and how I made it in another article: My work.
Whether you buy mini dollhouse kits or make a dollhouse or miniature yourself, just remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nobody ever builds a giant dollhouse in the first attempt. I do think we all started out small and first decided on what we are aiming for. Don’t be too hard on yourself if at first, you don’t succeed! Most miniature makers are very patient people. Just enjoy the process and I wish you happy crafting!
Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section below or join my newest Facebook group!