How to create
a Dollhouse building
Dollhouse building have
captivated children since the 17th century, when they were
invented as playthings for the privileged. Today, kids still
love them - and adults, who lavish even more care on the furnishings
and appointments, do too.
Steps of dollhouse building:
- Decide how you'll use the house. As
a showcase for your treasured miniature collection? Or as
a playhouse for your child's amusement? Deciding what the
house is for will help you determine what to make it out
of and how to make it.
- Decide on your scale for dollhouse building.
Most miniatures are on a 1/12 scale - in other words, 1
inch per real-life foot. Because this scale is so popular,
a huge selection of furnishings and accessories is available
in this size. But if the doll you're dollhouse building
for is 15 inches tall, a 1/12 scale won't get you anywhere.
- Decide on the size and shape of the house.
The simplest possible house is a one-story, one-room cottage.
The choices for the most elaborate are many - multistory
concoctions ranging from a Victorian dripping with gingerbread
to a Venetian palazzo.
- Start simply, however, unless you're
an experienced carpenter.
- Gather paper and pencil and a ruler,
and draw a pattern. For a simple cottage, you'll need a
minimum of six pieces: the base, three walls (the fourth
is open for play and display) and two roof pieces.
- Remember to mark holes for windows and
a door, taking the scale into account.
- Buy wood - 3/4-inch plywood makes a nice,
solid base, but 3/8-inch is fine for the walls and roof.
- Use your pattern pieces to mark the wood.
- Cut the wood. You can do this by hand,
but a circular saw will save time and effort.
- Cut out the windows and doors. Whether
you're cutting by hand or not, drilling holes in the corners
of all the cutouts with an electric drill will make this
- Sand all the edges smooth.
- Join the walls to the base and to each
other with wood glue and nails, then do the same with the
- Sand again over the nails.
- Paint if desired.
Tips for dollhouse building:
If you want something more elaborate than a simple cottage
and aren't confident of your skills, try a kit. They come
with all pieces precut (shingles and trims, siding, posts
and rails, stairs) and some preassembled (windows, doors,