miniatures how to projects depends on many factors:
Where will the dollhouse
be used or displayed?
Although they are miniatures, dollhouses take up a lot of
room. While building, you only need an area large enough to
accommodate the length and width of the dollhouse plus some
working room. If the house is for display only, a spot about
the size of the house itself is all that would be required.
But if your dollhouse project is for playing purposes, plenty
of room is needed, at least on one side. Probably you should
allow for a minimum of 2 feet on one side and each end. Usually
the dollhouse has its open side (the interior) forward when
being played with and the closed side (the exterior) forward
when being stored or displayed. sometimes the dollhouse is
set on a turntable to allow easy changing from play mode to
display mode. Another option would be to build a house that
has an opening front. This would keep you from having to turn
the dollhouse around all the time.
How much time do
you have to spend on building?
If time is not a factor, you are lucky. Usually the case is
that your dollhouse project is a gift and the occasion requiring
the gift is coming up fast. You should allow at least a month
to build a simple house, and proportionately more time if
the project is a complicated or large one. The best bet is
to plan way ahead, get started early, and try to make consistent
progress by working on it regularly. Some parts of dollhouse
building are a lot of work but in general, you will find yourself
wanting to work on it instead of doing other things. Even
so, allow yourself enough time or you will end up not enjoying
the project like you should.
How much money do
you think you will spend on the dollhouse project?
Just like a real house, dollhouses can end up costing more
than you expected. Luckily, the cost can be spread out over
the life of the project. This could be several years in the
case of a house made for a young child, since the expensive
detailing can wait until the child is older. Just as an idea
of what you are getting into, a dollhouse kit for a 5-7 room
house might be around 150-200 dollars, a 9-10 room dollhouse
kit might be around 250-350 dollars and an 11-13 room dollhouse
kit could cost 550 to 1000 dollars. Keep in mind that this
is just the house. Your dollhouse project will still need
to be decorated and furnished. Building from dollhouse plans
would save a little money, but will add to the work you have
What kind of woodworking
experience and tools do you have?
Several woodworking projects under your belt will give you
all the experience you need to build any dollhouse project
from plans. With that kind of experience, you would probably
already have collected quite a few tools. If you are new to
woodworking, don't despair. A dollhouse kit is very easy to
learn on, and the number of tools that you need are actually
quite minimal. Building from dollhouse plans is not a lot
harder than from a kit, but you must be able to accurately
cut out the parts of the shell. This requires power tools
and some skill in using them, so if you are a beginner, you
might want to find someone to help you with this part of the
project. One spot you could go to look for help would be your
local high school shop teacher. This person would also be
a valuable resource for any other woodworking questions that
might come up in the course of your dollhouse project.
So what will your
dollhouse project be?
In general the larger the finished dollhouse is, the more
it will cost and the more "real estate" you will
have to give up in your own house for its display and use.
Remember that the final
costs will include initial building, electricity (if you decide
to go that way),interior finishes and furniture. The bigger
the dollhouse is, the more of everything you will have to
make or purchase.
Choose a dollhouse project
that is no larger than needed. A 5 to 8 room house is usually
plenty of space. It is not an overpowering project, will not
take too long to complete, and will not break your bank account.
Buy a high quality dollhouse kit, materials, and equipment.
The ease in assembly of the higher quality dollhouse and the
durability and usefulness of the better tools will make up
for the extra expense.
A dollhouse project built
to 1/12 scale (one inch on the model would equal one foot
in a real house)will give you the greatest selection of kits,
plans, furnishings and accessories. This is the most popular
scale and is easy to work in. There are several other scales
available such as 1/24 (1/2 inch equals 1 foot) and 1/144
(1/12 inch equals 1 foot. This would be for a dollhouse within
your 1/12 scale dollhouse!) 1/12 scale is recommended as the
If you are building for
a young child, but really want to get into detail, then build
a separate miniature room for yourself. A miniature dollhouse
room takes a lot of careful planning and requires as much
detail as you want to put into it. That way you can build
an appropriate dollhouse for your child,(as a gift) and satisfy
your own need for building in the details on your separate
A good project
for the first time builder would be:
• Scale of 1/12 for greatest selection
• 5 to 8 rooms
• A high quality kit or good simple plans