Dollhouse & Miniatures – How to Create a Unique Replica Dollhouse & Miniature Project

Before creating a unique dollhouse, one must first have some creativity and imagination. If you plan to furnish your dollhouse with a collection of miniatures bought elsewhere, it may get a bit costly. However, with enough patience and imagination, you could very well be on your way to creating your very own unique dollhouse project that will be the talk of the neighborhood.

Choosing Your Dollhouse Style

There are many dollhouses out there and all of them are very presentable, but to really create a unique dollhouse & miniatures, you need to first plan a theme. You can get ideas from movies you’ve seen, books you read, people you have researched, or by visiting the building you wish to replicate. The possibilities are endless.

You may already have an inspired idea for your first unique project. To help decide on your theme and get some creative ideas flowing, first, decide whether your dollhouse project is going to be fictional or nonfictional. In other words, decide if it is going to be something more real looking, or something right out of a movie. Secondly you then decide the time period or fantasy idea you are going to work from. For example, do you want to create a castle, or a more futuristic project? Then, if let’s say castle was your choice, start by researching all the castles and their time periods until one sparks some inspiration. Inspiration is the key to finishing a good replicated dollhouse & miniatures project.

Establishing a Floor Plan and Scale

Once you have found your inspiration and idea, you need to come up with a floor plan and scale. Many dollhouses are made in 1:12 scale, meaning that the dollhouse and all objects in it are 12 times smaller than the actual object itself. This is an easy scale because 1 foot actually equals one inch. So if your house is originally 20 feet wide it would need to be 20 inches wide in your replica. By researching the project you intend to make, you may find for example a floor plan of the Edinburgh castle for example. If you can, arrange a tour of the building but if you can’t, then finding online web cams, websites, and pictures of the location may help you be as authentic as possible. It would be wisest to choose a project of something you know you can replicate well. If you do not have the means to go to the place as it is fictional, then watching the movie you are working from or reading the book you are creating from, you may come up with enough details to draw up your own floor plan if you can’t get a copy of one. The more authentic the floor plan, the more amazing your unique dollhouse & miniatures become.

Choosing a Display Style

Next, you will need to decide on the display of the dollhouse. You may want to either have it hinged in the middle to open up, have an open back, have lots of large windows, or have a roof that comes off for viewing the miniatures. Deciding on the display of your project now, will help you envision your finished product, that much better. You need to decide on what the best way to showcase your miniatures inside will be.

Make a List of Materials

You need to look carefully at the details of your project and materials that will be needed. Decide what you will build your dollhouse & miniatures out of. Many dollhouses are made from wood, but I have seen a few made of clay or even glass. Many miniatures are made from polymer clay and some water effects have been created by using epoxy resin. Some products can be found in nature also, like pebbles for stones, sand, moss, bark, twigs and dried shrubs. Note: always work outside when handling epoxy resin or even some of the glues used and learn the safe way to use it before starting your project. Be sure to read all directions for the proper use of the materials and tools you are working with. Next, make a list of all supplies needed. You will want to have everything handy.

Once you have decided on the materials, you then need to list the tools that will be needed to complete the project. Keep in mind that your hands will often be working in confined spaces and so the tools may vary room to room. Do not forget to include a measuring tape as it will be used often. Long handled tweezers and tongs often come in very handy as does a well lit room and a set of magnified glasses or for me a magnifier lamp comes in super handy for hands free magnifying and light all in one.

The Building Phase

OK, so by now you probably will feel very prepared, which is the key to a successful dollhouse. You can now start building the project. You need to build the dollhouse as you would a real house. Start with the foundation or base, then the framing or skeleton as many call it. Next you may want to plan in your lighting. You can buy lighting in dollhouse size in many places online. Then start the walls leaving spaces for the doors, windows, and lighting fixtures and then finally the roof leaving a space for the chimney if required. Once framing is complete, add any other details to the dollhouse as needed including siding, roofing, doors, windows, wallpaper, flooring, trim, fixtures, landscaping and lighting fixtures. Test your lights and any other electrical additions to be sure they are working before you continue filling the house with miniatures. Be sure to leave enough wire to reach the nearest plug in from where your dollhouse will be located once finished. Six to ten feet of wire should be a suitable amount to reach any plug in.

The Decorating Phase

Finally comes my favorite part, creating the miniatures. Start with the furniture and appliances, then the wall hangings, being sure everything is adhered well to the dollhouse. There are many different types of glue that are needed for different types of materials, so be sure to include that in your list of materials needed. Also include gloves if needed. Nothing is more embarrassing then gluing yourself to a tiny toilet! Once all of your furnishings are in place, add in the finishing touches. There is no limit to what you can create and if you draw a blank on how to create something, ask yourself what can I use that looks a lot like the object? A cap off of a small mouthwash bottle would make a great wastepaper basket for example. Some pieces you may want to buy rather than make such as a toilet or a stove for example. There are many great miniaturists out there who would possibly even be willing to create a custom miniature for you.

Enjoy the Dollhouse Experience

Last but certainly not least, have fun! That is what this hobby is all about and once the project is complete there is a real sense of accomplishment and reward. When the project is finished, consider having a miniature themed dinner party complete with tiny hors d’ oeuvres to celebrate and show off your new masterpiece.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy your next dollhouse & miniatures project!

Source by Lavana Rebidoux