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Miniatures - Doll Houses and Furniture

Updated on June 16, 2017

Collectors of unique pieces of classic crafts, who accumulate art objects for their personal interest, for its value, or its beauty, appreciate the pleasure of owning miniature collectables.

Of all miniature collections, one of the most interesting works of art that date back hundreds of years is miniature houses filled with beautiful handmade miniature furniture and furnishings.

Miniature Collectibles
Miniature Collectibles

It's a well-known fact that many wise collectors who have invested in miniatures and those who crafted them in the past have successfully sold these rare items for an awesome amount of money. Exhibitors of miniature homes filled with furniture know how valuable these items are, and some of their collections include those that were crafted or fashioned the Gothic, Edwardian and Victorian eras.

Many hobbyists of miniature collectables today are either purchasing or crafting what is commonly referred to as dollhouses, filled with mini furniture, furnishings and fully dressed dolls. But to make these pieces is not that simple as it requires creativity, patience, perseverance and a deft and nimble touch, and the ability to work with very small and sometimes tiny parts.

Going beyond the simple building of dolls houses and making toy furniture, miniature homes and furniture possess a suggestion of realism, so the craftsman must be prepared to let his result be enchanting, captivating and delightful to an admirer of beautiful art.

A Contemporary Miniature House with Furniture
A Contemporary Miniature House with Furniture

Building a Furnished Miniature House

Making miniature furniture and doll's houses are neither simple nor time-saving, and there are no shortcuts to it. Attention must be paid to tiny details, and emphasis must be placed on quality rather than quantity.

If you plan to build mini houses and furniture, you should plan ahead and know in advance what you'd prefer to build.

  1. A house or individual rooms.
  2. Architectural style.
  3. Period and style of furnishings.
  4. Scale and proportion of craftworks.

Planning ahead is a crucial and necessary part of the task, and for many craftsmen familiar with these forms of miniature collectables, the most exciting part. So it is important to know that this stage of the project must be concluded before commencing any work.

Miniature Collectibles
Miniature Collectibles

Craft a Whole House or Build Individual Rooms?

A whole house may seem more realistic to craft for the fantasy of creating a complete home environment, however, this all depends on the available space you have to display the finished craft in your home.

For a complete miniature house, there must be ample display area, preferably an area away from the walls, to ensure a good view of all sides of the house.

With separate or individual rooms, a smaller display area is all that is required because it need only be viewed from the front. It can be displayed on a floating wall shelf that has been installed with the sole intent of displaying your miniature collectables.

To be as real as is possible, building an individual room, for example, a Victorian front room has an advantage in that its detailed intricate works can be crafted in less time than it will take to build a complete miniature house.

Architectural Style

Building a whole miniature house means an architectural style has to be chosen. That’s part of the essence of miniature collectables crafting. A craftsman may choose to follow one period in history.

On the other hand, if individual room crafting is the aim of the craftsman, then he can choose to have just a few rooms, all with their own different periods and style.

An underlying theme whereby two or three rooms are tied together (could be typical rooms in historic or modern houses) can also be achieved.

Or crafting could involve, for example, bedrooms, all crafted in different periods and style, each an entity in itself with its own character which need not conform to the character and style of each other of the miniature collectables collection.

Period and Style of Furnishings

When many think of miniature collectables - miniature rooms, houses and furnishings, the Victorian era always comes to mind. This period in all of its phases was very opulent, rich and romantic.

Victorian interiors are always characterised by roomy ornately trimmed spaces with heavy and elaborate furniture. This still has a special charm for many people and avid collectors of Victorian stuff.

The only drawback with this period of furnishings is that it has become common, and rooms done in this period are seen everywhere.

Researching furniture styles of miniature collectables ranging from the very early Gothic to the modern and futuristic themes may just turn up a period that not only appeals to the miniature furniture craftsman and collector but one that also has the edge of being unusual in the world of miniatures

Additionally, there is also the different social stratum to base a choice on. It could be fashioned after an abode for the rich and famous, with servant’s quarters and all, to the middle-class home with an assortment of unmatched pieces of furnishings but with a comfortable lived-in look. Or even a small and very simple house with the barest of furnishings, telling a story of its own.


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Scale and Proportions of Miniatures

If you want to craft a full miniature house, every single part of it, including the walls, roof, patios, doors, windows etc. must be built to scale and the proportions must be right for them to have any semblance of reality.

The main problem with this, however, is that it isn’t always easy to find materials of the exact thickness that may be required.

But the walls, the ceilings and the floors can come in any available thickness because these elements are easier to disguise.

Tips for Beginners

Whatever period, style or class of rooms that’s finally decided on and crafted, it will always be enchanting and attractive to view.

What is most important is that you select one with a simple appeal that will outlast the production of your first few pieces.

As a beginner 'crafter' of miniature furniture and houses, you may not have the time to learn the intricacies of this art, and your patience may be tested, but if that's the case, you can start off with a single miniature room with a very simple style.

Ensure your objects are plain, but as detailed as is possible. You can achieve the perfect look by adding simple wallpaper and a well-painted ceiling.

So using simple furniture pieces and furnishings for your miniature house or room will give it its own unique charm.

Further Reading:


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    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 5 years ago

      Hi Gary, to make a miniature house like that is simpler than it looks.

      There are books that can guide you on how to build both modern and traditional miniature homes. You will benefit much from reading such.

      Basically, it all boils down to the type of finishes you use, in this case white panels for the walls, predominantly white furniture and furnishings with modern pieces, which you can build or purchase.

      The monochromatic scheme also adds much to making it look very modern.

      This is a wonderful gift idea for a loved one, and a unique one too.

      Thanks for the visit Gary, best of luck, and best wishes for a great future for the both of you.


    • profile image

      Gary Yeung 5 years ago

      I'm planning to make a miniature house with miniature furniture for proposing to my girl friend. Can I know more details on how to make one like in the first photo?

    • profile image

      c seeds 5 years ago

      check out four generation miniature

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 5 years ago

      Thank you for your very nice comments Alocsin. And thank you for the positive ratings.


    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 5 years ago

      Miniature building craft is a wonderful art and you are so lucky to have had the opportunity of being around your dad whilst be was crafting such beauty.

      It is so good that you are passing on the love and interest to your children, passing on a passion their grandfather had.

      Thank you for the visit L.I.P. and for finding time to leave such beautiful comments.


    • profile image

      Lady_in_Pants 5 years ago

      Wow, so beautiful and awe-inspiring!

      I've been interested in doll-houses and miniatures since I was about 5 and watched my dad make his furniture for millionaires first in 1/3 scale before he took on the final product. Unfortunately he never let me keep any of the 1/3 scales, and I never got to own a doll house, but I drew many many different designs of tiny houses, their insides and what should go where etc...

      Now I have kids of my own and am in the process of making my daughter her own doll-house with furniture etc... It is a challenging endeavor, but having some skill in furniture making myself, and in sewing and embroidery and art, I think I can do it.

      When I finish my daughter's doll house, I hope to make my own - hopefully before I'm 30.

      Cheers and thanks for this wonderful post!


    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Some of these are beautiful. Unfortunately, I already have enough hobbies without getting into this one too. Voting this Up and Beautiful though.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      So so good to see you G. How's it going?

      Thanks for visiting and your (always) nice comments.

      I know you will enjoy this craft and your daughter will find it awesome and very interesting building with you this unique form of craftworks.

      GodBless you richly.

    • GPAGE profile image

      GPAGE 7 years ago from California

      viryabo.....VERY cool!!!....all the different styles and ideas......thank you for this wonderful hub! I'm hoping to do something like this with my little girl one day as a hobby to do would be really fun! Best, G

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 7 years ago

      Im glad you found a few useful tips here prasetio, and im glad you enjoyed this hub.

      Thank you so much for your visit and your nice comments AND for the UP rating.

      Cheers my friend.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I can't say anything. this hub is amazing. Thanks for showing me those miniature. Only talented person and have interesting with kind of miniature can make this beautiful things. You also give us useful tips here.

      PS: If you din't come to my hub and not telling me that you have collective hub about miniature. Maybe I don't know that you have beautiful hub about miniature.

      Good work Viryabo. I rate this UP! Thanks