Dollhouse Fabrics For Miniatures and 1:12 Scale Projects


Miniature fabric that’s really 1:12 scale is hard to find. Most mini dollhouse fabrics are just small patterns, it’s not really the larger pattern that’s scaled down. But if you’re planning a DIY doll’s house project that involves upholstery, curtains, or fabric, you might need an accurately-scaled pattern.

I was looking for some 1:12 scale dollhouse fabric and couldn’t find many that weren’t basic stripes or damask, which wasn’t what I was really looking for.

The miniature small-scale fabrics that I did find weren’t really 1:12 scale, either, they were just little patterns that were more likely used for quilting. I’m also a quilter, so that’s fine, but I decided to design some fabrics for myself to use on dollhouse furniture and mini accessories.

dollhouse fabrics for miniatures and 1 12 scale projects

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What makes dollhouse fabric a real 1:12 scale?

If you take a pattern that’s 12″x12″ then shrink it to 1″x1″, that’s an accurate 1:12 scale design.

The problem with that is that some smaller patterns are so teeny tiny when you shrink them down, you can barely see the details of the design. Plus, when you’re printing things on fabric instead of paper it looks different too, and you can lose the details.

Using small-scale patterns that aren’t designed to be 1:12 scale will usually work out okay, but unless you shrink them down from 12″ square, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll be the right scale.

Having said that, sometimes you’ll need to scale them a little larger to make them look right, too. If the original design is too busy the smallest version can look muddy. It takes a little trial and error sometimes.

And if the original pattern was made to be a different size ad not 12″ square, the pattern might not be a 1″ square repeat. I designed some patterns that filled up a fat quarter of fabric, so shrinking it down to 1/12 scale didn’t make it a 1″ square repeat. It’s a rectangular repeat, but it can still be 1/12 scale.

So it’s a little complicated, but it you find a small-scale pattern that works for what you need, that’s all that you should really worry about.

miniature 1:12 scale fabric
1:12 dollhouse scale fabrics.

Where to get custom fabric for dollhouses.

I looked around for some fabric printing services that would give me a good result, and I decided to use SpoonflowerOpens in a new tab. because it’s an established brand with a good reputation.

Another thing that I like about it, even though it makes it more expensive for me, is that you can order a test swatch of the design printed on fabric before you can sell it. That’s important because it forces you to quality-check the different patterns before you decide that they’ll work for your projects.

The most economical way to get samples of a bunch of patterns would be to order a fill-a-yard sampler. Opens in a new tab.That fills a yard of fabric with multiple patterns so that you can check to see if you like the way that they look in real life.

I ordered a few basic designs to see what they looked like, and the print quality was good, but the scale was a little too large.

And sometimes the 1″ scale was still be too big if the individual design was really big to begin with, so it needed to be smaller.

miniature 1:12 scale fabric

This one with repeating peonies was pretty good, and each flower was about 1/2″ across. If I made it larger the flowers would be REALLY big, but at 1/2″ they looked fine. So this one is technically 1:24 scale, but it looks right for a 1:12 dollhouse scale.

I changed these other patterns to the same scale, since the flowers were a little too big in my opinion:

miniature 1:12 scale fabric

miniature 1:12 scale fabric

miniature 1:12 scale fabric

After adjusting these, the flowers are 1/2″ across each, so the fabric looks better on smaller-scale projects.

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What to use the miniature dollhouse fabric for.

dollhouse furniture and matching wallpaper

I used this fabric to cover a little bench, and the matching wallpaper on a wall in the same room.

I thought that the pattern was a little too big on the bench, so I also shrunk that down a little so that it was a true 1″ to 12″ scale.

The good thing about Spoonflower is that you can choose the scale for each project, so if something is too big or small, you can adjust it.

I also set the scale of wallpaper a little larger than the fabrics that match them, because wallpaper patterns are usually bigger.

I would also use these for curtains, pillows, bedding, or anything else that would be a fabric-covered item in a dollhouse.

You can also use fabric for wallpaper, so if you don’t want to use real wallpaper you can use any cloth that you have.

miniature 1:12 scale fabric

Quilting fabric Vs. Small-Scale fabrics.

I mentioned that a lot of fabrics that are used for quilting can be used for dollhouse projects as long as the design is little enough. If you’re looking for dollhouse fabric, you can check to see if there are small-scale patterns in quilting fabrics that would work.

Small-scale quilting fabrics aren’t always going to be a real 1:12 scale, though. They might work just fine for small projects, but the scale might not be exact.

The truth is that it doesn’t really matter as long as you like the way that the project turns out.

I decided to divide my Spoonflower shop up into multiple sections, with all the dollhouse scale stuff in one section Opens in a new tab.and the larger quilting fabrics in othersOpens in a new tab. in order to keep it separate.

The patterns that are bigger might not work in a dollhouse, but they would be good for quilts, and I tested one of those out on a notebook, too.

strawberry pattern notebook

I love this little dot-grid notebook (you can get one here)Opens in a new tab. and I might make some more using the same patterns, since I can have a notebook that matches the fabrics that I’m going to use either for quilting or in the dollhouse.

But this pattern wouldn’t necessarily work in a 1:12 scale dollhouse because it’s a little too big. I would have to shrink it down a little more to use it for a doll’s house.

True 1:12 patterns can be really small!

A real 1:12 pattern can end up looking really small, but that’s the way that they should be!

miniature fabric for dollhouses

This little pattern of daisies is so small I debated whether to even list it at that size, or whether to make it bigger. I decided to leave it the way that it is, but not to make it any smaller.

The thing about this pattern is that it’s technically a 1:6 scale, but the size of the flowers in the original pattern is so small it wouldn’t be good to shrink it any more.

miniature fabric for dollhouses

These solid patterns with white flowers worked fine at a 1:12 scale because I made them pretty large to begin with. Shrinking them down didn’t make them hard to see, and they still printed clearly.

miniature fabric for dollhouses

All of these designs would work well for 1:12 scale dollhouse projects, and I’m adding to my Spoonflower collections bit by bit as I have time. You can see all of them here: Decorate Small on SpoonflowerOpens in a new tab.


Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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