Making Miniatures and Dollhouses, Crafts For Adults


I got a dollhouse last year, joining the rest of all the crafting adults who love to “play” with miniatures.

Making miniatures and decorating dollhouses is a fun and relaxing craft because it really does get you lost in recreating something in teeny-tiny scale.

There’s a lot of ready-made dollhouse furniture that you can buy, but most people like making their own dollhouse accessories, and choosing decor like wallpaper and flooring.

Making miniatures and dollhouses, crafts for adults

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Dollhouse photo
My dollhouse!

Making your own miniatures is relaxing.

Taking time to figure out how to make things in a small scale is definitely relaxing because of the concentration and imagination that has to go into it.

Depending on how small the items are going to be, you’ll need to either be really creative or concentrate really hard on getting the items made, and probably both.

Since focusing on one object requires concentration, and concentration is what will get you into the “zone” where your mental flow will take you out of reality for a while, making small things can end up being a good stress-reliever.

It’s also fun to see the product of your work, and since miniatures can usually be made in a relatively short time, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to feel the pride of seeing what you made with your own hands.

There are a lot of Facebook groups where people share photos and tutorials of the things that they’ve made, so there are more people interested in this than you might think.

Making dollhouse croissants.
Making dollhouse croissants.

Which dollhouse scale is best for relaxation?

The scale of the project is important for whether it’s going to be relaxing or frustrating! Everyone will have a different experience, so you want to do something that’s challenging enough to keep you engaged, but not so difficult that you can’t deal with it.

There are a few dollhouse scales ranging from 1:6, which is sized for Barbie dolls, down to 1:144, which is teeny, teeny, tiny.

Basically, the scale is a fraction that refers to the proportion of the item as compared to 12″.

If the scale is 1:12, 1 inch is equal to 1 foot (12 inches.) The dollhouse that I bought is a 1:12, which is small enough to make tiny things, but also large enough that I don’t have to use magnifying glasses to make things.

1:6 scale means that one inch in the doll’s house is 1/6 of a foot, so that would be 2″ tall.

For 1:144 scale, things would be reduced to 1/144 of their real size, so something that’s one foot tall in real life would be 1/144 of that, or 12″/144, or about 4/5″ tall.

Personally, that would be too much for me to deal with, especially for things that are one inch tall in real life, but there are people who make amazing miniatures in that scale, and I bet they have to really concentrate to do it!

So you could look at it as the smaller the scale, the more focus you’ll need, and the more relaxing it might be for you.

On the other hand, it could be really frustrating if things are too tiny to work with, so choose carefully based on your own frustration tolerance!

Buying vs making your dollhouse accessories.

I’m assuming that most people will want to make their own dollhouse accessories, but you could also go the route of collecting vintage dollhouse pieces to fill out your house.

There’s a big market for vintage dollhouse pieces, and there are a lot of people who collect those pieces to round out a specific theme or vintage dollhouse brand that they own.

If you do some searches for vintage dollhouse furnitureOpens in a new tab. on Etsy you’ll see that there are a lot of listings for old furniture and accessories.

Some of these pieces are from estate sales or personal collections, so if you’re trying to fill up a vintage dollhouse with authentic vintage furniture, that can be just as much fun as making your own.

It might cost more, but if you try to go to yard sales or estate sales yourself to get it at lower prices, that can add the thrill of the hunt to it.

And buying craft materials to make your own miniatures can add up, so the cost to buy vintage might not be so bad in the long run.

Using kits to make your dollhouse and accessories.

Another option is to go the route of using pre-fabricated dollhouse kits, or miniature room kits to make your minis. You can also get kits to make your own teeny needlework miniatures, so that’s basically making a small-scale item that someone else has designed and put together for you.

Kits are convenient because you won’t have to figure out what materials are needed for each project, but you’ll still be doing the work to put the project together.

I wrote an article about some needlepoint dollhouse carpet kits that Artisan Shopping Directory member Janet Granger makes, you can read about those here: Making Dollhouse Miniature Carpets

Janet also makes other needlepoint kits for dollhouse interior accessories, you should take a look at her website to see those.Opens in a new tab.

Working on these projects would definitely require concentration and can turn into a craft that you’re a little nutty about because they’re a lot of fun to try out.

fireplace for a dollhouse
A dollhouse fireplace made from cardstock and wallpaper.

More dollhouse inspiration.

I have a blog that I started so that I could write about my dollhouse decorating and gingerbread house-making projects, and it has a lot of tutorials and printables on it.

Check that out here: DecorateSmall.comOpens in a new tab..

Yesterday I made a template for a dollhouse fireplace and am now working on decorating a bunch of them in different ways so that I can do mantel decorations.

It’s a relaxing way to do something creative and end up with a fun result.


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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