Miniatures

Miniatures

It's all about scale for these artisans. They replicate our world in 1/12th. That means for every 12 inches a real-word item measures, miniaturists duplicate it in one inch. That means things that start out small are itsy bitsy in miniature. The teeny house shown here did not indicate it's scale but I suspect it is at least 1/144 - one inch for every 144 inches or 12 feet.

Most commonly found in dollhouses or on a collector's shelves these accurate representations of the world around us range from simple paper printables to elaborately constructed furniture complete with dove tails.

The artisans participating on this section of Crafty Tips have provided their favorite making miniatures tips,  shared a bit about their hobby and have included photos of their work.

Latham Studios Nature & Wildlife Artists - Miniature Paintings

Wildlife & nature art by the Lathams - a family of award winning painters. Miniatures, original art, prints, & licensing of wildlife & nature subjects by wildlife artists Karen, Rebecca, & Bonnie Latham. The family strives to capture the elusive beauty of wildlife in their artwork. They study their subjects extensively & often travel to remote locations for research. The artists show their artwork internationally at galleries and exhibitions and are members of numerous prestigious societies.

Painting Tip
For painting miniature paintings, use the best brushes and paints available to you. It will show in the finished painting. Also, be patient and take your time. Getting the hang of a new technique can take a while to get used to.
 
 
Kay's K9s: Miniature Needle Felted Dogs

Handcrafted Miniature Needle Felted Dogs by Artist K. Turple. Each is created in 1:12 scale and absolutely OOAK. Other needle felted animals available by request. Commissions accepted - have a miniature version of your dog or cat created today!

Felting Tip
Try felting over a wire armature to make your needle felted creations posable. This allows miniature buyers to create dynamic scenes by changing the pose the animal is in.
 
Jim's Dollhouse Pages

A wonderful site full of free dollhouse printables. From World War II poster art to 3-dimensional printable items like birdhouses, barns and holiday gift boxes - this site is wall-to-wall dollhouse printables.

Dollhouse Making Tip
I have found that the best glue to use when constructing a dollhouse is Elmer's wood glue. The standard white craft glue can warp small pieces and does not hold as well. Also, be careful not to get super glue too close to plastic used for windows as the glue fumes can cause the plastic to fog.
 
Allies Minis

Welcome to Allie's Minis! Here you can satisfy your craving for any delectable miniature food item! Everything is 100% handmade using polymer clay. Kitschy food jewelry not your thing? I have many extremely satisfying dollhouse miniatures to add to your collection! Every order comes with a FREE GIFT!

Miniatures Tip
* Take bright, beautiful pictures
* Work with a lot of light
* Use tweezers for the really small work
* Do a lot of research on your craft
 
Build Your Own Mainstreet

The Illinois Historic Preservation Society has created a series of printable and build-able models of historically important buildings in Illinois. You can build your own main street, historic Lincoln sites or even color your own building models. These HO model train scale models are quite realistic and vary in degree of difficulty - the most complex model prints on over 40 pieces of cardstock, the simplest prints on a single page. All of the models are offered as free, downloadable PDF files.

Crafting Tip
When working with paper models, it's always a good idea to retain a copy of the pieces for reference. To save a bit of money on ink, you can print the reference model in a lower resolution in black or white - just make sure any instructions or guidelines are still legible.
 
 
Butterfly Dreams

Michelle C. likes the little things in life; particularly things at 1/12th their original size. She's the miniaturist who runs a site called Butterfly Dreams which is full of wonderful information for other folks interested dollhouse miniatures. Michelle shares a number of her completed dollhouses and roomboxes and provides a number of fully illustrated tutorials. Learn how to make a no-sew kimono, a picket fence shelf, a shaker bench and a number of other projects. She also offers a nice selection of dollhouse printables and a tutorial on using them.

Miniatures Tip
When making miniatures and using glue, keep a small bowl of water and a paper towel nearby. When glue starts to build up on your tools or fingers, simply rinse the glue off in the bowl.
 

On Alice's Dollhouse Page you will find complete instructions on how to make your own dollhouse bedroom suite, a charming woven pet bed and a handful of other free craft projects. Alice shares many of the lessons she's learned through making dollhouses and room settings as well as pictures of her building process.

Dollhouse Making Tip
When making a dollhouse from a kit, always read the instructions carefully. Sometimes, it may be easier not to follow the instructions. When making my Tennyson house, I found it was much easier to attach the dormers to the roof before adding the roof to the house. Following the kit's instructions would have left me with no way to clamp the dormers onto the roof to let the glue set.

 

The folks at Greenleaf Dollhouses host a popular and active forum for miniature enthusiasts. Get help with assembling Greenleaf products as well as your own designs. You'll find advice on kitbashing, electrifying, interior decorating and just about anything and everything related to building and decoration a doll house.

Dollhouse Building Tip
Want the look of real hardwood floors in your dollhouse? Head to your local hardware store and look for wood veneer iron-on edging. It comes in rolls between 8 and 25 feet and can be picked up for around $7. Use a piece of cardstock as your floor substrate. The veneer can be cut with a scissor and stained like any other natural wood product. But, beware, the glue stinks when it gets hot.