I spent a day making miniature furniture with some DIY dollhouse furniture kits that I bought from a friend’s mother who was cleaning out her dollhouse supplies. These are some of the tips for making House of Miniatures kits for chairs, cabinets, and dollhouse furniture miniatures in 1:12 scale that I learned from making them.
They ranged from fairly complex to so simple I didn’t even have to read the instructions. I thought I’d document the process of assembling some of them here, then show them later when I finish painting them.
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Starting out with the House of Miniatures kits.
I decided to start out with a few kits that look like they had a different difficulty level. I chose one with a couple of chairs, a sideboard, a larger cabinet, and two standing desks.
I also had a couple other kits that I had done before that had fallen apart because I didn’t glue them the right way, and I fixed those at the same time that I worked on these.
I decided to start with the chair, and I was surprised to see that there were two chairs included, not just one, which was nice.
Of course when I put them together, I flipped one of the pieces, so the notch for the front part is in the back instead of in the front where it should be.
It’s not such a big deal but it’s something to watch out for if you are going to make the same kind of kit. Just make sure to read the instructions really carefully and maybe read them through all the way so that you can see how the pieces are going to fit together.
Tips for building the kits.
My first tip, like I said, would be to read the instructions all the way through so that you can get an idea of how everything is going to fit together.
Once you do that, separate all the pieces out into little piles so that you can identify them with the main instructions on the sheet.
A lot of the pieces looked very similar, but once you gather them all together with the other ones that are the same you can see that there are different sizes and thicknesses that make sense for different pieces of the furniture.
Another tip would be to use wood glue or some other kind of white glue, and maybe use a toothpick to apply it unless you’re not worried about wiping off extra glue.
I was working on a silicone mat that you used to line cake pans with, so I put some glue right on top of that and then dipped the pieces into it.
I know that’s not the most conventional way to do it, but it worked and I was able to get the glue on the pieces even though there was a little bit of excess.
Since I’m going to paint these pieces, I didn’t need to have every single joint super clean.
I’d say that if you’re going to stain the wood, you should probably do that before you assemble everything just to make sure that you don’t have to deal with trying to stain over dried glue if there is any on the furniture after you’re done.
But if you’re going to paint it, it’s not a big deal if there’s a little extra glue, and you’ll be able to disguise it later.
Another tip would be to line everything up without gluing them before you actually glue pieces together to make sure that the edges are the right arrangement.
Some of the chair seats had tiny wedges that had a very specific angle to them, and it was hard to line those up and see exactly where they were supposed to go.
But because of the way that the legs go on the chairs, you really did need to have them lined up almost exactly or else things wouldn’t fit later on.
So take your time and make sure that things are actually lined up the right way so that you don’t find out down the road that you’ve put something on backwards and the rest of the pieces won’t fit right.
Putting the chairs together.
I started with the chairs, and like I said, the first challenge was making sure that I had these little teeny tiny square-looking pieces lined up right with the outside edges of the seats.
I think that I ended putting up some of them on wrong, but it turned out okay because I’m not trying for precision and exactness, so it didn’t bother me that much.
The most challenging part of these chairs was the back railing part, which was curved and really thin.
It took me a while to figure out how to get those on and keep them in place while they dried so that they didn’t flip and turn a little bit.
If they do rotate while they’re drying, the top part won’t glue together at the very top section.
I ended up doing it by gluing the backrest sections on first, then adding the rails and holding them in place for a while before I put it down to finish drying.
It also worked well to use a little less glue than I thought I needed, so that’s something to keep in mind too. More is not necessarily better.
I have to finish these off by making the chair cushions, because I want to use some of the fabric that I designed myself in miniature pattern but I’m waiting for that to arrive.
Once I get that, I’ll make the chair cushions and put them all together, and it will hide the section that I flipped around with a notch in it.
Making the standing desks.
The kit that had a standing desk and a book rack was really easy, other than trying to make sure that the main pedestal part was straight.
For that one I didn’t even need to read the instructions, I pretty much just looked at the picture.
The only part that I needed to follow the instructions with was the section of the standing desk that opened and closed. But other than that this was a pretty simple kit, and it went together pretty quickly.
I did have a little trouble fitting the pegs into the round base pieces, just because the holes weren’t big enough.
I also ignored all of the instructions about drilling holes and sanding, so that might have had something to do with it.
What I ended up doing was just enlarging the holes a little bit so that I could press the feet and the pedestal section into the round base.
To do that I used the weeding tool that I have and made the hole bigger by poking it.
Making the sideboard.
The sideboard was my first experience with putting a lot of tiny little drawers together.
That was a lot of gluing, and figuring out if things fit together without actually letting them glue themselves together while I was assembling the pieces.
It turned out pretty well, and I didn’t have any major problems with it other than it taking a little bit of time because of figuring out the drawer assembly.
Making the china cabinet.
This one didn’t take me as long as I thought it would because I had already done the sideboard,, and I had a little experience in making the drawers.
The hardest part of the sideboard was making sure that I had all of the holes lined up so that the doors opened up.
Even paying attention to that, I still have a little wonkiness in it, and some of the doors and the door frames don’t want to close 100% evenly.
Because of that, I’m probably going to use this in a haunted dollhouse room so that I can make it look kind of decrepit when I paint it and it will fit in.
I did have in the back of my mind that I was going to use some of this furniture in a haunted dollhouse room, so I wasn’t trying to be really super precise with it.
It’s a little off and crooked, that’s perfectly fine. I think that one thing that you need to think about is what room you’re going to be using the furniture in so that you can make it look perfect if you really want it to.
Putting this furniture together was a lot of fun, and since I still have so many other pieces to make I’ll have lots of other photos to share soon.
I made all of these pieces during a weekend afternoon of watching TV and gluing them together, and it was a pretty fun change of pace.
I do still have to paint them and decide what kind of theme I’m going to be doing on them, but I want to finish building all the other pieces first so that I can decide where to put them in my doll house.
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