01 of 04
Make Miniature Dolls House Books and Magazines
You can make a range of dolls house miniature books and magazines from printed paper or card covers and wood, paper or card 'pages'. The covers can be made on your computer, from free printable book covers, or (for personal use only) from cutouts from magazine advertisements. The same techniques can be used to make books with more detailed 'leather' covers from real thin leather skiver, or pseudo leather made from textured polymer clay. The method to make the miniature books is... to first make the 'pages' from pages, wood or card, then add a cover. It is a very simple method that can be used to make books of any size. As you become more skilled, you can make more detailed books with printed opening pages, using a similar method.
Take a look at the instructions for making the books on the next pages. If you wish, you can make more elaborate "leather covered" books using the method for making a miniature spellbook as well.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
02 of 04
Materials Needed to Make Miniature Dollhouse Scale Books
Dollhouse scale miniature books can be made from a range of materials. The book 'pages' can be made from a scrap piece of wood as shown here, or they can be assembled from layers of card or thin paper. Card and wood centers can be stacked and glued to the right thickness for your book spine (the center back of the book). If you want actual paper pages, you can use the top edge of a glued notepad. Cut a section of the pad with the glued edge the correct size to fit into the book spine,... leaving the notepad pages for the book pages. You can also create your own pads of paper by cutting pages to size, lining them up along the back edge and clamping them together with a paper clamp, then applying a layer of glue along the edge where the back book spine will be. When the glue is dry, you can use the glued pages in the same way the cardboard or wooden cores are used to assemble the book.
For any scale of dollhouse book, the page core should be slightly smaller than the book cover, so that a slight edge is visible around the pages, just as in a real book.
You can use these printables for travel books to make a range of dolls house scale books in 1:6, 1:12, 1:24 and 1:48 scales.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
03 of 04
Preparing the Page Section for the Center of a Dollhouse Miniature Book
To prepare card or wood scraps to make the core of a dolls house miniature book, first cut the page sections to size. As mentioned in the previous step, the page center should be slightly smaller than the book cover. If your wood or card is not thick enough for a particular thickness of a book, you can make it thicker by gluing several layers together. Try to match up the edges as neatly as possible.
When you have a solid core assembled You will need to give the core the look of individual pages.... To do this, use medium sandpaper wrapped around a toothpick, or brush handle, which is close to the width of your book spine. Use the sandpaper to sand a slight well down the length of your 'pages' on the opening side of your book. Sand the upper and lower edges of your book filling as well. If you are using paper, cut the pages and glue them together along the spine while clamped as outlined in the materials instructions.
If you are using a solid wood or card core, you can mimic the effect of individual pages with thick acrylic paint, gesso, or an acrylic artist's medium. Apply one of these materials with a brush, to the upper, lower and front edges of your book blank after you have sanded the edges. Take a stiff bristled brush and gently pull it through your paint or medium layer, dragging the medium out to resemble individual book pages. Take care to drag your brush evenly from the top to the bottom of the 'opening' book edge so that your painted effect looks like full pages, not individual brush strokes. Use the brush again on the top and bottom edges, pulling the paint or medium from the 'opening' edge to the back or spine edge in one stroke. Set your painted set of pages aside to dry.
When the medium, gesso or paint is dry, sand the edges of your book 'pages' without sanding the brush strokes you created. Take a dilute layer of an ochre or putty-colored acrylic paint and wash it over the textured edges of your book. Wipe the excess paint off with a paper towel. This will put a bit of dark paint between the 'page lines' on your book to make them look more realistic. Set your page filling aside to dry.
On your paper pages, you can treat the book edges with a gold marker or gold paint to resemble gold edging, or dip the edges of the book in a marbling solution to create a marbled edge for your pages if you wish. Make sure paper pages are securely clamped together before you attempt this or the marbling or gilding may run into the pages.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
04 of 04
Adding the Cover to a Dolls House Miniature Book
When your central core of pages is finished and dry, gently wrap your book cover around your book to shape it and check the fit against the core of your book. Adjust your page center if necessary.
The easiest method of finishing the book is to apply glue to both side edges of the page center and glue the sides of the cover to the sides of the pages, leaving the spine area free. When the glue is dry, use a piece of firm plastic or an embossing tool to run a line down on either side of the book... spine where the cover meets the back spine to form a crease.
Some books and miniature magazines will look more realistic if the cover is glued across the spine edge. Check real books to see which method looks better for your particular miniature book model.
If you are making book covers from polymer clay to resemble leather, (like the spell books linked to the first page of this tutorial) you may want to make the book 'pages' from wood scraps which will take the heat of the oven used to cure the clay. In this case, you may be better to finish the page 'edges' after you have baked the cover and glued it to the book.