Make-Your-Own Miniature Furniture for a Dollhouse or Fairy Garden

Tips and Links to Free Project Plans

Although dollhouse-lovers can find all sorts of miniatures online to purchase, part of the fun of creating a dollhouse, fairy garden, or model railroad is crafting your own furniture. All it takes is simple hand tools and materials available at any home center or craft stores.

  • 01 of 06

    Furniture From Garden Twigs

    A rustic dolls house table made from twigs
    Rustic miniature table made from twigs in 1:12 dolls house scale.

    Lesley Shepherd

    All you need to make miniature furniture is right outside in the garden or at the local park. Make Rustic "tramp" or Adirondack miniature cabin furniture for dolls' houses or fairy gardens using small garden twigs. The techniques for the table can be easily adapted to make chairs, couches, and loveseats.

  • 02 of 06

    Kitchen Furniture Projects

    Dollhouse kitchen plate rack cabinet with hooks for cups
    A shabby chic dollhouse scale kitchen cabinet with a plate rack and cup hooks as well as a shelf. Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

    A dollhouse's kitchen of any style can be outfitted with these tables, chairs, and other beginner's furniture projects. Furniture for dollhouse kitchens can also be adapted from some bedroom projects. For example, a night table adapted to be taller and fitted with a single metal door can become a pie safe or a bedside table can be widened and fitted with double doors to become a base kitchen cabinet. The techniques used to make armoires can be used to make upper kitchen cabinets for a fitted modern kitchen.

    The kitchen cabinet series includes:

  • 03 of 06

    Living Room Furniture

    The basic fireplace made from a bashed kitchen hutch is shown beside a doll for scale
    The basic fireplace made from a bashed kitchen hutch is shown beside a doll for scale. With a few modifications it could easily be made taller. Photo copyright 2009 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to Inc.

    Add fireplaces, bookshelves, tables, and picture frames to the living room in your dollhouse. Make your own furniture projects for contemporary or period rooms. Once again, you can adapt projects from other rooms to fit a dolls' house living room. The simple table can be made into a sideboard or a narrow console table or coffee table, and an armoire can be fitted with shelves for a television.

  • 04 of 06

    Dollhouse Bedroom Furniture

    Simple projects for dollhouse bedroom furniture including a bed, armoire and night table.
    Easy to build bed, armoire and night table for a dolls' house bedroom. Photo © 2010 Lesley Shepherd

    By adapting sizes and shapes, simple projects for a dollhouse bedroom can be adapted to make a wide range of bed styles, as well as combination armoires and bookcase storage units. For painted projects, basswood makes a good material. For stained projects, make them from a fine-grained hardwood like mahogany or walnut.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Wood for Miniatures

    Dollhouse Kitchen Interior
    Glasshouse Images / Getty Images

    You can make miniature and dollhouse furniture from a range of various woods, everything from craft and stir sticks to hardwood strips. Most of the miniature furniture plans on our lists are built with basswood (Tilia americana), which is widely available in suitable sizes from craft and hobby shops in North America. European equivalents are Obeche (Triplochiton scleroxylon) from Africa), Jelutong (Dyera costulata) from Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra, and lime or linden (European Tilia species). For smaller scale furniture, hardwood veneer strips are often used.

  • 06 of 06

    Paint and Faux Finishes for Miniatures

    Reworked and refinished dollhouse cabinet compared to its original sad style.
    A basic dollhouse display cabinet with awkward contents and odd design details is reworked into a much better finished traditional cabinet style, using paint, wax and simple trims.

    Lesley Shepherd

    While you can easily paint raw wood furniture with regular acrylic paints, you can also use the same finishes, waxes, and polishes designed for regular wood furniture. Often, an easy remake can transform an ordinary purchased piece of miniature furniture.

    If a traditional look is what you crave, try the following wood finishes:

    Some great materials for finishing miniatures include:

    •  Ranger Distress Crackle Paint—for a small scale crackle finish
    • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ™—for traditional finishes without a lot of preparation
    • Chalk Paints/ Lime Wash Paints