01 of 10
Make a Dolls House Child's Chair From Toothpicks and Wooden Stir Sticks
This easy project is a good way to explore miniature chair construction, without needing access to turned wooden parts. Depending on the finish of your stir sticks and your toothpicks, you will likely need to give your chair a painted finish. This will also hide any slight imperfections in your construction technique.
The same technique of using toothpicks, can be used to make larger scale projects from fine wooden dowels. You can make stools of all sizes, as well as kitchen chairs, once you experiment with filing and setting dowels and slats in basic chairs.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
02 of 10
Materials To Make A Dolls House Child's Chair With Toothpick Legs
To Make The Dolls House Child's Chair You Will Need:
Continue to 3 of 10 below.
- Three or Four Wooden Stir Sticks filed into picket shapes
- Four to Six Round Toothpicks If you can find ones with a design on one end as shown in these instructions use them. If you can only find plain toothpicks or are using dowels, you can use a needle file or fine sandpaper to create bands around the bottoms of the toothpicks.
- Small Scrap of 1/16 inch thick Basswood or Jelutong The seat size on this project is 7/8 of an inch deep by 1 inch wide, you will need a piece of wood this size.
- PVA (white) Glue
- Fine Drill
- Needle Files You will need a small round file and a triangular flat file for this project.
- Craft or Hobby Knife
- Hobby Saw to cut seat to size.
- Fine Sandpaper
03 of 10
Shape the Seat for the Dolls House Child's Chair
Begin making the child's chair by shaping a piece of 1/16 inch thick basswood or jelutong to a chair seat shape. Cut a piece of stock one inch wide by 7/8 inches deep. Round the back and front edges with a flat needle file or sandpaper. The back edges should be slightly rounded, the front will be more rounded. Use the sandpaper or a file to indent the front of the chair slightly as shown. If you want to be really authentic, you can also sand out slight hollows in the back of the chair.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
04 of 10
Assemble the Chair Seat Back
Use a file to shape wooden stir sticks into picket shapes. You will need to have enough pickets to make a back for the chair that is about 7/8 of an inch wide.
Cut the pickets to a length 1/8 inch longer than you want the chair back to be. The pickets shown were cut to a length of 1 1/2 inches, with the center pickets slightly longer to shape the top of the back.
Use your flat file to shape tenons on the bottom of each picket as shown in the photo. Use the flat file on all four edges of the base of each picket, to make the wood thinner at the base. These tenons will be inserted into slots on the seat to hold the chair back in place. Try to make each of the tenons 1/8 inch deep, with a uniform square edge on the bottom of the picket against the tenon.
Glue your pickets together on the sides to form the back of the chair. Set them aside to dry.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Drill Slots in the Dolls House Child's Seat To Hold the Back Slats
Pick a miniature drill bit which has the same diameter or slightly larger, than the tenons you cut for the slats on your chair back. Hold the back (once the glue is dry!) about 1/8 inch in from the back edge of the seat, and mark where the tenons meet the seat.
Using the mini drill, make a series of holes in a line to form slots for each tenon in the seat back. When the slots are cut in approximately the right places, use sandpaper or the fine end of a file, to gently clean out the slots.
If possible, use sandpaper to angle the front edge of the slot slightly on the bottom side of the seat, so that the back will slant slightly when it is inserted.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
Test Fit the Seat Back In the Slots
Gently test fit the seat back into the slots you cut in the seat. If it does not fit, adjust the slots or the tenons so that you have as close a fit as possible.
Be careful to avoid breaking out the back of the slots. If this happens, you can glue the tiny pieces back in place if only one slot is affected. If more than one breaks you will have to start again.
Do not glue the back in place yet! Remove the back and set it aside until the legs are glued in place.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Make Chair Legs From Toothpicks for Your Dolls House Child's Chair
Make legs for your dolls house child's chair by cutting four toothpicks to a length of 1 1/8 inches. Make sure the ends of the toothpicks are flat. You can use a file or a piece of folded sandpaper to make bands at the ends of the legs if your toothpicks or dowels are plain.
At the plain end of the toothpick (the top of the chair leg) use sandpaper or a file to cut down the diameter of the dowel, making a short (1/16 inch ) peg on the top of the leg as shown in the photo above. The two legs on the left are ready to be cut down, the two on the right have been filed to create small pegs on the top ends.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Drill Holes in the Underside of the Dolls House Chair Seat To Hold the Leg Pegs
Mark the position of the legs on the underside of the seat. The back legs should be as close as possible to the back, without cutting into the slots for the back slats. Use a ruler to make sure the legs are lined up square.
Use your mini drill to make a hole the correct size for the peg you created on the top of the legs. The front holes should be drilled at a slight angle to make the front legs angle forward as shown in the photo.
Test fit your legs in the holes.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Test Fit the Chair Legs For Balance
Test fit all four legs onto your chair, line them up in approximately the correct position and set the chair up right side up to make sure it will stand on a flat surface. If the legs are not close to the back of the chair, the weight of the back may cause it to tip.
Adjust the fit of the legs if needed. Usually there is at least one leg which is slightly too long. Use a file to file it down to size , recreate a peg on the end, and fit it back into the peg hole.
When all four legs are the correct length, insert the pegs into a small amount of glue and glue them into the holes on the underside of the chair, making sure they line up square on the back, and angled equally on the front.
Set aside to dryContinue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Add the Leg Braces And The Back To the Dolls House Child's Chair
When the legs are securely glued in place, measure the space between the front legs just above the decorative ends. Cut a short piece of plain round toothpick slightly to large to fit between the legs.
Use a round needle file to carve a hollow across both ends of the brace piece, make sure the hollow runs the same direction on both ends. This hollow will help the brace fit securely against the legs and hold them in place to strengthen the construction.
Repeat this step for the brace between the back legs, lining it up so it fits at the same height as the brace on the front legs.
Cut similar bracing for the side legs, this time cutting it so it fits above the bracing on the front and back.
Run a small bead of glue into the hollow ends on each brace and glue them in place on the legs, set the leg and seat assembly aside to dry.
Glue The Chair Back in Place When the legs and braces are securely dried, add a small amount of glue to the base of each tenon on the back of the chair, and carefully insert it into the chair seat, holding the seat, not the legs, while you fit it in place. Try to set the back at a slight angle more than 90 degrees from the chair seat. Wipe off any excess glue and leave the chair to dry.
When the chair is dry, you can use your choice of finishes to paint it, or use wood stain and a clear finish.