Monday, June 3, 2019

To Scale

I'm sort of winging it tonight. I'm maybe taking a break from the miniature work room, but not really.

I am pretty hopeless because I go downstairs to clean, or sort, or organize, and I end up playing or making something tiny. I really do want to finish the Bellingham, but, then, I can't get in the mood to do the roof. And then there is the bog. I and can't let it go all summer while I garden and clean in preparation for the entertaining that we will be doing, beginning June 22nd. So I decided to write about scale for my Face Book group. They have a lot of questions about scale, so I'll post here and on Face Book: Dollhouse Miniatures Tutorials and DIY. It's a large closed group with members from all over the world. The requirements for membership and posting are simple: posts must be tutorials or instructional on how to do something, but members ask a lot of questions, too, such as "What kind of glue should I use?" I've learned so much from the group and in return I try to share what I have learned.

One question deals with size or scale so, here is my lesson 1:12 scale and how to judge size. Remember that 1 inch equals 1 foot, making it pretty easy to calculate.

Our obsession with minis and creating our own accessories for our houses either because we are on a tight budget or can't find what we want in any sort of store, or we are just creative, keeps us on the lookout for items that we could use to fashion to something.

This little container, example. I carried it off from the complimentary continental breakfast from a hotel on a recent trip. I thought the I it would make a great Le Cruset dutch over. I dug in my button stash and found a nice coat button that fits perfectly as lid then I use the back of an earring for a handle. It would be really cute.

The butter tub and button make a really cute dutch oven, once painted.

While the butter tub looks about the right size and looked really small in the basket filled with butter tub it is not 1:12 scale. 
This is my purchased dutch oven that is 1:12 scale. But  let's do another comparison.

Compared to my real dutch oven and the purchased mini, there is a BIG difference in size.

Let's ask Barbie to see what she thinks. 

Dolls the right scale will help figure out if an accessory is to scale. My butter tub dutch oven would be perfect for the Barbie Dream House. Yes, I have one--my daughter's 1980s house with many furniture and many of the accessories. Little girls who come to visit still enjoy playing with it. 

Lids from water bottles make really cute little hats as do little craft hats that can be purchased by the package. 

The first hat, I just painted with acrylic paint, cut a brim out of cardstock and painted it, wrapped some ribbon around the hat and added a pretty bow and a small silk rose. The second hat is covered with cheap muslin fabric. 

The individual jelly tubs that some restaurants serve make great storage containers in bathroom and kitchens. Here I've tucked in homemade bath towels, extra shampoos and lotions, and toilet paper. I didn't necessarily build the bottom shelf so that the tubs would fit--it happened by accident. Dumb luck. The wastebasket is a lid to a small spray bottle.

The little butter tub might work for a sink, compared to the purchased sink, though it is too deep, so it would probably work for under the counter installation.


And finally, the kitty that I foundat the garden center.  I felt pretty confident that she would be perfect in the farmhouse. She has made herself quite at home, doing what cats do, jump on the table and lick the milk that the kid left in the cereal bowl.

You won't always get the exact correct size, but I find that using what is already in the house, like the kitty  on the chair, will give a pretty good idea to help you decide if you can use the piece. I find, too, that my little mini Happy Meal Barbies make perfect 1:12 people to live in my houses. The are just a little over 5 inches, making them 5 ft. in real life--just like me at 5'2''. 

Now go make something cute for your dollhouse. 

Thanks for stopping by. 


  1. This was a good post Ann, as scale is always at the heart of every mini project. I've found though that often if a piece looks right, even if it is not perfectly to scale, it can be more than acceptable in our dollhouses, especially since there is a decorating trend to over-sized items within our Real Lives as well.

  2. Muchas veces cuando compro algún artículo , pone escala 1:12 y resulta grande, pero tu horno holandés ha sido muy ingenioso. Gran adquisición fue tu gato y la mesa me encantan las porcelanas en color verde , hace una mesa muy fina:-)

  3. How neat to see the size comparisons of the pots and Barbie holding them! Your life sized pink pot is adorable, and I think if I had a kitchen filled with pink accessories I might spend more creative time in there!


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