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Make Miniature Animals for the Dollhouse, Railway or Model Scene

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Make these miniature and dolls' house scale animals from a number of materials. They can be used in scale scenes, in a dolls house, or used as decorations. Pick a method and an animal and start your own collection!

1. Make Poseable Miniature Dogs With NeedleFelt Techniques

Dollhouse Scale Felted Jack Russell Terrier With a Ribbon Collar
Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Dogs with a great deal of personality and accurate or stylized coats are fairly simple to make using needlefelt techniques and wool, silk or mohair roving (unspun fiber). As the needles used are very sharp, this is not a technique recommended for children. The dogs can be made in many scale sizes, depending on the wire armature used and the type of fiber. Silk roving is best for smaller animals (1:24 and less).

Make A Miniature Dog - Jack Russell Terrier

2. Make a Miniature Raccoon

miniature needle felted raccoon baby and parent in dollhouse scale
Photo ©2007 Lesley Shepherd

Here's another poseable animal sculpted with a needlefelt technique. These little raccoons make great Christmas ornaments for the tree, and are fun in all kinds of nature scenes. You can perch them in a tree next to a dolls house, or show them in the garbage, or stealing food.

Make Miniature Needlefelt Raccoons

3. Needlefelt a Miniature Sheep

Finished face and muzzle on a 1:24 scale felted miniature sheep.
Photo Copyright 2011 Lesley Shepherd

Use simple needlefelting techniques to make a lamb a flock of sheep. Basic wool roving to make the sheep can be found in most yarn or knitting and weaving shops.

This particular sheep was made in 1:24 scale to fit a friend's model railroad scene.

4. Needlefelt a Poseable Miniature Cat

Poseable dollhouse scale needlefelt black cat stands beside a Halloween pumpkin
Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

The cat shown here was made as a stray for a Halloween scene, but you can use this tutorial to fashion a range of pampered pet cats which can be posed stalking, at play, or simply sleeping. Short haired breeds are easier for beginners to make, but long haired cats can be made using the instructions for the raccoon that show adding longer fur.

5. Needlefelt a Miniature Rabbit or Toy Bunny

Dollhouse scale doll holding a scale miniature rabbit made from needlefelted wool roving.
Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

This needlefelt rabbit can be made in natural colors as a pet, or a wild rabbit for a model scene, or you can make it in soft colors for a dollhouse child's toy. Unlike the other needlefelted projects in this list, the rabbit is not poseable, although it could be made over a wire frame like the other animals, which would allow you to pose it. This is a great first needlefelt project for a beginner as the shapes are very simple and easy to make.

6. Needlefelt a Miniature Sea Otter and Pup

A felted miniature sea otter mother with a pup resting on her stomach.
Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

Here's another great needlefelted decoration for a Christmas tree, package, or for use as a replacement for a knitted hat pom-pom. These tiny sea otters are cute, and easy to make. This felted animal pair is made without a frame as the pose is fixed. The instructions for making a miniature sea otter are set up as a step by step with clear photographs of the various steps.

7. Sew a Poseable Miniature Mouse

Three inch tall felt mouse with a wire armature to allow it to pose.
Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

This miniature mouse can be used as a poseable character for miniature scenes as it is roughly adult sized in 1:24 or 'half' scale. It also makes a great decoration. Make it without the wire armature, and use stitched facial details instead of beads, if you want it for a child's play situation.

8. Make a Jar Full of Tadpoles

Miniature tadpoles in dolls house scale in a jar filled with epoxy resin.
Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

:This project introduces a beginner to using two part epoxy resin. The tadpoles are made of polymer clay, which is then set into the resin in the jar. It doesn't matter whether you want a jar of pickled eggs, fruit, or other produce, the same technique is used as for tadpoles. As epoxy resin requires precise measurement, the tadpoles can be made by children, but adults should handle the resin to fill the jars.

Make Tadpoles in a Jar

9. Make Miniature Butterfly Koi from Polymer Clay

Dolls house scale miniature butterfly koi positioned for a feeding scene in a dollhouse pond.
Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

Butterfly Koi are fairly easy to make from polymer clay. You can pose them in a fish pond or use them for miniature jewellery.

The color patterns of Koi make them easy to mimic in small scales, plus they show up well in simple water pools made with a water 'surface' of sheet plastic.

10. Make Miniature Mice or Rats From Air Dry or Polymer Clay

A finished miniature mouse on a  ruler to show its size in 1:12 scale.
Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

You can make these mice or rats from polymer or air dry clay. Tiny mice are most easily shaped from air dry clays like Delight Claywhich can be sculpted with a damp brush. Tiny no hole beads (microbeads) or balls of clay can be used for the eyes.

Instructions for Making Miniature Mice or Rats

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