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Make Three Drawer Kitchen Base Cabinets in Dollhouse Scales


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Adapt the Dollhouse Kitchen Base Cabinet For Modern Modular Fittings
Depth comparison of a modular dollhouse base cabinet compared to a face frame style cabinet.

The depth of the modular or european style dollhouse base cabinet is shallower than a face frame style cabinet to allow the doors or drawer fronts to cover the edges of the cabinet carcass or frame.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

For modern dolls' house kitchens, the base cabinets luckily can contain mostly drawers. If you wish to mount doors, they are very difficult to hinge so that they will open, yet cover the face frame of the cabinet. Without working european cabinet hinges that push forward when the door opens, standard hinges will not allow a door to cover the cabinet carcass and still open. For easy miniature base cabinets, your best choice is to use cabinets with opening drawers, and attach panels to any cabinets where you want to show a door front.

Adapting the Carcass Frame and Drawer Fronts for a Modern Miniature Base Cabinet

The carcass for a modern base cabinet needs to be slightly less deep than the measurements for the base cabinets with inset drawers and hinged doors If you want both styles of cabinet to line up, you will need to reduce the depth of the base cabinets by the thickness of the wood you will use for the drawer or door fronts. I set my cabinets up for 1:16 inch thick drawer fronts, so needed to adapt the depth of the cabinet carcass parts from 1 7/8 inches deep to 1 13/16 inches deep.

The cabinets use the same materials as the regular base cabinets.

Materials Needed to Make a Modern Dollhouse Base Cabinet with Opening Drawers

  • Craft Wood - Use Basswood (US) or Jelutong or Obeche (UK). You can also use bookboard or for non opening drawers, illustration board / matte board can be used. You can print a pdf copy of the parts as shown in the photo above (acrobat reader required) Parts diagram for modern three drawer cabinet. If you are making your kitchen in a scale other than 1:12, cut your wood to these scale equivalents. The cabinets are designed to sit on a plinth or base of 1/4 inch (7mm) which is added to the cabinets after all the base cabinets you need are assembled. As the craft wood from my supplier comes in 3 inch widths, I first cut a strip to the width I need for the depth of the cabinets, then cut all the pieces from that strip. I set my cabinet depth for this project to a standard 1 13/16 depth from the back wall, allowing for a two inch deep (50mm) cabinet once drawer fronts are in place and the counter overhang is fitted.
  • Sides - Two pieces cut from three inch by 3/32 inch (2mm) stock, to a length of 2 7/16 inches ((62mm), 1 13/16 inches (46mm) wide
  • Top and Base - Two pieces cut from the 1 13/16 inch wide strip (46mm) of 3/32 inch (2mm) stock, to a length of 2 inches (50mm).
  • Drawer Base and Sides - The drawer base and sides are cut from 1/ 16 inch (2mm) thick stock. I used craft sticks or coffee stir sticks for the drawer sides. The drawer base is cut to 1 3/4 inches (45mm) square.
  • Drawer Slides - each drawer will need two drawer supports. I cut mine from narrow strips of wooden stir sticks. Scraps of 1/16 wood will work as well.
  • Plinth - cut 1/4 inch (7mm) stripwood to form the toekick or plinth for runs of base cabinets. The plinth should be a rectangle with a depth of 1 3/4 inches (4.5cm) or slightly less and a length to fit under a full run of cabinets, up to the edge of any opening for an appliance or the end of a wall. Don't cut the plinth for your cabinets until you have all the base sections of your kitchen ready to assemble and install.

Other Materials and Tools You May Need:

  • Sharp Craft Knife
  • Metal Ruler
  • Engineeer's Square
  • Sandpaper - medium and fine see Sanding Techniques and Tips
  • Wood Glue or PVA glue
  • Glue Spreader
  • Clamps or Gluing Jig
  • Drawer Handles or Knobs -you can make wire handles by shaping 26 gauge wire over a piece of square stock, or you can make 'porcelain' handles from white beads with a brass brad inserted through them. Wooden knob handles can be made from dowel as shown in the instructions for the simple shelf with hanging pegs or you can make miniature brass bin pulls like the ones shown in the example photograph.
  • Stain or Painted Finish

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