Start Collecting and Making Miniatures
By Lesley Shepherd, About.com Guide
- Tools For Miniatures
- Materials for Miniatures
- Beginners Projects and Simple Displays
- Collecting Miniatures
- Useful Terms
- Play Miniatures For Children
- Miniatures Community
- Types of Miniatures
- Featured Miniature Artisans
- Exhibits From Miniature Shows
Tools For Miniatures
Although many specialized tools are available, most miniaturists get by with standard craft or household items. It's surprising how little you need in order to create a miniature masterpiece.
- Miniaturist's Toolkit - The Basics
- Modeling and Sculpting Tools
- Hobby, Craft and Carving Knives Useful for Miniatures
- Handtools for Miniature Woodwork
- Sanding and Polishing Tools and Materials for Miniatures
- Where to Find Router Bits for Dollhouse Scale Trims
- How to Choose a Rotary or Flexible Shaft Tool for Miniatures
- Choosing and Using a Jeweller's Saw / Coping Saw for Curves in Metal and Wood
- Choosing A Razor Saw for Straight Cuts in Wood
- How to Use a Simple Miter Box and Razor Saw for Straight and Angled Cuts in Wood
- Using Squares for Accurate Markings and Alignments
- Choosing a Pin Vice or a Mini Drill
- Make Simple Texturing Tools From Polymer Clay
- Task Lighting and Magnification
- Keep Paper Punches Running Smoothly
Materials for Miniatures
Miniatures aren't always what they seem. These basic materials can be used in many ways to create tiny items.
- Most Commonly Used Materials for Miniatures
- Materials for Model Buildings and Doll's Houses
- Should You Use Baltic Birch Plywood or MDF to Build a Dollhouse?
- Should You Use Acrylic Paint?
- Acrylic Mediums to Add Texture
- Using Polymer Clay
- Working with Paper Miniatures and Dolls House Printables
- Safe Handling Concerns With Metal and Lead Based Miniatures
Beginners Projects and Simple Displays
Even if you are all thumbs you can make these projects. Some are made with paper and your computer printer, others might require a few specialized supplies.
- Gallery of Beginners Projects
- Printable Miniature Projects - from boxes to villages
- Halloween Projects
- Christmas Projects
- Seasonal Projects
- Needlework Projects
- Make Miniature Dolls and Figures
- Make Miniature Animals, Birds and Fish
- Beginner's Guide and Plans for Making Dolls House Scale Furniture
- Easy Build Dolls House
- Make a Display Box or Roombox From Baltic Birch or Aircraft Plywood
- Make a Cabin Front Porch Display Shelf in 1:12 Scale
- Make a Simple Window Box Display with a Shop Front in Dollhouse Scale
- Make a Bookend for a Display
- Make A Simple Roombox From Bookbord or Illustration Board to Hold a Collection
- Make a Breakaway Box with Hinged Sides To Display Your Miniatures
Should you build, buy or trade items to make a miniature collection? What's the best way to showcase what you have?
- What is a Miniature?
- The Importance of Scale in Miniature
- Miniature Collecting 101
- How to Find Information About Your Miniatures
- Quick Ways to Measure Without a Ruler
- How to Document a Collection
- Check the Condition of a Miniature
- Before You Repair
- Money Saving Tips for Collectors
- Displays - Choose a Theme and Story Line
- Displays - Plan Location and Scope
Every hobby has its own terminology. These starting points make understanding discussions easier.
- Common Dollhouse Miniature Scales
- What is Playscale?
- Railway Gauge Explained
- COA - Certificate of Authenticity
- Scale Ruler
- What Are Living Miniatures?
- Tab and Slot Dollhouse Construction
- Scale Creep
- Bookboard - Paperboard - Binder's Board
- What is a Dwarf?
Play Miniatures For Children
There are a wide range of miniature suitable for various ages of children. Check out the child's interest and needs before you buy or build. A child may already have well loved toys in a particular scale, or the lack of certain items in a similar scale(cars or horses) may reduce the play or sharing value.
- Choosing a Dolls House Or Play Building For Children
- Fitting a Child's Favorite Character into a Miniature Scene
- Creatology Puzzle Dolls Houses
- Plan Toys - Adjustable Sturdy Dolls House Dolls for a Child
- Anamalz Poseable Animal Toys For Children
- Calico Critters / Sylvanian Families Horse Show Set
- Collecting Breyer Model Horses
- Breyer Mini Whinnies Model Horse Paint Set
- Playmobil Micro Play Sets - Toys for a Dolls House
Miniatures attract friendly, creative, people who love making and displaying tiny things. Find some and join in the fun.
- Photos from Miniature Shows
- Community Forum
- Submit Photos to the Miniatures Site
- Submit a Tip or Technique
Types of Miniatures
Find the miniature you want to collect or model. From living plants and animals to trains and dolls house miniatures there is a wide range.
- Model Horses - Information on Collecting, Showing and Modifying
- Scale Miniatures
- Seasonal Miniatures
- Vehicle Miniatures
Featured Miniature Artisans
Work from some of the best miniaturists in the world.
- Josephine Parnell's Bears
- Angela Gagliardi's Italian Specialties
- Miniature Artisan Lists - Quality Miniatures Worth the Search
Exhibits From Miniature Shows
Miniature exhibits from dollhouse and railroad shows showcase what talented miniaturists are making now.
- List of Popular Photo Galleries from Miniature Shows
- Roomboxes from the Fall 2012 Seattle Dollhouse Minaiture Show
- Quarter Scale Displays from the Fall 2012 Seattle Dollhouse Miniature Show
- 2010 Westcoast Dollhouse Miniature Show
- Front Porch Exhibits From the Small Endeavours Miniature Show
- House and Shops From the Spring 2010 Seattle Dollhouse Miniature Show
- Fall 2009 Seattle Dolls House Show Quarter Scale Exhibits