How to Scale Dollhouse Furniture

What You'll Need
1/4 inch Scale graph paper
Tape Measure

Creating realistic looking dollhouse furniture is not an easy task; however, with patience and some knowledge of furniture construction and hand tools, it can be done. Also, many dollhouse furniture items are available for sale and look exactly as the full size items. Either way you need to know how to properly scale dollhouse furniture so that it looks realistic when placed in your dollhouse. So, here’s how to properly scale the furniture.

Step 1 - Understanding the Scale Factor

Dollhouses come in many different sizes and are all scaled differently. If you plan to construct your own dollhouse furniture, you have to keep in mind, the size and scale of the dollhouse it will be placed in. It is best if you construct your dollhouse furniture to a standard scale factor to make measuring and construction easier.

Scales are usually measured in fractions. Standard dollhouses are in a scale of 1/12 and 1/24. What this means is a 1/12 scale house is 12 times smaller than a real house or in reverse, if you increased the dollhouse 12 times, it would be the size of a real house. With these standard sizes, it will be easier to understand the measurements.

Using the graph paper, each small box would be equal to 3 inches and 4 boxes would equal one foot. If the dollhouse is 1/24 scale, then 1 box would equal 6 inches and 2 boxes would equal one foot. By dividing each box, you can determine inches.

Step 2 – Scaling Furniture

Now that you understand how the scale factor works, you can sketch a scaled down version of an item of furniture. To explain this, let’s look at a 6 Drawer Dresser for a 1/12 scale dollhouse.

Using the graph paper, draw the 3 sides, the front, the side and the top. The back and bottom would be the same size as its opposite side.

A dresser in this example is 31 inches high, 65” wide and 18 inches deep.  The drawers are graduated in size at 7 inches, 8 inches and 9 inches high.

The 31 inch height would be 10 1/3 boxes; the 65 inch length would be drawn as 20 2/3 boxes and finally the 18 inch depth would be 6 boxes.

Drawing the front would be a square, 20 2/3 boxes long and 10 1/3 boxes high. The top would be a square 20 2/3 boxes long and 6 boxes high.

Step 3 – Drawing Your Plans

Now measure the full size furniture you want to use or look online for furniture companies that give the dimensions. Remember to add extra to your dimensions for furniture tops or counter overhangs.

By drawing in the draws or cabinet doors on your plans, these can be used as a template to score the wood to give the look of draws and flush mounted cabinets. Also small beads can be used for door handles and drawer pulls. Look around for other items that can represent or be used to miniature accents.

If you plan to make your own miniature dolls and toys, sketching out the parts on graph paper using these guides will help you create items that will appear in proper scale to the rest of the items.