The Tools Needed to Make Miniatures
By Julia Morrison
Although you don't need much in the way of tools to complete a dollhouse kit, you will need a few basic supplies in order to build, paint, and decorate the home. Having the right tools at hand will make the process of making a doll house go much smoother, and ensure that you don't reach a critical point before discovering that you don't have the right tools to complete your project.
If you have a full-scale workshop, you've probably heard the advice to get the best tools you can afford. In the miniature world, this usually isn't necessary. When making a doll house, a few simple tools are all you will need to bring any small-scale project to life.
First are tools for cutting. You'll definitely need a utility knife (or X-acto knife) with plenty of replacement blades to achieve sharp cuts on a variety of materials. Sharp scissors in several sizes are also indispensable. Next is a small miter saw and box. This enables you to create perfectly angled edges, and is indispensable when cutting the trim for your dollhouse. You'll also need a ruler and pencil to measure out your cuts. And don't forget a cutting mat, such as a layer of cardboard, to place under your work area.
Once you have individual pieces cut, there are several supplies that make assembly easier. A carpenter's square helps ensure that all of your corners are square. When making a doll house, expect to work with lots of tiny parts. Tweezers can help you to place these tiny pieces right where they belong. Small pliers also work for this task, and can be used to hold together pieces that have been glued, acting like a clamp. Small carpenter's clamps, rubber bands, masking tape or blue painters' tape, and Scotch tape can also be used to hold together pieces as they dry.
Speaking of gluing, you'll want several methods for applying glue. 1" foam brushes work well for spreading glue over larger spaces, while toothpicks and Q-tips are ideal for applying glue to smaller projects. For painting detail work, look for a set of fine artists' brushes. Wax paper makes a great space to set down items that have wet paint, while paper towels can be used to wipe away excess paint or glue.
These basics should suffice for almost any miniature project, whether you are making a doll house itself or constructing accessories for your finished house.
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