Handcrafted and decorated miniature furniture is popular with collectors. If you’d like to make extra money creating and selling these dollhouse miniatures, here’s how to get started.
Research Full-sized Furniture
Begin by studying what is currently popular in full-sized furniture. Home decorating websites, books, magazines, and local furniture stores are all good places to look. Notice what pieces are popular as well as trends in furniture styles, color, and decoration. Choose a few types of furniture or furniture accessories to begin with.
Building Miniature Furniture
If you enjoy woodworking, you may want to make your own miniature furniture pieces as well as decorating them. Most basic style pieces are factory made and readily available to collectors. You will need to make each of your furniture pieces at least a little different than traditional styles.
During the years that I worked in the miniatures field, the handcrafted furniture pieces – unique from the factory made pieces, usually sold consistently and for higher prices. So construct your miniature furniture with a little different shape, wood, or decoration, to make it stand out from the rest.
Finishing and Decorating Miniature Furniture
You can finish or decorate a basic piece of miniature furniture to create a unique or even on-of-a-kind piece. One of the easiest ways to make unusual mini pieces is by hand painting them. Choose colors that are in style to appeal to collectors, as well as types of decorative patterns and motifs in vogue.
Once you have a few basic designs that sell, you can expand into other patterns. Floral, geometric, abstract designs – the possibilities are wide open for hand painting your miniature furniture. Other variations to consider are decoupage (using copyright-free papers and fabrics), and antiquing.
Popular Miniature Furniture
Here are a few pieces of miniature furniture and accessories that often sell well:
These can be made in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Decorating possibilities for a handcrafted or pre-made miniature trunk include painting florals, patriotic designs, sayings, or dates on the outside. Metal embellishments (hinges, latch) add a nice touch and trunks can be paper or fabric lined inside or even upholstered on top.
These can be made easily with three small pieces of wood and miniature metal or fabric hinges; finished and decorated in a wide variety of ways.
Mini hutches, china cabinets and similar pieces of miniature furniture seem to sell well. They are a little harder to individualize but special pieces can bring high prices.
Garden Benches and Chairs
These may have to be hand-built but can be decorated to be unique and unusual additions to miniature or dollhouse settings. Hand painting outdoor motifs such as fruits, vegetables, and plant life can look sensational.