Below are some links to tutorials and articles which have helped me immensely in my journey thus far. They focus on miniature foods, exterior finishes, and furniture. There are some great food artists out there willing to share their knowledge. For the beginner, there is a wealth of free information online!
I am self taught but I have gained a LOT of knowledge from these artists. If you are new to the miniature community, and you want to try your hand at making minis, here are some of my favourite tutors to get you started….
Maive Ferrando (Youtube) – This Italian lady has oodles of talent and she is generous in sharing lots of tips. Tutorials are in English and some Italian. Mostly Miniature foods in 1:12 scale. Also has many whimsical pieces and some furniture.
Sugar Charm Shop (Youtube) – Tanya, a young Danish woman (tutorials are in English) who is also very talented. Most of what I learned, was thanks to her. Mostly miniature foods in 1:12 scale. She also has some dollhouse furniture and 1:12 scale doll/animal video tutorials. She’s a multi-talented woman!
Toni Ellison (Youtube) – Toni has some very cute tutorials! For the maker looking for branded stuff like fast food or Starbucks, this channel is a must to visit. This would probably appeal to those looking to make Barbie or American Girl doll scales.
Stephanie Kilgast (Youtube) – While Stephanie has moved away from doing miniature foods, her tutorials are still available on Youtube and they are great! She is another generous teacher and explains her techniques in her tutorials. Her art has now gone in the direction of plants, fanciful bugs, mushrooms, and other lovely things.
My Froggy Stuff (Youtube) – a WONDERFUL way to get your kids into miniatures! My girls and I have followed this channel since their early days. There are tutorials on making bakeries, drive-thru restaurants, tree houses, log cabins, and all manner of things for 1:6th scale dolls. This is a mom and daughter team who makes tonnes of stuff from cardstock,cardboard, recyclables, and household items. Most of the tools needed are scissors and glue. There is a huge compilation of projects you can make with your children to introduce them to this hobby. You’ll also have fun watching them do little skits with their Barbie dolls.
Laurie Heisler (Youtube)– I think what I love so much about this channel is that they are a dad and daughter team. Most of her videos center on building dollhouse kits and there is lots of great advice on the exterior and interior finishes. My dad loved to make things with his hands as well and I can tell Laurie’s dad not only enjoys what he does but is proud of his work (and you can tell his daughter is too!). They are both very generous to share their knowledge and experiences with others. I think my dad would have loved to build doll houses if only he had been introduced to it.
Julie Warren (Youtube) – Probably one of the best Youtube channels for dollhouse furniture building. This very generous woman does her video tutorials without loads of cuts or speeding up. She talks you all the way through your build with a soft-spoken English accent. Watching her work is like therapy, really. A lot of her designs are contemporary styled and would work in most dollhouse styles.
*All are 1:12 dollhouse scale unless stated otherwise. Photos belong to the websites mentioned below*
Spiral staircase made from wooden fans, from the website Pequeneces (I believe this is in Spanish but can be translated). This is a good pictorial of how it is done and the result is spectacular. Lots of lovely eye candy on this website. For advanced hobbyists.
Primitive bench – by Cinderella Moments. Lots to look at on this site! She has a gorgeous collection of fantastical and romantic cottages that she builds from scratch. This project is perfect for a beginner.
Shabby Fireplace …and another sweet creation by Cinderella Moments. How cute is this? And it appears to be another tutorial suitable for beginners!
LED Chandelier – again by Cinderella Moments. This is a simple light you can make with an LED kit, jewelry findings, and some wire. You can make this as elaborate or as simple as you want.
Dollhouse Quilt by Liberty Biberty. If determined, a novice could do this by following along with her detailed instructions.
Koi Fish Pond by yours truly. This is an earlier tutorial I did using polymer clay, resin, and a band from a mason jar.
Paper ‘Pottery’ by 1 Inch Minis by Kris. If you have patience and a steady hand anyone can make this. Kris makes it look easy anyway! Lots of good photos and instructions to follow along.
Paper and Twining Baskets by 1 Inch Minis by Kris. These would make excellent Easter baskets. Or really, for anything. Make it a bit more rugged looking, line with newspaper and use it for holding fish for a market scene.
Super Cute Vintage Fridge! by 1 Inch Minis by Kris. 1950-ish fridge, which is shorter than our standard refrigerators of today. We had one in our cottage as kids and I loved it. They certainly don’t make fridges that can last upwards of 50 years today.
Re-scaling images and creating ‘printies‘ (miniature printables) by true2scale. Detailed yet concise, these tuts will teach you how to make your own artwork, signage, etc for your miniature scenes.
Boxwood Topiaries by ‘We love miniatures’ on Youtube. These look so cute and realistic…and you probably have the materials all on hand! The boxwood is made from Bulgar grains! I suggest you seal everything really well with matte mod-podge when finished, to prevent any grains flaking off.
Foliage tutorial by Glorious Twelfth Miniatures. This blog has not been updated in a long time, but it still has a wealth of information and eye-candy. This is a well detailed pictorial on making your own plants.
Chrysnbon cookware kits. How to assemble, paint, and age them for a realistic result.
Favourite Holiday Tutorials:
Poinsettias! by ‘Real life dollhouse miniatures’ on YouTube. Kat makes gorgeous, realistic poinsettias from wax paper, polymer clay, and candy wrappers.
Wreath and garland by ‘Real life dollhouse miniatures’ on YouTube. You’ll need lycopodium (princess pine). If you aren’t familiar with this pretty little plant, it looks very much like miniature pine branches. I would make a suggestion to use fine green florist wire as the base. You can keep it simple like she did, or as elaborate as you want.
Tutorials on Special Finishes:
A proper chalk paint tutorial by true2scale. This simple and short tutorial teaches you how to mix and apply your own chalk paint, specifically for miniature furniture.
Making a ‘slate’ roof from cardboard strips by Zaboobadidoo.
A thatch roof from a towel. This video tutorial is by Bentley House Miniatures.