Dollhouse Decorating

Miniature Decorating Ideas |Articles on decorating dollhouses and the history of this artform


I have had a life-long love affair with dollhouse miniatures, and careers in art education and interior design. I hope to combine these life experiences to help other miniature enthusiasts get more out of this wonderful hobby we enjoy, a hobby that often reaches the level of an art form. Susan Downing

Posted on 10 November, 2015

Puddle Curtains – Origin of the Term


Found on Chantiki a real Victorian bedroom in the Doge’s Palace – Venice, Italy

Puddling refers to an amount of extra drapery length that is spilled or “puddled” onto the floor. In the days when fabrics were rare and expensive only the wealthy could afford them and only the wealthiest could afford extra material to just lay on the floor! Puddling added opulence and style to their drapes.

Not all draperies are found in window treatments, as evidenced by the beautiful image of a turquoise Edwardian era canopy bed. Notice how it puddles on the blue carpet with the gold-legged table with a greenish glass top set at the foot of the bed. Perfect color scheme, perfect placement of the objects in the photograph. This real Victorian bedroom is so formal I wonder if I could relax in it, much less sleep.

Formal or Relaxed

curtains-contemporary-puddle-1:12 scale

Contemporary Dollhouse Puddle Curtains – 1:12 scale

I know, puddle curtains are a small part of this room. But it’s a gorgeous picture, so I’ll us it anyway as an example in the debate over puddle curtains: do they create a formal or relaxed look. This turquoise bedroom gets my vote for formal. On the other hand, the picture of the “tie dye” aqua puddle curtains that I make in 1:12 scale are popular with enthusiasts creating contemporary and modern miniatures, when they want a casual look.

How Much Fabric

Besides style, there is a practical reason for a having a voluminous puddle. It provides for the ability to tie the curtains back. If you choose to do this in 1:12 scale you’ll need an additional 1.5 to 2.00 inches of fabric. A moderate amount of puddle requires a 1/2 inch of fabric on average. If you desire something in between a puddle and no puddle at all, try a break at ? inch. which is when the fabric just folds onto the floor.


Real Edwardian parlor and dining room. Source unknown.

I can’t resist using an Edwardian picture I found of a real parlor with the dining room beyond, as an example. Look at that lace curtain ? I think ?displayed? is a better word than puddling. Can’t you just see turning that picture into a wonderful room box?

Whether to puddle or not, like so many things in the dollhouse miniature universe, it comes down the personal choice. Almost anything is acceptable in contemporary and modern miniatures, as long as the overall effect is pleasing. There is great latitude in period pieces too, but do your research to understand what accepted boundaries were in real life.

Here’s a link to a useful guide, DecorLove’s The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Curtains

And I really dislike the name of this book series, but Curtains For Dummies can simplify a complex issue


Susan Downing


Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: curtains

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