Category Archives: recycled

Posted on 22 January, 2017


Cabinet dollhouse made in 1892 by Alois Pauli

Albrecht’s Dollhouse Workshop

In the town of Elsterberg, Germany, not far from the Czech border, is a shop specializing in “beautiful things from the past and the old things newly manufactured.” Besides making sales, the goal of Petra and Albrecht, the owners of Albrecht’s Dollhouse Workshop, is to preserve the tradition of individually created toys and dollhouse miniatures.


Posted by Patrick Owens

Categories: recycled

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Posted on 17 January, 2017



Louis XV Drawing room in this Mulvany & Rogers “homage” to the Palace at Versailles


3 Versailles Miniatures, 4 Great Artisans

Kevin Mulvany, Suzie Rogers, Harry Smith and Robert Dawson are four of my favorite miniature artisan, whose work I never tire of studying. For inspiration, what they have accomplished with the Palace at Versaille is truly amazing.


Posted by Patrick Owens

Categories: recycled

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Posted on 14 January, 2017


Thorne Room Box – Model of a Virginia Dining Room, c. 1800, found on Amusing Planet.

Dollhouse rugs rule the space because they may be the single largest item in the room, and may dictate the placement of furniture. Over time, all sorts of rules have evolved about how big a rug should be, how many furniture legs should be on the rug, the dimensions of flooring around the rug and on and on. Interior designers break the rules all the time, of course. But before you try breaking them in your dollhouse, best to know what some of the rules are.

All Legs On

If maintaining realism is important, be careful not to crowd the dinner table in order to keep the back legs on the rug. Better to revert to the Front Legs Rule, or buy a bigger rug, This rule is also useful with a conversation grouping in a large living room, or in an open floor plan where the rug defines exactly where the living room is.

A real room example of the “Front Legs On” rule, found on Maddie J Howe Decor


A real room example of the “Front Legs On” rule, found on Maddie J Howe Decor

Front Legs On

With this rule, the rug should be large enough to slide under the front legs of sofas and chairs in a seating arrangement. Put a coffee table in the center, with a couch on one long side of the rug, a love seat on the other and a chair at each end. This is a classic conversation grouping where guests face each other and are able to reach for whatever beverage is on a coaster. If you are working in 1/12 scale, it works out that the rug should be 8” X 12.″

This standard arrangement is ideal for the average large living room, A long, narrow Victorian drawing room might have enough space for two of these conversation groupings. But what if there is a problem with the free-flow of traffic. Even though it’s a miniature, you still have to account for it. This “what if’ opens the door for an amazing number of broken rules.

Some Legs On

The size of the room may make it necessary to go to this hybrid rule. Put only the front legs of the sofa on the rug, for instance, while all the legs of chairs sit firmly on the rug.

Elayne Forgie’s room box “Elephants on Parade.”


Elayne Forgie’s room box “Elephants on Parade.”

No Legs On

This rule is best for small groupings, with a 4” X 6″ rug in 1/12 scale. It is also useful in a nursery, where a small play space for an infant is desirable, and the ease of cleaning the surrounding area is a must.

Beautiful Closets, a real room example a flooring border, found on Home Design



Beautiful Closets, an actual room example a flooring border, found on Home Design

 A Few Inches Rule

In the above example, it’s about eighteen inches in a real room. That’s the amount of bare floor between the edge of the rug and the perimeter walls. The size of the room dictates the size of the rug, which being the largest object in the room, holds our attention. This is useful if the floor is not particularly attractive, or if you don’t want a wall-to-wall carpet look.

A “What If” Or Two

What if the focal point of the room is a fireplace and everyone wants to watch the warming glow while chatting and sipping something stronger than tea. Move the loveseat to one narrow end of the rug, both chairs shift to the other, the coffee table moves closer to the fireplace, and the sofa takes command of the long side of the rug. This means the back legs are probably on the rug, breaking the “front legs on ” rule, right? No, remember the Some Legs On rule?
The same situation exists if you replace the fireplace with a picture window, or if it’s a long narrow room where the sofa-sitters would be facing a blank wall. Of course, you got around this faux pas by placing a stunning piece of fabric art or a mural on that wall.


Perhaps these rules should be called “guidelines,” except for this last one: The Cheat Rule. This rule is cut in stone. What is true in a real room may not be so in a room box, which we usually view from one side. So, in whatever scale you are working, the proportions have to be pleasing to the eye. That’s paramount, and if the measurements don’t fit any of the above guidelines … Cheat!


Susan Downing, with Patrick Owens
I invite you to visit my Etsy Shop where I offer many accessories and pieces of furniture in 1:12 scale. Subscribers to this blog receive a discount on all Featured Products. Click here for details.

Posted by Patrick Owens

Categories: recycled

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Posted on 07 January, 2017


Dollhouse hand-knotted rugs and carpets by Ludwina Akbulut-Van Oosterwyck

Note from Susan

If you are going to lay out big bucks for a hand-knotted carpet, this guide by Ludwina Akbulut-Van Oosterwyck help you know the real thing.


Dollhouse Miniature Carpets And Rugs

By Laura and Ludwina Akbulut-Van Oosterwyck

As in real-life, I cannot imagine a doll’s house without carpets. Carpets or rugs as a lot of us call them, give a warm and cozy feeling to any room. With this guide I do not want to explain about styles and periods, but about the different techniques used to make miniature carpets, with the hope that if you understand the length of time and the level of skill required to make some of these carpets you will appreciate their value.

You can find a carpet for every period or style. If you want your dollhouse to be authentic you will have to do some research to find out what style of carpets were used in the period you are working in. But you also can go for a piece with colors which match the rest of the room’s decor.


Ludwina at her loom

It makes me very sad when I see the low prices petit point carpets sell for sometimes, and once I saw a machine made piece sell for quite a high price. Therefore, I will also give you some tips on how you can see the difference in a handmade or machine-made carpet.

The easiest to make is a machine-woven textile. If you can find a narrow strip or ribbon with a nice design, you can simply fray both of it’s ends to create a miniature carpet. When you have a thin woven piece of ribbon it will even work for 1/4 inch scale.

If you have a bigger piece of textile you will have to cut the edges to the size you need. You can glue under the edges so they will not fray.
A lot of ‘Turkish woven’ carpets are sold for dollhouses. These are the same machine weaving techniques as a designed ribbon but are cut up and sold as ‘carpet’, they have a fringe on both sides and exist in several sizes and a big range of designs and colors. Those which I have seen are all machine woven in a synthetic fiber. Sometimes they are shiny to give a ‘silky’ look, or have added details such as gold color thread.

If you look well you will see that the color of the design is positive / negative for front and back. This is very typical for machine-woven pieces. All the different colors ?float? on the backside in layers where they are not needed to make the design in the front.

There are also machine woven pile carpets. These pile carpets are usual bigger. I have not yet seen these special made as dollhouse carpets: They are thicker than the previous type and are used for chairs or as coasters or place mats.


Front of a hand-knotted dollhouse rug

How can you see the difference between a machine-made or a handmade pile carpet? Always look at the backside. If there is no picture of the backside, ask for one. The backside will show a different color than the front. When a piece is without much color it will have the positive/negative look. For example when the front is blue it will be red on the back. And where the front is red it will be blue on the back. When more colors are used it will look more complicated on the backside.




Backside of a knotted dollhouse oriental rug

When you look at a handmade pile carpet on the backside you will see horizontal rows on the warp which is originally vertically on the loom. In machine pile carpet you have vertical rows on a vertical warp. But these miniatures are often smaller pieces cut of a bigger weaving and it is often difficult to see which way the warp was. These pieces will have a machine made overcast to finish the cut off edgings.

Another way to make a miniature carpet is printing.There are some different possibilities in printing: on flocked paper or on textile. I am no expert in printing so I can not give you advise on ‘how to’ make one, but I am sure that a good-looking carpet can be made like this quickly and inexpensively.

If you work in 1/4 inch scale this is another way to have a carpet in your 1/4inch scale room. Using Bunka: By fraying out Bunka you get a fine kinky thread, what you can glue on a paper or textile base, using the different colors to make your design.

There are crocheted and braided rugs. For a more rustic style or kitchen they will look great. They look similar back and front.

Some other techniques to make miniature carpets are: punched or hooked carpets, created by making a ‘piled’ design on a piece of cloth or mesh with French knots or using a punching tool or hook. The backside of these different techniques will look very similar on the back. Here again you should see the same color front and back. Practice and skill is required to make a fine piece which is finished nicely and lies flat.

Some very dedicated miniaturists make their own carpets in ‘petit point’. There are some very nice kits and several books with patterns of miniature carpets available. The accuracy of the scale will depend on the size of the gauze you are working on and the material used to make the embroidery. The color and design will be the same on the front and back. You can be sure it takes a lot of time and skill to make a nice embroidered miniature carpet. A piece made in a nice design and color by somebody with experience is a piece of art and I feel a lot of respect for those artists!

And now the “hand knotted” carpets.  To make a real pile carpet you need a loom. Warp is stretched on the loom and weft made. The design is made by a line of knots, then the weft is added and pressed down. Finally the knots are clipped to get an even thickness all over the pile. Working this way line after line to build up the carpet.

A small carpet is not the same as a miniature carpet. Everything must be down-sized in proportion and the design must be miniature as well. The weaving is about as thick as a nickel and the pile is the same thickness, so the total thickness is 2 five-cent pieces, one stacked on the other. With a ?small carpet,? the total thickness is only equal to one nickel.
We hope by understanding a little more about techniques used in miniature carpets you will be able to value them in proportion to the work required to make them.

Ludwina Akbulut-Van Oosterwyck



I hope you found this article helpful

Susan Downing


I invite you to visit my Etsy Shop where I offer many accessories and pieces of furniture in 1:12 scale. Subscribers to this blog receive a discount on all Featured Products. Click here for details.

Posted by Patrick Owens

Categories: recycled

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