Dollhouse windows can be bought ready-made or made from scratch. They come in different scales and can be adjusted to fit the pre-cut openings. Children’s dollhouses require sturdier materials and should not have small parts. Making your own windows can save money and add a personal touch.
Building a dollhouse from a kit or from scratch is a fulfilling and creative hob. Dollhouse windows with real glass or acrylic panels give a finished look to the structure. They are available ready-made, or the simplest units can come with a commercial home kit. Making your own windows to save money is easy too. A children’s dollhouse will require sturdier materials than an adult collector’s.
You should choose ready-made windows that match the size of your house. The two common scales are 1:12, or one inch equals one foot, and 1:24, or one inch equals two feet. Both British and American dollhouse makers adhere to these standards in kits and components, while German houses tend to be closer to 1:10, or one inch equals ten inches, or metric measurement scales. The children’s houses come in 1:18 scale, or two-thirds of an inch, and play scale, which is large enough for 11-12 inch (28-30 cm) dolls.
Dollhouse windows are often sold as separate units and many of them actually work. Commercial dollhouse kits usually recommend manufacturers whose components fit the pre-cut openings. If not, or if you’ve stumbled upon an odd brand or salvaged an old semi-finished kit from a tag sale or flea market, you’ll need to measure carefully. You may need to adjust the openings to receive ready-made dollhouse windows.
Dollhouse kits usually include basic frames and thin plastic “glass,” sometimes molded with designs meant to approximate glazed windows. These aren’t as attractive as separate components, but extra kits are often available with better architectural detail than the thin plywood windows that come with a home. For a large structure, it may be cheaper to purchase the kit than to purchase the dollhouse windows separately.
Ready-made components can be expensive. If you’d rather make your own, books and websites on miniatures and dollhouse building and decorating often have step-by-step instructions on creating very effective basic and special dollhouse windows. They can be as simple as an acetate sheet clamped between two frames, or a working model of a real window. Bay, casement and double-hung windows are the most common types. Hobby shops and miniature catalogs sell all the materials needed to build dollhouse windows, although many miniaturists like to use scrap metal.
Children’s dollhouses often see vigorous play and windows and doors are no exception. Pin hinges on work windows should be sturdy enough to withstand countless openings and closings. You should ensure that all wooden components are free from splinters and houses for younger children should not have small parts that can become detached and cause choking. Your kids might enjoy helping you make little curtains and window accessories for their dollhouses.