Sunday, May 21, 2017

Room Boxes: A Great Way to Enjoy Miniatures

Many people shy away from miniatures because they find dollhouses too expensive. Also, dollhouses can take years to finish! If you are just getting started in miniatures, room boxes are a better choice. A room box can be any size or type of container, devoted to just one room or scene.

By being creative, by seeing ordinary things with a "miniaturist's eye," and by experimenting, you can save a lot of money when you make a room box.  I made this one for less than $10.

Here's a breakdown of the pieces:

1. The container -- I bought this box from Beall's Outlet store for $5 and change. Boxes like this can be found at almost any big box craft store, but outlet stores such as Tuesday Morning and Home Goods, as well as Beall's, are terrific resources.

2. The fireplace -- The basic triangular shape was built with old cereal boxes and a piece of foam core board from an old science project display. Then I dipped pieces of newspaper into a mix of glue and water (a cheap sort of papier mache) and coated the structure. I painted bits of pressed paper egg cartons to look like bricks. I cut the carton pieces into the right shapes and glued them onto the form. I used Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler as mortar. Then I touched up the paint again.

3. The "fire" -- I buy strands of LED moon lights from Amazon, six for $9.99. (Normally, if you buy them from a craft store, they're $7 a strand.) At this price, they're a great bargain! For the "flames," I use pieces of plastic painted with nail polish. The plastic can be from any leftover packaging.

4. The chair -- I built the chair out of layers of corrugated cardboard, wrapped with masking tape. Then I glued on faux leather and added black cord trim. The legs are small chunks of wood, but I could have used beads.

5. The "throw" -- This started as a cheap washcloth. I pulled all the curly strands out. That left me with this loosely woven fabric.

6. The bookshelf -- I used foam core board covered with paper toweling soaked in glue.

Stay tuned and you'll see how I decorate this room box! Do you have any suggestions for what you would like me to add?


    Ellen said...

    I'm very fond of miniature books, so I've made a miniature bookcase for them, of mahogany. 9 1/2 inches tall, with three shelves. Wish I could figure how to put a picture in here!

    Joanna Slan said...

    Ellen, send it to me at and I'll put it in my next blog post. I know you are good at bookbinding. I bet your tiny books are to die for!

    Christine Verstraete said...

    Great little scene! Sometimes it's nice to just work on something smaller than a larger room or full roombox. Makes you feel like you got something done!