Project: Create This Fancy Dressing Table

crop-95457.jpg From The Big Book of A Miniature House by Christine-Lea Frisoni

From The Big Book of A Miniature House by Christine-Lea Frisoni

Learn to make this stunning dressing table from The Big Book of A Miniature House by Christine-Lea Frisoni, published by GMC. If you want more projects just like this, why not treat yourself to the full book, with an automatic 10% off from us AND no UK P+P costs! Plus we've got plenty of other books for you to browse at your leisure. Enjoy, Miniaturists! 


You will need:

0.8, 1 and 3mm limewood sheet

1mm Bristol board

Thin Bristol board

Mirrored acetate

4 wooden banisters

4 hinges (8 x 10mm) 

2 gold pins

12 gilt-paper flowers

Satin-finish acrylic paint: off-white


Fine glasspaper

Utility knife


Quick-setting wood glue


1. From 3mm limewood sheet, cut a table top 3.5 x 8cm, two long apron pieces 1 x 6.6cm and two short aprons 1 x 2.3cm. Cut the top layer of the table top from 0.8mm lime, 3.2 x 7.5cm.

2. Glue the two layers of the table top together so that their back edges are flush and there is a margin at the front and sides. Clamp or weight until dry. Round over the edges with fine glasspaper.

3. Cut the legs from wooden banisters as shown and whittle them with the knife. Glue them to the short apron pieces. Glue the long aprons to these two assemblies, then fit the top.

4. Cut the boxes for the drawers from 1mm lime. Cut the following pieces for each box and assemble as shown:

Bottom (a): 1.4 x 1.8cm.

Sides (b): 0.8 x 1.5cm.

Back (c): 0.8 x 1.8cm.

5. For the top of each box, cut one piece 1.7 x 2.4cm and another 1.5 x 2cm to glue on top. Soften the edges, then glue the top to the box, flush with the back edge.

6. For the mirror support, cut two shapes from 1mm Bristol board as shown and glue them together. Cut the notches and trace the curve by laying the mirror over it (see step 11). Glue the boxes to
the table, keeping the back edges flush. Glue the piece of Bristol board between the boxes, again keeping the back edge flush. Adjust the notches as necessary to fit over the lids of the boxes.

7. Glue on some paper flowers. Paint the whole piece off-white, avoiding the insides of the boxes so as not to impede the working of the drawers. Gently wipe off the paint on the flowers to reveal some patches of gold. For an aged effect, rub the edges with fine glasspaper, apply patina 1 (page 188) and wipe off until the desired effect is obtained.

8. For each drawer, cut the following pieces from 1mm Bristol board and assemble as shown:

Bottom (a): 1.3 x 1.5cm.

Sides (b): 0.6 x 1.4cm.

Back (c): 0.6 x 1.5cm.

9. Cut the drawer front (d) from 1mm Bristol board, 0.7 x 2cm. Soften the edges. In the centre, trace a tiny cross with the tip of the utility knife. Cut the head end of a pin to 0.3cm for the drawer pull. Glue this to the centre of the cross. Glue d to the front edge of the drawer so the top of d is level with that of b.

10. Apply a coat of off-white to the whole drawer, inside and out. Wipe off the outside to reduce the build-up of paint while keeping the colour. Gently wipe the paint from the heads of the pins to reveal some touches of gold. Age and patinate as described in step 7. 

11. For the central mirror, cut two identical shapes from 1mm Bristol board. Cut out the centre of one of them. Cut an identical shape from mirror acetate.


12. Do the same for the side mirrors.


13. Give a coat of off-white to all the Bristol-board pieces, including the edges. Glue the mirrors to the solid pieces, then glue the cut-out pieces onto the mirrors with a sparing amount of wood glue. When dry, paint the edges of the three layers for a uniform effect.

14. Place the three mirror sections face down on a flat surface. Align them as indicated. Attach the hinges with superglue. Leave to dry flat, then glue the central part of the triptych to its support. Add a pleated ribbon made from a strip 8cm long