Make a Georgian or Irish Cottage Miniature Box Bed in 1/24th Scale

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28 July 2011
imports_HAC_irishcottagestyleboxb_48326.gif Irish Cottage Style Box Bed
I am going to show you how to make an Irish style miniature box bed, perfect for a small cottage, and how to transform the same basic pattern to suit a Georgian dolls house. Both miniatures follow the same form, and can be up-sized easily for a 1/12th scale dolls house. ...
Make a Georgian or Irish Cottage Miniature Box Bed in 1/24th Scale Images

Over the centuries, many different cultures and peoples have used versions of the box bed for sleeping. Primarily to keep out the drafts in damp cottages and cold attic rooms, this simple design of bed can be adapted to fit within many different miniature scenes, using the same design, but with different finishing touches.

The Irish style box bed is complete with bedding and the essential crucifix. The second box bed will fit snugly into a Georgian dolls house. The measurements can be doubled to make box beds for a 1/12th scale dolls house too!

Materials Required

  • 1-1/2" (38mm) wide plain wooden strip
  • Scraps fo fancy moulding
  • Scraps of plain square strip wood
  • PVA white wood glue
  • Flat wood or mount card
  • 2 beads/pins/dawer handles
  • Paints/varnish/wood stain
  • Fabrice/wadding/old hankie
  • Accessories


Tools Required

  • Wood clippers/shears or small saw
  • Square glueing jig or Lego
  • Pencil & Ruler
  • Par of compasses/circular object
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Sandpaper/emery board
  • Elastic bands
  • Brushes
  • Needle and thread


Step 1

Take an 18" long proprietary length of 1-1/2" wide x 1/16 thick stripwood. From this cut five x 3" long pieces. Cut 2 x 1-1/2" lengths of fancy moulding (architrave). Cut 2 x 1-1/2" lengths of plain narrow square strip.

Step 2

Glue the fancy moulding to the inside of two side pieces flush with the bottom edge. These provide a ledge for the base of the bed and will show as the feet when the bed is complete. Glue the two plain pieces of strip 1" up from the fancy moulding on the same side of both pieces. These provide a ledge for the bed shelf to sit upon.

Step 3

Glue in the three remaining pieces using a gluing jig or Lego to keep the structure square. The bottom piece rests on the fancy moulding at the base to make a base board. The top piece is flush with the tops of each side. The final piece rests inside on the side strips about 1" from the base board. You should now have a box shape with sides, top, bed shelf and base board. Leave to dry.

Step 4

Cut a piece of thin wood or mount card to fit the back of the bed and glue in place. Hold firm with a couple of elastic bands until the glue is set. NOTE: In the Georgian bed, this piece goes from top to bottom, but in the Irish style bed it is cut a little shorter so that the 'feet' show, the choice is yours.

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Cut a piece of wood or mount card to fit the front of the bed, exactly the same size as the back piece.

Measure the box, and cut off the bottom part that covers the section from the bottom ledge to the top of the bed shelf. This will be approximately 1", the exact measurement depends upon the size of your bed at this stage. Glue in place.

On the remaining piece, which will be approximately 2" high, use a suitable circular object or a pair of compasses to mark out and carefully cut away a semi-circle. Sand the circle smooth before glueing this peice in place.

Step 5

Make one or two false drawers from rectanges of spare wood. Sand, and glue cerntally onto the base front. Add moulding where desired around the top, along the edge of ledge etc. Let the glue dry thoroughly before sanding the whole structure. The basic box bed is now ready to receive its decoration, bedding and accessories.

Decorating the Irish Style Box Bed

Step 6

  • Stain or paint the interior in the colour of your choice.
  • Stain or paint the outside to match the decor of the room.
  • Sand back to reveal the wood colour at corners and places where there would be wear. Polish/finish as required.
  • Add drawer knobs.
  • Sew a mattress from striped material, stuff with wadding and stitch through  so it looks buttoned. Once finished, dunk the mattress into black coffee to stain and dry it off.
  • Sheets and blankets are made from an old hankey and and old shirt cuff.


  • The quilt is hand stitched, as is the pillow.
  • Finally, don't forget to add a crucifix inside the bed to ward off evils spirits.

Decorating the Georgian Style Box Bed

Step 8

  • Stain or paint the interior in the colour of your choice.
  • Stain the exterior a deep mahogany, varnish to a satin sheen.
  • Make a set of steps from scrap wood.
  • Add drawer handles made from tiny beads held in place with pins.
  • Cut the mattress from a piece of foam and cover with an old hankey for a bottom sheet.
  • The quilt is hand stitched onto fabric printed using my home computer and inket printer. Printable fabric is available from Crafty Computer Paper.
  • Accessorise the bed with a nice copper warming pan for those cold winter nights.

This DIY feature was originally printed in issue 206 of Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like to make things for your dolls house, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Better still why not take out a subscription so that you never miss an issue. For fans of Twitter and Facebook, please use the keys at the top of this feature to share with your like-minded friends. Most of the wood in this project was supplied by Wood Supplies, please check out our marketplace for their details.

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