28 July 2021
Learn how to make a miniature dressing table for your dolls house or miniature scene in this tutorial by Christine-Léa Frisoni from her book, The Big Book of A Miniature House, published by GMC.
Give your dolls house boudoir an uplift with a French country house-style dressing table made by your own fair hands!
DIY miniature dressing table
You will need
- 0.8, 1 and 3mm limewood sheet
- 1mm Bristol board
- Thin Bristol board
- Mirrored acetate
- 4 wooden banisters
- 4 hinges (8x10mm)
- 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 3.5x8cm, 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, 3.2x7.5cm.
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 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:
- Bottom (a): 1.4x1.8cm.
- Sides (b): 0.8x1.5cm.
- Back (c): 0.8x1.8cm.
5. For the top of each box, cut one piece 1.7x2.4cm and another 1.5x2cm 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 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.
This stunning dressing table is from The Big Book of A Miniature House by Christine-Léa 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!
8. For each drawer, cut the following pieces from 1mm Bristol board and assemble:
- Bottom (a): 1.3x1.5cm.
- Sides (b): 0.6x1.4cm.
- Back (c): 0.6x1.5cm.
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
Take the next step and learn how to make a beautiful miniature French country house in The Big Book of A Miniature House by Christine-Léa Frisoni, published by GMC – order your copy today! And be sure to check out the Dolls blog where you'll find projects and techniques aplenty – including how to transform your dolls house furniture using the decoupage technique!