WW1 military crutches

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07 October 2021
ww1 miniature military crutches Miniature WW1 military crutches © Jane Harrop 2014
Learn how to make a pair of very essential WW1 style military crutches in miniature form in this tutorial by Jane Harrop...

Before World War 1 domesticity had usually been a woman’s primary role, but they found a new freedom as they were forced to undertake the jobs of the men who had left to fight for their country. Whilst the women worked as hard as the men, conditions were hard and the pay not as good. Many women were constantly campaigning for equality and the suffragette movement finally won the right for women over the age of 30 to vote at the end of the war, when the Government realised their invaluable war efforts.

Nurses in particular were in great demand on the home front and overseas. Trained and untrained nurses were responsible for treating the wounded and many were simply volunteers helping out in many of the temporary hospitals and convalescent homes set up in requisitioned properties around the country.

How to make a pair of miniature military crutches

By Jane Harrop.

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You will need

From 1/16x1/16in (1.5x1.5mm) thick wood:

  • Four 4in (100mm) lengths for sides
  • Two 7/16in (11mm) for handles

From 3/32in (2.5mm) thick wood:

  • Two 3/4x1/8in (19x3mm) for arm rests
  • Wood stain
  • Tacky glue


1. Taper one end on each of the side pieces using fine grade sandpaper.

ww1 miniature military crutches step 1

2. Measure and mark 1in (25mm) up from the straight end on one of the side pieces and apply a thin layer of tacky glue. 

ww1 miniature military crutches step 2

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3. Fit another of the sidepieces on top, the straight ends on each are flush and clamp for a short while to ensure they're securely glued together. Repeat the procedure with the remaining side pieces to make a pair of crutches.

ww1 miniature military crutches step 3

4. Take the arm rests and use a sanding tool to shape a narrow edge on each.

ww1 miniature military crutches step 4

Top tip! Either glue a strip of sandpaper around a piece of dowels or wrap sandpaper around something like a marker pen to make a sanding tool.

5. On the underside edge of the arm rests, measure and mark 1/16in (1.5mm) in from each end and drill a small hole partway through the wood for the tapered ends on the side pieces at a later stage.

ww1 miniature military crutches step 5

6. Take the two side constructions and use fine grade sandpaper to taper and smooth the glued sections. You could also carefully round the outside edges along the length of each of the side pieces.

ww1 miniature military crutches step 6

7. Stain all of the wood pieces. Place the side pieces on a flat surface and gently open the top end and slide the arm rest down approximately half way and glue into place. For a good fit, you may find it easier to slightly mitre/angle the ends. Glue the holes in the arm rests on to the tapered ends on the crutches.

ww1 miniature military crutches step 7

Visit Jane's website to see even more great miniatures. 

Don’t miss more projects from our WW1 miniatures series where you can learn how to make miniature first aid kit, gas masks or trench art, to name a few. 

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