My Favorite Dollhouse and Miniature Tools and Supplies

“I’m new to making dollhouses/miniatures. What tools do I need?” This is a question I hear often, so I decided to start making a list of my favorite supplies for making miniatures. 

Don't be discouraged by ALL of the things on this list! You definitely won't need all of these things at first (and some not ever), and it also depends on the type of kit your are building or if you're a scratch-builder. The items in orange are the things you will need right away if building a basic kit.

Miter scissors - One of my favorite tools. Great for cutting popsicle sticks.
Small detail scissors - Perfect for cutting tiny areas.
X-Acto knife 
Utility knife
Regular scissors

Sample paints from home improvement stores - I use these for bigger areas. The quality is superb, and you can choose the exact color.
Acrylic paints
Wood stain
Polyurethane - I mostly use water-based stain and poly because it dries quickly, and is easier to clean up in case of a mess. There are pros and cons to oil-based and water-based, so choose what works best for you.
Stain markers - These come in handy for touch-ups and staining small projects quickly and easily.

Carpenter’s wood glueBest for structures and furniture-type projects. Can be sanded and stained.
Tacky glueUsed for paper crafts or other pieces that will not need to support heavier items.
Mod Podge – I use this for creating seals, special finishes, wallpaper, and decoupage projects. I do not use this a glue to hold thicker items together.
Hot glue – I rarely use hot glue as it is not as durable as other glues. Great for icicles, however.
Gorilla glue - Used for tough-to-glue projects (metals, plastics, etc.)

Popsicle sticks - These are so versatile! You can cut the round ends off and us them for so many projects. You can also use the rounded ends for things like shingles.
Balsa wood sticks and sheets - Thinner than basswood and easier to cut, but much more fragile.
Bass wood sticks and sheets
Matchsticks - Great for a variety of random projects and inexpensive. Same with toothpicks.

Clamps of different sizes
Metal ruler - Use metal so that you don't knick the ruler as you cut.
Cutting mat - I love the ones with rulers on them which helps greatly with measuring and gluing small pieces.
Sandpaper (fine, medium, and rough)

Scrapbook paper -  Excellent solution for wallpaper and even flooring.
Wood filler - Sandable and stainable. Used for filling in gaps in smaller areas.
Painter's tape - Use painter's or masking tape so that you don't pull off finishes if holding pieces together.

Other Great-To-Have Items But Probably Not Necessary At First
Dremel - Great for sanding, small cutting, and making finer details in wood. I have a "no name" brand Dremel, and it works great.
Basic jewelry making tools - Flush cutter, Round nose pliers, and chain nose pliers. Used for making your own hardware or other metal-based projects.
Cricut Maker - I don't own a Cricut Maker yet, but am really eager to get one. Can be used to cut thinner sheets of wood as well as a ton of other materials.

This list will be dynamic, and I will add as I try out more tools!


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