Making
Miniatures

One of my hobbies is making miniatures.

workshop
My "workshop"

Miniature-making tips from a reader :
  I'm also a fan of making miniatures and thought I'd pass along a couple tips in case any other readers of yours are interested in getting into the hobby. I use a drafting table for my workspace with a built-in lamp/magnifying glass. I can't tell you how important a well-lit workspace is and it'll really save your eyes. I also found the greatest set of tools at a garden center for bonsai plants. They're designed for small, delicate work and really come in handy. Lastly, and this is not for everyone, but after years of wearing glasses I had lasik done at Denver Lasik. My work has so much more detail now because I can actually see the details! I'd highly recommend it.

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The first miniature I ever made was at least 20 years ago.

One of my sisters had a dollhouse, so for a Christmas present one year, I made a miniature oil painting for her to hang on the dollhouse wall.

art painting
The oil painting held in my fingers

There used to be an art store near where I live that sold a miniature, framed canvas! I bought one, and did an oil painting on it. I learned to do oil paintings watching William Alexander's Magic of Oil Painting on TV, and had a set of paints to go along with that, and I made it using those paints to paint this picture. Needless to say, I used a pretty small brush!

painting in her dollhouse
My painting hanging in her old dollhouse


Around 10 years ago I started making miniatures for money, with a company called Cottage Industries in Florida. I bought a book of opportunities for working at home. This was the only one of them that turned out to be successful.
They start by charging $50, and they send the supplies and instructions for the miniature items they need. Then, usually after a few practice tries, when the entire set of a specific number of items is sent in, they send $50 plus the cost of postage, and a new kit for making more of the same items or something different.

The first thing I made was the miniature brooms.

Broomin fingers

Over the next several years, I made miniature wreaths, playing cards, paper decorations, Christmas trees, and bows. Here are some pictures of some of these other things I made for them:

paper ball.jpg paper bell wreath playing cards

Making the bows was so tedious, I stopped doing them.


Then last summer, I decided to take up making miniatures again. But this time, I'd make what I wanted to make!

I decided to take a crack at making miniatures out of wood. I bought a supply of wood from a nearby hobby store, and used an x-acto knife and some glue and started experimenting. In need of additional money, I decided to see what I could sell on eBay. I sold a few things that way.

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