Dollhouse Scale - Factory Direct Craft
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What Do I have / What Size Should I Buy?!
Many words are thrown around in regard to the size of items. Miniature, mini, ultra-mini, superduper-redicu-mini (ok, I made that one up) and more are used in titles and descriptions. The only true way to know if an item will look right and fit properly in your dollhouse is by sticking to the same SCALE. Dollhouse miniatures can be SO detailed, it makes it hard to determine if a new plush loveseat will look right next to your coffee table and floor lamp. Pictures do not tell the whole story. Check the scale!
What is Scale, you ask? Scale is a term relating to the size of an item to its full-size counterpart. Scale is written as a ratio of numbers. A full-size item would be 1:1. A product that is exactly half the size of the original would be 1:2 and so on. A rocking chair for a child may be close to 1:2 of the adult version. The scales we will focus on are 1:6, 1:12, 1:24, 1:48, and 1:144.
- 1:6 Scale, also known as Play or Fashion Scale, it is mostly seen in fashion dolls (think Barbie). Here, one inch equals 6 inches in real life. So a six-foot tall person would be modeled at one foot (12 inches) tall. This is an ideal size for something children will use for play.
- 1:12 Scale, the most common dollhouse scale, and generally referred to as Dollhouse, Surprise! A majority of standardized dollhouses, furniture, accessories, and figures are manufactured around the 1:12 scale. In the USA, this makes it easy for us to calculate, since one foot in reality equals one inch in dollhouse scale. So a three foot high table in your kitchen would be a three inch high table in your dollhouse. A standard eight foot ceiling in a house is eight inches in a dollhouse.
- 1:24 Scale, or Half Scale, is half the size of Dollhouse scale. 1:24 scale items placed in a 1:12 dollhouse will appear undersized and child-like. Not as much detail can be put into 1:24 items, so they will usually be more simple in design or decoration. To keep with the example of the three foot table in your house, the dollhouse table would now stand an inch and a half high.
- 1:48 Scale, Quarter Scale, is half again the size. So your table is now three quarters of an inch high. One real-life foot is one quarter of an inch.
- 1:144 Scale, Micro Scale, or that size you want if you are making a dollhouse to go IN your dollhouse!
Other scales, and unscaled items definitely exist. You will definitely have to measure and do some math. We will talk about how to do that coming up next
What Scale do I have?! To be able to determine what the scale is of the things are already own, we will have to measure and compare it to a known source. The seat of a dining room chair is relatively consistent, as are dining tables, door frames, and ceilings heights. Comparing miniature items to these real-life equivalents will approximate the scale on the items you possess. Below you will find examples of the four instances I have just referenced above.
Real Chair = 19"
Miniature Chair = 1.625"
Real / Mini = 19 / 1.625 = 11.69 or 1:12 scale.
Real Table = 29.5"
Miniature Table = 2.375"
Real / Mini = 29.5 / 2.375 = 12.4 or 1:12 scale.
Real Door = 80"
Miniature Door = 3.25"
Real / Mini = 80 / 3.25 = 24.6 or 1:24 scale.
Standard Ceiling Height = Generally Between 96"and 108"
Dollhouse Ceiling Height = 8.375"
Real / Mini = (96 or 108) / 8.375 = between 11.46 & 12.9 or 1:12 scale.
To Estimate the scale of your items, divide the measurement of your real-life item by your miniature. The result should be *close* to one of the numbers we have discussed. Your numbers may be slightly above or below, but they should be within one or two of the scale factor. So if you got between 10 and 14, that is probably 1:12. If you came out something between 14 and 22, either check your numbers, or see if you may have an item that is not-to-scale, or possibly a more exotic scale standard. Other scales do exist. When purchasing new items or a house for the items you own, stick to the scale you calculated and everything should look nice and tidy!
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