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Miniature embellishment projects for dollhouses, roomboxes and dioramas

Dollmakers creating "Romantic" dolls use a number of trims and techniques to embellish the costumes. Fabric, notions, lace, bows, buttons all combine to make a finished product. This is a page to collect information and tutorials about the methods used.


Also see pages with shop tag, and sewing, needlecrafts, haberdashery

For RL shops selling miniature goods, see shops

Refer to the pages on hats, and underwear as well as Bunka.

Also, trims may be used in upholstery and soft furnishings, beds, curtains.

This is the place for the picture

Links to projects using miniature embellishments



  • photo albums, blog posts, webpages


Embellishment Blogs

  • Blogs concentrating on embellishments or categories/labels about them in blogs

Costuming and Trim Newsletter

Embellishment Groups

  • Discussion groups, forums (or forum categories) and photo groups dedicated to embellishments.


Embellishment Supplies for sale

  • Supplies needed for embellishing projects.

Costumes and Trim - check out the newsletter

Cynthia Howe Miniatures - insect pins for draping -no pin holes!

Classic Silks - from Sylvia in Milton Keynes, United Kingom

Dharma Trading Company - textile craft supplies, info, tutorials, and supplies for dyeing.

Enchanted Attic - by Barb Spencer, textiles

Empyrean Beads

Fairy Lace - from Dollhouse Trims, UK

Fairy Lace - from Miniature Luxuries

Farmhouse Fabrics

Feather-Craft Fly Fishing - you will be surprised how many of these supplies are useful in mini!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads - just about everything to do with beading

May Arts - ribbons, including sheer, satin, grosgrain, silk and a variety of patterns and prints. Wholesaler, but look on the sidebar for retail stores

Robins Eggery - Angel Lace in several colors, and lots of other rhinestones, trims and goodies

Timber Ridge Studio

Trims - Deb Laue at Dragonfly International, has a great variety pack of fairy lace

Trims - Michelle Mahler, the Doll Artist's Workshop

Woven Silk Ribbon Skirt - bridal gown pattern by Kathi Mendenhall


Miniature Embellishments for sale

  • Do you have a section for embellishments in your shop? Add a direct link to that item here.



  • Books about miniature embellishments  (also books with chapters about them)


Instructions for miniature embellishments

Miniature embellishment printables

Embellishment Wallpapers

  • Wallpapers that go well with embellishment projects

Other Embellishment Printies

  • Book/magazine covers related to embellishments

Embellishment Links

  • links to sites showing how to make items related to embellishments

Braid - from Threads Magazine

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button - from Wings n things, includes frog fastenings

Dyeing Feathers - CDHM Tutorial by Kerri Pajutee

Dyeing Fabric and Ribbon - edge-dyeing ribbon

Edwardian Beading - by MSAT Minidolls

Fabric Printing -  by Cynthia Howe

Flat Braids - from About.com. Make gimp, and trims for your projects

Faux Puff and Slash - from Alysten's blog. Used for Tudor style.

French Hand Sewing - by Cynthia Howe, illustrating heirloom lace techniques

Friendship Bracelets - from Instructables, can be used to make custom trims

Frogs and Decorativee Fastenings - by Mary Hunt

Gathering Swiss and French Laces - from La Petite Belle Patterns

Inkle Loom - for weaving braids, from Instructables

Techniques for Hair and Lace - by MSAT Minidolls

How to Print on Fabric - using Downy white fabric softener

Make Tiny Buttons - by Swallowhill Miniatures

Millinery Decorations - by MSAT Minidolls

Piping for Furniture and Clothing -  by Miss Kris (also see PPSS)

Pleated Dust Ruffle - by Wanna in El Paso

Pleats - homemade pleater by Doreen Playter. Maybe give a couple of coats of varnish to seal the cardboard?

Pleater - from Yakkity Yak Dolls

Pulling Ribbon - video by Stacy Hoffman

Ribbon Rose Tutorial - ribbon rose tutorial

Ribbon Roses - by Swallowhill Miniatures

Ribbon Roses - make silk, satin or ribbon roses from wikihow

Roll and Whip - La Petite Belle Patterns

Ruching Ribbon - from La Petite Belle Patterns

Ruching and bows on Bridal Garter - by Lucie Winsky

Tassels - from About.com

Tassels - from Amanda

Tassels - from Creative Doll

Tassels - from Creative Poppy

Tassels - from Ehow

Tassel - by Minipatterns

Tassels - by Anna-Carin Betzén

Twisted Thread - from About.com



  •  YouTube videos about miniature projects related to this subject




Research/ Inspiration about Miniature embellishments

Decorative Frogs - from the Jane Austen Centre

Embellishments - Google Documents file

Embellishments - Pinterest board by Paola Ragonesi. Fabulous sewing and decorative techniques.

What is Mica - by The Creative Doll - add glitter to those dresses.

Paracord - Pinterest board by Joe Curtis. Use embroidery thread to create trims and braids.


Miniature Trim Tips/Hints

Bits and bobs

  •  Look through bargain bins and sales tables for little girls' hair trims which can be taken apart as a great source for ribbons and trims, including jewels, for hatmaking. And speaking of jewels, consider those nail trims from the dollar store.

  • Buy the bulky furnishing gimp braid and unpick it all back to the original components, so all the different textures of trims and cords which are exactly the same colour because they were all dyed together.
  •   Make silk ribbon bows of all sizes and shapes; form rosettes with a gathering thread on one edge; ruch by pulling a thread on both edges, and of course, create silk roses with a pick.  For other kinds of synthetic ribbon that may not normally glue well, just tie a series of knots of various sizes down the length of the ribbon.  Glue holds the knot in place, and these can be cut apart later and used as stylistic roses.  Glue various shades of green ribbon back on itself to form a sandwich and cut varying leaf shapes.  Play with Bunka, by pulling threads to make it ruffle, or also tying knots in some, as well.  Cut feathers into shorter pieces, separating them into their little fluffy bits, spiky parts, wider sections, etc., curl some by pulling over the edge of scissors.
  • Play with laces, too, pulling threads to make ruffles, cutting them apart into smaller elements.  Smooth glue onto a cut-out section with a piece of card, then use a stylus to indent the center and make cupped shapes, much as one shapes paper into flower petals.  Pre-gathered laces often have a net piece that encases the gathered edge.  Removing the thread yields netting in all colors that can be gathered and scrunched for hat trims (See lace for video about how to use larger lace pieces)
  • Take apart artificial flowers, and look for bits that can be added to my hat trims.
  • Work on items in your spare time, watching TV, etc. All bits, along with pearls, findings, sequins, jewels, flower stamens, can go into divided plastic boxes,not only useful for hat trims, but for trimming clothing and purses, etc., as well. Then you have drawers of trims, laces and ribbons in plastic bags,which come in handy when something small is needed. All that mindless prep work is already done! 



  • There is a tool called a Pretty Pleater, developed by d. Anne Ruff, but corrugated cardboard covered with plastic wrap works as well. Or cover a piece of Stryofoam with plastic wrap and pin the fabric in the drape desired. Reviewed in About.com
  • Sheer fabric in the Pretty Pleater 
  • Make sure that the fabric or ribbon you are using is cotton or silk. Synthetics are very stubborn when it comes to pleating!
  • When it is dry, iron a piece of iron on interfacing to the top edge of the pleats, while the fabric is still in the pleater. When you take it out, the fabric should look like one sided corrugated card, and you can press the pleats whichever way you want them. Or, alternatively, run a stitch along the exposed edges of the pleats (before you take it out of the pleater) and use that to control the pleats.
  • To keep the fabric in a pleater, wet it well and then put coffee stirrers or kebob sticks in the wet pleats to hold them in place until the fabric dries. Turn them occasionally to prevent sticking to the fabric. If they still show signs of wanting to creep out of the pleater, set a glue bottle (or similar) on top of the pleated material to hold it in place.
  • When you are taking fabric out of the Pretty Pleater, don't pull it out. Instead, bend the Pleater backwards, like a taco, and itll pop out without stretching the pleats.
  • Corrugated cardboard can be used when covered with plastic wrap.Or a hot water bottle with grooves.
  • See RL pleater board instructions in video and inspiring pages below.
  • Pleated dust ruffle? Doreen went to the fabric store for hers 

Gluing lace

  • Cut the lace pieces apart and spread glue along your skin (or a piece of plastic or something), spread the glue evenly and thinly. Place the wrong side of your lace, yes there is a right and wrong side, into the glue, you can bray it if it is necessary. Pull the piece of lace up, allow the glue to dry to slightly tacky. It will look opaque and not white or clear. Place the lace on the fabric, cover with a cloth and press with an iron. (With or without steam.) Set aside to cool. Cut the pieces out around the lace pattern pieces. No glue showing.
  • If you need chenille trim or very fine feathers for clothing or floral arrangements, the most unlikely place to check is...a full line bait/fishing equipment store. They sell the prettiest pastel colors of chenille trim for using with bedding, curtains (as tie backs) and for lots of other uses.


  • Most cotton lace and many fancy silk ribbons have a pull thread on at least one side, allowing them to be shirred or ruched around curves without having to sew a gathering stitch or find matching thread. Use tweezers or a needle to tease out the pull thread on one side (it is usually heavier than the threads around it and is very near the edge).Gently pull the thread to gather the lace fully or just enough to shape it to a curve.

  • Ruching -  Measure how much ruched ribbon is required.(for example, 6 inches of ruching,use a 12 inch piece of ribbon. Start at one end and gradually move the ruched ribbon to the middle of the piece of ribbon. Keep doing this till the ribbon measures 3 inches from the middle ruching to the end of the section of ribbon.. Now start

    on the other end and move the ruched ribbon to the middle again and measure. When it measures 6 inches just a drop of glue on each end will hold the

    thread from coming undone and you have 6 inches of ruched ribbon.

    Another way which works well is to sew a zig zag stitch (by hand )(from side to side on the ribbon and pull this up to the size needed.

  • To add trim to the bottom of long skirts....use 1/2" wide ribbon and sew diagonal stitches from side to side, then gather. The ribbon will gather into scallops. 

  • Fill plastic cup half full of cold water. Add ¼ c salt to each and stir.  Place ribbon in cup and soak for 10 minutes. Use freezer paper, plastic side down as a work surface. Remove ribbon and squeeze out the salt water. Open and lay flat. The ribbon can zig-zag back and forth if it is a long piece. Immediately color with pens. Use 3 or 4 colors per ribbon, saving the lightest color to use as blender. Skip pen along ribbon, leaving space for other colors. Lightly color entire ribbon with *blender* pen after all other colors have been applied. Ribbon will be two shades lighter after it dries. Lay ribbon on paper towel for ten minutes. Rinse repeatedly in clean water until clear. Squeeze out excess water and dry on paper towel. Press with a hot iron, which gives the ribbon a new lustre.
  • Use a head lice comb for pleating silk ribbon for my tiny 1 1/2" dolls. - don't gross out, it's the smallest comb available. Just weave 7mm and smaller ribbon through the teeth and spray with hair spray or dip in water. Makes the most dainty trim. Try the pet store for the comb.


  • Take a length of grosgrain ribbon, cut the length to the desired width and pull threads to make the fringe.
  •  ecru or tan muslin. apply Fray Check on one edge and fringe the other side. The selvedge edge is great for this. Just cut a strip along the selvedge edge without removing the selvedge and fray the other side. This way Fray Check is not needed.

Fur Trim 

  • Chenille pipe cleaners can be glued onto cuffs and hems.l
  • Look for silk teddy bear fur,  will be perfect for winter accessories and coats  It comes in several scales, with a choice of  many colours, fur length and texture.


  • to add various edgings to veils, not just bridal veils, glue a line of matching color silk thread across the entire width and length of the tulle before gathering (slightly rounding the corners). After the glue dried, cut along the line of thread with tiny scissors. This gives a neat but fairly unobtrusive finish so the fullness of the tulle is paramount and not a fancier edging. Experiment with gluing on bits of cutout lace. Even when they seem a bit out of scale when first glued on, by the time the veil was fully gathered, they still look good. Covering the veiling with a cotton handkerchief and pressing down hard with an iron (NOT on its hottest setting !!!) helped the pieces meld together well before gathering.
  • use lace pieces like a stencil and paint on the design with glittery nail polish.
  • dry brushing with paint gives just enough of a faint finished design to be interesting.
  • after the pieces have been glued into place, trace around the designs with glue and sprinkle on various glitters, colored sands and no hole beads, patting them in place.


  • Create a pattern on velvet using a flower press. Take an index card, glue to velvet ribbon.using Tacky glue. Take a rubber stamp and gently stamp design on velvet card. When ink is dry, cut out a pattern in desired shape. Select Bunka in a contrasting colour, pull it and glue to rubber stamp design. THEN put entire piece in flower press and let dry overnight. IF you do the Bunka nicely - it actually flattens out and looks embroidered! You can also outline design in one shade of Bunka, and fill in with other shades.Try adding a bit of flocking to fill in gaps. Try adding a few no hole beads for different looks.The main thing is the heavy pressure of the flower press to create a very realistic miniature flat design. 


  • Save those sequin centers. When applied and then coated (with a dot) of clear polish over the top – it makes it dome shaped – just like a rhinestone for next to nothing in cost.
  • Search for the micro rhinestone pixie crystals used for nails. Nice to use for crowns. 


Ideas about what is needed for these projects

  • links to inspiring pages

How to Dye Crepe Paper - might work with fabric or ribbon too...as well as paper

How to Use a Pleater Board - from Wildly Wonderful Wearables

Pleater Board - from Burda Style

Pleater Board - from Made by Lex

Pleater board - from  Pattern Review.com

  • ideas for shop names
  • YouTube videos about the subject



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