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Dollhouse miniature scales

Making minatures involves calculating and dealing with figures. "What's your scale?",  people may ask you. 

spoon full
Contents basket hot cross buns
Porcelain Shoeshine Kid 1:12 Scale Miniature Doll 

Are you a scale snob? - from Small Packages. This article is a good explanation of why projects in the wiki are mainly grouped by subject rather than scale


List of different scales 

Check the picture on A Sheila's Shed for a visual of the different scales. using dolls and recliners.



6 foot man in

  • 1/144-scale = 1/2" tall
  • QS-scale = 1-1/2" tall
  • HS-scale = 3" tall
  • HO-scale = 3/4" tall or 13/16"
  • N-scale = 3/8" tall
  • S-Scale = 1-1/8" tall
  • height of a person is is usually the same as their measurement from finger tips on one outstretched arm, across the shoulders, to finger tip on the other outstretched arm.

To convert QS plans to Micro scale divide the measurements by 3 or 33.3%. 1mm = 6 inches (or near enough) in 144th scale and it's a handy quick check.

Across the Scales:  plant pots for the table make great outdoor plant pots in tiny scales, round trays for table tops, jewellery (or other) boxes become chests, good for the old pirate scene too. Also works in opposite, trees from the tiny scales make great bushes or trimmed bonsai in larger scales. Dolls can become people, toys can become whimsical folk (think Raggedy Ann) and of course some of the play scale (or Rement) makes great homes for the whimsical and naturally little hutches make good baby houses.
 Used a smaller model rr scale chest of drawers (maybe N?) as a jewelry chest on a 1/4 dresser, an N scale park bench to make a low table for towels and toiletries in a qs bathroom, a BPF round table as a bedside table in 1/24,  a 1/12th scale tart pan to suggest a bundt cake pan in 1/4,  N scale people and animals to make figurines and sculpture pieces in 1/12

Railroad people have very strange ideas about scale and everything is based on their track size not the scale. HO is 1/87 but there are O scale trains with narrower wheels that will run on HO track although the train itself is larger and HO that runs on N scale (144) track called Hon3 or something like that. Even regular O scale is listed at 1:43 OR 1:48 which makes their people all over 6 scale feet as most manufacturers use 1:43 scale for the people for some reason. Woodland Scenic accessories seem to stick to 1:48 but Lifelike are 1:43. If there is a 3 after the number then the scale is usually not what we would expect. For modellers that argue over the number of rivets there should be on the side of a locomotive or whether an engine cab had a large or small air horn on the left , and I've listened to some of those arguments, I will never understand why they just don't seem to care if the scales are accurate. They just say "oh it depends on the manufacturer" . Truly weird people. So watch out of the different makes - US scale is 1:48, UK is 1:43 and some are 1:50.

  • You can be your own ruler! For example, my hand, from the base of my palm to the tip of my middle finger, is about 6"; the width across my palm is 3" and my thumb is 2½" long from tip to knuckle. So I instantly know that any doll (especially female) taller than my palm is too tall for 1/12 scale and that any table height different than the length of my thumb is not conventional dining height (30").
    On the other side, my forearm, from the inside of my elbow to the base of my index finger, measures 12", so a 1" long miniature would be the size of my forearm in real life – would that really be accurate for a miniature whatever?
    My favorite mini measure is my little fingernail, which is just about the size of a doll’s hand. If a hand the size of my fingernail couldn’t grasp the mini, the mini is out of scale.
    So pull out a ruler and take your own handy measurements; they’ll be with you wherever you go.
  • 1:12 dollhouses are often undersized to fit more rooms into an available space. To still fit the same furniture in the rooms, the items also have to be slightly undersized. It doesn’t help that some makers and many collectors really don’t understand scale. One inch equals one foot further helps to confuse the issue. (one inch equals twelve inches, a small but significant difference) and referring to 1:24 or 1:48 as half scale or quarter scale muddies the water still further. The upshot is that if you have a smaller house with lots of smaller rooms you will have to look for or make slightly undersized furniture to make it all work.
  • 1/148 is British N scale
  • 1/150 is Japanese N scale 
  • 1/160 is N scale in most of the rest of the world



All about Scales - from Icklebits

Convert Inches and Centimeters - from Manuel's Web

Doll Scale Size Chart - by Weaverlili

Inch to Metric Conversion

List of Scale Model Sizes - from Wikipedia

Online Scale Converter - from Scale Modellers World

 Proportional Scale Wheel - from Dick Blick

Scale Calculator - from The art of Dollhouse Miniatures

Scale converter - from Zooplies Miniature Haven

Tips for Scales - understanding and converting scale ratios by Chris Appoldt, Finescale.com

To Scale, a Miniaturist's Guide - printable booklet by Joanne Swanson

What Scale is my Doll - from Joanne's minis

To tell if a fabric is in scale for your project regardless of your scale

  •   cut yourself a piece of index card that fits easily into your wallet
  • for 1/12th scale cut a window in this piece of index card that measures 1 inch square.
  • for 1/24 th scale (1/2 inch) cut a window in this piece of index card that measures 1/2 inch square.
  •  for 1/48 th scale (1/4 inch) cut a window in this piece of index card that measures 1/4 inch square.
  • Cover the card with tape so it stays stronger or laminate it.
  • When in the fabric store place your scale square on top of the fabric. What you see in the square is how the fabric will "read or look" in your chosen scale. Some fabrics look fine to the eye without this gadget but really they don't work.

To determine if something you are buying for your dollhouse in in the correst scale

  • refer to a doll house doll making book (eg. Sue Heaser's Making Dollhouse Dolls with Polymer Clay). Make a copy of the adult size dolls and carry it with your mini purchasing paraphenalia. Take it out when you are buying furniture

List of Scale Model Sizes  - from Wikipedia

Visual comparison of railroad scales

Printable figures to check different scales



Scales - from Bentley House Miniatures 


For Sale

Scale Card and Ruler - There are two kinds, one is the size of a card and on the long side it measures up to (scale) 39 feet, on the short side it measures to 12 feet. Shows ideal figure sizes for a male, female and 1 yr old.  It's clear & flexible  can be carried in a wallet for reference for scale when purchasing. The other is also clear & flexible is 6" (in real size) long and about 1/2" wide, for the tool box.


If you create new pages, keep in mind that the scale pages urls are named "1ton" where n is the number, e.g. 1to12 = 1:12 or 1/12 scale. In the page url the to is used instead of / or : because they are illegal url characters.


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Comments (8)

johanna janhonen said

at 10:14 pm on May 6, 2009

What is your favourite scale? Any that you don't like at all?

johanna janhonen said

at 10:31 pm on May 6, 2009

At the moment my favourite is 1:24 because it is the newest for me and also quite challenging because you don't find so many ready items.

pubdoll said

at 12:18 am on May 7, 2009

My favourite scale is 1:16th. I like that it's not so easy to get things in that scale. If I had a dollhouse in the 1:12th scale I would have had a hard time limiting myself:)
I see by the way that Lundby says that they are in 1:18th scale, but I always calculate with 1:16 when I decorate my Lundby houses.
Earlier, when their dolls and some of their furniture was a bit smaller, Lundby also said they was in 1:16th scale.. Either they or I am confused about how to calculate scales..

johanna janhonen said

at 9:43 am on May 7, 2009

I'm also confused about the Lundby scales but anyway the difference is not that big. Sometimes the bigger items look better than the correct scale, I have used Re-ment stuff (1:6) in my 1:12 dollhouse (e.g. the crystals in the wiki logo) and I think they look great.

pubdoll said

at 4:33 am on May 9, 2009

I have measured some of the supposed 1:6th scale re-ment items and found it to be closer to 1:8th scale, which makes it more usable also for smaller dollhouses.

Enchanticals said

at 11:13 pm on Oct 19, 2009

My most comfortable scale is 1:6, but I do adore miniatures at 1:12 scale.

pubdoll, Re-ment now seems to be all over the board scale-wise. I bought a set and it was said to be appropriate for1:6th scale. It was not. It was 1:12th. Of course, being a miniaturist, I put it to good use. But, now, with Re-ment I never know what scale I am truly getting and the big retailers are no help.

Linda McD said

at 3:49 am on Dec 4, 2011

I reverted this page to delete a scammer, but couldn't find the user to delete>>

johanna janhonen said

at 10:54 am on Dec 4, 2011

She was maybe deleted earlier when she had spammed other pages too.

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