This list is ever evolving! Making your miniatures means dabbling in every possible craft making as possible. We cut wood, paint designs, sew, learn about electrical wiring, form with clay, make things with UV resin, cut paper… you name it, we try it.
Many of us are Jack of all trades, master of none. While others find what they exceptional at and just stick with that.
I did my best to include everything from super cheap to “I wish I could afford this” and of course, options in between. I do NOT own all of this myself. I buy tools as I need them or if I find them on sale!
Do you need all of this stuff to make your own dollhouse miniatures? Of course not!
Do you need to learn and master all of these amazing skills? Not at all!
Choose what you want to learn and what you are comfortable with, then feel free to buy the miniatures that you have no intention, desire or ability to make yourself!
Not all of us can afford to buy a $100 electric miniature chandelier, but there are plenty of hacks to make your own – and no electrical engineering degree is required.
I have linked these items to Amazon and Etsy, primarily, but you can definitely find them at craft stores, dollar stores, thrift stores and hardware stores.
All of my blog tutorials offer a supply list for each specific dollhouse DIY project, but here is where I pull all of those resources together in one spot. If you are new to mini making, start with the basics then eventually find what you are good at, then branch out and expand your tools and supplies from there.
And of course, remember to have fun and use that amazing imagination you have inside of you!
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
- X-acto blade is the perfect knife to start your min-making journey without busting your budget. Do try to get assorted blades so you can cut woods of different thicknesses.
- Small hand saw is kinda like an X-acto on steroids and is a budget friendly saw for cutting thicker woods.
- Miter shears are the next step up in cutting wood without going electric. You can cut an assorted number of woods with these.
- Mini table saw is on my Christmas list. I can not for the life of me cut straight even with all these extra tools. So I can’t wait to get this baby!
- Cutting pliers for small jobs and wire cutters for heavy duty jobs. In fact, if you don’t have any pliers, get a jewelers plier set like these.
- Dremel Hand Tool is another great tool to invest in when you are ready to step your mini making game. It’s great for drilling, sanding, cutting, polishing… you name it!
- Manual Vise Hand Drill is a low-budget way to manually drill precise holes and tiny screws.
- Mini lathe is for serious wood workers who want to turn and carve their own miniature wood pieces.
- Vacuum Forming Molding Machine is also for serious miniaturists who want to create plastic or acrylic mini packaging and products.
- Glass Tubing Cutters are great for cutting glass pieces and tubes to make miniature glasses, pots and bowls from glass.
- Magnetic gluing jig is great to insure your pieces are flat and level. Many mini makers DIY a gluing jig with Legos too!
- Miter box is important when you are cutting angles for picture frames, baseboards or other wood trim.
- Small level is handy to make your mini projects are perfectly level.
- Long handled tweezers are a must when making minis and even placing your miniatures in your dollhouse.
- Metal ruler with cork backing holds its place and doesn’t slide when you are trying to make precise cuts.
- Small clamps or large binder clips to insure a tight hold while your glue dries.
- Cutting mat because you do NOT want to screw up your table top!
- Aleen’s tacky glue is the all-purpose glue I use for most every mini making project. It is thick so it holds your piece in place but stays wet long enough for you to readjust. It also dries clear and can be painted.
- Waterproof glue is a must if your mini is going to hold water or needs to be waterproof.
- Wood glue that dries clear is heavy duty for making dollhouse furniture or wood flooring.
- Hot glue can be controversial in the mini world. But I find it works great in several situations, including gluing fabrics.
- Super glue is great when you need your mini project to hold quick and fast.
- Instant glue with an activator is something I have not tried yet, but I have heard is terrific for wood working. You add the glue, adhere your pieces together, then when it is in the right position, you spray with the activator and it instantly sets.
- Mod podge is a cheap clear coating for many mini projects and come in a variety of finishes, like Matte or Gloss or Waterproof.
- Crystal clear spray coating is similar to polyurethane. It protects printouts or anything else you want to have a clear coat or gloss.
- Adhesive putty stickers or adhesive putty are great ways to hang or place miniatures in a secure but temporary place.
- Double sided tape works great as another way to secure your minis.
- Basswood sheets are a terrific choice for making dollhouse furniture. It is a strong wood that is easy to cut. You can buy it in an assortment of thickness like 1/16-inch thick basswood or ⅛-inch basswood.
- Balsa wood is lighter than basswood and more fragile, but it can be used in a variety of projects.
- Popsicle sticks, jumbo popsicle sticks and coffee stir sticks are also great woods to make miniature furniture, accessories or flooring. And they are cheap, too!
- Thin craft wood circles and thick craft wood circles are pre-cut and great for miniature making.
- Wood craft candlesticks and mini wood finials are great finds and help make dollhouse tables, lamps, vases and so many other great things.
- Craft wood pieces like mini wood spindles, mini wood spools, mini wood pegs, mini wood dowel caps and mini wood acorn caps are also incredible inexpensive and useful in lots of miniature craft projects.
- Wood veneer can be used for flooring and many other wood projects.
- Wood stains are a must when it comes to making your dollhouse furniture. Minwax Wood Stain Provencial 211 is currently my favorite.
- Wood Carving tool set is a great way for beginners who want to hand carve their wood pieces.
- Wood burning kit is a fun option for adding details to your wood furniture and other creations.
- Assorted grits of sand paper
- Tiny nails
- Mini screws
- Acrylic paint is terrific for painting practically anything, including hardened clay. Plus cleanup is easy.
- Metallic paints are a great way for faux metal: zinc metallic paint, gold paint
- Glass paint is a great choice when you want transparent color. So use this when painting clear acrylics, glass or resin pieces.
- Chalk paint is a great option for a more rustic color and finish.
- Crackle medium is a must when you are doing faux finishes and want an aged look to your piece.
- Spray paints in assorted colors make for quick and smooth paint jobs.
- Enamel paints are needed for some metal surfaces.
- Canvas wrapped on cardboard and canvas stretched on a wood frame are great options for painting your own artwork.
- Paint brushes
- Paint palette
- Fimo polymer clay is a great choice for those who are new to polymer clay crafting. They come in a variety of textures and colors.
- Cernit translucent clay is probably the best translucent clay I have found. Cernit clay in general is of better quality than Fimo and Sculpey and yes, more expensive.
- Air dry clay does not need to be baked and is an expensive clay medium to work with. Once dried, you can paint your final product, but it is NOT waterproof.
- Pastels are how you can color your own clay. It is also used to ‘paint’ color onto your clay piece BEFORE baking. You can also use colored eye shadow.
- White liquid polymer is just what its name suggests and can be used alone or mixed with regular clay. It can be colored with pastels. It is used for a variety of effects, like mimicking icing, frosting or sauces. It comes in white, metallics, assorted colors and even clear liquid polymer. It can be a way to glue clay pieces together, as long you bake it per package directions.
- Gold foil or gold leaf can be worked into clay to give metallic effects.
- Craft sand: I have found that craft sand mimics sugar sprinkles perfectly. You can find it in a number of different colors or just use white. You can also mix it into your clay to give it texture.
- Satin glaze gives your clay a glossy look. Some people use UV resin over their final clay piece.
- Silicone molds like you can get from etsy shop Ah La Molds or on Amazon. You can also use silicone molds that are made for fondant, too. And remember, when working with silicone molds, add a little cornstarch or baby powder to help release the clay more easily.
- Silicone mat for a work surface. You can also use a ceramic tile, a flat piece of glass or parchment paper.
- Mini cutters come in all shapes and sizes. You can find them specifically for cutting clay or look in the baking section for fondant cutters. These round cutters have an assortment of shapes and sizes. Etsy shops sell even more custom clay cutters for you to choose from.
- Small clay sculpting tools are great for helping you shape your clay creations. You can also use fondant tools.
- A small rolling pin is needed to hand roll your clay flat. You can also invest in a pasta machine or clay rolling machine.
- Toaster oven dedicated to baking your polymer clay creations is important as the clay does produce fumes. You do not want to bake your clay in the oven that you use for cooking food. Find one that bakes, has temperature controls that go below 200ºF and gives you ample time controls.
- Mini potting wheel is a fun way to try to shape and form clay. I haven’t tested mine yet, but from what I’ve learned this potting wheel is good for air dry clay and clay that is baked in a kiln. It is tougher to use with polymer clay, as you can’t add water to it.
- Toothbrush helps add texture to your clay creations. You can use a pick to add stronger texture and lines.
- Wet wipes are used to wipe your piece down before you bake it to remove dirt and lint.
- Latex finger covers are great to keep our finger prints off the clay since we usually handle our miniature creations with a couple fingers.
- UV resin comes in so many varieties. Choose one that dries crystal clear.
- UV light is needed to cure your resin project. These are the same lights that nail salons use.
- Clear UV nail polish is sometimes used to give a final gloss coat to your project.
- 2 part crystal clear epoxy resin does not use UV light to cure, but cures in about 24 hours.
- Alcohol dyes are used to add transparent color to your resin.
- Mica powder is added to resin to color it.
- Some places you can find silicone molds for your dollhouse miniatures at etsy store: A Tiny Obsession or Amazon.
- Silicone putty or molding paste is a two part putty when combined renders into a flexible but stable mold. This is a great way to make a lot of items that you want them all to look the same. This mold can be used for resin and polymer clay.
- Goggles and face masks are needed when dealing with resin.
- Latex gloves are needed when handling resin in the creation process.
- Silicone tools for resin projects are great if you need to maneuver the liquid resin in your mold.
- Jewelry chains are great for when you need mini chains for hanging planters or chandeliers.
- Eye pins can be used for so many things including holding rods on your dollhouse oven or mini toilet paper roll. Jumper rings are also incredible helpful in mini-making.
- Bullet earring backs WITH the plastic disc can be used for a variety of different ways, from candlesticks to knobs on a dollhouse oven.
- Beads, beads and more beads! I scour the bead section of craft stores and my mother’s junk drawers looking for beads! They can be used for light fixtures, drawer handles, faucets, pots for plants and for many other fabulous projects. They come in all kinds of shapes and colors made of metal, plastic, glass, wood and ceramic.
- I have a love for charms as much as I love beads! They come in so many varieties and can be used as dollhouse accessories. You can find charms that are mini gumball machines, teapot, the Eiffel tower, and even mini dinosaurs.
- Cricut Maker or Cricut Maker 3 cuts wood, chipboard, cardboard, paper and fabrics. It doesn’t cut as delicately as a laser cutter, but it is much cheaper and still very versatile.
- Cricut’s 3mm basswood can be cut for dollhouse furniture but can be cut in precise small cuts like a laser cutter works.
- Chipboard is 2mm thick and is sturdy enough to be used for dollhouse furniture making.
- Kraftboard is thicker than card stock and can be cut in small precise pieces.
- Knife blade is used to cut wood and chipboard.
- Fine point blade is used to cut paper and card stock.
- Fabric blade is used to well, cut fabrics with the cricut.
- Assorted Cricut grip mats for the different materials you use.
- Cricut mini heat press can be used to add heat press vinyls to your mini creations like totes and pillows.
I have not wired my own dollhouse for electricity, having torn out the old copper tape that I installed 40 years ago as a child. As I learn more about installing your own electrical wiring, I will add those resources here.
- Fairy Lights are an inexpensive way to add lighting to your dollhouse, from ceiling can lights to chandeliers.
- CR2032 Lithium Coin Cell Batteries are needed if you are running battery powered lights. I buy them in bulk to bring the cost down.
- LED earrings are a fun way to make dollhouse lights, too, from pendants to desk lamps.
- There are a number of small battery operated LED lights than can be used to make your own dollhouse lights: LED lantern lights, Micro LED Puck Lights, LED button lights and balloon lights.
Sewing and fabrics
- I am always on the lookout for fabrics with small designs. You can use free fabric samples you get from furniture stores, quilting squares or small sample fabric bundles. Felt in assorted colors is also very useful.
- Cross stitch 28 count fabric is used to print rug designs to make custom dollhouse rugs.
- Felting wool can be used to make mini animals and other fun and cute accessories.
- Faux fur is a great option for fur rugs or anywhere else you need a fur effect.
- Batting is needed to stuff your pillows, mattresses or anything else that needs poof!
- Fabric scissors really do making cutting fabric so much smoother and easier.
- Mini pom poms, lace trim and ribbons can be used in sewing projects or even used to mimic wrought iron or other purposes.
- Ball top straight pins and flat top straight pins are useful for a number of mini projects. Straight pins are commonly used as hinges for cabinet doors. The pins with balls on them make terrific drawer knobs.
- Mini irons are useful for finishing and ironing your mini clothes, pillows and other projects. It offers more controls than a big regular sized iron.
- Scissors, thread and sewing needles
- Knitting and crochet supplies if you know how.
- Freezer paper sheets is used to secure the fabric so it can be inserted in an inkjet print to print designs on it.
- Matte Presentation Paper is a little thicker than regular printer paper but gives you more vivid and clear prints.
- Textured linen paper mimics canvas.
- Foam sheets can be used for a number of different projects including faux bricks, tiles and stone work.
- Scrapbook paper comes in a variety of colors and patterns and can mimic wood flooring, tile flooring, wall paper and wrapping paper, to name a few.
- Scoring board and stylus makes scoring the paper so very easy for grout lines or to make folding easy. You can get one that is 8.5×11-inches or larger.
- Paper punches can be used on other things besides paper, too! The leaf cutter can be used on dried real or artificial leaves to make mini leaves. Several of the other punches are used to make flower petals for mini flower arrangements.
- Card stock in assorted colors
- Glossy photo paper
- Matte photo paper
- Velour paper
- Resin 3D printer: Before I had to pack my stuff up and sell my house I received an AnyCubic 3D Resin Printer. There is a steep learning curve with 3D printing, but you can acquire STL files of mini designs and print them yourselves, skipping the whole design process. From what I read, a resin printer gives more details for miniatures than a filiment 3D printer. Again, I’m no expert, but it certainly is fun (and expensive) to play with!)
- Alcohol wash station is important for 3D printing. It is part of the cleaning process. You can make your own or buy one. This version cures and cleans your resin object.
- Isopropyl alcohol is needed for cleaning a freshly printed resin project. You need 90% or higher. And if you print a lot, you will need a lot of alcohol.
- Alcohol wipes are great for cleaning resin splashes and your hands. It’s a convenience thing.
- Goggles and face masks are needed as resin fumes are toxic. You need to set up your printer in a well ventilated area. Depending on how much you are printing and the area you are doing it in, you will need some sort of mask. Eye protection is highly recommended, too.
- Latex gloves are needed when handling resin in the creation process.
- Small funnels and strainers are useful when pouring the resin into your machine and keeps it from splashing. Also if you did not add supports correctly to your project, you could have bits of cured resin floating in your mixture that needs straining out.
- Resin is of course needed when printing your projects. They come in all different colors, even clear.
- Miniature glass bottles with cork tops
- Glass medicine vials
- Miniature cork tops
- Miniature glass bottles with screw top
- Nylon spacers
- Painters tape
- Dried preserved moss
- Mini rocks
- Mini bottle brush trees
- Fine glitter
- Rub-on Transfers
- Plastic organizer boxes are a terrific way to keep the miniatures you aren’t displaying organized. I also use them to store my beads, wood pieces and other mini supplies.
- Bag sealer is useful when you are making mini bags and want to heat seal the edges instead of using glue.
- Design-seeds is a free website where you can find a huge variety of beautiful color palettes from soft to vibrant to colors you find in nature.
- Factory Direct Besides craft supplies and other great stuff, you can find miniatures of all kinds, even in bulk.
- Miniatures.com is a great resource for minis.
- Etsy is a wonderful way to support small businesses and super talented mini makers. You can also find supplies like clay cutters, STL files, mini hardware and other cool finds.
- Michaels is a great store to find craft supplies. Order online if you don’t have one in your neighborhood.
- Hobby Lobby stores sells miniatures, dollhouses, dollhouse kits, as well as craft supplies. Order online if you don’t have one in your neighborhood.
- Dollar Tree stores sells craft supplies and wood dollhouse furniture. You can order in bulk online if you don’t have one in your neighborhood.
Check out my post on where to find dollhouse supplies, miniatures and craft supplies.
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