This page was last (partially) updated on 5/10/2020. If you find broken links, please let me know!
And I'm always interested in learning about what other folks like and use and adding it to the mix.
Small Scale Artisans with Tutorials, Links, and Other Useful Information
Check out their work! These artisans (all of whom work in 1:144) not only display their creative talents, but are very sharing of their
ideas. You will find some great tutorials and instructions on their webpages!
Anna-Carin Betzén - Located in Sweden, Anna-Carin has wonderfully meticulous and creative tutorials on building furniture in 1:48 and 1:144 scale. She also has designed charts for needlepoint rugs in small scale. You may never need to pay for a kit again.
Microjivvy - Lots of tutorials and links for 1:144 scale. Much more extensive than my paltry list here! She also talks about different sources for structures, if you want a house or 1:144 project.
Nertha Gaal - Nertha works in micro-scale (as 1:144 is often called) and has lots of lovely projects and tutorials on her website. Developed together with her mentor, Anita McNary Lahue, Nertha has a book on tips and techniques for micro work.
Purveyors of 1:144 (and sometimes larger) Scale Furniture Kits, Building Components, and Accessories
Some people's websites out there do a fantastic job of listing all the many sources of wonderful kits to make houses and structures
in 1:144. The cadre of folks making furniture kits in 1:144 and 1:120 is much smaller (so to speak), and so that's what I'm focusing
on here. Some might say I'm just lazy, but you didn't hear that from me.
Shapeways - There's lots of 3D printed items to be found in N scale (1/160, typically) and 1/144 wandering around Shapeways. One of my favorites is the shop run by David Yale, who has very detailed and accurate 3D printed power tools for your miniature workshop, as well as miniature furniture and some other items. (Look for his collection of N Scale items.)
Gabriele of Creative-Modellbau Klingenhoefer - A source in Germany for figures and animals as small as 1/220 (Z scale) or as large as 1/32 scale. The animals are detailed and very finely made. The website is in German but has lots of pix and is easy to navigate. Write them for more information or to order, their English is quite good (and I assume their German is impeccable).
A Sheila's Shed - 'A Sheila’s Shed', located in Gilgandra in the Central West of NSW, Australia, is the brainchild of Virginia Paton. Virginia's first love is the scroll saw (and she has a great book on tips and techniques), but she had moved onto laser cut kits for furniture and houses that fit together beautifully. SDK Miniatures is now the exclusive seller of her line!
The Golden Loon - Laser kits in 1:144 scale on up, designed by Nancy Froseth. Both furniture and roomboxes, with lots of delicate lines and carvings. Look for them at a show or write her for more info, because the Etsy shop only displays a small portion of what they have for sale.
SDK Miniatures - Susan Karatjas of SDK Miniatures offers kits in 1:144, 1:120, and larger scales. Some items are also available assembled. Susan is meticulous about scale, which makes her kits a joy! She also sells kits for flowers. She carries both her own original designs, as well as those of Anita McNary Lahue (a pioneer in 1/144!) and Virginia Paton of a Sheila's Shed.
L & P Designs - Imaginative furniture, miniature shops, and roombox kits in 1:144, 1:48, and some larger, with a focus on southwestern designs. This website seems not to be active at this time.
Templewood Miniatures - Kathryn and Alan Gray have a growing array of laser cut kits in different scales. Some, like the village school and St. Peter's church, come with all the furniture. Definitely check out the duck cottage, which comes as small as 1:576--a dollhouse for your 1:48th scale dollhouse!
Grace Shaw - Wander around Grace's Virtual Dollhouse for a small scale supply-hunters treat. She carries several of the suppliers listed here, as well as others, and provides one stop shopping!
Grandtline (now purchased by San Juan Model Company) and Tichy Trains - Injection molded architectural details, like windows and doors and other details, in all railroad modeling scales. Many of the N scale details are "must have" items for the 1/144 scratch builder.
Tom's Model Works - Lots of brass etch kits for ship and plane builders. Check out the 1/144 Titanic line for some deck chairs and benches that may work in your 1/144 scene.
Barbara Meyer of Mini-Gems - Barbara Meyer has long been the go-to source for 1/12 and smaller scale animals for your dollhouse scene. She has gradually been adding 1/144 sized creatures to her line--starting with a really fine reclining dog, a cat, a birdbath with bird, and other items.
Paw of a Bear - More model railroad stuff. Laser cut building fronts, balconies, and pallets in N scale. Lots of interesting historical background to go along with the very nice and detailed designs and clear and complete directions. A very meticulous modeler!
Peedie Models -- Great etched brass doors, windows, and interesting landscape features. Also starting to do more with 3D printed items.
Severn Models - Brass etch for the model railroader, with a focus on buildings and accessories. They have a line of 1/144 and other dollhouse scales, with interesting items for your greenhouse or interior.
I'm going to have to make a separate category soon for the model railroad and ship stuff. There are so many folks doing brass etch now that it's hard to keep up with them all--but here are a couple more from the UK: see Scale-link Fretcetera and Langley Models for buildings and architectural details. accessories, and more. Scale-Link Fretcetera also has an extensive line of foliage and different "mesh" frets -- squares, diamonds -- in many different sizes to suit all kinds of needs you didn't know you had. The model shipyards often have lumber, brass frets, or accessories that may come in handy: check out Blue Jacket Ship Crafters and The Model Dockyard, to start.
Gibson Girl Miniatures - Great source for the tiny wooden Arnold Volker kits and other things too. If you're not sure what scale you need, contact Jean and she'll help you figure it out. She's building her Etsy site now, so stay tuned.
Braxton Payne Miniatures - There's only one place to get high quality terra cotta pots for your plants in any scale. 'Nuff said. Oh, and he has wonderful fireplaces in several scales, but not 1:144, sniff.
If you like small scale, you may also be interested in the folks designing limited edition babyhouses (cabinets that house rooms) and all the fitings and items
to fill them--including Cynthia
Howe. Sometimes these cabinets are for rooms in 1:144 or 1:120 scale, but often they are larger (1:96 or 1:87). Robin Betterly
also has some sweet little structures that come with furnishings, in the watercolor collection. I also want to give a shout-out to the really helpful folks at Hart's Desire Miniatures, who have developed some unique house kits that are soup-to-nuts, with all the wallpaper, shingles and other fittings you need to finish the
interior and exterior, often including fireplaces and landscaping.
Artisans Who Sell Finished 1:144 Scale Structures
Nell Corkin - Nell's website has many examples of her wonderful museum quality miniatures, and her blog shows some of her works in progress. She also sells paintable cast resin furniture.
Keith Bougourd at Small-Time Miniatures - Keith is probably best known for his amazing functioning clocks, but he also has a line of finished 1:144 structures that use a mix of materials to achieve detail and realism. Some are available in kit form, as well.
Patricia Paul - This imaginative artist works in 1:12 and 1:144 (or so) scales. Her sense of design and use of color always provide a visual treat! Especially cool are her grungy bathroom and ironic skeletons. If you like witches and warlocks and magical stuff generally, visit her website.
Taller Targioni - Their 1:144 scale cabinets are always fun to see and explore! The website seems inactive, but their items can be found on many retail websites.
Sources for Raw Materials and Tools
I'm not even sure where to begin. I mostly scratch build, and I also like to turn (so I am a bit of wood hoarder). Consequently, I seem to spend most of my time roving the internet visiting new suppliers and reading about different techniques and types of supplies (but who doesn't?). I've visited hundreds of websites for model railroad and ship builders, veneers and wood, tools, plastics, dental supplies, jewelers, LEDs, etc. etc. etc. So I wanted to share a few (of the many) with you....
Ah, now that I've begun, the harder thing to know is where to stop....
Byrnes Model Machines - Jim Byrnes designs and makes precision power tools for the miniaturist, including a disc sander, thickness sander, and table saw. Oh yes, and draw plates. Oh yes, and.....
Crown Timberyard -- A good source for high quality milled lumber sheets and strips. Unfortunately, Jason is closing his store, and just a few items are still left. We are in trouble, modelers!
Evan Designs - Shelly's lines of software, LED lights, and other items were developed for model railroad afficionados, but she's adapted many portions of her product line to accommodate small scale dollhouse applications. And she is constantly developing new items to help us nuts out.
Lumberyard for Model Shipbuilders - Scads of stuff for model ship-building, and some thin lumber in domestic and exotic woods suitable for dollhouse work. If you're nice, they might just thin some lumber down to 1/64th of an inch thick, for you, but I'm not sure. They have a sample pack of 1/16th thick lumber.
McMahon Five Designs - Source of "real wood paper" -- a reasonably priced paper made from real wood veneer. Available in six different species. They offer each species with different backings and thicknesses--from the very thin fleece-backed to the thicker wood with wood backing.
Micro-Mark - If there were an official website of the modeling Olympics, Micro-Mark might be it. Heck, if there were modeling Olympics, I would be in better shape. As they characterize themselves: "Your on-line source for mini tools and model building supplies."
Minikitz. This website isn't specifically for small scale, but they have a wealth of items--hard to find tools, an array of the smallest in small supplies, and often stuff you didn't even know existed. They're always keeping an eye out for new stuff, and it's all stuff that you clearly need. All in one place!
Model Builders Supply- Yes, they're in Canada (many of you may be as well, I happen not to be), and they have a minimum $$ order, but it's worth it. They have an INCREDIBLE range of all kinds of supplies for the dollhouse and architectural model builder. They're the reason I had to build more storage space in my workroom (well, let's give Micro-Mark some credit there, too). They've discontinued more useful items than most places carry.
Northeastern Scale Lumber - For your sheet and strip lumber needs, in cherry, mahogany, walnut, and maple, as well as a range of dollhouse moldings.
Plastruct and Evergreen -- often carried by your local hobby store, but also available from their own websites on line, these two manufacturers provide a wide range of very versatile strips, sheets, rods, tubes, and patterned sheets (e.g., brick) made from styrene, abs, or acrylic.
Smaller than Life - For furniture, saws, lathes, lumber, tools, and good advice, turn to Pete and Pam Boorum. They also sell jigs for their saws, designed to help dollhouse furniture makers include finger joints and other full-scale niceties in their designs. Their classes at the miniature shows are great for learning how to use power tools.
The Best Things - This shop located in Northern Virginia is a great resource for high quality tools--both miniature and others--at great prices. If you're looking for miniature chisels for your lathe or just bench chisels, if you need a steb-center or new kitchen knives, check them out first. They also have vintage tools, art, and lots of other stuff I've never looked at. And the folks (on line and in person) are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. What's not to like?
Thin Woods - Source of thin lumber. They carry many different exotic and domestic wood species, with thicknesses down to 1/8th inch. For a fee, they will thin it to 1/16th inch for you. Contact them if you have a special need, they love to help!
Timber Ridge Studio - A must-see collection of tiny seashells and related items for dollhouse miniatures. If you're looking for something special, Ronni is super helpful.
Veneer Supplies- You can buy sample sheets of different wood veneers, and they have a nice selection of copper veneers with different finishes. Very versatile!
Small Wood Studios - These folks realized that a lot of the inlays and medallions and veneers used by full-sized furniture makers could be used by dollhouse and doll-furniture builders. Some is even suitable for flooring in 1/144! Be sure to send them photos of your finished products.
Not Just Miniatures
Some of my favorite folks don't even do miniatures, or at least not all the time.
Linda Elksnin Art - Is it folk art? I don't know, but I can say that Linda's use of colors is inspirational and her forms are magical. Her recent works are influenced by the textile art of the Kuna, Oaxacan woodcarvings, and Haitian folk paintings. Now, how to capture that in miniature....wheels spinning, gears crashing.....
Diane Almeyda - Diane's plique-a-jour enameling is beyond compare! Okay, she doesn't get that much into small scale, but she's open to suggestion. And her website describes the process in detail.
Tom's Turnings - Tom is one of the finest miniature turners out there. He's always willing to experiment with new materials and ideas. And he understands that difficult concept of scale--that a small bowl in 1:12th scale isn't the same thing as a salad bowl in 1:48th scale. Shine a flashlight into his tiniest minis to see just how thin the walls are!
Jackie Kramer Photography - Jackie Kramer is an exceptional nature and portrait photographer. Seeing the world through her eyes is a wonderful experience.
MicroStitchery - Bobbie Schoonmaker designed exceptionally beautiful needlepoint rugs, pillows, and other textiles in a variety of styles. If you like the Cluny unicorn tapestries, you'll love Bobbie's designs. You can purchase charts or kits for the many designs she created over her lifetime, as well as supplies. Some of her rug designs are suitable for small scale, if you buy only the chart and use a smaller mesh than the mesh she would provide in the kit. Bobbie passed away in 2011, but her designs are still available. We miss her kindness, talent, and optimism.