Recently I got a catalog from a Dollhouse and Miniature Supply Company. It got me to thinking how many of these items can be used to enhance your needlepoint easily.
They will do several things:
- because they are not stitched, they will give you a completely different look
- they can add a third dimension to you needlepoint with complex stitching or finishing
- they can accessorize or embellish your work
- they can create “frames” to highlight areas of the canvas
I saw so many intriguing thins, but let me highlight a few ideas with specific items.
Old-fashioned Broom: Stitching a witch for Halloween? Why not give her a ‘real’ broom, instead of stitching on. At 4″ tall, it would be perfect for figures 6″ or taller. Just attach with matching floss.
Similar items such as fishing rods, golf clubs or baseball bats can be attached the same way to enliven a piece without stitching.
Curtain Rods: There are dollhouse versions of adjustable curtain rods. Consider these whenever you need a pole or rod.
Many dollhouse pieces are made to be modified so you could remove one end of the rod to make a thin flagpole for a small design, for example.
Gates: These really excited me. The less expensive ones are made from cardboard and most can be painted. Instead of stitching the gate on your piece, stitch the garden as if it weren’t there and couch down the gate in front. You’ll really get the feeling of “looking through.”
You can do something similar with windows, arches or other architectural details. The important thing to remember is that the items need to be in scale to be effective. Dollhouse scale is 1″ = 12″ so a gate might be 7″ tall, if that doesn’t fit the scale of your needlepoint fairly closely, don’t use it. You can fudge on accessories, but not on architectural details.
Ristas (braided garlic or chiles): Are you stitching a scene where these would work? Add them wqith a few stitches in the loop for a great look.
Garden Pavers: Stitching a courtyard or walk? Attach these instead of stitching you pavers for a new texture.
When incorporating dollhouse items into your needlework, consider several things:
- Scale: your stitched piece needs to work with either the 1:12 scales or the half-size 1/2″ to 12″ (1:24) scale
- Dimension: items that are too thick will
- either draw too much attention to themselves or be too thick to incorporate into your stitching
- Transparency: Only if the items have openings will you be able to see the canvas, stitched or unstitched behind it. Don’t use something opaque where you want stitching.
- Attaching: Always consider how you we attach the item to your canvas. Can you couch it down? Does it have a loop or hole to hang it? Will it fit inside or beside your item? All these have little negative effect on your stitching, but other items might need to be glued. If you do not want to use glues, don’t use them.
Look to dollhouse items for a new source of exciting needlepoint embellishments.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
Lisa Thompson says
Janet – dollhouses are my other hobby, there is an even smaller scale 1:48″ and eailroad scale, check out grandt products & ways to make the things you mentioned w/paoer egg crates for paverscolor chips from paint stores make great tiles, there sare even pieces made to work with needlepoint done on silk; fire & candle screens, uphosylrey, even working frames