Updated August 1, 2023.
From time to time I look at dollhouse and miniature supply sites. Partly because I am fascinated by the detail in these tiny items. It got me thinking about 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 your 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 things, but let me highlight a few ideas with specific items. Many of the pictured items might not be available at the moment, but similar items are available.
Old-fashioned Broom: Stitching a witch for Halloween? Why not give her a ‘real’ broom, instead of stitching one? At 4″ tall, it would be perfect for figures 6″ or taller. Just attach it 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″, although I am finding accessories at even smaller scales. 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.
Raistas (braided garlic or chiles): Are you stitching a scene where these would work? Add them with a few stitches in the loop for a great look.
Garden Pavers: Stitching a courtyard or walk? Attach these instead of stitching your pavers for a new texture.
When incorporating dollhouse items into your needlework, consider several things:
- Scale: your stitched piece needs to work with the scales available.
- 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 to see the stitching.
- Attaching: Always consider how you will 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.