Monday, September 12, 2011

TO SCALE A Miniaturist's Guide

Booklet Cover
Set printer to print this page at 7.55"w x 10.36"h
If you want a booklet cover print onto cardstock.


Reducing full-sized pieces to a correct scale can be a challenge to many miniaturists.  Here you will find charts and illustrations to help make this challenge easier by saving the time and hassle of researching with each new project.   Do keep in mind that there is always “an exception to the rule” and one can generally modify the measurements found here, to a certain extent, to accommodate space limitations in your settings.
Of course knowing how to use a ruler…as in “what do all of these little lines mean?”… is the first thing one needs to know.  Online, How Do I Read a Ruler,  has an excellent, well-illustrated, easy to comprehend guide to understanding rulers.  Check it out.
You can use the scaled rulers included here, on the People pages, to help accurately reduce the size of  a room or piece of furniture.  Jim Collins’ printie site  offers scaled rulers that once printed can be laminated.  Here you will find the 1”=12” ruler  .  Hard versions of scaled rulers can be purchased from miniature dealers.  This type of tool is a time saver and a must for the DIY miniaturist.
Turning the illustrations of the Scaled People page into “paper dolls” (by printing them onto cardstock, cutting them out and then laminating them) will also help you to judge, by the eye, whether a room or object is in scale.  Well, done and perfect scale 6” action figures (such as some McFarlane creations) also work well for “eye-balling”.
Unless fantasy or whimsy is your goal it can take just one out-of-scale piece to ruin an illusion.  Do keep in mind that the in-scale we strive for in our hobby does not mean just the height or length of a piece, it also includes the thickness.
Viewing a photo or scan of your project is a good way to check for scale, as an “offending” piece will usually “scream at you”.  In lieu of a photo or scan, form your hand into a telescope and observe your work through it….a quick and easy way to spot problems.  You will find that the more you work in the scale of your choice the easier it will become to “eyeball” your projects for accuracy. 
Print out the pages and stack them together to form your own TO SCALE booklet.  I have added instructions to the sidebar here on how to print my pages in black text without a black background.
Keep creating and sharing …the secret to the Miniature Hobby,
Set to print this page at 7.78"W x 10.56"H
Set printer to print this page at 9.41"W x 7.24"H

Set printer to print this page at 8.74"w x 4.45" h

·         1x2’s =  ¾” x 1 ½”
·         1x4’s = 3/4” x 3 ½”
·         1x8’s =  ¾” x 7 ¼”
·         2x2’s = 1 ½” x 1 ½”
·         2x4’s = 1 ½” x 3 ½”
·         16” L - 5” of  shingle exposed
·         18” L – 6” of shingle exposed
·         Ceiling height – standard is 8 feet with some newer, grander homes up to 10 feet; older homes 10 – 12 feet or more.  Note:  a typical miniature room box has 12 “ceilings for ease of viewing.
·         Door height – 80”
·         Door widths – exterior 36”; interior 24”,28”, 30”, 32”, 36”, 42”
·         Door knob, floor to knob – 36” – 38”
·         Stair riser – 7”H
·         Star treads – 10”D
·         Stair’s hand rail – 30 ‘ -34”H
·         Standard brick – USA, 8” x 4” x 2.25”; United Kingdom, 8.5” x 4” x 2.5”
·         Crib -28”W x 52”L; 5” to 6” long
·         Twin -38”W x 75”L; 8”thick
·         Double or Full – 53”W x 75”L; thickness can vary from approx. 5” to 22”
·         Queen – 60” W x 80”L; thickness can vary from approx. 5” to 22”
·         King – 76”L x 80’L; thickness can vary from approx. 5” to 22”
Set printer to print at actual size


Set printer to prnt this page at 7.61"w x 10.04"h


Set page to print out at 7.66"w x 10.01"h

Set printer to print page out  at actual size or 8.00"w x 10.72"h

Set page to print at actual size or 8.06"w x 10.62"h


Hello Everyone...Yes I am "alive & kicking", but it was nice to be missed by so many of you that wondered where I was.  Sometimes a body & mind just needs a little rest and the older I get the more I tend to listen & obey.  I have been plugging away here and there at the TO SCALE pages for you and I hope you find them useful.  I have laminated copies of the pages tacked up in my workroom/studio (I call my space a studio the few times it is neat and tidy and workroom the rest of the time) for instant access as needed.  I also have the pages in booklet form by my computer.  I remind you again that I have added printing instructions on the sidebar so you can print out in black text without the black background of the blog....I know the black background bothers some of you but it is the design I chose and I have to stick with it for the time being.

I have started a Hallween project for your enjoyment and it will be a progressive one with bits and pieces added over a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.  Hopefully you can have it finished in time for October decorating.

See you soon,  


  1. Thanks for posting this guide, Joann! I have often wished for something like this to take along while shopping. Having a visual guide as well as actual measurements is going to work really well for me for shopping and for actual creating. Love your blog!

  2. Thanks for this Joann - it will be really helpful in the workroom.

  3. Joann,the guide is precious! Thank you for your generosity.

  4. Brilliant, Joan. I've printed off copies for our doll's house club. A really useful guide. Thank you


  5. Wow! This is wonderful, Joann! Thank you so much! I'm adding your blog to my Favorites Bar so I can click on it quickly and easily. I also saved the images so I can print them out into booklet form for my minis room.

    Pat H

  6. Wow! This is extremely helpful. Thank you so much! =)

  7. Thank You Joann! This is nice to have on my worktable!!I'm used to the metric system, so this is very helpfull.

  8. Thanks for sharing this guide :-)

  9. Gracias! resulta muy Ăștil!
    Un abrazo

  10. This is terrific, Joann. Not only is it practical for adult miniaturists, it will be great to use with the children's groups I work with. Thank you!

  11. Dear Joann
    Thank you So much. A wonderful Guide and will become vey helpful. Thank you.

    You wote: ... TO SCALE pages as of 9/14.
    What is that? I haven`t found the said notes. Will you please explain as I havent found anything prior to this doc.

    Have a wonderful day!!

  12. Dear Joann
    Thank you So much. A wonderful Guide and will become vey helpful. Thank you.

    You wote: ... TO SCALE pages as of 9/14.
    What is that? I haven`t found the said notes. Will you please explain as I havent found anything prior to this doc.

    Have a wonderful day!!

  13. Thank you so much for this booklet. I know I will use it often as it is so much easier that running up and trying to measure my own table or chairs every time I want to make some and then tying to convert into scale. I look forward to your Halloween project as it will give me a nice break from building my Pierce dollhouse.

  14. I'm so happy to see that you are back and that you had a wonderful restful break.
    You must be a mind-reader. I am so thrilled to have this booklet. I can't even imagine a better gift. Thank you more than you'll ever know. Probably you've saved my sanity. lol
    Anne, GSOLFOT

  15. Thank you so much, Joann. This will be very helpful. Like Susanne, I am also puzzled at your comment regarding "TO SCALE pages as of 9/14". I don't have anything regarding that either.

  16. Thank you very, very much!!
    - Corena :0)

  17. Thank you very Helpful

  18. Thank you so much for this fantastic guide I'm very happy to found it! It's complete and rich in tips and detalis :) I will print it and put on my worktable
    Thank you!
    Have a beatiful day

  19. I'd like to print this off, but am not sure how to go about it. Can anyone give me a hint. I actually didn't see a print button or .pdf button, but I may have missed it even tho I went thru it twice.....LouAnne in CA

  20. What scale is this set to for the pictures 1/2 or 1 inch? Thank you, Jamie

  21. I also am confused as to how to print this correctly. There's nowhere to "set my printer to 9.4W and 7.24H" for this page. Aren't we all printing on standard printer paper? There has got to be an easier way other than having to readjust for each page. However you do that. PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER! I need this booklet! haha:)

  22. Glad to see your back Joann.

  23. Fantastic articles is post by you in this blog. You give a nice thing. Thank you for such a nice article. Every word og this blog helps me to give detail to me.
    Visit: Scaler handpiece

  24. Ok this is going up on my wall today! Thanks!

  25. to print you can use the print option on your computer. It can be accessed thru the top right corner. Then set options to print. To print some items at a certain size, you need to save the info. Do a 'select all' and copy to a document (Word, Google doc, notepad, then 'save as' to maintain on your computer. I also like to copy the link location and copy to the document so you know where it came from and can go back to that site again. Now that you have a copy, you can select parts and copy to new location on their own to print specific size.

  26. Thank you so much. You are famous in Miniatures.

  27. Firstly I think this is amazing but can you do a pdf version?

    Sorry in advance if that isn't possible but I thought I would ask.

    I came across this on Facebook.