Posted in dollhouse, How to, Inspiration, miniatures

A Mockup to Refine the Design

Once I was satisfied that I could adequately reproduce the key interior features for the Charles Rennie Mackintosh (CRM) project I moved on to the structure.

I’m working in 1-inch scale yet want to make the project as small as possible while capturing some iconic architectural details. This poses a challenge, but three-dimensional mockups help by showing where I can make adjustments to the size.

I found that CRM’s buildings have been miniaturized by others; it is helpful to see how they interpreted the details of the real buildings. Some were models of façades and some were actually dollhouses.

Since part of my objective is to have the structure laser cut the way Deborah did hers, I need to have a digital copy. I keep hearing about Inkscape, a free drawing program that can generate useful formats including .svg, and opted to use it to make my patterns; but first I had to learn it. I watched YouTube videos and made some practice drawings. My key takeaway is to make my canvas the size of the material to laser cut, not the size of the paper in my printer.

After many false starts, I’m making some progress on creating the patterns. Drawing with the correct dimensions had me flummoxed for a while, but now Inkscape does the math for me. This drawing is to scale and includes some architectural details. I made a 3-ft square canvas with about a 12” by 15” structure.

Although this project will be limited to the drawing room located on the ground floor, I’m including all three floors in my planning. Who knows? Maybe I’ll want to add a bedroom in a modular second floor.

After drawing the floor plan and three walls, I printed each piece separately. Then I used those dimensions to cut some scrap cardboard to size with a utility knife. I built the mockup of the ground floor and cut some sample doors and windows on my Cameo 4. Right away I could see that I could reduce the length of the sofa and therefore the length of the wall.

From the outside, I could see that the door was too big as well and took off a half inch in each dimension.

I went back to my plans and made the adjustments. I found it was easy to build the plan on three layers, the walls and floor, the door and windows, and the front protrusions.

Having new dimensions to work with, I went back to my mockup and made the adjustments and cut out more architectural details. I’m pretty happy so far.

Meanwhile, I found out that our city has cutting equipment at the library, the University and at a maker space, none of which I have been able to visit. It makes sense to use one of them, but since we are just now ending our total lockdown and entering Phase I of reopening, I had to check them out remotely. The Eugene Maker Space seems the most viable right now and they suggested using their CNC routing table which uses Easel by Inventables as the operating software. Of course this is yet another software package, but it is said to be super easy. I’ll continue with Inkscape for now because it is good practice and may be useful for future projects.

Although more shops and services are open now with restrictions, I am reluctant to dash out and mingle with strangers. For us, the re-entry will be gradual. I hope you all continue to be well.


I’m a Californian living in Oregon. But home is where my miniatures are.

7 thoughts on “A Mockup to Refine the Design

  1. I guess my comment did get lost. I think I wrote that you have raised the bar in design. To me the project looks quite intricate and your mock up give you a good foundation to continue–so will the on-sight supervisor.

    Liked by 1 person

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