The Top 10 Tools You Need For Building a Dollhouse

Deciding to build a dollhouse can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Trust me, I know. But it doesn’t have to be! In this article, I’ve outlined the top ten tools you need to get started.

Each of the images is clickable and will take you to Amazon to purchase if you so desire. Yes, these are affiliate links. Which means I will receive a small commission if you buy one at no additional cost to yourself and is a small way to say thank-you to me.

Tools for Cutting

Measure once, cut twice. I know that isn’t how the saying goes, but that’s how I operate. Just keeping it real.

When constructing a dollhouse, there are lots of things that you’re going to need to cut. This could range from large trim pieces to small intricate details. Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of them and these are the ones I keep reaching for time and time again.

Xacto Knife: good for fine details, like trimming wallpaper or shaving small pieces of wood for a tight fit. Always be sure to start any cutting with a new blade, no matter if you think you “just” changed it. You didn’t and it will show.
Hand Saw: this is used for cutting large pieces of wood like trim or siding. You’re also going to want to grab a metal miter box. The one below comes as a pair, which is “handy”.
Jeweler’s Saw: this baby is perfect on fine pieces of wood that might have a weird shape, like a corner trim. You’ll find some of these sold with a small pin vice, but I like the larger one so I have more surface area to place larger pieces of wood on.
Cutting Mat: these come in a variety of sizes to fit whatever you’re working on. It isn’t needed when using a handsaw or jeweler’s saw, but is a must when using the Xacto knife.

Xacto Knife

This one is great because it has a comfort grip, comes in a pack of two, and is hot pink!

Hand Saw and Metal Miter Box

Great for all kinds of cutting and the metal miter box is a must!

Jeweler’s Saw

I had to purchase one of these when I took at metal class at Guild School and never really used it again. That was until I started working on fine wood details for the Tiny House Dollhouse. Now it’s my new favorite!

V-slot-Bench-Pin

V-Slot Bench Pin

Besides a large work surface, this can clamp directly on to your work surface and is easily removed. Great if your workshop is on the small side.

Cutting Mat

This mat is self-healing so it will last you for a long time if you treat it right.

Metal Ruler

Measuring is optional, but safety isn’t. Be sure your ruler has a cork backing to prevent slipping while cutting.

Tools for Securing

Once you’ve cut things, you need to be able to stick them back together and make it look pretty again.

Bar Clamps: my dad is a huge fan of big clamps (he is a woodworker) and although I resisted at first, I’ve come around to his wise ways. These are great for securing things that have a large span while glue dries, like when assembling walls. A smaller set comes in handy when gluing in finer details, like trim or paneling.
Blue Tape: so many uses, so little time! Blue tape is a staple for any workshop (except my dad’s, ironically). I use it to secure just about anything – wallpaper, trim, siding, furniture, electrical, etc. Get it in all different thicknesses so you have options. Important to note, all blue tape is not created equal. I use Scotch brand and highly recommend them. This is also the only link that is not an affiliate one (again, ironic).
Glue: I guess some could argue that this is not a tool, but I would argue you can’t stick things together permanently without it. There are a lot of different options, but I mainly use four different ones. All are linked below with more specific information.

Bar Clamps

Not only are these great because they’re pink and black, but you can also reverse them so the padded part is pushing out instead of in.

Blue Tape

This will be your new BFF, if it isn’t already.

Wood Glue

This glue has a low moisture content, so it won’t warp your wood. Important to note that this does not dry clear and is more of a dark yellow. So keep it clean or it will be seen.

Glue All

As the name suggests, you can glue everything with this and I do. It doesn’t dry crystal clear and is a little hazy, but close enough.

Super Glue Gel

I recently discovered this gel version of super glue and won’t go back to regular. It is a bit thicker with a slightly longer set time, but just enough to make final adjustments without cursing yourself.

Clear Glue

If I’m securing shingles I reach for this. It can get stringy and has a soft squishy texture as it dries, which is annoying at times, but it holds tight and dries crystal clear.

Other Favorite Tools

You might not use these often, but you’ll be glad you have them when you need them.

Hand Drill: this little baby is small, but mighty.
A Dremel: with a variety of attachments it pretty much makes anything you can think of.
Legos: seems unconventional in most workshops, but not when it comes to dollhousing! Legos work great to make sure corners are square and to bring out the kid in us while working, of course.

Pin Vice Hand Drill

This little drill is perfect for making fine holes, like when doing door hardware. Bonus vice included in this set which is awesome.

Dremel

My Dremel isn’t cordless, but if I had to do it all over again, I’d definitely go this direction.

My Dremel Set

This is the actual Dremel set I have and it has some cool attachments – like the cutting guide tool and removable handle.

Legos

Any Legos will do, but this one comes in pretty colors and great carrying case.

Tool Legit to Quit

So there ya have it. My top ten (or so) tools that I consistently use when constructing a dollhouse. If you want to dig deeper and love tools as much as I do, then grab my handy-dandy guide to Building a Dollhouse Without Spending a Tiny Fortune. It’s full of even more inexpensive (and some free!) items. There’s even a link to a bonus video where I break them down in more detail for your viewing pleasure.

If you have any questions or need more help, feel free to drop me a line below to shoot me an email through the contact page.

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