Materials for Scale Models and Dollhouses

Not all materials for miniature building, such as dollhouses, are created alike. Although many people think of balsa wood as the easiest building material, most miniaturists only use that for lightweight toys or other objects that don’t need a lot of strength.

Your choice of material for miniature building may change your choice of components, such as windows and doors, or determine how you should best finish your house. Each type of material has pros and cons. Before you start construction of a model building, read about these materials to familiarize yourself with the tools, techniques, and characteristics of the various building materials.

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Baltic Birch Versus Medium Density Fiberboard

Close up of child's hand in a dolls house
Fun energetic ecelectic / Getty Images

Dollhouses and other miniature scale buildings often come as kits or completed structures made from medium density fiberboard (MDF) or Baltic birch plywood. Both materials give off some gasses, so they should never be left unfinished. Plywood structures are lighter and can be built to be dismantled or added on to at a later date. If you use MDF, make sure you prime it before you paint.

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