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Don't want something as big as a dollhouse, but would like to have some fun?

Lots of people collect miniatures without a dollhouse. There are all sorts of fun and creative ways to display them. Here are some ideas on how you can do that too!

I’ve been collecting miniatures since the 1970’s. I have a bunch of projects that I’m currently working on, but most of my miniatures are in one of the most popular ways to display them other than a dollhouse – in roomboxes.

Here are some of the ways people use and display miniatures when they don’t have room for a dollhouse (or just don’t want a dollhouse…).

    Room box
    This is probably the most popular way to display miniatures if you don’t want a whole dollhouse. What’s fun about room boxes is that you can have so many of them – each with a different theme.

    A room box is just that – a box that you turn into a room. This is great if you’re short on room or just want to make one room (only a kitchen, only a parlor, a specialty store, etc.). You can easily build a room box yourself with wood since it’s a simple box. There are also kits available, of course. A room box can have an open front (or top), but it’s a good idea to put a sheet of plexiglass on the display side to protect the minis from dust.

    Shadow box
    A shadow box is similar to a room box, but it’s much shallower. It’s usually hung on a wall. Picture frames are also made now that are very deep for displaying souvenirs which would work great for minis too. Shadow boxes are also sometimes called vignettes.

    Printers Box
    Wayyyyy before computers, printers used to set type by hand. They kept the metal typeface pieces in boxes called printers boxes. Printers boxes (real antiques or repros) are a really fun and interesting way to display minis. You can hang them on the wall, but I always thought I’d like to cover one of my printers boxes with glass or plexiglass and turn it into a coffee table. (Yet another project I’m working!)

    Domes and Plexiglass Boxes.
    The Victorians loved displaying things in domes – wax fruit, stuffed birds, etc. This is a great way to display minis too!

    Glass or plexiglass domes with wood or plastic bases are easy to find. You can take one of those and put your minis in them. I have some of my own mini collection displayed in a dome a stacked series of clear plastic shelves in it. Most domes don’t have shelves, so you can use those to make little scenes covered in glass.

    One of the mini projects I’m working on is a fairy forest scene. I didn’t want this one to have any closed sides like a standard room box, so it’s inside a big plexiglass box with a wood base.

    Book Ends
    For the booklover who also loves minis, you can also make bookends with minis. Again, there are kits available, but you can do this yourself. Just make "L" shaped bookends out of wood and use the foot of the L to make a mini scene. Silmple Fomecore is also a cheap, easy method for making a Book end display. Be creative - cut the back or bottom in a semi-circle. Wallpaper it. Add some floring, and you're ready to furnish!

    Lamps Yes, I said lamps! Lamps can be adapted with mini scenes on (or even inside) the base. Just create a scene on a flat lamp base or creatie the scene and then coveri it with a clear dome or plexiglass box.

    An old fashioned pocketwatch makes a fun way to display minis. You could use one you already have.

    Use your imagination!
    You have it in you! There are all kinds of ways to have fun with miniatures. All you need is an idea, and you are on your way to creating a one-of-a-kind display in miniature. Do you need a dispaly case? No; you already have a bookshelf. Clear off a section, and create a miniature scene. Bring a smile to people's faces, while offering a conversation piece. Make it personal - replicate a memory in miniature!

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