Doll Dishes. Not A Tutorial.
Hello! Due to several emails asking for advice on finding doll cups, dishes, bowls, kitchen ware and dolly toys or props, I am writing this . . . this, hmm, it isn’t really a tutorial. Therefore we will call it advice.
First, realize there are no hard and fast rules about doll homes. There are several ways to outfit your third scale kitchen and abodes.
The most important thing is to understand scale. You want most of your items to be roughly the same scale but not the same size. While you can use anything you like, If your doll’s dinner plate is 3 inches wide and her turkey platter is also three inches wide the dinner table will look wonky. Maybe you want wonky, go for it! Perhaps you want the opposite of wonky, would that be dewonky? non-wonkified? If you want unwonky, either the platter or plates need to go.
A simple trick, measure your own dinner plate, divide by 3. So if your plates are 9 inches wide, your doll’s plate should be 3 inches wide. Because dinnerware in real life comes in many shapes and sizes there is some flexibility. Consequently, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, just a guideline.
In addition you can always use the almost correct L.A.R. scale – Looks About Right Scale. Since it is your doll’s space it seems like you can use whatever strikes your fancy. Finally, it doesn’t all need to match. Pieces from different sets can add interest in much the same way they do in your home.
If you find a key piece you really like, take it with you while you shop. If it is too fragile to carry around, make a cardboard copy of it, snap a photo and take those instead. It will help you visualize whether or not other pieces you find look right. Furthermore, carry a small tape measure, it will save you a lot of trouble and expense. Rather than purchasing an item and waiting to get home to find out it doesn’t work, you can measure in shop and decide. You can carry your doll with you for the same reason but I find that too cumbersome.
Always be thinking outside the box. You’ll be surprised at the things you can re-purpose with a bit of imagination. (More on this toward the bottom of this post.) Most of all, have fun. This isn’t rocket science. It is play and play should be fun!
A list of items I have used and places I have shopped.
- Children’s vintage tea sets are often the correct scale. You can find them at thrift stores, tag and yard sales, etc. Measure due to variations through the years.
- Due to the fact that takeout and hotel condiments sometimes come in tiny versions of their real life counterparts they make great doll condiment bottles.
- Antique and vintage butter pat plates are usually a good size for doll plates.
- Soap dishes often make cute serving platters
- Coasters are generally usable for plates.
- Communion cups usually work as glasses. It’s noteworthy to state, there are two commonly used sizes, the smaller ones are a bit too small in my opinion.
- Souvenir cups and mugs are often the right size
- Cream and syrup servers make good pitchers
- tiny shampoos, travel size bottles are sometimes the right size and shape to use for dolls
- individual cupcake stands work well as dessert servers
- Candle holders offer interesting opportunities. The Dessert server to the right >>> is a candle holder, an upside down votive and a marble. The marble was glued on with E-6000.
- Party favors can be a great place to find doll sized things. We have maracas, card games, cameras and more.
- Tasting parties are popular right now, hence you can find tiny plates, bowls etc that maybe 1/3 scale.
- Christmas ornaments occasionally offer a treasure
- Key chains. I’ve found soda bottles, tools , paint sets, backpacks and purses.
From trash to treasure
Check your trash. Seriously. Look below. Caps and plastic bottle tops can be used for cups, vases, flower pots, bowls, etc. These are especially nice for children who are too young to play with glass or ceramic.
I think this blue cap would make a great fruit bowl for Maryellen.
This one was from a can of whipped cream. ^ It looks like it is straight out of an ice cream parlor or soda shoppe.
A baby shower party favor rattle makes a sweet candy bowl. “Sweet”, see what I did there? 🙂 Just pop the two parts open and use the clear piece. This is also a good size for a 1/6 scale doll as a cereal bowl. We cut off the handle and used the blue part as a Monster High cereal bowl.
This cap from detergent will be a cute flower pot or vase after I decoupage or paint it. If you use spray paint, be sure to purchase the kind formulated for plastic and let it cure longer than you think you need to. It would be a bummer to have the paint rub off on your doll or her clothing.
In conclusion, just keep looking and you’ll be amazed at the things you can find for your dolls. Soon you’ll be looking for shelving or storage cupboards to keep it all in. hmmm, I think I feel another post on doll storage coming soon. Keeping it Faux Real!