Doll’s House Silhouettes

One of my favourite projects in Mastering Silhouettes was to create a set of silhouettes for a doll’s house. I had to think carefully about scale!


Doll’s Houses are traditionally constructed at 1/12th scale. This is the size of the dolls, so how big should their silhouettes be? Regency silhouettes were traditionally painted at 1/10th scale, so I calculate a doll’s house silhouette should be 1/10th of 1/12th the size of a human head. That makes 1/120th scale, is that right?

That gives me about 2mm from chin to top of head…

That’s too hard! My own silhouettes vary in scale quite a lot, anywhere from a quarter to 1/10th scale. So I decide to make things easier and assume my doll’s house artist cuts really big, quarter-scale silhouettes. Now my doll’s house silhouettes need to be cut at 1/48th scale.

Now I have about 5mm from chin to top of head, much more manageable.

The silhouette studio

For the project I cut and painted a number of these doll’s house silhouettes, each one copied from a cut silhouette in my duplicate albums. At this scale it’s impossible to work freehand, so each silhouette was scaled down and drawn with a sharp pencil. I framed and arranged them on the wall of a 1/12th scale room box. To finish the scene I added 1/12th scale full-length silhouettes of a silhouettist and her next customer. The artist is my friend Cindi Rose.

Paper dolls house silhouette studio

Paper dolls-house scene, complete with tiny silhouettes, silhouettist and customer. The scene includes a penny to give a sense of scale.

Doll’s house silhouette commissions

These were great fun! If you are a fan of doll’s houses would you like to have your own silhouette, or those of your children, on the wall’s of your doll’s house? If so, please do get in touch and we’ll arrange a sitting. The best way to do this would be via an on-line video link such as Skype or FaceTime.

Doll's House silhouette

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2 comments on “Doll’s House Silhouettes

  1. Nicki says:

    This is just gorgeous. They would also make lovely pieces of jewelry – such as pictures in a locket or a little frame on a chain. They have a modern-day cameo feel about them!

    • Charles Burns says:

      Thank you Nicki. I am occasionally asked to cut silhouettes for lockets. They work really well, I just need to cut very small.

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