Cutting a dolls house silhouette

Doll’s House Silhouettes

ONE OF MY FAVOUITE projects in Mastering Silhouettes was to create a set of silhouettes for a doll’s house. However, 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? In the Regency period, silhouettes were traditionally painted at 1/10th scale. Therefore, I calculate a doll’s house silhouette should be 1/10th the size of a 1/12th scale human head. That makes it 1/120th scale, is that right?

That would give me about 2mm to work with, between the chin and the top of the head…

That’s too hard! My own silhouettes vary in size quite a lot, anywhere from 1/4 to 1/10th scale, bur not 2mm!. I decided to make things easier, so I assumed my doll’s house artist cuts really big, quarter-scale silhouettes. Therefore, I needed to cut my doll’s house silhouettes at 1/48th scale.

This meant I had about 5mm between the  chin and the top of head, which is 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, I found it impossible to work freehand, so I scaled each silhouette down and drew it with a sharp pencil. I then 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, perhaps you’d 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 so we can 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
a 1/48th-scale silhouette cutting
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8 years ago

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!

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