Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

Making a Tiny Victorian Hall Lantern and Parlour Chandelier by Emily Boutard


I searched for some light fittings for my half scale dollhouse, however, in this scale I wasn’t able to find any affordable lights which are not clunky and look out of scale. I did find some that were nice but were about $150 - $200 each, which is too much if you want to light a whole house. 

So, I decided to make my own. I decided on a Victorian hall lantern. I love these lanterns so much!


There are many different styles, but the common elements include leaded stain glass in simple geometric patterns, and quatrefoil patterned edging.  


To make my little lantern, I first found some cheap, thin bangles.


I also tracked down some fancy jewellery wire with a nice gothic-type pattern.   


I cut the bangle into 8 equal lengths to form the top and bottom frame of the four-sided lantern.


I then cut small sections from the decorative wire and used them to cap the edges of the frame, top and bottom.


I then bent two lengths of wire for the "handle" on the top.


I then glued these two lengths on as you can see below.


Once the top and bottom frames were done I cut four equal rectangles from acetate for the glass. These glued into a cube easily using a plastics glue.


Then I popped the top and bottom framing sections onto the acetate cube.


Next I used a length of gold tape to use for the leading (bought from a gold supply shop). This is thin lead strip tape with an adhesive backing which can be cut into very thin strips and simply stuck down to look like leading on glass. I also used it to cap the four side edges of the lantern.  


The use of super glue to glue the metal frame to the acetate oxidises the acetate, thus making it a little cloudy. I personally like this because I think it makes the glass look old. 

I bought glass paints to colour the acetate. However (after spending a lot of money on the paint), I changed my mind because it did not give a smooth finish. Instead I bought coloured cellophane, cut it into pieces and glued it to the inside of the lantern.


The outcome is surprisingly real and effective!



I also needed a chandelier for the front parlour of this house so I decided to try and make my own. It actually wasn't too hard. I bought an LED kit from True 2 Scale and some gold wire.

I used 1:12 scale plastic wine glasses for the gas globes. I cut the stems off and pierced a hole in the middle for the LED to fit through. 






It looks gaudy, but pretty appropriate for a Victorian parlour. I have ordered some tiny palms and ferns for the parlour, as I think they are a must have accessory. 

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