How to Make a Miniature Stove

At this point, my husband, who is also my partner in New England Miniatures, would say to me, "Why are you teaching people how to make a dollhouse stove? Aren't we in the business of selling miniatures?"

That's true, but if you've noticed, as of today, I'm still selling old fashioned looking stoves and Agas from Reutter porcelain. When I needed a contemporary style stove for the Bungalow kitchen, I wasn't satisfied with the stove I had originally bought. It looked a bit too toylike to suit me, so I decided to see if I could make myself one out of basswood.

1/8" thick basswood
1-2 square dowels, @ 1/4" thick, though any size will do
3/16" thick basswood, 3" x 3/8" high
4 lock washers
small guage aluminum wire
thin aluminum tubing
1/8" thick dowel
1/4" thick round wooden dowel
white paint
white enamel spray paint
black paint

I used 4 pieces of 1/8" thick basswood to make the sides of a box.
The back and front were cut 2 & 3/4" wide x 2 & 15/16" high.
The sides were 1 & 7/8" wide x 2 & 15/16" high.
I based my measurements on the sink and counter pieces I was using. I could have cut my sides 3" high instead of 2 & 15/16", but it wouldn't have worked for me. You can make your stove as high or wide as you want.
The stove top, which forms the top of the box is 2" x 3".
Here you see the underside of the stove, and how the sides, back and front fit together. I used some square dowels to reinforce the box and help keep things squared up.

I glued the 4 sides together with wood glue, then I glued in the dowels. You want the tops of the dowels to be level with the 4 sides of the box, so you can glue the stove top to the 4 sides and the tops of the dowels. This way you get a pretty sturdy box that isn't likely to break if you drop it.
But don't glue the top on yet!

Next you need to cut out the 3 pieces that go on the front of the stove. They make up the control panel where the knobs will go, the oven door and the broiler door (or drawer).
The narrow top panel for the knobs is 3" x 1/4" high. The oven door is 3" x 1 & 11/16" high, and the broiler door on the bottom is 3" x 3/4" high. These 3 panels will be glued to the front of the stove.
Now, I could have just scribed in some lines to mark the separations, but I really wanted a toe kick under the stove. It just makes it look more real I suppose. By gluing the panels on I get the open space underneath that I painted black.

Once you glue the front panels on, you can glue on the top. Be sure that the top isn't too short. It's better if it's a hair too long than a hair too short. if there's too much you can always sand off the excess. Apply wood glue to the tops of the 4 sides of the box and to the tops of the dowels, then press down the stove top and let dry.

If you find any slight gaps where 2 pieces of wood meet, just fill in the space with wood putty or drywall compound or spackle. Once everything is dry and to your satisfaction, sand your box smooth, and apply a coat of flat white paint. It can be a primer, or acrylic or latex paint. When that's dry, you'll want to sand the box smooth again.
I have to confess, I was in a hurry, and could have sanded my stove a bit better.

The next piece you need is the splash back. I used a somewhat thicker, 3/16" piece of basswood for that. The splashback is 3" long x 3/8" high. I painted and sanded it smooth before gluing it into place.

Next I used white enamel spray paint to paint the stove. I wanted a glossy finish, and spray paint seemed the best idea. It took several coats, you might need to sand again after the firsat coat of paint is dry.

Next I made the oven door handle. For this I used some aluminum wire and tubing from the hardware store. Just pick a piece of tubing that will slide over your wire. The wire I used was similar in guage to a cheap coathanger. I cut the tubing with a pair of tin snips. The snips flattened the end of the tubing where I cut it a little, so I used a narrow dowel or wire to shape it back out.
I cut the tubing 2" long, and the wire @ 2 1/2" or so. I drilled 2 small holes into the top area of the oven door where I wanted to place the handle. I drilled the holes 2 & 1/8" apart. I bent one end of the wire with a pair of needlenose pliers so it would fit into the hole, and stick out enough for the tubing to slide over it.
Next I had to bend the other end of the wire and fit it into the hole. This was a bit trickier, I just had to experiment a bit til I got it right.

I could have made a similar handle for the broiler, but I admit, I was feeling lazy and I wanted to get done, so I decided to see how a different handle would look. I cut a 1/8" thick dowel 2" long, then I sanded one side of it to flatten it out. This way it would glue to the "door" more securely. After gluing it on I gave the front of the stove another shot of enamel spray paint.

The next step was to glue in the aluminum door handle. I applied a little glue to the ends of the wire and pushed them into place.

A piece of dollhouse cove molding or L shaped molding might also make good handles, but I didn't have any at the time.

The knobs are cut from a 1/4" dowel. I painted a section of dowel black first, then I cut the knobs. I glued them into place, after which I painted the cut ends black to match.

The gas burners are made from lock washers, also from the hardware store. I painted black circles where they were to go, then glued them on.

While I was making the stove, I noticed that at one point it looked a lot like a washing machine, or a dryer, and with a few minor details, you could turn the basic box into one too.


  1. Great job! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

  2. I like your step-by-step instructions and information, and the stove looks quite good. I notice that the grain is still quite strong, which means you probably needed to sand it down just a bit more and/or to use a sealer coat of some kind before applying your white paint. I did a project where I wanted my door to look like it was aluminum, and I didn't seal it right. No matter how much I sanded and spray painted, the wood grain still showed through! Thanks for sharing with us.


  3. Oh my! This is darling! Lock washers! Who would have guessed! Can you tell I'm excited about this!?

  4. Nice tutorial. I may try making it with white styrene available at model railroad stores, which would eliminate the wood grain problem.


  5. I think it is nice tutorial, although i could not understand all,but i am enjoy in reading. you could read our text about FUNNY story in but you need translate in to your language. i am in indonesia . nice to visit your blog

  6. Wonderful details on how to make a miniature stove. Highly detailed and very excellent recommendations. Appreciate it