How to Make a Model Grocery Store

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Since so many dollhouse miniature projects and products are centered around creating and collecting tiny food items, a model grocery store is a natural choice for a miniature enthusiast with an interest in a wide variety of toy edibles. Build a basic grocery store structure to serve as a medium for displaying these goods, whether you choose a modern or old-fashioned style.

  • Choose an era for your grocery store. This will affect the ease of stocking it with miniature food; many commercially-sold dollhouse miniatures (especially those commonly sold in craft stores) are modeled after old-timey, early 20th century products. However, it's easy to build your own modern, name brand products by scanning or photographing packages from your own kitchen, printing them in miniature and folding them into tiny packages.

  • Sketch a layout for your store. Base it on a real grocery store with items organized according to type: produce, meat, dairy and various packaged food sections. Unless you want this model to be a huge undertaking, go with a small town "general store" design that stocks just the minimum needed items.

  • Make the building. For a basic model, use a cardboard box or wooden crate. Cut away one of the sides for full access and paint the walls and floor a basic white or cream color to make it look like the inside of a building. Paint the bottom of the floor to look like tile by painting a black and white checker pattern.

  • Add shelves to your model. Line the three walls with shelves by gluing paint-stirring sticks on their edges. Buy dollhouse shelving for the central rows of shelves, or build your own from tag board or craft foam.

  • Fill the shelves with miniature food. Purchase items from craft store miniature aisles or model your own from paperboard (for packaged items) and polymer clay (for items like meat and produce).

  • Create a miniature checkout counter. Cut the bottom off a dried food box (such as crackers or cereal) and cover it with a layer of glue and paper, then paint it to look like a conveyer belt or counter. Glue it in place upside-down.

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