A Miniature Cabin Project

A Miniature Cabin Project

Welcome to the Miniature Cabin Project. This blog and the miniature cabins featured here were inspired by my Grandpa Butler who handmade a tiny log cabin (Pictured below) back in the 1950s.  This little cabin was eventually handed down to my father where occasionally my brothers and I played with it as kids.  It was a very basic model with only square holes for windows and a plywood door that lay unfastened in the doorway.  It had a shingled roof but no floor.

Cabin built by Louis Butler (Grandpa)

Photo taken at Christmas in 1969
Throughout the years, the little cabin sat in our attic until Christmas came around when my Mother would take the cabin out of storage and decorate it with Christmas ornaments.  She would place it on cotton sheets and line the roof with cotton as well to simulate snow.  She cut a wreath from Christmas wrapping paper and taped it to the door.  Some years she would have a sleigh and reindeer on the roof and a Christmas tree inside. I have so many memories of the little cabin but only a couple of pictures of it.  Over the many years and migration from our home on Dixie Mountain to Dad's new house in Prairie City, the cabin has been lost to history and now only exists in photos and memories.  As kids, Christmas back then was a magical time and was my favorite holiday of the year.  The cabin greatly contributed to the feeling of Christmas and to a time in history that can never be duplicated but will always be remembered. 
One day I decided that I would like to build a miniature cabin like the one that my Grandpa made but one with more detail and life-like. I wanted to build one that was completely handmade with realistic features including hand-carved furniture and simulated glass windows.  I also wanted to build it out of materials that are readily accessible and cost-effective.  After several months of research and trial & error methods, I was able to do exactly that. Follow the blog to learn how I accomplished this and see photos through the various stages of the process.  I have decided to build and sell these little cabins through this website however, I am still fine-tuning the methods and processes to minimize the amount of time and cost.  If you are interested, you can join the community below or contact us from the "about page", I will send you an email when I am ready to open the web store.
This miniature cabin project has been on my mind for years but I never had time to work on it until now. It has become a passion to create.  As I said, it was inspired by one that my Grandpa built many years ago and it was a part of my childhood that is still vivid in my memory to this day.

When I finally decided to build this little cabin, I wanted to make it as realistic and accurate as possible.  To do this, I had to start out with logs that were proportionate to the size of the cabin otherwise, it would not look realistic enough to satisfy my perfectionist's eye. I knew that I could be a little off on some visual features but others had to be precise in order for it to look like a real cabin. It would have been simple to get on amazon and buy a bunch of doll-house furniture and stuff to dangle around inside the cabin but it is about so much more than that.  Each item is hand-carved and painted by me.  Much more unique and no two are the same!
I wanted to make a cabin with functioning doors and windows and a way of removing the roof to see the fine detail and hand-carved furniture inside. Since looking through the doorway or windows would not give you an adequate view, I decided to make one-half of the peaked roof removable and the other half stationary so that certain items (stovepipe, etc.) inside could remain attached. 

It would have been simple to make the roof out of a couple of pieces of ply or balsa wood but that just wouldn't do.  It needed to have shingles or shakes.  I decided on tapered shingles which turned out to be a lot of work but the end result was worth the effort. Since there were so many shingles and they each had to be tapered, I built a jig that helped in the process.  I ended up building jigs for all the parts of the cabin that required a large quantity including the logs.  This not only speeds up the process but also keeps things uniform.
I built and installed a plank floor that can be removed with a couple of screws and the porch is the same way.  This makes it easier to get to hidden parts and to add additional features later on.  This cabin and all of its contents were built entirely from pine 1x4's that I purchased at home depot.  This was not only to save money (Balsa wood is too expensive for mass production) but also because pine is easy to work with and is readily available anywhere.  

As you read the rest of my articles in the blog, you will begin to see how my mind works and the reasons for some of my methods.  This was certainly a complex project with lots of obstacles when I started but through trial and error, I gradually straightened the learning curve and it became easier each day.  I learned that "For every challenge, there is a viable solution".  This cabin took me several months to build but was worth every minute of my time that the project consumed.  

Finally, the motivation for this project was just to learn how to build a miniature cabin that I could keep in as a conversation piece, something that showcases my various talents and abilities, and just to have something that I can be proud of. Throughout the process, I learned that it's not only doable but also a very unique product that you can't just buy off of a shelf anywhere. Each cabin being hand-made has substantial value to the proper demographic.  Choose an article from the list below to learn how we build them.
Butler Productions LogoDISCLAIMER:  This miniature cabin project requires the use of power tools, sharp objects, and the brain capacity to use them properly and safely.  This and all articles on this website are for the purpose of entertainment and your viewing pleasure only!!  We under no circumstances recommend that you leave the safety of your armchair to attempt anything that you see here for any reason at any time!

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