MCM Miniature Chair RILEY (Tutorial + SVG)

mid-century style miniature chairs
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Introducing Riley, a distinctively MCM miniature chair! Yes, I’m fancy now and my pieces have names 😁

The Riley chair has been on my to-do list for the longest time, but I kept putting it off because the seat angle just stumped me. Unlike this modern chair, the Riley chair doesn’t have a convenient horizontal angle on its sides for lining up the seat. But, a recent customer inquiry inspired me to come up with a surprisingly-easy solution for it. (Thank you, D!)

Enough chatter, let’s get to it!

dollhouse miniature chair in mid-century style

DESIGN NOTES FOR RILEY MCM MINIATURE CHAIR

The Riley chair is designed to be laser-friendly! Meaning, you can use a 1/8″ thick wood to make the frame. I personally use my favorite combo of 1/16″ basswood (double-layered) cut with a Cricut Maker.

The SVG files are available on Etsy!


IMPORTING THE SVG FILES INTO CRICUT DESIGN SPACE

To import the SVG file into Cricut Design Space, head on to this post or watch this video on YouTube.


TOOLS & MATERIALS TO MAKE RILEY MCM MINIATURE CHAIR

  • Cricut Maker and…
  • 1/16″ basswood sheet for the legs (see cutting list below)
    • I recommend MidWest Products basswood sheets in 8″ wide if you can find them, or at least 6″ wide (on eBay)
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper in various grits (I use 220 this this project)
  • Paint
  • Large interlocking blocks like Lego or Duplo, or something similar
  • For the cushion bases:
  • Thin fabric
    • I use regular cotton fabric from my stash.

CUTTING LIST FOR RILEY MCM MINIATURE CHAIR

FOR 1/16″ BASSWOOD (CRICUT MAKER USERS)

  • 4 pieces of chair side
    • cut 2 along the grain
    • cut 2 across the grain
  • 2 pieces of seat
  • 2 pieces of back
  • 1 piece of the jig
parts for making dollhouse chair

FOR 1/8″ PLYWOOD (LASER-CUTTER USERS)

  • 2 pieces of chair side
  • 1 piece of seat
  • 1 piece of back
  • 1 piece of jig

FOR THE CUSHIONS

The SVG files include a template to make the seat and back cushion bases. The bases are slightly smaller than the actual seat/back measurements, to accommodate the additional thickness from the fabric.

It might be helpful to refer to the tables below for the measurements of the cushions.

1:12 scaleSeat Cushion (inches)Back Cushion (inches)
Base, made with foam core1.75 x 1.75 = 1-3/4 x 1-3/41.75 x 1.675 = 1-3/4 x 1-11/16
Insert = Base plus 1 layer of battingsame as above, at ~1/4″ thicknesssame as above, at ~1/4″ thickness
Fabric strips1/4″ wide1/4″ wide
Finished measurement~ 1.875 x 1.875 x 1/4~ 1.875 x 1.8 x 1/4
1:16 scaleSeat Cushion (inches)Back Cushion (inches)
Base, made with 2 layers of chipboard1.375 x 1.375 = 1-3/8 x 1-3/81.375 x 1.25 = 1-3/8 x 1-1/4
Insert = Base plus 1 layer of battingsame as above, at ~3/16″ thicknesssame as above, at ~3/16″ thickness
Fabric strips3/16″ wide3/16″ wide
Finished measurement~ 1.5 x 1.5 x 3/16″~ 1.5 x 1.375 x 3/16″
  • 1 cushion insert for the back
  • 1 cushion insert for the seat
  • 2 pieces of fabric, enough to wrap each cushion
  • 2 pieces of long fabric strips, long enough to wrap around each cushion

You can read up on how to make miniature boxed cushions on this post.

parts for making dollhouse chair cushions

ASSEMBLING THE RILEY MCM MINIATURE CHAIR

You can watch the video tutorial here or on YouTube! Be sure to review the written steps below also.

Step 1: Cut all the pieces

As I mentioned about, for best result when using 1/16″ basswood, cut your chair pieces at perpendicular grain directions.

Step 2: Prepare the chair pieces

Layer 2 pieces of chair sides that have perpendicular grain directions. Make two of these.

preparing the side pieces of a miniature chair

Then layer the 2 pieces of the seat, and do the same for the back. The back piece is the same width as the seat, but slightly shorter.

Step 3: Sand and paint

Take your time to sand the seams and cut edges to round them off, as this will make your final piece look better. I didn’t sand the bottom of the chair feet as that part needs to remain flat.

the sides of miniature chair are prepared

I also didn’t sand the side edges of the seat and back, to make sure I have the maximum gluing surface.

the seat of a miniature chair

After sanding, paint the pieces.

Step 4: Assemble the chair frame

The interlocking blocks serve as a vertical floor during this step, and the jig will help with the seat angle. Line up one chair side against the vertical floor, and position the jig on top of it. The jig should NOT be glued on.

glue applied to the side of dollhouse chair

Apply a bit of glue to the chair side and attach the seat piece. Then, attach the back piece as well.

seat attached to the side of dollhouse chair

Let the glue sets a bit so your pieces don’t fall apart so easily. Then, apply glue on the other side.

glue applied to the side of miniature chair

Position the other chair side and jig against the vertical floor…

chair side prepared

… and place the partially assembled chair on top. Carefully align so the chair doesn’t wobble when standing up.

dollhouse chair frame assembled

While waiting for the glue to fully set, carefully secure the meeting points with rubber bands.

Step 5: Make the cushions

Your cushion inserts should have a base (foam core or chipboard layers), plus a layer of batting. Place the batting side face down on the fabric, then glue it down.

dollhouse chair cushion wrapped in fabric

Trim off excess fabric at the corners, then glue down and flatten.

miniature chair cushion with the corners neatened.

Then glue the fabric strip around the cushion. Snip off the ends and try to avoid overlapping, to minimize the bulk.

Repeat for the other cushion.


COMPLETE!

The mustard version is 1:12 scale, and the denim version is 1:16 Lundby scale. What do you think about Riley MCM miniature chair? Let me know below!

mid-century MCM dollhouse miniature chair

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Made your own? I’d love to know!

What motivates me the most is seeing you use my tutorials to make your own minis! There are many ways you can share your projects:

  • comment below to let me know (or if you have any questions about it–for the benefit of others also!)
  • link back to my site or this tutorial,
  • tag me on Facebook or Instagram,
  • share your version on my Facebook group!


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