Miniature Gardening 105: Sizing up Your Miniature Accessories

Miniature Garden Accessories
Miniature garden accessories are different from fairy garden accessories in scale, quality and workmanship. It’s the realism that creates the magic – not the fairies.

Miniature Gardening 105: Sizing up Your Miniature Accessories

Whew! What a world-wind of miniature garden ideas everywhere you look. If you haven’t been by your local, independent garden center lately, you’d AdS-EtsySetbetter go check them out – they just may have gone to the fairies too.

[For links to the previous lessons in this series, go here.]

And as the fairy garden trend flits and flutters its way through your garden this summer, a popular question has probably come to mind: How do you know what size or scale your fairy garden stuff is?

If you are a lot like us, sticklers for scale here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, you would like to know – you need to know – the scale you are working in, in order to inject the realism that is the magic of miniature gardening. So, here’s a quick guide to figuring that out.

One inch scale miniature garden accessories

To help illustrate the scale, here are two popular items for any type of miniature garden to use as a comparison for your items. Measure the inside of the doorframe, or the height of the bench, and use the chart below to figure out the scale of your accessories.

Size of Door,
in Inches:
Of Seat:
Scale, written three
Different ways:
6” – 7” tall 1 ⅜” – 1 ⅝”       1” scale, large size, 1:12
3” – 4” tall ⅜” – ⅝” ½” scale, medium size, 1:24
1 ¼” – 1 ½” tall       ¼” –  ⅜” ¼” scale, small size, 1:48
Half-inch scale miniature garden accessories
Half-inch scale miniature garden accessories are perfect for table-top sized gardens, or smaller containers, usually under 12″ in diameter. In this scale: 1/2 inch = 1 foot

And here’s a summary of scale across the miniature industry:

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book
Click the picture to get your autographed copy from our online store. Or Amazon[dot]com has it too!
The Dollhouse Miniature industry divides their miniature scales up to manageable sizes that take a little getting used to, but once you get the math behind it, it becomes easier with use: one-inch, half-inch and quarter-inch scale. Each scale is half the size of the other, where the unit of scale is equal to one foot in “full-size.” This is the scale we’ve adapted to in our miniature gardens and we’ve used it with success over the years.

The Garden Railroaders use G-Scale, or 1:22 scale. This is closest to the half-inch dollhouse scale. The other scales that the model railroaders use are very plentiful and all over the board. Their scale is based on the width of the railroad tracks which are made by many different manufacturers attempting to dominate the hobby with their line of trains and, in my opinion, have made a wonderful hobby difficult to digest unless you only stick with one manufacturer. Look for the ratio (the 1:? number) of the item, if it is close to the scale you are using, you can probably get away with it in your miniature garden. You can always “eyeball it” too, and see if it ‘“looks” like it’s in scale with the other items in the garden.  (Don’t try this if you are entering a miniature contest, they do get their rulers out and will measure everything to check the scale.)

Quarter-inch scale miniature garden accessories
Quarter-inch scale miniature garden accessories are really fun but a bit scarce. They are perfect for terrariums and the tiniest of miniature gardens. In this scale: 1/4 inch = 1 foot.

The Fairy Garden accessories have been made with little regard to scale too. Most of them, when mixing them with the miniature garden accessories, the scales are all over the place. Even the sizes within each manufacturer don’t appear to match. So, my best advice is to pick your fairy, then pick the furniture or house. The measurement of her ankles to the back of her knees will tell you the size of the bench she can “sit” on and you can refer to the chart above for the scale.

I hope that helps you inject some realism into your fairy gardens – its the attention to scale creates the enchantment, ultimately.

Use our handy ‘Shop by Scale’ section of our online store to keep it simple for you!

Miniature Gardening 106: Contain Your Investment

New and Unusual Miniature Garden Accessories

Shop for more miniature garden fun!

12 thoughts on “Miniature Gardening 105: Sizing up Your Miniature Accessories

  1. Thank you for this! I will have to keep it for reference. Love the designs too! I agree fairy gardens are everywhere. Great article! ~ Mare


  2. I have to agree that sizing and knowing your size is very important for appearance and realism. I have been a miniaturist and model railroader for 3 decades now. When I’m building I always think of the “little people” that will be inhabiting my layout and so I try to make it as accurate as possible so as to impress them. I guess I still think there are miniature rock bands inside the box on my table, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deb. I’ve been a miniaturist since I was a little girl – over 4 decades! Yikes! I’m the same way: I like to think of the little people inhabiting my worlds, but I prefer to leave the dolls & fairies out of the scene. I feel it leaves more to the imagination and people who view my work can really personalize the experience with their own ideas and characters. – J.


  3. May I refer my readers to your blog? I’m new to blogging, and I’m creating a post on how to make your own DIY fairy bridge. Your post about scale is spot on! Please let me know. Thanks.


    1. Hi Sandi! Yes you may. Thank you for asking! Here’s a video on understanding scale too: 🙂


  4. Everything I am finding is scaling to furnishing. I want to scale my garden to my fairy and I don’t understand how. I have three fairies (gifted) that are 3-1/4″ tall. If using the 1:12 scale the fairy would be 3ft, 3in tall. Okay, I can live with that, but then how big should their houses be? How big should other decorations be?


    1. Hi Sherry, You can stay with the 1:12th scale or make a custom scale for your fairies. The latter would require a custom-build, using the fairy as the main reference for the measurements. Unfortunately these fairy manufacturers didn’t think of scale when they make the stuff – it’s really where the enchantment is. Let me know if this answers your questions. – J.


Thoughts and Opinions:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close