Miniature Dollhouse Leather Couch Tutorial

Mish Volonino
by Mish Volonino
2 Materials
Hello fellow Hometalkers.
Back again with some updates on my newest projects. I'm in the process of renovating, what they also call bashing in the mini world, a Melissa and Doug Victorian Dollhouse.
I've been working on this for about 4 months. With each new project I try to learn more and take on more challenges.
I promise I will create a post about the stages of remodeling this house but for now this is all about my miniature Kensigton Vintage Leather Tufted Sofa from Restoration Hardware.
I've been wanting to make this sofa so bad. I picked up this fantastic faux leather fabric from Joanne's that I knew immediately would be good to work with.

I studied the photo in the catalog and searched for videos and tutorials online. There are a lot of miniature tutorials online but not too many on tufting.

I figured I would try it out first on an ottoman.

My first attempt just didn't work. I had done done cushion work so I decided I was going to try to make this couch just like a life size couch.

This photo below is the beginning bottom piece which was pretty easy. I would usually use Goan board for the structure but because I was tufting I decided to make a wood frame. You can see the couch I was trying to replicate in the background. That is the Restoration Hardware catalog.
The base was pretty easy. On my first try, I thought I could achieve the tufting by placing three layers of thin batting under the fabric. I would string a small bronze seed bead and pull through tight. Once it was done I would secure the fabric to the wood base. Well I learned that really didn't give the tufts the look I was going for.
This was my process for the sides and back of the couch. I made cardboard templates and marked where I wanted the tufts. I then used a hole puncher to make with template, and punch the holes out of each layer. I then used the template to make the wood piece. I used a small hand drill to drill the holes through. I layed the three pieces of batting over the wood and topped with a piece of faux leather. I marked the leather with a sharpie from the template too. I threaded a needle with a thicker thread and a bronze bead. I pulled the thread and bead through all layers. When I have two threads through, I would tie them tightly, knot them, snip long ends and dap with tacky glue.
This is a very slow process with a lot of steps but the end result is fantastic.

You can see from pics below the two sides and base.

It took me a total of three full days to complete this couch
I did the nailheads on the couch using pin findings in the jewelry section. I used a sharp needle poke polymer clay to to push a pilot hole in. I cut the pins down to an 1/4 inch and pushed them thought the fabrics and into the wood
I'm not going to tell you this was an easy project. It was time consuming and difficult through trial and error but it came out so much better than I thought it would. And as of today, I haven't found this style sofa in miniature size available anywhere.

You can do this too. Just be patient and allow room for mistakes. You will be so happy with the results.

If you do not know how to cut and tuck the fabric around the sofa, there are many tutorials online. The process if the same for all fabric sofas and chairs. It's just the tufting that makes is more complicated.

So here is he finished product. This is my dollhouse which is "Allie's Dollhouse". Come join me on Instagram to see how I make my selections and build Industrial and Ructic Decor in miniature size. My name on Instagram is "MLIdesigns"
I decided to sew the pipping instead of glueing piping on. I felt the couch needed a more realistic look.
Thanks for checking out my post. Hope I motivate you to take it to the next level in miniatures. Love and light.
Suggested materials:
  • Base wood   (Hobby Lobby)
  • Faux leather fabric   (Joanne's)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Wsj Wsj on Aug 30, 2016
    Hi, I'm Ellen Byron, a staff reporter with The Wall Street Journal. I am writing a story about doll houses- can we talk about your work? I'm reachable on 212.416.2142 or ellen.byron [at] Thank you!
Join the conversation
2 of 63 comments
  • Norma Whalen Norma Whalen on May 20, 2018


  • Stephanie Sh Stephanie Sh on Jul 10, 2021

    Very impressive. I bought a house at Goodwill. Needs love but turning into a Vampire house. Looove halloween and vampired. So this couch will be perfect. Thanks for sharing. Will send picture when done.