A room box
is a display box used for three-dimensional miniature
scale environments, or scale models
. Although the name would suggest room boxes generally only represent typical rooms such as those found in houses or other buildings (bedrooms, kitchens, offices, etc.), room boxes are used for all sorts of environments – exterior views as well as interior ones, realistic ones as well as fantastical ones. While some miniaturists concentrate their efforts specifically on room boxes, many use them to take a break from larger projects, such as dollhouses or miniature villages, to create a smaller environment on a different theme. A room box can be tailored to one’s interests or mirror an important step in life - for example, a bakery or restaurant scene might be created by or for a baker or cook, and a wedding dress storefront might be created for a bride to be or as a reminiscence of one's wedding. Making a room box is often a first step to learning new techniques in miniature making; such projects are popular at miniaturists' events where attendees have only 1–2 days to make and finish a project. Once techniques are perfected in these smaller settings, craftspersons and hobbyists often reapply them to larger projects.
Room boxes are a cost- and time-effective way to make miniature settings without attempting larger setups such as a dollhouse
or train set
. Commercially bought room boxes tend to be made of wood, pressed wood products or plywood, with the top and front window made of removable clear acrylic that lets in light and enables access and viewing from two perspectives. Dimensions usually meet standard dollhouse proportions ("1:12 scale" in dollhouse speak means that 1" in the dollhouse world represents 1' in the real world), but anyone can make a room box from a leftover shoebox, orange crate, etc. and adapt an idea to suit the box's scale. Since any material can be used, whether leftover or new, people of all economic classes express themselves through this craft. Read more...