How to Make Miniature Sized Wooden Wheelbarrows


No miniature garden scene is complete without a wheelbarrow full of plants, tools and supplies. Miniature wheelbarrows can also add interest to a scale model construction site on a model or garden railroad layout.

Step 1

Cut a 3-by-4-inch base plate from a 1/8-inch thick piece of plywood or craft foam using an artists' utility blade or a fine-toothed blade on a jigsaw. This will be the bottom of the wheelbarrow bed.

Step 2

Cut two side panels, 2 inches by 4 inches, and one front panel, 2 inches by 3 inches. Cut a 3-by-1 1/2-inch rear panel.

Step 3

Glue all four sides to the base plate to make an open-topped butt-jointed box, using instant adhesive with craft foam or carpenters' glue with plywood.

Step 4

Place 1/2-by-1/2-by-2-inch wooden blocks in each corner to help support the walls until the glue hardens. Tap small tack nails at the top and bottom of each edge of each side, through the sides of the wheelbarrow and into the blocks, for added stability.

Step 5

Cut two pieces of 1/4-inch thick wood, 1/2 inch wide by 6 inches long. These are the handles and the wheel assembly for the wheelbarrow.

Step 6

Clamp the two pieces together. Drill a 1/16-inch hole through both pieces, 1/2 inch from one end. Use a jeweler's file to enlarge and smooth the hole.

Step 7

Insert a 1/16-inch diameter dowel rod through the hole made in the previous step. Pull the rod back out of the hole until it is only through one of the two handles.

Step 8

Place the 1-inch diameter wooden wheel between the handles and push the dowel rod into place. Apply instant adhesive at each end of the dowel rod to keep it from sliding. Allow the glue to dry overnight. Sand and paint your wheelbarrow as desired.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/8-inch thick craft foam or plywood, 10 1/2 inches by 4 inches
  • Artists' utility blade or jigsaw with fine-toothed blade
  • Instant adhesive
  • Carpenter's glue
  • 4 wooden blocks, 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch by 2 inches
  • Small tack nails
  • Tack hammer
  • 2 pieces of 1/4-inch thick wood, 1/2 inch wide by 6 inches long
  • Small alligator clamps
  • Power drill with 1/16-inch bit
  • Jewelers' file
  • 1/16-inch diameter wooden dowel rod
  • 1-inch diameter wooden wheel
  • Coarse through extra fine sandpaper
  • Bright enamel paint


  • The Art of Dollhouse Miniatures: Miniature Wheelbarrow Planter
  • AZ Woodman: Box Joints; Butt Joints

Who Can Help

  • Woodworkers' Workshop: Free Wheelbarrow Plans
  • Cynthia Howe Miniatures: Dollhouse Miniature Tutorials
Keywords: make miniature wooden wheelbarrows, miniature garden equipment, mini wheelbarrow, miniature wheelbarrow design

About this Author

Jane Smith provided educational supports for 11 years, served people with multiple challenges for 26 years, rescued animals for five years, designed and repaired household items for 31 years and is currently an apprentice metalworker. Her e-book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in March 2008. She received her Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995.

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