Furniture

How to build a miniature Hoosier cabinet – Introduction

If you can have access to a time machine and came back to early 1920, it’s not so uncommon to find a particular type of cupboard, named Hoosier cabinet, in the kitchen of a typical American family.
In this post series, I’ll show you how you can make it for your dollhouse.

The Hoosier story

How to make a miniature Hoosier cabinet

First thing first, before building this piece of furniture, I’d like to give you some background about it.
You may think that this kind of information is not so useful when talking about dollhouses, but I love to know the story of a piece of furniture and search for inspiration and references from the real-life one.
I think this is a piece of information that can help a lot when thinking about realism and consistency of interior design, even for dollhouses.
Sooooo ๐Ÿ™‚ after this introduction, we can go back to the story about the Hoosier.

This type of cabinet-workstation born in the first few decades of the 20th century, and take its name from the first company who made it, the Hoosier Manufacturing Company from Indiana. This type of furniture become much popular in the American houses of that period since most of them did not have built-in kitchen cabinetry. For this reason, food preparation often becomes a back and forth from the table to the pantry.
The idea behind the Hoosier was to create a central point where the cook can prepare all the dishes without moving around the kitchen, and saving steps and energy in the process.

The solution

The Hoosier cabinet structure

Born as an evolution of the baker’s cabinet the Hoosier provide both working and storage space, giving the cook all the support for meals preparation, plus a series of useful cooking accessories.
The base section usually has one large compartment with a metal slide-out shelf and several drawers to one side. On the top portion of the cabinet there are more small compartments, provides storage space for general food supply and ingredient.
What makes this piece of furniture so different from the other kitchen cabinet are however the moving parts: stand and turning spices racks, a drawer with an integrated dust-proof metal bread box, and an extractable workspace of course.
But what I think are the characteristic features that distinguish this cabinet by the baker’s one are the flour and the sugar box with the integrated sifter.

Hoosier flour sifter
The flour sifter, on a real restored Hoosier cabinet made by Pat Rios of The Wood Spa.com

No more weightlifting for the poor woman! Not every day, however ๐Ÿ˜‰
It’s brilliant! Don’t you think? Ok, maybe not so innovative today, but thinking about the weight of the big flour bag in use in that period, it was a life saver.
I fell in love with this idea, and I must confess, it’s the reason why I’ve decided to replicate this piece of furniture.
Another feature I literally fell in love was these small sheets of paper/cardboard on the upper door of the cabinet. In those pages, the housewife can keep track of the menu, the grocery store list, and the various meal times.

The project

I’ve divided the making of this piece of furniture in 4 parts. I know, it may seem too complicated, but I’m sure that if I can make it, you can too ๐Ÿ˜‰
During the construction, I’ve tried to keep all the operations as simple as possible so you can follow all the steps even if you are not so practical.
Is not required to follow all the steps I’ve made: you can choose to make only the base section if you like it, and change the look, or even discard the upper one.

The whole process will be divided into these steps:

  1. The base section;
  2. The upper section;
  3. The flour and the sugar box with sifter;
  4. Shelves, drawers, and racks.

Meanwhile, you can download here the overall drawing of the pieces so you can start to see the global dimension, and trying to make it on your own.

miniature hoosier cabinet plans

In the next post, I’ll show you how to make the base section of the Hoosier so, if you like it and need a guide for replicating it for your dollhouse, stay tuned ๐Ÿ˜‰

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