A Guide for Having Fun Building a Do It Yourself Miniature House text with images of the outside and inside of a miniature house.

A Guide for Having Fun Building a Do It Yourself Miniature House

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Want to get started building Do It Yourself Miniature Houses? They are so much fun to do, a small investment, and hours of fun! I started building them recently and I absolute love it! Here is my guide for what you need to get started!



Why Build a Do It Yourself Miniature House?

It’s fun! There are different manufacturers, many different designs from homes to bookstores to coffee shops, greenhouses and more! There is a relatively low entry point in terms of cost and optional additional supplies, many of which you may already have.

The way I got into building DIY Miniature Houses?

My husband bought me a kit for my birthday last year and I…I was intimidated by it for months! Almost a whole year! It had opened the box, glanced at the directions, and decided it was too complex for me so instead I focused on all my other hobbies and my blog instead.

Until over winter break that year, 8 months later, when I had some downtime and I decided to finally give it a try. I. Was. Hooked. I worked on it in 4 hour stints, up to 8 hours a day when able, and finished it within a few days. There was plenty of learning, realizing I didn’t have the best glue for the job, and times I had to just get up and walk away from it a bit then come back with a fresh outlook. Lol It’s not like I HAD to finish it in a short amount of time, I just wanted to, no matter how frustrating it was at times.

By the end of it, I absolutely loved it when I got to put it all together and then show it off. I wanted to do it again. A month later a set I really wanted of a coffee shop was on sale so I asked my husband to buy it for me for Valentine’s Day, so he did. That one took me a couple of months to complete because I did just a few Saturdays instead of days at a time.

I love all the different designs, the small footprint of the finished product, the relatively small cost of the kits, and how cool they are when they’re done!


Basics of DIY Miniature Dollhouses

They’re Time Consuming

A few things you need to know up front. They are time consuming, you won’t finish it in one sitting, and you do need to be careful/gentle. Sounds like a lot of ick BUT the end result is worth it. I think they’re so cool and so cute!!!

As you probably know, I have 3 very rambunctious little boys who treat our home like a jungle gym. I don’t leave my miniature dollhouses out where they can accidentally destroy them. While I’m working on them, I’ll typically work in my office area, which also happens to be the front room of our house which we also dub the classroom. Otherwise I’ll work on them at our kitchen table, where they typically sit for meals. They know that when I’m working on the dollhouses that they are welcome to come and see what I’m doing but to not touch unless I tell them they can. I don’t leave my kits out on the kitchen table for longer than a day/weekend as I know if it gets too normalized that’s when things will get broken.

For example, sometimes I will find a few hours to work on a dollhouse on a Saturday afternoon so I’ll set up my dollhouse project on the kitchen table around 1pm, working on it most of the afternoon while the kids play, then ensure they have enough room to eat dinner at the table. Typically then I will work on it again after dinner and after they go to bed. Then on Sunday morning I get up early with the kids while my husband sleeps in (he lets me sleep in on Saturday mornings) and I’ll work on the dollhouse for a couple hours in the morning before cleaning it up and putting it in my office to either work on it later that day or another day all together.

I surely don’t have time to do this every weekend, just once in a while when the stars align. Ha! I’ve finished two in 4 months so that goes to show you how often I sit down and work on them. That’s great though, it’s nice to have a project to be working on for hours at a time and still have more to do. Does it get tedious and frustrating at times? Yes, for sure. Overall though I really enjoy it and am excited to start the one I just got for my birthday after finishing the coffee shop one I’ll share pics of below.

DIY Dollhouses Don’t Come With Glue OR Batteries

The miniature dollhouses don’t ship with glue because they typically are manufactured over seas and transported in a way that doesn’t allow glue or batteries to be shipped. I have a section below regarding the glue I recommend. Batteries are typically just are AA or AAA batteries to make the lights work within the dollhouse.

Many Have LED Lights and a Music Box Included

A really cool thing is that all of the ones I’ve looked at have an LED light kit and music box included. It is so neat to have these little details. There is some wiring work to be done but any newbie can do it. I’d never done any type of wiring before and I figured it out quickly by looking at the directions.

Opt for the Dust Cover

Admittedly we weren’t really sure what exactly a dust cover was when we first started looking at the do it yourself miniature houses. Once I finished my first one, there were still some large pieces and I was confused. Apparently, this was the dust cover! It’s plexiglass and can be glued together to lightly place over the completed dollhouse. It’s great because it 1. keeps dust out as it is intended to do and 2. protects it somewhat. I highly suggest getting one with a dust cover so you can use it if you’d like.

The one I completed first, I have the dust cover on unless I want to look at it closer. I’ve attached the dust cover sides to itself but not to the actual dollhouse as I’d like to be able to remove it if desired. I plan on doing the same with my second one, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

Some Come With Tools

Before you buy any additional tools such as a mini screwdriver (if needed, not always needed), a craft knife, or tweezers, see what the kit you’re interested in includes. Some do includes basic tools whereas others don’t. See below for tools I recommend if yours don’t come with them.


Brands of Do It Yourself Miniature Houses

I’ve only tried this brand, Flever, and Cutebee so far. They both make great sets. Based solely on the fact the instructions for this Flever kit left a lot out, I’d recommend the Cutebee brand. There are other brands such as Rolife, Hands Craft, RoWood, and more on Amazon. They appear to have a lot of the same or similar sets with similar prices.

CUTEBEE Dollhouse Kits

There are so many fun Cutebee kits including traditional dollhouses, book nooks that will fit right in your book case, coffee shops, greenhouses, and more!

The Cutebee Poetic Life Kit, pictured below, was the first kit I got and assembled.

Blue DIY Dollhouse pic 1 Do it yourself miniature dollhouse
Dollhouse

Here are just a few other sets by CUTEBEE that have caught my eye. They have SO many great ones that are adorable and look so fun to build!

CUTEBEE DIY Book Nook Kit, DIY Dollhouse Booknook Bookshelf Insert Decor Alley, Bookends Model Build-Creativity Kit with LED Light (Eternal Bookstore)
CUTEBEE DIY Book Nook Kit, DIY Dollhouse Booknook Bookshelf Insert Decor Alley, Bookends Model Build-Creativity Kit with LED Light (Eternal Bookstore)
by CUTBEEE

【UNIQUE DESIGN CONCEPT】The classical design brings you to experience the charm of the library. The design of the upper and lower floors, the staircase at the corner shows a sense of upward extension. The hollow design not only enhances the sense of detail, but also allows light to penetrate better inside. Sitting by the warm fireplace, surrounded by books, accompanied by the dog, the whole picture is warm and beautiful. Exquisite wall lamps, oil painting frames, candles are retro and gorgeous.

 Price: $ 49.99 Buy now at Amazon
CUTEBEE Dollhouse Miniature with Furniture, DIY Dollhouse Kit Plus Dust Proof and Music Movement, 1:24 Scale Creative Room for Valentine's Day Gift Idea (Rose Garden Tea House)
CUTEBEE Dollhouse Miniature with Furniture, DIY Dollhouse Kit Plus Dust Proof and Music Movement, 1:24 Scale Creative Room for Valentine's Day Gift Idea (Rose Garden Tea House)
by CUTEBEE

🌳 Accurately speaking, the cute house is not designed to be played with, but collectible buildings or home decoration after finished. It come with parts, need to assemble DIY. The assembly is suitable for people older than 14 years, a great way to communicate with teenagers or adults and perfect project for spending time.
🌳 High quality and excellent designed match its price: Materials are of good quality, the furniture and other wooden pieces are precisely cut so that they fit together correctly. LED light, plants, ornament, furniture are quite realistic and cleverly designed, there are well worth the price if you are looking for pleasure.

 Price: $ 51.99 Buy now at Amazon

Flever Do It Yourself Dollhouse Kits

Though the first Flever kit I put together didn’t have the most complete instructions, I do still love the outcome! They have some great designs and I’m assuming that they aren’t all lacking in the completeness of instructions.

Overall the set that I did so far, Time of Coffee as featured below, was a fun set to make and I love the final result! Look how cute all the little details are!!!! Little plants, little pastries, little table and chairs, little books and so much more!

Coffee house Dollhouse
Miniature dollhouse
Inside of first floor of dollhouse
Flever® Dollhouse Miniature DIY Music House Kit Manual Creative with Furniture for Romantic Artwork Gift (Romantic Nordic)
Flever® Dollhouse Miniature DIY Music House Kit Manual Creative with Furniture for Romantic Artwork Gift (Romantic Nordic)
by Flever

Contents of the Kit: 1) pre-cut MDF wooden pieces for the house structure and furniture 2) fabric and printed paper for decorations and accessories 3) plexiglass pieces for the dust cover 4) LED light wires and music movement 5) Usually comes with paper English Manual 6) Toolkit including scissor, knife, tweezer, ruler and screwdriver

 Price: $ 35.80 Buy now at Amazon

Adhesives

First I started out with a glue that my husband got me which was ok but it was green….it even dried green, which wasn’t ideal. Beyond that, the narrow tube got all gunked up and was hard to undo. I’ve found that other glues work much better than the traditional model glue.

For glue I recommend a hot glue gun, especially for putting the wood pieces together, flowerpots on the base, etc. A couple of other glue recommendations are Bearly Art as they have this great small tip on it for little details and the classic Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue. All 3 aren’t required, I just have them all for other crafting things so switch between them. I go into each of them below.

Hot Glue Gun

Any hot glue gun would work though I do have one that I suggest. I used to have the old corded type but found it to be dangerous as the kids might bump it and even just setting it down it would often fall on it’s side. We have Ryobi brand tools in our home so I decided to go with the Ryobi 18V Cordless compact glue gun. I got the tool only because my husband had two extra batteries and charger I could use, but if you don’t, that’s something that you’ll want. The great thing is if you have two batteries then you can be using one and charging the other, then switch out when one runs out. You won’t be using THAT much glue but often there is downtime between when you need to use the glue gun and though you can of course turn it on and off again, it does take a while for it to warm up.

Glue Gun Only

If you already have a Ryobi battery and charger, you would just need the glue gun and holder. I chose the smaller version instead of the regular version because it is lighter and is better suited for my crafting needs.

Ryobi 18V Cordless Compact Glue Gun Tool ONLY
Ryobi 18V Cordless Compact Glue Gun Tool ONLY
by Techtronics
  • Battery & Charger NOT Included
  • Uses Mini Glue Sticks
  • 2-finger trigger for enhanced control
  • Lightweight to reduce user fatigue
  • Runs off any RYOBI ONE+ 18V battery
List Price: $ 42.99 You Save: $ 10.05 (-23%)  Price: $ 32.94 Buy now at Amazon

Everything Hot Glue Package

If you don’t have a battery and charger already, this is everything you need.

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Gun Holder
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Battery Charger

Mini Glue Sticks

The Ryobi compact glue gun uses mini glue sticks and though the compact glue gun comes with some, you will likely want more.

Any brand of mini glue sticks will do, just make sure that they’re mini or they won’t fit.

Mr. Pen- Hot Glue Gun Sticks, 60 Pack, Mini, 4 Inch, Hot Glue Sticks, Glue Gun Sticks, Hot Glue, Glue Sticks for Hot Glue Gun, Clear Glue Sticks, Hot Melt Glue Sticks
Mr. Pen- Hot Glue Gun Sticks, 60 Pack, Mini, 4 Inch, Hot Glue Sticks, Glue Gun Sticks, Hot Glue, Glue Sticks for Hot Glue Gun, Clear Glue Sticks, Hot Melt Glue Sticks
by Mr. Pen
  • Package Includes: 60 Glue Gun Sticks
  • ATTENTION: Each Stick Is 3.95 inch (10cm) Long And 0.27 inch (0.7mm) In Diameter
  • Dual Temp For High And Low Temperature Glue Guns
  • Non-Toxic, Clear And Non Yellowing
  • Works On Wood, Metal, Glass, Cardboard, Paper, Card Stock, Synthetic Materials And More
 Price: $ 4.99 ($ 0.08 / Count) Buy now at Amazon

Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue

Bearly Art Precision Craft glue is an amazing glue with a precision tip that is removable so it won’t clog up! Brilliant!! Bearly Art glue dries clear with a strong hold and wrinkle resistant. Even better, it comes with a tip kit which includes the ultra fine tip for detailed crafts, the fine tip for medium detailed crafts, and you can even take tips off and use the cap adapter as a tip! The set also comes with a storage tip that can be screwed on when you’re done using it so you can ensure the glue won’t dry out and the other tips won’t clog. The tips twist on and off easily and come in a little holder to keep them together. They also come with a cleaning pin to help keep the tips clear from glue drying within them and becoming unusable.

The price is higher than I’d typically pay for glue but it’s the only one that I’ve found that has such a great precision tip and comes with the whole tip kit to ensure I can continue to use that precision tip use after use, as well as having options for other tips easily available. These tips and the whole tip kit are shown below.

They also do have refills which come in an adorable bear like honey sometimes comes in which I’ll surely be getting when I run through my initial 2 fl oz bottle.

Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue - The Mini - 2fl oz with Tip Kit - Acid Free Archival - Strong Hold Adhesive - Ideal for Fine Paper Crafting Scrapbooking and Card Making - Made in USA
Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue - The Mini - 2fl oz with Tip Kit - Acid Free Archival - Strong Hold Adhesive - Ideal for Fine Paper Crafting Scrapbooking and Card Making - Made in USA
by Bearly Art

Clear-Drying Premium Arts & Craft Glue - Create a professional-level look for all styles of crafts. Best art glitter glue available.
Tip Kit with Multiple-Sized Tips - Provides more choices in application! Get better accuracy, freedom, and control with precision tips that twist and snap into place!
Wrinkle & Clump Resistant - Specially formulated to stay smooth and minimize warping or wrinkling. When highly desiring no warping or wrinkling be conservative with application of glue.

List Price: $ 14.99 You Save: $ 2.00 (-13%)  Price: $ 12.99 Buy now at Amazon
Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue 11fl oz Refill - Archival Acid Free - Dries Clear - Wrinkle Resistant - Flexible and Crack Resistant - Strong Hold Designed Tough - Made in USA
Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue 11fl oz Refill - Archival Acid Free - Dries Clear - Wrinkle Resistant - Flexible and Crack Resistant - Strong Hold Designed Tough - Made in USA
by Bearly Art
  • Cleary-Drying Premium Arts & Craft Glue - Create a professional-level look for all styles of crafts. Best art glitter glue available.
  • Wrinkle & Clump Resistant - Specially formulated to stay smooth and prevent wrinkling
  • Made in Usa - Safe to use for a variety of projects. This is NOT PVA glue, and has an industrial strength bond
  • Freeze/Thaw Stable - Can ship year ‘round and has been tested to be freeze/thaw stable for 5 freeze/thaw cycles. Perfect arts & crafts glue for the holidays!
  • Create More Use Less - This industrial strength adhesive goes a long way, and allows you to get more done with less adhesive. Our formula provides a strong hold and works with a wide variety of paper crafts!
List Price: $ 19.99 You Save: $ 2.00 (-10%)  Price: $ 17.99 ($ 1.64 / Fl Oz) Buy now at Amazon

Aleene’s All Purpose Tacky Glue

If you’d like a glue that is more economical but with less of a precision tip, check out Aleene’s All Purpose Tacky Glue. It’s great overall and I love to use it for larger items like putting the glue on the large pieces of paper onto glue as is needed near the end of making a miniature dollhouse.

I also find it to be helpful in making other projects such as cards and other crafts. It’s a great entry glue but if you can get a glue gun, even a cheap one, to glue together the wooden pieces within a miniature dollhouse, gluing flowers together, gluing flowers into the flower pots, and gluing flower pots onto the floor of the dollhouses.

If this is all your budget can allow though, it will work, just will lead to more having to hold pieces in place while the glue dries.

As it shows in the photo below, you can customize the glue tip but once it’s cut, then it’s done. You can’t cut the tip to be medium then want to go back to thin, so just something to keep in mind.

Aleene's Always Ready Tacky Glue, 4 oz, Original
Aleene's Always Ready Tacky Glue, 4 oz, Original
by iLTC
  • Dries clear and flexible
  • Water cleanup
  • Available in 4fl oz. bottle with cap stand
  • Find inspiration and techniques
 Price: $ 5.50 ($ 1.38 / Fl Oz) Buy now at Amazon
Aleene's All Purpose Tacky Glue, 8-Ounce
Aleene's All Purpose Tacky Glue, 8-Ounce
by iLoveToCreate
  • Aleene's Original Tacky Glue dries clean and flexible
  • Cleans up fast and easy with water
  • The nontoxic formula makes it your best choice for a variety of surfaces
  • Find inspiration and techniques at ilovetocreate
List Price: $ 4.25 You Save: $ 1.81 (-43%)  Price: $ 2.44 ($ 0.30 / Fl Oz) Buy now at Amazon

Helpful though Optional Materials

Flower Rolling Gear

This is one that is very optional but extremely helpful if you have a design with flowers, which seems to be most of them. I got this set to roll flowers I cut with my Cricut and have found this to really help with flowers that are within the miniature dollhouse kits as well, especially since I just got a greenhouse design full of flowers for me to roll!

12 Pack Paper Quilling Tools Slotted Kit, Different Sizes Rolling Curling Quilling Needle Pen Paper Cardmaking Project Tools Set for Paper Quilting Paper Flowers
12 Pack Paper Quilling Tools Slotted Kit, Different Sizes Rolling Curling Quilling Needle Pen Paper Cardmaking Project Tools Set for Paper Quilting Paper Flowers
by zanyu
  • Quilling Tools:Our quilling tools are made of plastic and stainless steel, which is sturdy and rust-proof , also it features durable that would not easy to be deformed.
  • Beautiful Colors: Quilling pens are in different color and light weight to use ,which is easy to carry and not take up too much space in the bag.
  • Practical Tool:The quilling pens make it easier to twirl paper and are much more comfortable to hold, can help to apply adhesive glue evenly,for thick paper and several glued strips, stretched out a variety of shapes.
  • Wide Usage: It's necessary for quilling lovers and a good choice for beginners, suitable for DIY, handwork, making greeting cards, making holiday decoration and so on and can also as a christmas gifts and valentine's day gifts for women
  • Package Included: You will get 1piece curling coach, 4 Pcs colorful quilling needle pens (rose, pink, light blue, blue), and the color of needle tool is random ,one tweezers and 5pcs purple slotted needle pens.
List Price: $ 10.99 You Save: $ 2.00 (-18%)  Price: $ 8.99 Buy now at Amazon

Self Healing Mat

I had a self-healing mat from 20 years ago when I was big into scrapbooking. I hadn’t used it for a long time but have found a new use for it with do it yourself miniature dollhouses!! I found that there are a lot of things that need to be cut out with a craft knife such as windows on the last dollhouse I made or even just delicate cuts in which the precision of a craft knife works better than a scissors.

A self healing cutting mat is the main surface I work on when I’m working on DIY miniature dollhouses. Even when I’m not cutting things with a craft knife, it’s just nice to not need to worry about damaging my kitchen table or desk, I know the mat will take all the abuse.

There are many different colors, sizes, and brands of self healing mats. Cricut even has some if you’re into that as well.

AIRGAME Self Healing Cutting Mat 18 inchx12 inch Non-Slip PVC Double Sided 5-Ply A3 Art Craft Rotating Mat,Sewing Crafts Hobby Fabric Precision Scrapbooking Project(Pink/Purple)
AIRGAME Self Healing Cutting Mat 18 inchx12 inch Non-Slip PVC Double Sided 5-Ply A3 Art Craft Rotating Mat,Sewing Crafts Hobby Fabric Precision Scrapbooking Project(Pink/Purple)
  • 【Craft Mat】 Cutting mat not only protects your work surface, but also keeps your rotary cutter blade or craft knife blade sharp without hurting the blade. The cut of the product being cut will be very flat. Ideal for artist, quilters, crafters, engraver and hobbyists.
  • 【Mat size】18 x 12 inches,Grid size:16x10 inches, thickness 1/8 inch (3mm)thickness protects work surface from being damaged. Perfect for small, medium and large craft and sewing projects
  • 【5-layer PVC material】 White hardness PVC in the middle,Prevent cutting through when power cut.Works well for the heavy duty cutting,compatible with rotary cutters and straight blades.Some brand cutting mat are black in the middle, which is not durable!
  • 【Cutting Mat for Sewing】 It is suitable for office, home, school teaching, parent-child interactive handmade, lightweight and portable. Cutting board for craft lovers.
  • Perfect gift for craftiers and hobbyists!Highly recommended for artist, crafters, builders, quilters, engraver and hobbyists.
List Price: $ 12.99 You Save: $ 1.00 (-8%)  Price: $ 11.99 Buy now at Amazon

Craft Knife

Technically any craft knife would do and both of the dollhouses I’ve put together so far come with a craft knife. However, I have to say that I use this particular craft knife instead of the ones that come with the kits because it’s easier to hold and I feel it’s more sturdy.

All depends on your personal preference.

Cricut TrueControl Knife Kit - For Use As a Precision Knife, Craft knife, Carving Knife and Hobby Knife - For Art, Scrapbooking, Stencils, and DIY Projects - Comes With 5 Spare Blades - [Rose]
Cricut TrueControl Knife Kit - For Use As a Precision Knife, Craft knife, Carving Knife and Hobby Knife - For Art, Scrapbooking, Stencils, and DIY Projects - Comes With 5 Spare Blades - [Rose]
by Provo Craft & Novelty
  • Combo pack includes TrueControl Knife and 5 additional blades
  • Blade lock system gives you greater control - No-touch experience makes changing blades easy
  • Premium steel blades for effortless cuts - Cushioned grip, protective cap, and anti-roll feature
  • Use storage cartridge to track and dispose of used blades
List Price: $ 18.99 You Save: $ 10.00 (-53%)  Price: $ 8.99 ($ 8.99 / Count) Buy now at Amazon

Scoring Tool

I already had this scoring tool from my Cricut and I found it works really well on items that need to be cut then folded. By using a scoring tool on the areas that something needs to be folded makes the fold much cleaner and flat which is a huge bonus when working with small pieces of paper and such for a miniature dollhouse. Right now it’s incredibly inexpensive so might as well get one just in case. Ha! That price could change at any time though of course.

Cricut Tools, Scoring Stylus
Cricut Tools, Scoring Stylus
by Provo Craft & Novelty
     

 Price: $ 18.00 Buy now at Amazon

Containers

This one is completely optional but something that I found to help out a lot, containers to keep pieces in. As you build the dollhouse, you actually build the small pieces first and then the outer structure. This means that most of the time you are building you have a lot of smaller pieces milling about that you’ve glued together and don’t want to get damaged as they’re delicate.

I found that using some small containers from lunchmeat that we get from the store works well because they don’t cost anything extra, they have lids that are secure, they are transparent so I know what’s in them, and they stack nicely. Honestly, we love these for Legos as well. When we are building a kit it is helpful to be able to put the Legos into a container between building sessions. I’ll get into all of that more in another post but just wanted to say that before you start throwing out or recycling containers that you get food or other things in, think about repurposing them for dollhouse pieces or other things.

Below is a picture of what I’m talking about, as I feel like I’m not doing the best job explaining. Lol

lunchmeat containers

You could also use inexpensive containers from the Dollar Store, a plastic shoebox type container with a lid, or whatever else you have laying around. If you don’t have to pack up your dollhouse gear when you’re not working on it then don’t worry much about it. I tend to move from kitchen table to my desk and back so I need a portable and secure solution.


The Way it Really Is

I have really come to love putting together do it yourself miniature houses. So far I’ve just done two but have asked for more for every gift giving occasion. I got one for Valentine’s Day (the coffee house above), one for my birthday that is a greenhouse, which I’m really excited to start putting together, and I did just buy that Christmas one above since it was so cheap! I told my oldest that I’ll put it in my closet until Christmas and open it then. Haha! He thought that was pretty funny.

I highly suggest getting started with making miniature dollhouses. Even if you don’t get any of the optional supplies, you’ll have a great time doing it as long as you have the patience and steady hands for it.

If you have kids, involve them too! Mine love seeing mine come together.


DIY Miniature Dollhouse

Founder, Professional Blogger at The Way it Really Is, LLC | [email protected] | Website

As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.

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