Sunday, May 27, 2012

How to make a dollhouse from a cardboard box.

I grew up in a house with four girls, a big dollhouse and lots of plastic dolls.  I have great memories of playing with the dollhouse with my sisters and wanted the same for my kids - without buying an expensive dollhouse and plastic dolls which would probably end up destroyed in the dumps polluting the environment that I'm trying to save.

DIY cardboard box dollhouse

So I did a bit of research online, and decided to make a dollhouse from a cardboard box.
(I must admit that I found so many different examples of cardboard dollhouses online, that I'm not sure who to credit for my final design.)

Items needed:
a big box
scraps of wrapping paper
furniture magazines

Step 1: Find a box (I used the box from my sewing machine).
Step 2: Cut off the top 2/3 of the front side of the box.
Step 3: The bottom 1/3 that's left can be laid flat to represent the garden, and the bottom of the box taped shut.
Step 4:  Use the top 2/3 of the front that you have cut away to make the upper floor (second storey) (you may need to further cut it to size).
Step 5: Use strips of remaining cardboard and tape to reinforce the upper floor, ( I later added a piece of cardboard as a divider between the bottom 2 rooms which further reinforces the upper floor.
Step 6: Tape down old wrapping paper as the wallpaper/carpeting for each room.
Step 7: Cut out pictures of furniture and decor (eg. clock, closet etc) from magazines and glue onto the walls
Step 8: Spraypaint roof and outside of house (I still haven't done this...), paint garden green...
Step 9: Fill your house with furniture, we used furniture that we had been given as gifts, sand toy as the 'bath', I made a fridge from a small medicine box.  Check out this link for a great way to make recycled doll furniture.  (I already had furniture given as a gift, so I just modified those instructions for my toilet seat.

wooden peg dolls

The dolls in my house are a great alternative to plastic dolls (which break easier and I'm assuming are harder on the environment than these wooden dolls).
A friend of mine bought them for me from Etsy and we used craft koki's (markers) to color them.  You can also go to the general Etsy page and search wooden dolls to buy already-colored dolls, however I recommend doing them yourself - its fun and cathartic. 
I've since found that you can buy a variety of wooden people cheaper on Amazon  (using specifically the above link to amazon helps support my blog).

Colored wooden peg dolls

Hope you have lots of fun with your dolls and dollhouses, let me know how they turn out via  twitter or facebook.

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  1. Love the house and the dolls! Great job

  2. Thanks Laura Lee. I just visited your blog, and saw the great pillow case dress that you made, I can't wait to try make my own.

  3. omg thankx sooo much although i may need help becuz im 11 and i just love crafting and i bet this house will help me with my barbie house thanks!

    1. Hi Sharline. Have fun making your barbie house, Im sure it'll turn out great. Don't forget to send me pictures when you're done.

  4. love this!!! me and my sister used to make our own doll house from cardboard boxes too

    would love it if you could share this on my link party -

    1. Hey thanks for the invite to your link party - I'd love to join :-)