DIY dollhouse and furniture. fireplace, bed, dresser, and window pictured.

DIY Dollhouse

Cardboard Crafts: D.I.Y. Dollhouse

Fun craft with children that you can make with things you may already have around your house. Grab your glue, boxes, decorative doo-dads, coffee and find out how to make your doll house!

handmade dollhouse with two levels. showing bedroom and ballroom, furnishings and dolls.

Materials for Homemade Dollhouse

  • Glue – glue sticks and/or elmer’s glue, hot glue and/or tacky glue
  • Cardboard – repurpose those shipping boxes
  • Scissors – kid friendly scissors and some more heavy duty ones for cutting cardboard and fabric. X-acto knife / razor was handy as well…just used by the adult…I didn’t want an E.R. visit.
  • Decorative glam pieces – construction paper, pipe cleaners, beads, felt, crayons, markers, paint, popsicle sticks, jewels, empty matchbox, and whatever else you have on hand.

homemade dollhouse closeup to ballroom

Instructions for D.I.Y. Dollhouse

  1. Cut off the wings of your boxes so they are just simple open cubes.
  2. Glue construction paper on for your wallpaper and for your siding.  For wallpaper it is easier to decorate first with stamps, paint, crayons etc and then glue so you are not having to manipulate your hands in odd ways to get your designs. We cut out strips of paper and glued them on like siding with some elmer’s glue. This gave my kids practice with scissors and using the glue in a reasonable fashion. If doing a nature theme you could glue sticks on to make it look like a cabin – we may need to do this one at some point.
  3. Make a chandelier (If you want one.) We used pipe cleaners and put little beads on as lights or just for fun and then hung up our chandeliers with a piece of string. poke a hole where you want it to hang and then thread it through and knot or better yet tie a bit of something like a couple toothpicks to keep it from sliding back through. You could also make a swing or one of those old hanging wicker chairs made out of pipe cleaners.
  4. Hot glue your boxes together.  (If you are going to paint your roof you could do this after painting, otherwise if you are going to glue materials onto your roof I would suggest gluing the boxes first and then adding your materials to the roof after.)
  5. Glue down your carpet. We used some of those felt sheets you can get from any craft store.  I used hot glue cause I love hot glue…it is my duct tape… but tacky glue should work as well. You could also use some rags here. We made some rugs out of paper doilies and also cut and glued felt pieces.
  6. Glue on your roof. Construction paper or felt sheets worked for us.
  7.  Cut out your windows. The X-acto knife or regular ol’ knife was useful for this part.
  8. Put up your window drapes. We used some cut out pieces from old sheets. The ends I used were biased ( not sure if that is the proper sewing term) so that we could just slide our popsicle sticks in as drapery rods. We glued a bead to the wall and then the popsicle stick on top that way the curtains could be moved around.
  9.  Decorate your walls with artwork. Make mini art pieces to hang up on your dollhouse walls.
  10. Add a chimney. Use an old t.p. roll and some cotton balls (for smoke effect) on your roof. We cut a hole and poked it down in so you can see it from the ceiling but you could also just hot glue it as well…but then how is Santa going to get down there?
  11. Make a fireplace. We cut out pieces of cardboard, painted and partially assembled with hot glue. Leave the top off the chimney till after your done inserting your firewood (sticks or toothpicks). We poked a hole for each toothpick to rest in and then tied them together a little by weaving pipe cleaners in. The pipe cleaners gave it a fun fiery look. Glue your top on and voila fireplace.
  12. Make a bed. We used an old matchbox box. We didn’t really do much with it besides draped a cloth over the top as a blanket, but you could glue fabric on to easily make it cuter.
  13. Make a dresser. We used two small matchboxes to make a little end table – but if you add more you can make it a dresser. we glued construction paper around each box- making sure not to cover the sliding portion of the boxes. We then glued the two together and added handles by gluing beads on to the sliding portion of the boxes.
  14. Add garland. During the holidays we had little battery operated lights on the house as Christmas lights.
  15. Make your own dolls. There are lots of cloth doll ideas out there. We like to make little fork people as inspired by a certain movie *cough* Toy Story* cough. My daughter has made at least 50 of these – they are time consuming and create a giant mess of yarn, felt, and pipe cleaners all over the floor but she loves to make these. If that did not scare you away and you want to make some I highly recommend using a hot glue gun to adhere the pieces but watch those fingers! If not tacky glue should work. She uses tacky glue for the felt clothes but I have not tried gluing on the other pieces to the forks themselves with tacky glue – I’m too impatient.

handmade dolls for handmade doll house


handmade fireplace, bed and dresser for diy dollhouse

Wrap Up

You obviously don’t have to do all of these things, and especially not all at once – it took us at least a few days of working here and there. The fun things with this project is making the best use of what you have on hand. You can go out and buy more supplies but I find it most fun to find something you may have thrown out and to breathe new life into it. It got us all to use our creativity and use some building and construction skills. We all had a lot of fun working on it and admiring our little homemade houses that we made with our own two hands. It has been 6 months and our kiddos still like to play with them. I hope you have fun with your d.i.y. dollhouses!

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More Art Project Ideas:

Art With Clay: Polymer and Air Dry Clay and Why is Art Important?

DIY Playdough and The Science Behind It.

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