Miniature Dollhouse Project

Build This Inexpensive Yet Durable Dollhouse

 

I have a lot of fun building simple dollhouse furniture. Much of it will likely make it to instructive pages on this website.

I decided to show how to build an inexpensive, light, and portable dollhouse that’s just the size for most of the furniture and toy dolls that will be described on pages of this craft site.

Any little girl would enjoy helping build this inexpensive craft project, and playing hours upon end with it when the construction is complete.

As the picture above shows, this beauty has a handle to make transport easy, and is so light that I actually have picture frame hooks on the back, and I hang my little dollhouse on the wall.

Quaint and Deceptively Roomy For Its Size

From the front view this miniature has the charm of a small cottage. The front doors are hinged and held closed with a small latch, shown on the above image.

Enticing front windows (described later) decorate the front of the dollhouse.

Open the doors to find several rooms of easy living for dolls the size of the Girl Doll shown on another craft page.

You can see that this little cottage is furnished with furniture, much of which is likely to be described in wood craft pages of this website.

Dollhouse Construction Layout

Above you see a parts layout for the pieces used to construct the dollhouse cottage.

These parts are all cut from 3/16 inch thick sheets of foam board. I’ve found this foam board to be the perfect material for the construction of the little dollhouse cottage. It is very light, very strong, and easily cut with a craft knife .

 

Table of dimensions of each piece:

 

Back 16 inches wide at bottom
10 inches wide at top
12 inches high to point where taper begins
16 1/2 inches high total.
Doors 8 inches wide at bottom
5 inches wide at top
12 inches high to point where taper begins
16 1/2 inches high total
Sides 11 5/8 inches tall
6 inches wide (deep)
Top and Bottom Floors 16 inches long
6 inches wide (deep)
Middle Floor 15 5/8 inches long
6 inches wide (deep)
notched at back for braces
D1, D2 room dividers 5 3/4 inches tall (trim to size)
6 inches wide (deep)
notched at back for braces
Left and Right Roof 7 1/2 inches long
6 inches wide
Roof 10 inches long
6 inches wide

Additional Materials

3/8 inch thick balsa wood strips Used for support (bracing) for the walls, top, bottom, and mid-floor
1/16 inch thick balsa wood Cut to frame dollhouse window panes
Craft paper or fabric scraps Used to make dollhouse window curtains
4 small cabinet hinges Used to attach doors to cottage sides
One Small Cabinet Handle Used if desired to make transport easy
5 thin wood shapes 4 similar to hinge size, used to support hinge attachment
One large enough to help support the handle
1 small clasp Used to hold doors shut
Dollhouse Shingles Used to decorate roof and front windows

Making the Dollhouse

Step One: Frame the Craft Dollhouse

 

Once the craft foam board dollhouse pieces are cut out, you can begin construction of your dollhouse cottage.

Start by gluing the top and bottom pieces to the dollhouse back. I generally use Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue for my projects. The top and bottom of the dollhouse are dimensioned to span clear across the cottage back to make gluing easier.

Support the top and bottom by gluing in 3/8 inch thick balsa strips along the inside edge, as shown in the image.

Next, glue on the cottage sides. These are dimensioned to fit along the left and right edges of the dollhouse back, and between the top and bottom.

Again, glue on the 3/8 inch wood strips to help brace the sides.

Add The Middle Floor

Next, glue in the middle floor of your dollhouse cottage. Be sure you notch out the back side of the middle floor panel to go around the balsa wood strips.

Try to get the middle piece as near as you can to be equal distance to both the top and bottom panels.

Add Roof And Room Dividers

Next, trim the vertical size of room divider panels D1 and D2 so that they just fit between floors. Glue the dividers in place to give the room sizes you desire.

Again, you must notch one corner of the back of the room divider panels to fit around the balsa wood support strips.

You can position the dividers to whatever room size you like. In the example, each of the bottom two floors have one smaller and one larger room.

Finally, glue the roof top panel and the roof side panels to the back panel. This creates not only the roof, but an additional attic room.

Fasten Cottage Dollhouse Doors And Handle


Small cabinet hinges are used to attach the cottage doors. I fastened the hinges to the inside of the cottage side panels and the back side of the doors.

First mark where the hinges will attach, then on the sides of the cottage panels and doors opposite the hinge locations, glue a thin wood shape the size of the hinges (or slightly larger). This gives more substance for the cabinet screws to fasten to, and supports the hinges.

I attached the hinges with both screws and glue.

The left image of the above illustration shows the door back side with hinge placement. The right image shows the door front side with the reenforcement wood shapes. (We’ll get to the window design in a bit).

Attach the handle supporting wood shape to the bottom side of the roof panel, then attach the handle to the top of the roof panel.

Dressing Up The Cottage Dollhouse

The cottage dollhouse can be dressed up with dollhouse shingles and some attractive windows.

To give a surface for easy shingle attachment, you can trim a thin sheet of balsa wood to fit the roof top and sides and glue into place.

Then attach the shingles as shown in the image.

You can also see that the cottage sides and door fronts have some picturesque windows. These can easily be constructed as follows.

Dollhouse Window Construction

The windows are created from left over pieces of the foam board and some thin balsa wood strips.

At the extreme left of the image above is a piece of foam board cut to the desired window size (a side window in this case), and strips of balsa that will be used for framing window panes.

At the right of the image you see the center portion of the foam board cut away to leave a window frame, with the balsa strips glued to the back of the frame to make window pane boundaries.

Next, glue a picture cutout or a craft paper cutout to the back of the window frame to give the image you wish to see in the window.

 

Cottage Room Windows

You can use the same technique to make windows with pretty scenery for the cottage interior.

Above you see a closeup of the window created for the cottage dollhouse living room. You can also see some of the dollhouse furniture (described elsewhere on this website) further adorning the room.

Using your imagination, you and your youngsters can have hours of fun creating, decorating, and playing with this lovely little dollhouse cottage. With other projects that accumulate on this site, you can make all the furniture, appliances, and even dolls to use in the cottage.

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