DIY a portable dollhouse out of stuff you’d probably throw away

Guest post by Molly Westerman
Photos by Molly.

My five-year-old and I made this awesome dollhouse out of scraps: an old box for the building itself, and carpet, fabric, and tile samples. My son Noah’s own drawings framed in old slide holders. Paper attached and coated with Modge Podge served as the wallpaper, and glue sticks and a wood veneer sample for the kitchen table (affixed with wood glue). A sunscreen bottle cap became the toilet (it opens and closes!), and a sponge covered in fabric for the bed. It turns out poker chips are perfectly sized doll plates, and you can make tiny stools out of wooden thread spools.

Yep, we made an entire dollhouse out of stuff you can probably find just lying around.

Here’s the living room/dining room/bathroom/kitchen side, which we made from the bottom of the box:

And here’s the bedroom side, the box’s top:

All closed up for storage:

We’re lucky to have access to a truly fantastic store that sells almost-unbelievably cheap and almost-unbelievably random crap for arts and crafts projects (including the very sturdy vintage binoculars box), but of course you could use any number of odds and ends from the recycling bin or around the house. We picked up the wooden figures at an antique shop for a few dollars and then felt they needed a home.

This is a really free-form craft project. (It could be a zoo, an aquarium, a school, all manner of locations.) But do think about how your box closes before you glue on the furniture and decorations, so that you can avoid making box-closing impossible for the finished product: the doll house’s portability and easy storage are nice features to retain!

Comments on DIY a portable dollhouse out of stuff you’d probably throw away

  1. Ohhhhh this brings be back!!! I made shoebox houses for my Playmobil dolls. The scale was perfect. These are so adorable and your kids will feel so much better about something they helped create. I flat out LOVE the little slide-in art holders. That is brilliant!!

  2. I love the bottle cap as the toilet, so cool that you can open and close it! Thanks for the inspiration, and it will be so much fun looking for items that you can use for your dolls.

  3. I used to do this all the time as a kid. I made dollhouses out of all sorts of stuff. Those little plastic things in pizza boxes that keep the box from smushing into the cheese…those make great tables!

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