How to... Make A Cardboard Dolls House - Red Ted Art's Blog

How to… Make A Cardboard Dolls House

| December 23, 2011 | 41 Comments

Diy dolls houseThis week, I wanted to “show off” our Cardboard Dolls House. There are MANY ways of course of making your own dolls house and this is just how we made it.. A while back, I bought some little wooden dolls for Pip Squeak’s birthday, as well as a random set of kitchen furniture. It was one of those “opportunity” buys and I wasn’t really thinking what we would do with them. As Pip Squeak’s birthday drew nearer,  I realised we needed a house! I have always wanted to make a dolls house for my children (see 7 plus 1 things) and here was my opportunity.

Materials: One large box. Lots of smaller boxes (to cut up and build rooms with), glue/ hot glue gun, acrylic paint (as it doesn’t crumble), wrapping paper left overs…

Apart from the acrylic paint, this house was made from things I had around the house, old wrapping paper, old fabric (The Englishman’s shirts made good bedding; my old skirt made a rug etc).

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos at each step. I was more absorbed with making the house, than the photos. So you will have to hear what I did!

I had one large box…  what next.

cardboard dolls house

1) I started off by painting it all white – I figured this would give me a “neat” background to work with.

2) We then put in the “6 basic rooms” – using two pieces of card that went from top to bottom. We first marked out the doors and cut them with a scalpel. Cutting 3 sides and the 4th lightly scored so it opens more neatly. We then glued the 2 pieces in place with a small fold at the top and the bottom.

dolls house diy

3) Then we had 2  pieces of card going across. The first piece now makes up the “bathroom” and the “map room” floors. We cut half way into the card and half way into the wall with the door and slotted them together. Then glued down the ends against the supporting walls. We repeated that on the other side. Making the “pink bedroom” and balcony floors that way. I am not saying this was the neatest, nor cleverest way to do it. But it work for us. I put in some “supports” at the back the walls and under the balcony to straighten it all up. The supports were just some coffee stirrers secured in place with a hot glue gun. They did wonders!

The basic house is there.

cardboard dolls house DIY

4) For the attic, I cut the centre wall and slotted it to the top (see image, I remembered to take this one) and then with the hot glue gun secured the roof card to the wall and the side of the house.

Now the fun bit! Decorating your DIY Cardboard Doll’s House!

diy dolls house decor ideas

5) WALLS: I scoured the house for wrapping paper scraps and old fabrics. I scanned a couple of the fabrics into the printer and printed them out on paper (the kitchen and the living room wall paper). I also printed off some images of books for a book shelf.

6) FLOORS: the lovely Christine Mosler gave me some of her “left over” flooring brochures, so the majority of the dolls house sports a wood floor look – either in one large piece or patchwork floors. I think I rather like the patchwork!

diy dolls house doors and handles

7) DOORS: I painted all the doors brown. Then added a black outline. For the handles I used some wire and two small beads. Wrapping the wire around the beads to secure it place. I love our doors.

8. EXTRAS: The photo above also shows a “radiator” that we cut out of a magazine… it is in the bathroom. I also cut out some fire places out of magazines and a lamp. I will over time probably add more little details like this – a vase here, a pot plant there. I also printed out some “artwork” as per our mini magnets post. I used some of Red Ted’s drawings, as well as a family portrait. I am tempted to take a photo of the “doll family” and adding that too.

diy cardboard dolls house

9) BALCONY: I am also rather in love with our balcony… I made the “banister” out of 3 pieces of card slotted together and then glued them in place with the hot glue gun. Then all was painted white. Once dry, I added the roses on the wall: painted the pot and stems and added tissue paper roses.

10) FURNITURE: now the “bit by bit” really fun bit – adding furniture. As mentioned, I had already bought a kitchen… but we made a kitchen sink out of an old iphone box. We “made” the bath out of the iphone box lid. And I made some beds and chairs out of cardboard (“tutorial with patterns” to follow). I sewed some pillows and duvets. We still have a long way to go. I think we need a bigger sofa and a sturdier rocking chair. The bathroom certainly needs a toilet (very important feature) and I need to make some towels. I also want to make some crockery for the kitchen and maybe a toy or two and some pot plants. Watch this space!

The Basic DIY Cardboard Dolls House

dolls house

The Attic Rooms

diy dolls house cardboard dolls house

The Balcony

diy dolls house

dolls house diy

We still have a lot of detail to add, but I think that this is the fun bit. The middle room downstairs (currently the hall way), may become a dining room or a study.. I will see how Pip Squeak decides to play! The attic rooms can do with more details and we could use some wardrobes and cabinets etc… but this is we can do over the months to come. Bit by bit, we build our cardboard dolls house!

Diy card dolls house

And then we play. Lots.

What will YOUR cardboard box doll house look like?! What will YOU have in it?

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Category: Dolls House, How To's, Recycling

Comments (41)

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  1. O my Gosh – Maggy, this is the sweetest and the prettiest doll house I\’ve ever seen. From the basic structure to the decor to the nitty gritty – loved them all.
    The book shelf (print) was such a clever thing to do. And, the doors look like real! So, is the wooden (pathwork) floor.
    Thank you for sharing the detailed \’how-to\’. You have such a neat hand to out such tiny things together. I am inspired to make one for Pari but not sure I can make something so neat and cute. Well worth a try though…!
    Sharing this on my FB page and pinterest…
    Happy holidays and Merry Christmas. I think your kiddos will \’live\’ in that doll house – playing with it for hours!

  2. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh my, that is the sweetest comment, Rashmie you SO COULD make this. This house looks better than it is, really… There isn\’t that much detail in their \”yet\”…. It was literally sticking wallpaper into it!

    I bet you would make a wonderful house too! xx

  3. Rebecca says:

    That\’s lovely. So nice to see the whole house. It looks lovely, I\’m sure your dolls will be very happy there.

  4. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you :-)

  5. Icklebabe says:

    This is the sweetest ickle homemade house ever !!! Love it xxx

  6. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaawwwwweee thank you Helen :-)

  7. Miya says:

    That is too cute! You did a great job. I especially love the book printout – really clever!

  8. Honey says:

    Oh wow, that dollhouse is awesome!! I tried to make a cardboard dollhouse for my daughter a couple years ago, but the problem was I tried to make it when she was around. I therefore didn\’t get time to make it sturdy enough, or decorate it enough. It didn\’t last long LOL

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Good point Honey! I made this one in the evenings when the children were sleeping! Though Red Ted was around for the last bits and helped me paint the roof! Have another go??

  9. sharon says:

    Love it! When I was little my dad made a to scale Sindy (bit like Barbie) bungalow. It was massive! And it had wallpapered walls and proper doors etc too. I LOVED it so am sure your house will get loads of use and be totally loved too. xxx

  10. se7en says:

    What a darling dolls house – you are simply a genius!!! I love it and it looks fabulous for hours and hours of play!!! And thank you for the link… very clever!!! Hope you guys have a fabulous Christmas!!!

  11. Wow! Amazing! You are very talented. I love the pink and black room ;)

  12. I love the radiator!

    If you\’d like, I have some free printable dollhouse artwork and rugs on my site, on the free printables page (I also have wallpaper and a moulding, but you obviously don\’t need anymore wallpaper!)

  13. Red Ted Art says:

    Oooh thanks Prudent Homemaker, will come and have a look!

    And thank you Caroline :-) *beam*

    And se7en… well you did remind me about my \”I would like to one day…\”

  14. Danielle says:

    This is awesome! What a creative and fun idea! I would love to have you link up to my Homemade Year Linky Party. It is the new theme on my blog Blissful and Domestic for 2012.

    http://blissfulanddomestic.blogspot.com/p/my-homemade-year-linky-party.html

  15. April says:

    What a wonderful project! Your doll house looks like so much fun, I keep seeing these wonderful handmade dollhouses, it makes me want to pull out my craft supplies and make one, even though my children are teens :)

  16. Rebecca says:

    This house is just beautiful. My girls were given three dolls houses for Christmas sowing be making one myself for a while. Shame it looks such fun,

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Oh my THREE dolls houses! Yes, you really don’t need more… but you could maybe build them an annex… like a Granny Flat or a Garage?! ;-)

  17. Brittany says:

    So cute! I love this! We made a posterboard gingerbread house at Christmas time and my kids have spent hours playing with it! It\’s amazing how much they\’ll love something so simple when they have plenty of store bought toys in their closets! Thanks for sharing!

  18. This is so cute – we have a dolls house on the list of things to make for T (we\’ve got a plain wood one that we want to turn into her own with decorating it). I think every little girl should have a dolls house :D.

    Thank you for linking to Made with Love

  19. Can I also (besides the eating) come and play at your place??

    So beautiful, You are such a talent,
    Love from \’Made with Love\’,
    Angelique

  20. The Monko says:

    this is a great dolls house. I featured it on my post about imaginary play (please grab an \”I was featured button\” from my button page if you\’d like one)
    http://tamingthegoblin.blogspot.com/2012/02/imaginary-play.html

  21. Red Ted Art says:

    Aaah thank you so much for the feature!! Much appreciated ;-)

  22. Hadiqa says:

    wow amazing awesome dolhouse ;-)

  23. velle says:

    it is the best house maid i like it i could use some idea from here

  24. Mememe says:

    Omg i tried it for my kid and she <3 it!

  25. Mememe says:

    @April you should make one and then donate to charity or orphans.

  26. We didn’t make a doll house, but we used similar idea to make a play-kitchen cupboard. You can see it here http://stepfordska-supruga-en.blogspot.com/2012/10/cardboard-boxes-as-toy-cupboard.html

    Love, love your idea and definitely gonna try it, since we don’t have one and the store bought ones are soooo expensive

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