Wow, is it Friday already? This week flew by. I’ve been on a light posting schedule lately (even more than usual) since I’ve had a few minor complications with this pregnancy and have been told to take it easy for a few weeks. That’s no easy feat with a busy toddler and a serious case of nesting! So I decided to keep it simple and do a few smaller projects. Today I have a cute and super simple dollhouse I made for Charlie’s second birthday this month. It turned out super cute, and I’m really excited to share it!
It all started with the Peg People. I wanted to make a dollhouse that would fit these small peg people I painted to look like our family. Here I am (M is for Mama) in the kitchen, apparently only washing invisible dishes because we’re low on kitchen furniture at the moment.
Baby Caroline (in a purple onesie) is hanging out in bed. I left her hair and eyes unpainted and the doll unsealed until we know what she’ll look like once she gets here in October.
Each room features luxurious solid wood flooring (thanks to some stain on the pine boards), painted walls (leftover house paint) and an accent wallpapered wall (raided from my mom’s scrapbook paper stash). Over time I may try to get fancier and add some paper windows or little paintings. But for my super happy almost-two-year-old, this dollhouse is the best toy ever.
I even cut up little rugs she can move from room to room from scrapbook paper. These two people are supposed to be my mom and dad, though my dad is wearing a cap, not a weird gray headband. The ball cap idea didn’t translate so well.
The supplies are minimal and the price is just right! All you need are two 1×8 boards, an optional 1/4 sheet of 1/4″ plywood and whatever you want to decorate it with, be it paint, or paper, or stain. I’ve even used diluted RIT dye for a non-toxic finish. The build took an hour from start to finish, so if you have your own little one’s birthday coming up, or are prepping for Christmas, this is a great project to tackle! Here’s the tutorial:
• 2 – 1x8x8 boards (I chose the cheapest pine)
• 1/4 sheet of 1/4 plywood or luan for backing (optional)
• 1 1/4″ screws, countersink bit, tack nails (for the backing) and wood glue
• 2 – 1×8 @ 7.5″ (room dividers)
• 3 – 1×8 @ 21″ (floors)
• 2 – 1×8 @ 24″ to long point, cut at 15 degrees off square (sides)
• 2 – 1×8 @ 13″ to long point, cut at 15 degrees off square (roof)
Start by attaching your room dividers to your center floor board. I measured 6″ in from the edge, but you can put them wherever you like. Countersink holes for your screws so the wood doesn’t split. Use glue on all your joints for added stability.
Using the same measurements, countersink holes and attach the top and bottom floors to your dividers.
(got a bit ahead of myself here, so ignore the roof for now) Attach your sides to the floors, using countersunk holes and screws with glue. The highest point of the angle should be on the inner side of the dollhouse. I pre-measured where my screws needed to be and countersunk the holes for easy filling.
You’ll need an extra hand to attach the roof. I had my husband hold the roof pieces in place while I drilled my countersink bit into the wood for the screws. They will need to be angled properly to drill straight into the boards so they don’t split. Use glue for added stability after the screws are drilled in. The roof is very sturdy.
That’s it for the main construction, which would make a good dollhouse, barn, fire station, or school. Now is the time to do any painting and staining, before you have any backing on it. If you want to add the optional backing, here’s what I did:
Using a 2′ x 2′ sheet of 1/4″ ply, I held it up to the back of the house and marked the side I needed to cut. I ripped about 4″ off with my table saw. This gave me enough scrap to cover the rest of the pitched roof space. I kept using scrap and marking it until the entire back was covered. Then using a colored pencil, I traced the rooms from the inside of the house onto the backing so I could attach my “wallpaper” first and not have to mess around with getting perfect lines.
I used Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the backing. In hindsight, it would have been best to leave the top portion of the paper off (in the loft room) and added it all as one piece later. I thought having it in three pieces would work, but it was difficult to line everything up correctly.
Once all the paper was dry, I put glue on the back of the dollhouse boards and laid the backing over it. I used 1/2″ tack nails to secure it to the main structure. The piece I had was warped and bent, so I used some extra scrap to join the scraps at the top to the main portion.
And that’s it! Now you have an adorable dollhouse ready for play!