How to Make a Wooden Dollhouse
Little girls love to play house, and having a dollhouse to play with will take up hours of imaginative fun.
Once built, it can be furnished with home made furniture, or you can buy ready made furniture.
This simple wooden dollhouse is easy to make, and will last for years to come, maybe to be passed down to a granddaughter later on.
You Will Need:
- Wood for house frame (see below for sizes)
- Thin batten for windows
- 27 inches of ½ inch batten for roof apex
- Block 2 inches by 2 inches by 4 inches for chimney stacks
- ½ inch dowel for door pillars and chimney pots
- Block to make bay walls and canopies
- Glass cut to size for windows
- Four small hinges - Nails
- Strong wood glue - Paints - Brushes - Hammer
- Tenon and coping saws - File - Sandpaper
- Drill and ½ inch bit
- Ruler - Pencil - Duck tape
Wood Sizes for Dollhouse Frame and Partitions
For the house frame and partitions you need wood pieces of the following sizes:
- In ½ inch thick wood, cut a base and top each 25 inches by 10 inches
- Two sides 25 inches by 10 inches
- A back 19 inches by 25 inches
- A front panel 19 inches by 25 inches
- An under eaves panel 26 inches by 1 inch
- Two doors 19 inches by 10½ inches
- Two roof pieces 27 inches by 8 inches.
- In ¼ inch thick wood cut an upright partition 19 inches by 9½ inches and a floor partition 25 inches by 9½ inches.
Cut the side pieces to the measurements shown in Figure 1. In one or both, cut out two windows (upstairs and downstairs) with the coping saw, bearing in mind that the floor partition will be halfway up the house, 10 inches from the bottom.
Sand rough edges on all pieces a complete windows in the sides.
Figure 2a & Figure 2b
Making the Dollhouse Windows
The windows in this dollhouse were all glazed. If you want to use glass, the best way to secure it is to have the glass cut a little larges than the size of the window and make a simple frame to hold in on the inside.
Buy some thin batten the thickness of the glass (you may find flat lollipop sticks or cardboard would do) place the glass in position over the inside of the window and stick the battens around the outside of the glass (Figure 2a).
Use wider pieces of batten and tack these over both the edges of the glass and the under battens to hold the glass safely in position (see Figure 2b).
A simple alternative to glass is thick transparent film held in position with strips of duck tape to resemble window frames. make sure you finish the windows in each section before assembling them.
Making the Dollhouse Main Frame
Secure a side piece either side of the base and top piece with glue and nails, then fit the back into this four-sided frame and secure in the same way as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 4a & Figure 4b
Making the Dollhouse Inner Walls & Front Panel
The inside comprises of two partitions, the floor partition, dividing the downstairs from the upstairs, and an upright partition dividing the house into four rooms with connecting doors.
On the floor partition, cut a ¼ inch slot 4 inches in from one edge and 10 inches in from one end to the middle of the slot like shown in Figure 4a.
On the upright partition, cut one edge as indicated in Figure 4b to form two doorways and a 3 inch slot exactly in the middle of the piece continuing in from the bottom of the upper doorway.
Take the front panel and in it cut a front doorway and window about 2 inches wide, and 4 inche and 6 inches high respectively.
The door should be cut 1 inch up from the bottom of the panel to allow for a doorstep.
Glaze the window, cut a door to fit the doorway, insert a screw for a doorknob and fit the door into the doorway with a hinge of duck tape.
Make a wooden doorstep about 1 inch high, 3 inches deep and the width of the front panel. Glue in place making sure the door will open over it.
Cut a triangle of wood (dimensions are in Figure 5) and drill two ½ inch holes in the underside and in appropriate places on the doorstep to take the little pillars of ½ inch dowel.
Assemble the pillars and porch and glue them in place.
Tack one edge of the completed front panel to the upright partition, slot the two partitions together and push the whole construction into the house like it is shown in Figure 6.
Glue supporting battens underneath the edges of the floor.
The house is now divided into four rooms, two of them 10 inches wide and two of them 15 inches wide.
Figure 6 & Figure 7a & Figure 7b
Making the Front of the Dollhouse
There will be a gap above the front panel (see Figure 6) which will take the 1 inch deep under eaves panel.
This should be nailed to the top piece along the length of the house.
With a panel like this in place, 19 inch high doors are possible which will not catch on the overhanging eaves.
Before hanging the doors, cut a window in each one a little wider than the central upstairs one but on the same level.
For the two downstairs windows, bays were constructed.
The lower wall of each bay is half hexagon the width being 5 inches and each side 2½ inches (see Figure 7a).
The height of each bay wall can be about 2 inches, if you cannot find any wood 2 inches thick, glue two or more layers together to make up the thickness.
The corresponding canopies can be made from half hexagons of the same proportions reduced to the shape indicated in Figure 7b.
Use small strips of batten (1/4 inch by 3/8 inch) to make small sills around the bay walls and the canopy edges against which the glass can rest (see Figure 7b).
Secure the glass inside the bay either with thin strips of duck tape or with tiny tacks hammered into the bay and canopy blocks.
Glaze the bays before gluing them on to the front of the house over the appropriate sized holes cut in the doors.
Secure a knob for opening on each door and screw the doors to the house sides with the hinges.
Figure 8 & Figure 9
Putting on the Roof of the Dollhouse
Lay the roof pieces in position.
Plane and file down the upper edge of the long under eaves panel so that the front roof piece will lie flush across the side supports.
See how much overhang you need on the eaves and round these edges by filing and sanding.
Nail the roof pieces in position to the side supports and glue the length of ½ inch square batten into the top V to form the apex of the roof (see Figure 8).
You could of course cut the edges of the roof pieces so that they lie together at right angles to form the apex, but suing batten is a simple way of making a neat rooftop.
Cut the chimney block in half to give two pieces 2 inch square, and out of each cut a right-angled V with 1 inch sides (see Figure 9).
Drill a couple of ½ holes in each (Figure 9), cut off lengths of ½ inch dowel for chimney pots, assemble the stacks and glue in place on the roof.
Decorating the Dollhouse
As a finishing touch to the outside of the house, there are cut curved pieces of thin plywood stuck over the windows to represent brick arches, along with some wire and paper roses to trail around the porch.
Paint the house with non toxic paints. The inside can be painted too but you can also 'paper' the walls with cotton fabric (tiny stripes or small floral prints), which is just as effective. (use a non staining adhesive.) Real wallpaper could be used too.
For carpets, pieces of velvet or toweling fabric are a good weight and texture, and little net curtains can be made and strung over the windows on wire between two hooks.
Adding Some Light to Your Dollhouse
To make a lighting system for your dollhouse, buy a flashlight battery with screw terminals, a length of single-core cord, little screw-in lighting sockets (the type used for fairy lights) and bulbs to match.
Decide where to conceal the battery and where you want the switch (on the above house, this was just inside, behind the door) and bore holes where necessary to take the wire in one circuit.
Connect your wire to one battery terminal, take it to one side of the switch and room there to your first light socket.
From there take it to your next light socket and so on in series and back to the battery.
Secure the wire to walls and ceiling with tiny wire clips.
Find a nice safe place to set the house on, and it is now ready for hours of fun.
Thanks for stopping by & Happy Crafting!
© 2013 Dawn