Friday, October 30, 2015

DIY Modular Dollhouse & Furniture

Happy Friday friends, only 7 more Fridays until the big day!  That gives you plenty of time to build our latest Handbuilt Holiday gift plan: the modular dollhouse.  Ana White has the plans for this extremely versatile and amazingly simple dollhouse we're sharing today.

If you are new here welcome to week 5 of this year's Handbuilt Holiday series, you can see the previous 4 builds here plus 24 more from the past 2 years.

But today is all about this truly awesome dollhouse:

Modular to the max!  Above are 3 combinations I put together using all the same pieces and when my girls came home from school they rearranged it again into something I never thought of.

Honestly this dollhouse will provoke those kids imaginations like you never thought before.

The 1x4 vertical pieces are super sturdy and function as walls, doorways and dividers.  Ana is so slick coming up with this component system whereby each rectangular box will match up to any other box.

And there are roof and railing pieces too!  The roof is open for easy access to the attic and playroom.  And of course everyone needs a balcony.

It wouldn't be a dollhouse without furniture so I chopped up some scrap wood and made these little lounge chairs and coffee table.

A bright pink sofa from a 1x3 scrap piece.  The people are fun too but secretly I like the furniture more!

The queen bed is a 1x4 scrap.  I've got the plans for all the furniture pieces down below.

This would be the brownstone version or it could be apartments.

Dinner on the roof deck anyone?

The component units are fairly lightweight.  A 3-year old will have no problem maneuvering the pieces.   Be sure to sand everything super smooth especially the corners considering we are using raw plywood for the components.

Ana has the plans here with all the cut lists and step by step instructions.  

I highly recommend painting the 1x4 'walls' before you assemble the components.

For the railings drill matching 1/4" holes into both upper and lower railings:

Attach corners and middle dowels to one railing piece then apply glue and attach other piece:

 Now let's make furniture from all the scrap wood to fill this dollhouse!

Below are the dimensions, materials and cut lists and instructions.  I recommend using a scroll saw for all cuts due to their short and small size.

1x4 scraps
1x3 scraps
1x2 scraps
¾” square dowel scraps

wood glue
1 ¼” finish nails
¾”  finish nails

Dollhouse Sofa

Cut list:

2 – 1x3 @ 5” (seat & back)
2 – 1x3 @ 2 ½” (arms)

Step 1: Attach seat to back.  Be sure to round back corners first.  Use wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

The trick to getting perfectly rounded corners is to trace a small paint bottle:

Use the scroll saw to cut on the curved line then sand smooth.

Step 2:  Attach arms to sofa body using wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

Dollhouse Lounge Chair

Cut list:
 4 – 1x3 @ 2 ½”

Step 1:  Attach seat to back. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

Step 2: Attach arms to chair body using wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

Dollhouse Coffee Table

Cut list:

1 – 1x2 @ 5” (top)

2 – 1x2 @ 1” (legs)

Step 1:  Attach top to legs. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

Dollhouse Dining Table

Cut list:

1 – 1x4 @ 5 1/2” (top)
2 – 1x2 @ 3 1/2” (legs)

Step 1:  Attach top to legs. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

Dollhouse Queen Bed

Cut list:

1 – 1x4 @ 4 1/2” (bed)
2 – 1x4 @ 3” (headboard)
2 – ¾” dowel @ ½”l (legs)

Step 1:  Attach legs to bed. Use wood glue and 3/4" finish nails.

Step 2:  Attach headboard to bed. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

Dollhouse Twin Bed

Cut list:

1 – 1x3 @ 4 1/2” (bed)
2 – 1x3 @ 3” (headboard)
2 – ¾” dowel @ ½”l (legs)

Step 1:  Attach legs to bed. Use wood glue and 3/4" finish nails.

Step 2:  Attach headboard to bed. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

Sand everything well and smooth.  Paint as desired.  Be sure your paint is non-toxic especially if this dollhouse is for a younger child.

To see all the Handbuilt Holiday gift plans click here.  See you back next Friday for another fun and fabulous gift build.


  1. This is fabulous.. And yay another Blogger blogger :) I definitely want to try making this for my sons- they love doll houses but I don't want a bright pink house. My oldest loves to take things apart and put them together so he will LOVE LOVE LOVE how this is modular.

    Have you tried any purchased doll house people with this to see if they will fit?

  2. This is so cute and clever. My kids are too big 'sigh' but some day there will be grand babies!

  3. Deb: you could always make it Now and play with it yourself ;D, or stash it for when those grandbabies come along!

  4. Do you think this would fit well with 6" American girl mini dolls? So darling.

  5. This is amazing! Do you mind sharing what type of paint you used? Did you seal the paint in any way? Thanks!

  6. It doesn't look like comments get answered here but I'll give it a shot.
    I'd love to make this but would like to figure out a green/no-voc alternative to the plywood flooring used. I know there is a brand called Purebond but I've not heard great reviews about it & it's not easily accessible for me.
    Any other ideas to replace the plywood??

  7. If only the rooms in houses were so easily interchangeable right? Haha! I would really love to have something similar for my storage cupboards in my house too!