Did you ever look at ads for dollhouses and think: ” Couldn’t I do a dollhouse makeover all by myself, and thus craft something that is complete to my own taste”?
The answer to that question is pretty simple: yes you can!
Let’s talk a little bit more about this topic today.
Which Kind Of Dollhouses Can You Give A Makeover?
That is kind of a difficult question, because it would depend on the dollhouse style that you prefer.
Let’s just say it this way: you can’t make a Victorian-style dollhouse from an old Tudor-style dollhouse (well, I don’t think so anyway). So going from one (very detailled) style to another would be impossible, in my opinion.
The only possible style that would seem likely to me to be turned into, would be the Gothic or Halloween style because I have seen before that the original architecture isn’t always preserved. (like the pointed arches on windows and doors).
So for the latter, you can just use your imagination for a dollhouse makeover.
But today, we are not going to dive deeper into this, because that would take us probably too far down the road of professional miniaturists (not that there is anything wrong with that obviously).
I would like to really talk to you about making a “simple” dollhouse for your child, for example.
DIY A Modern Dollhouse – A Gigantic Dollhouse Makeover!
Do you recognize that feeling when you are getting down the rabbit hole on the internet, looking for a suitable dollhouse?
Or, for example, your kids want a dollhouse, but they want a big one, with stairs, and most of all, you agreed to look for that specific house, thinking that wouldn’t be so hard to find, right? So now, you need to keep that promise 😉
Only to find out: well, trying to find a big dollhouse, with several stairs, good-looking ànd affordable? Mission impossible!
Then by coincidence, as you were talking about dollhouses with your own mom, she mentions that she has a large dollhouse “still on the attic somewhere” and she thinks it has stairs, jihaaa!
(That being said, why not have a look at Marketplace, second-hand stores, etc..? You can find hidden treasures and many people are willing to sell you gorgeous miniatures for a low price!)
You rush to the attic, to find a huge dollhouse indeed, including those stairs, but oh boy, it looks dusty, dirty, old, bweurk!
Back to frustration…? Not necessarily!
First, have a closer look at the dollhouse and remove some dust and dirt. How about now? Are you getting more excited/what do your kids think? Is there any potential?
Yes! Look at it now: it has 2 stairs, a balcony, and even the roof is in a good shape!
You have decided: “let’s fix this!”.
The Immensly And Long Research.
I’m not going to lie about this: researching on how to do a dollhouse makeover can get quite lengthy and maybe even a bit annoying.
But overall, you have a choice. You can either make it easy on yourself and buy everything you need ( yes, including wallpaper, floors, furniture, etc ), but you can fix a lot of things for free or for a very cheap price. Let’s resume all:
- Start by cleaning up the dollhouse and decide if the wood needs to be abraded or not. You can do this by hand or use a powertool.
- Then if you would just like to paint your walls, I would strongly advice to primer them first with multiple layers (2-3) of white primer.
- In the FREEBIE section in my topmenu on my website, you can already find a few links to wallpaper prints/miniature food prints,etc. Also, why not make miniature treasures from trash? I have written a blog post on wallpaper as well.
- How about making your own dollhouse furniture with stuff like cardboard, paper, (balsa)wood or even Jenga-blocks ? Have a look at my tutorial here.
- Can you craft fantastic dollhouse floors yourself? Yes, you can, and they can be super duper fun to do! Plus, also these don’t necesarely need to cost a lot of money.
- Let’s see, what else do we need? Oh yes, I should have mentioned the dollhouse electricity and miniature lights, BEFORE talking about dollhouse floors and wallpapering, because if you need to hide electricity wires, it is best that you fix that before you do anything else!
- About windows, doors and such, this part might get tricky.
If they just need a fresh coat of paint, then you can just do that like you would with a real size house. Clean them up, abrade them, cover the walls against paint spots (or if you can remove them first, as to install again when painted, than do that), and just go ahead and paint them in any color you like.
However, if these are falling appart, as a matter of speaking, then I think it would be hard to look for them and buy them in the exact same size.
What you could do, is look for custom made orders on Etsy for doors and windows, I noticed that that actually excists there.
Or, you could go ahead and try to make them yourself DIY.
- Let’s see, what else is there? Oh yes, the rooftops of course.
Again, there are 2 choices here. Either you can buy all the roofing materials that you like, or you can make roofs yourself DIY.
- And last, but not least; let’s not forget the exterior of your dollhouse makeover.
I have written another blog post on how to craft “water landscapes” (a river, beach, fountains, a waterfall,..).
On landscaping in general, I haven’t written a blog post yet, but I think you can easily fix that by using model building materials like fake grass/weeds/stones, etc. Just head over to a model building store and you will get lots of ideas for landscaping around your dollhouse.
I think I mentioned everything? If not, please let me know in the comments below!
Time For More Inspiration!
Of course, you would like to see some results now, right?! 🙂
Ok, let’s hop over to Youtube!
Dollhouse Makeover 1: Lambecy.
This girl did a fantastic job on customizing her childhood dollhouse, the 1993 Fisher-Price Loving Family Dream Dollhouse, and turned it into a cute cottage in the forest.
Dollhouse makeover 2: The Wimsical Wife.
Look at this, how “The Whimsical Wife”, transformed an old and colorful dollhouse, into a more modern one. I love it! She also has a complete walkthrough of the process on her cute website.
Dollhouse makeover 3: Bethany Fontaine
Bethany Fontaine found a $50,00 thrifted dollhouse and made it into something more modern and make it look more like a real house! It is a 15 min long video, where she shows you step by step how she did it!
And she found another extremely cheap dollhouse, furniture included, and turned it into an amazing dollhouse for her daughter!
Dollhouse makeover 4: FairyGoblinsGrin
This artist has a blog called Minismidgeon and an Etsy shop. This one is amazing in terms of how she created something gorgeous from a very old dollhouse. It was originally a “Hobbies of Dereham Special Georgian No. 244 Dollhouse”, from the 1950s.
I don’t think that I have ever seen a dollhouse in such a bad shape, transferred into a breathtaking house for her daughter!
My Final Conclusion
I do hope that you enjoyed this blog post on how to do a dollhouse makeover, and I do wish that you find a cheap dollhouse on Marketplace or second-handed and that you can turn it into something beautiful!
Either for your child or why not yourself? 😉
I wish you happy crafting and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or join me on my social media or on my Facebook group.
6 thoughts on “Dollhouse Makeover Inspiration – Do It DIY, Yes You Can!”
Hey there Lizzy,
Wow! this so cool. It is really amazing what can be done with a little paint and an imagination. Those before and after pictures are amazing. Such simple and cost effective ideas can really transform and old boring doll house into such amazing pieces of art. I really like The Whimsical Wife doll house, that looks so cool. It makes want to now pull out daughters old doll house and transform it. This could be a great hobby and pass time. Thank you for this great post.
I know right, just try and you will see: you will love it and so will your daughter;-)
Wow, there are dollhouse “flippers”! Who knew! This was certainly interesting to discover, and a great overview you have here. I don’t have experience with dollhouses, nor do I collect them, but model making and miniatures has intrigued me for quite some time. I had the chance to do some work in scenic design, and one of my favorite aspects of that was the scale models that were used to represent set pieces.
Thank you for your comment and the scenic design really seems interesting as well. I have been to a museum in France, where there is a permanent exposition on a combination of both: movie scenes and scale models. Quite cool to see!
I have a newer (mostly plastic, sadly) Lundby house that I desperately want to makeover-I like the style but the colors of the wallpaper and flooring is not my style at all! I have painted and papered wooden and mdf houses but I’m worried about this process. Nevertheless, this post gave me some hope so I’m still going to try to get this project started!
I hope that you will get the process started and do a wonderful makeover on your Lundby dollhouse 😉
And most of all, have fun!