I have been looking forward to writing about a DIY dollhouse in a bookcase, as I have seen so many amazing creations online, sometimes even too beautiful to play with 🙂
While there are many other ways to create a dollhouse from an existing object, like a simple (antique) cabinet, for example, creating one from a bookcase is terrific because it is already divided into “rooms”, as a matter of speaking.
But, you can also make one from scratch, as explained further in this article.
But first: how to make a dollhouse out of a bookcase?
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I have found a few different ways online for you on how to make a bookshelf that looks like a dollhouse, so let’s dive straight into things!
1. You can make a wooden dollhouse in a bookcase from scratch
In the video below, made by Charleston Crafted, you can see how you can create a DIY dollhouse bookcase from scratch.
And their plans are available in a PDF file.
In this order:
- Cut out all the bords along the sizes of the DIY building plans, this is best done with a power tool like a circular saw aka miter saw.
- Assemble the pieces with the help of a nail gun (which should make the process easier) and wood glue. You could also use regular nails and a hammer.
Don’t forget to cut out the dividers as well, so that you can clearly see the right size as a whole when you insert the dividers, and you can see that you haven’t made a mistake.
Adding wood filler to the holes and sanding the project, makes it easier to paint everything well afterward.
- Start with the framework, attaching the shelves to the sides. Followed by the dividers, starting with the bottom.
After the bottom dividers, you can add the roof, using wood glue and clamps to put them at an angle with the correct degree (30 degrees in this case), and then you can drill a nail right through the top.
Doing all this will make it super secure. You can now attach the roof to the base, again with wood glue and nails.
- You can now add 4 little feet to the bottom if you like.
The next thing to do is to cut out the backboard from plywood with a jigsaw and again sand everything before painting it; using a paint spray is the easiest and best way to get an even result.
- Paint the dollhouse in a bookcase further, meaning that you can add a contrasting color at the back, for example.
If you would like the dollhouse bookcase in different colors, however, it would be better to paint the pieces separately before assembling the dollhouse.
2. Create a dollhouse from an existing bookcase.
While the first method isn’t that hard, especially if you have DIY dollhouse plans, you can make it even easier on yourself by starting from an existing bookcase.
For this, I am referring to another video on Youtube, so you can have a look at the transformation step by step.
How to proceed?
- Well: find a bookcase, big or small, that you think you can definitely turn into a dollhouse bookcase;-)
In the case of the video, it is suitable for barbie dolls, but of course, other scales are doable as well.
- Cut out the doors and windows with a jigsaw.
- Sand the pieces, and apply a primer, followed by painting or/and wallpapering.
- Use craft sticks aka popsicle sticks for the frames of the windows and doors.
- Cut out room dividers from 3mm MDF wood and any extra floors
- The balcony rail can also be made from popsicle sticks.
- Make roof tiles and glue them on top. Continue by decorating the house and interior to your taste.
3. Make a DIY dollhouse in a bookcase from an IKEA Billy bookcase.
This is very similar to the second method above, but the “Billy” bookcases from IKEA are very popular to turn into dollhouse bookcases, so I thought I’d mention this!
People turn this Ikea bookcase into amazing dollhouses, and you basically only need to leave out some shelves and cut those into divider walls.
To be honest: I’m not quite sure if the Ikea bookcase called Billy exists in different measurements, but it does seem like it.
What that means though, is that you can choose any size bookcase from which you can create any size dollhouse.
It seems that for now, you can only buy this bookcase second handed, BUT the good news is that this iconic BILLY bookcase will be back on the market in January 2024!
Furthermore, I can’t really show you a picture of a finished “hacked” dollhouse bookcase by Ikea because of copyright issues, but definitely check out this website for a fantastic result!
What I do have for you is another video on how to finish an Ikea bookcase and turn it into a real decorated dollhouse, with floors and all 🙂
Dollhouse bookcase plans
I need to refer you to several different websites and sources for a few DIY dollhouse bookcase plans, as I don’t have any myself. So let’s go!
- The first one you can find on the website from the first video in this article, which is again: Charleston crafted.
- On this website by Shanty-2-chic, you can find the DIY plans for this large and beautiful dollhouse bookcase in black and white, with even rails included! (scroll down to the bottom of the blog post)
- A dollhouse bookcase plans by Ana-White, right on this page.
5 Finished Examples Of A Dollhouse In A Bookcase
In this part, I will showcase some finished dollhouses in a bookcase 😉
1. Dollhouse in a bookcase: by NimbleWoodKids
This DIY dollhouse bookcase is so neat! I just love the colors and structure and I can imagine it being in your kid’s bedroom, filled with miniatures. Or not, as you choose;-)
NimblewoodKids actually has several kinds of dollhouse bookcases, so make sure to check out the link below.
2. A dollhouse room divider and bookcase by My MiniHome Pi.
This is a special kind of dollhouse bookcase, as it is actually also a room divider. It is used as a wardrobe as well because you can close it, but of course, you can use it as a dollhouse. Amazing, no?
3. A Wooden Dollhouse & Bookshelf 2 in 1: by Rajbharti Crafts
This is a 2 in 1 dollhouse plus bookshelf and I think that it is quite lovely, but I will let you decide that for yourself;-)
4. A white Montessori open dollhouse and bookshelf: by Rume Kids
This next dollhouse bookcase is smaller and just simple, yet pretty in all its simplicity.
5. A Bookcase dollhouse with matching drawers: by SuperNova Woodwork LLC.
This dollhouse in a bookcase is not only lovely with the scalloped roof, but it also has drawers, which is easy to store away miniatures or other things that you don’t need at the moment. Good idea!
My Final Conclusion.
I hope that you enjoyed this blog post on a dollhouse in a bookcase, and if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask them down below in the comment section or join me on my social media pages or Facebook group.
I wish you happy crafting!
4 thoughts on “How To Create A Dollhouse In A Bookcase – 3 Ways And 5 Finished Examples”
Hi thanks for writing this article on how to create a dollhouse in a bookcase. I have 2 nieces so I think this would come in handy as they have SOOOOO MANY DOLLS and BOOKS!
I definitely like the ones that are both dollhouses and bookcases so you can share the space with both the dolls and books like NimblewoodKids. I love your step by step approach on the DIY instructions. It makes it so easy to figure out how to do!
Thank you for sharing
You are welcome and I hope that your nieces will have fun with these dollhouse bookcases!
I wish you happy crafting!
My granddaughter is always playing with little dolls and small toys between, and on top of, the books in her bookshelf, so this has given me a brilliant idea to actually turn the bookcase into a dollhouse.
I love the look of the two in one wooden dollhouse with a bookshelf by Rajbharti Crafts, as well as the Supernova Woodwork dollhouse with the matching drawers. I will share it with the family to see which one they would prefer.
I am happy that I could inspire you with these examples and I hope that your granddaughter will enjoy it 😉
I wish you happy crafting!