How To Make A Dollhouse Out Of A Shoebox In A Few Simple Steps!

I’m going to show you why turning a shoebox into a dollhouse isn’t just a crafty pastime, but also an adventure in creativity that people of all ages can enjoy.

You’re going to find out about the materials and tools you’ll need, which are mostly everyday items that are easily accessible and how it is made.

A shoebox dollhouse project is brilliant for a couple of reasons. First, it’s budget-friendly – you’re repurposing materials you likely already have. Second, it’s customizable to any concept or style that you prefer.

Collecting the materials needed to build your shoebox dollhouse

There are only a few basic things that you need to build a shoebox dollhouse; a little list of bare necessities, but also things that you can use, but are not a must (just as an example are the trash pieces, as seen in the video below).

  • First, look for sturdy shoeboxes that are roughly the same size. This is going to help keep your dollhouse looking uniform and make it easier to stack or attach side-by-side.

  • When you have your foundation built, and start with the interior, there are tons and tons of waste and various recyclables that you and your kids could use, like:

    Cardboard, popsicle sticks, linen samples, plastic cups, a compact mirror, empty K-Cups, mason jar lids, styrofoam balls, beads, yarn, empty spice caps, stencil floss, empty Phone case boxes or other empty boxes, mason jar, empty water bottles, nerf noodles, and more.

You can also check out my YouTube channel to see more tutorials of miniatures made from trash or everyday materials.

  • To glue the shoeboxes together, I’m going to suggest using a hot glue gun because it’s strong and sets quickly. Apply the glue generously along the edges you’re connecting.

    Press the boxes together firmly to make sure they bond well. If you want to create a multi-level dollhouse, stacking the shoeboxes and gluing the ‘roofs to the floors’ will be the way to go.

    Just make sure to let the glue cool completely before you move on.

    For dollhouse wallpaper and furniture, however, I would use an all-purpose glue like grab-fast Tacky glue.
fast grab tacky glue

  • You will also need the next materials for decoration and painting: spray paint, acrylic paint, surfaces paper pads and/or scrapbook paper and/or dollhouse printable wallpaper.

    You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want and you can use any of these to your likings!

Constructing and Decorating Your Shoebox Dollhouse

  • First, think about the overall look and feel you want for your shoebox dollhouse. They can be as varied as your imagination allows from a cozy cottage vibe to a modern city loft.

    Then just glue the boxes together with a glue gun, be careful of the heat the glue brings!

  • When glueing shoeboxes together it’s important to ensure stability. You might want to consider reinforcing the corners with extra cardboard strips glued into the interior corners of each box.

  • After this, you can start with the ceiling, wallpaper or paint the walls, and flooring (I prefer it in this order). This is way more fun and cheaper than decorating a real house. You can even add pieces of cardboard for more floor space.

    At this point, you can also decorate the exterior walls and the rooftop.

  • Creating the furnishings can be surprisingly straightforward.


In the video above, by “WhatsupMoms”, the whole family created this shoebox dollhouse and it looked like so much fun! 🙂 This is what they did:

  • They started with the dollhouse beds where they used easy ribbons as sheets and cloth bedspreads, and her kids made those little felt pillows. Her son made this really cute bunk bed with a furry texture. and he made little shoe boxes for his closet.

  • They ended up cutting open a window and used this plastic piece as a glass door to properly display them.

  • In Chapter 4, her daughter made her own shelving with craft sticks, and an iPad box turned into a really cute art table, with a spilled pink color.

  • Then, a cake cup was wrapped with twine, and she cut paper leaves for the potted plant.

  • What else? Tess figured out that if you glue cardboard, fold it in half, and paint with acrylics, you have the cutest little mini-books for the earring box floating shelf.

  • And she strung little clear beads, stuck those under washi tape, and then rolled on a tea light for a chandelier.

  • They glued twisted yarn in a circle on cardboard until they got this awesome rug. So cute!

  • Next, they tackled that mini couch using a linen sample for the base, and then a piece of a jacket for the cushion, and little beads as the legs.

  • Then they headed for the bathroom. She painted a button and slid a paper clip through for a shower head, and the little beads as the knobs.

  • if you put together a stencil, floss, and a spice cap on top of an empty K-Cup, look what you get, a miniature plant!

  • Parts of the kitchen were also inspired by recyclables, like where the iPad box turned into a farmhouse sink.

    She bent and painted a cake pop stick for the faucets, and then underneath, just add a little spray paint, and there you go: an oven.

  • Wrap up fairy lights around a Styrofoam ball and sneak the cord through the floor and under the bed to hide it.

  • For the last fixture, she took a bottle cap, straightened out paper clips, slid on beads, and then added a tea light that fits perfectly in a K-Cup. It looks remarkably like a lampshade.

  • Take half an ornament, wrap linen around an empty washi tape, and you have yourself a modern chair.

  • Rip off a compact mirror and put that in the jewelry box.

I can keep explaining everything that was done, but I would advise to just take a look at the video for more ideas, I’m sure that they will keep coming and coming haha!

So this shoebox dollhouse isn’t build to scale, but the Chelsea Barbies fit really well in there. It is perfect!

Related article: – How to create a cardboard dollhouse?

My Final Conclusion

I hope that I give you plenty of examples and tips on how to make a dollhouse out of a shoebox and how to decorate and I wish you and your kids a lot of creativity and play fun!

If you have any more questions or observations, please feel free to leave them down below in the comment section or join my social media channels, especially my Youtube channel for more ideas on miniatures made from trash!

I wish you happy crafting!

Kind regards,


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