While I’m pretty sure that this topic has been talked about a lot on “the big internet”, I will do my best to show you lots more examples of how to make a DIY cardboard dollhouse 😉
I have been fascinated a lot lately about doll houses that are made simply by using cardboard, paper, popsicle sticks, or other cheap materials that you can easily gather, but still create something gorgeous from it.
So let’s dive right into things, shall we?
Can you make a doll house out of cardboard?
Which girl (or tough boy) doesn’t like a dollhouse? They can play with them for hours!
There are the popular Barbie, Kidcraft, Disney, and Playmobile houses, and they are fine.
But what if these are a little bit too pricey, could you then make your own dollhouse?
I’d say: yes you can!
As you can read on my about me page, ever since I was a teenager, I started making myself a dollhouse out of cardboard.
It was back in the days that there was no internet and no cellphone, so no pictures either, sorry haha.
I remember making the house based on pictures from a crafting book that a family member gave me and I enjoyed half a summer working on it 🙂
So, can you make a dollhouse out of cardboard? Well, of course you can!
What Do You Need To Make A DIY Cardboard Dollhouse?
This could be a list of the materials that you need to build a cardboard dollhouse, but you can choose to use less stuff, or even add to it.
It is up to you how far you want to go in decorating it, keeping it minimal, or something in between.
- Solid cardboard. If you don’t have any, you can find some in warehouses. You can also use or add shoeboxes, empty pasta boxes, etc..
- A cutter
- Acrylic paint
- wrapping paper/miniature wallpaper,..
- tea bags
- all kinds of (plastic or metal) waste to create dollhouse furniture, floors and walls, etc. Like egg cartons, bottle caps, metal lids, empty chocolate boxes, and anything that you can use.
- adhesive tape
- spray paint
- craft glue
This list can go on because there is so much out there that you can use to create dollhouses and dollhouse furniture, as you can see on my YouTube channel as well. I even use matchsticks, popsicle sticks, and paper crafts..
(Feel free to subscribe to my channel please and give it a ‘like’ as well, Thank you!)
For your children, you don’t need to work that hard at all, because they are full of imagination and are quickly satisfied. It doesn’t have to look luxurious and ultra-modern.
Even with a few simple materials, you can make something really nice and yet sturdy dollhouse.
How To Make A Dollhouse Out Of Cardboard?
Step by step, here we go:
- Choose a box suitable for making a dollhouse and one that is clean. Avoid dirty boxes, with insect stains or smudges, as those will disappoint your child who plays with them.
The bigger the box, the more work the dollhouse will require, but the more options you will have to build the house.
Try to think of your own ideas or thoughts on how the dollhouse should be.
You can follow this article or others to the letter, but you will notice that the best result comes while working with the materials that you have.
- After you gather the cardboard boxes, cut them into the size that you like or the size of the house that you want to copy.
First, determine the layout of the box. Should it be opened from the side, or only be open in front? Or do you want a closed house that looks like a scale model? You decide!
Also, now is the time to decide how many floors the house will have, several floors would be the most realistic, especially for a larger box.
In the example below, we want to keep it simple for a kid and we cut out the back of the cardboard dollhouse to 55 cm X 48 cm.
Create the sides and floor dividers from cardboard. You can use the flaps from the same box or get some extra cardboard from other boxes.
If you are making a two-store dollhouse, make the dividers in a simple cross shape.
This would make 4 rooms, but if you want more rooms, simply slide in more dividers and make slits in the cardboard lengths for them to slide over the already assembled dividers.
In our example, we use a piece of 15 cm x 48 cm for the right side and one of 15 cm x 38 cm for the left side and glue them to the backside.
Use a type of glue that is suitable enough to glue cardboard together. This could be craft glue, but also glue guns are used.
The 3 dividers each measure 15 cm x 47 cm and are glued to the back wall.
A piece is cut out at the top left corner.
We kept this piece, and cut out our first door (measure the width and length of the piece on the right wall, it needs to be the same):
So it is time for:
Decide if your house needs doors. You can choose to cut all of them out or just draw and paint doors on the outside of the house to get an effect.
However, cutting out doors inside the house can be useful.
If you would like a door that opens, just draw a rectangular shape where the door should be, and cut out the top and one side of this rectangle.
Then you need to cut out the base and leave one side uncut. This way you should be able to pull the door open and make a crease along the uncut side and tataaa: you now have a door that opens.
You could draw a doorknob on it, or glue a small bead to it and thus have “a real” doorknob.
Next in our example, we have first added a rooftop of 16 cm x 29 cm.
And two more interior walls including doors. (Doesn’t it look sturdy?)
Decorate the house. I have several tutorials on my website on how to do that.
- First, you need to add wallpaper or paint the walls
- Only then do the floors and ceilings (so that the wallpaper is covered and doesn’t need to be cut off)
- Decorate the exterior and roofs
- Add the miniature furniture
All of these can also be done in affordable and more or less easy ways, just have fun with it!
A Few Examples Of Artists Creating Fantastic Cardboard Dollhouses Or Miniatures
Creating cardboard dollhouses can take some artists really “out there” with amazing and breathtaking projects that can take you much further than what I have explained above and I will show you a few in this blog post!
Beware, you might be “wowed”!
1. Svetla Dandarova.
Svetla Dandarova has been in my Facebook group for a while now, and she often blows me away with what she creates by just using cardboard and popsicle sticks/coffee stirrers.
Take a look!
And finally: this dollhouse is made from cardboard ànd popsicle sticks:
2. Bentley House Minis.
I talked about this fantastic crafter before, on the topic of Gothic dollhouses (she has a large dollhouse that she has worked on for over 11 years).
In the next video, there is a 30-minute walkthrough of how she crafted her cardboard dollhouse.
This tutorial comes in 2 parts, so make sure to check out the second video after this one. She has such a great imagination!
Why not look for a cardboard dollhouse that your children can play with, that doesn’t need to be exactly great “pieces of art” like the previous ones? 😉
Still looks good and sturdy though, from this Etsy store.
4. Fun and craft.
This dollhouse is completely made from cardboard, foam board, and paper, on a scale of 1:6. Would you tell by first looking at it? How amazing!
This cardboard dollhouse is available as a downloadable file on Etsy and is suited to play with using for example Playmobil toys.
The design is lovely and you could still decorate it!
6. Fun and Craft.
And one last, but not least: fun and craft on Youtube. In this video, she walks you through each step of how to make a dollhouse out of cardboard! Walls, floors, and lots of other miniatures are included.
Next on the agenda will be all about how to craft dollhouse furniture with cardboard, so keep posted!
My Final Conclusion
I hope that I could help you figure out how to make a dollhouse out of cardboard and that you have enjoyed the little examples 🙂
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask them below or join me on one of my social media channels or even my Facebook group of +3000 members.
I wish you happy crafting!
My name is Lizzy, and I am an amateur miniaturist obsessed with everything in the dollhouse and miniature world, ever since I was a teenager.
I love to write as well about all things happening in the miniature world, hence the reason why I created this blog!
I wish you happy reading and crafting!