Suitcase Dollhouses: When Your Luggage Takes A Detour To Tiny Town

Imagine this: you unzip your suitcase, expecting the usual clothes and toiletries, but instead, you’re greeted by an incredibly detailed miniature living space, complete with tiny sofas, delicate tables, and even itty-bitty art on the walls. That’s the delightful surprise that a suitcase dollhouse offerโ€”a fusion of travel convenience and imaginative wonder.

These compact treasures hold the power to transport you not only to new places but to an entirely different scale of creativity. Let’s dive right into things!

(the main picture is by KellyArtCo, see examples below in the article)

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But First, what is a Suitcase dollhouse?


Okay, picture a regular suitcase โ€“ the kind you pack your clothes in for a trip. Now, imagine opening that suitcase, expecting to see your clothes, and suddenly, voila!

Instead, you’re greeted by a teeny-tiny world that fits inside. It’s like opening a secret door to a tiny universe right there in your luggage.

What’s really fun is that you can make your own suitcase dollhouse too. People get all crafty and imaginative, DIY-style. They’re like pocket-sized worlds of creativity.

Imagine impressing your friends when you casually unzip your suitcase and reveal a tiny wonderland inside. It’s like giving your suitcase a secret identity and it is a wonderful way to decorate your home!

Essential Materials and Tools for Crafting Suitcase Dollhouses.


Here’s a little list of the materials and tools that you could need to create these adorable “dollhouses”

  • Materials:
  1. Off course: a Suitcase:

    Choose a suitcase that suits your style and size preference. It can be vintage or modern, as long as it’s in good condition. You could probably find some at your local second-hand store or even in online vintage stores.
    They can go from $5 to much more expensive ones.

  2. Base Material:

    You’ll need a sturdy material to serve as the foundation for your miniature rooms. Foam board or thin plywood works well.

  3. Crafting Materials: These will be used to create furniture, accessories, and decorations.

    Like balsa wood, mirrors to add a sense of space and depth, fabric and miniature wallpaper, cardboard, polymer clay, miniature hinges if you want functional doors, etc..

  4. Glues and Adhesives:

    All kinds of possible glues are needed to create miniatures, depending on the miniatures you need to make and the materials used.

  5. Paint and Brushes: Acrylic paints work well for adding color to your furniture and decorations.

  6. Printable Miniatures: If you’re not comfortable crafting everything from scratch, printable miniatures available online can help you create realistic-looking accessories.
  • Tools:


The tools needed to create dollhouse miniatures can vary greatly, but in the case of suitcase dollhouses, you don’t need big power tools, because you already have your container, the suitcase itself ;-).

After all, you don’t need to create a sturdy wooden dollhouse, no?

So you would basically need a craft knife and a cutting mat, scissors, a ruler, tweezers, sandpaper, pliers, and maybe a mini drill.

Suitcase Dollhouse by LauraBethBoutiqueCo


Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a DIY Suitcase Dollhouse:


Creating a suitcase dollhouse is quite straightforward, I would imagine, but let’s see if I can guide you through a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Choose Your Suitcase:

    Start by picking a suitcase that suits your style. It could be an old vintage suitcase or a modern one. Make sure it’s clean and in good condition, without any mold or so.

  • Plan Your Layout:

    Before you dive into crafting, wonder how you want your miniature world to look. Decide on the number of rooms, their layouts, and themes. This will guide your crafting process.
  • Prepare the Interior with a clean canvas:

    Remove any lining or padding from the suitcase’s interior. This will give you a clean canvas to work with.
  • Build the Base:

    Place a sturdy material like foam board or thin plywood at the bottom of the suitcase. This will serve as the foundation for your miniature rooms.

    You can also maximize vertical spaces: make use of the suitcase’s depth by creating lofted spaces or adding shelves to accommodate more furniture and decor.
  • Wall Decor and Wallpaper:

    Decorate the walls of your rooms using scrapbook paper, fabric, or even printable wallpapers. This adds a personalized touch and sets the scene for each room.

    Keep in mind to create a consistent color palette throughout the dollhouse to create a cohesive look, as there will be less room in a suitcase in general.
  • Craft Miniature Furniture:

    Now it’s time to get creative with crafting miniature furniture! First, decide on the scale you want to use, depending on the size of the suitcase. You might want to use my scale converter below.

Convert any measurement in a known scale into another known scale.

Convert in scale

to in scale
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Use materials like cardboard, wood, or polymer clay to create tiny beds, tables, chairs, and more.

Online tutorials and templates can be a great help, as for my YouTube channel, where I create miniature furniture from everyday items, like popsicle sticks, matches, and clothespins!

  • Add Details:

    Don’t forget the little things that make a space feel real. Add miniature accessories like lamps, rugs, paintings, and even tiny plants.
  • Create the Illusion of Space:

    Since the space is limited, using mirrors strategically can make your rooms appear larger. It’s a neat optical trick that adds depth to your miniature world.
  • Arrange Your Rooms:

    Now comes the fun part! Arrange your crafted furniture and accessories to bring your miniature rooms to life. Experiment with different layouts to find the best arrangement.
  • Finishing Touches:

    Pay attention to the small details. Maybe add curtains made from fabric scraps, or use rugs or particular flooring.

Another hint is to create themed suitcase dollhouses to tell all kinds of different stories from your minis :-).


In the video below, “Where the Gnomes Live” is showing you how she made a dollhouse from a suitcase in 2 parts, and it’s gorgeous, how creative!


Examples of suitcase dollhouses and miniaturists making these


Let’s dive further into the wonderful world of suitcase dollhouses with examples from crafters, so you can get some more ideas as well!

1. KelleyArtCo


Kelley is definitely specialized in dollhouse suitcases, just look at her profile below, wow!

As you can see in the pictures, there is a wide choice of how to organize these suitcases: leave them open so you can place a miniature bed entirely at the bottom, place the beds on the bottom wall only, create a studio, etc..

Check out the details and prices of these suitcase dollhouses here.



2. LauraBethBoutiqueCo


Laura Beth creates handmade special gifts, and amongst them are these original and cute suitcase dollhouses, including peg doll families. How creative, who thinks of an idea like that haha!

So my guess is, that your kid can play with these dollhouses and peg dolls!

The advantage of these is that you can actually still use the suitcases to transport the miniatures and thus can take them everywhere with you!


Check out more details and the prices of these suitcase dollhouses here.


3. LittleBrookCrossing.


This store sells 3 suitcase dollhouses, but very interesting ones.

One of the three suitcases is put up vertically, so you can get some more ideas on how to organize things in this way.

Pretty well-handcrafted suitcases as well, lovely!



Check out more details and the prices of these suitcase dollhouses here.


My Final Conclusion


I hope that you have enjoyed this article on suitcase dollhouses, they sure are pretty and creative, no?

If you have any more questions, please feel free to leave them down below in the comment section or join me on (one of) my social media channels or my cozy Facebook group.

I wish you happy crafting!

Kind regards,

Lizzy

4 thoughts on “Suitcase Dollhouses: When Your Luggage Takes A Detour To Tiny Town”

  1. Hey, it’s Tripp! I will definitely keep all of this in mind so I can inform my sisters. I don’t play with dolls but i beleieve this will be of intrerest to my two sisters who love playing with dolls. Just wanted to thank you for this wonderful article! I learned so much!

    Reply
    • Hello Tripp! Thanks so much for your comment and I hope that your sisters will love these! (be careful though, as not every one of them is meant to play with ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      Kind regards,

      Lizzy

      Reply
  2. Thank you for this article.

    I love it. love the idea and the end result. So much detail in your suitcase dolls house. How cool.

    You’ve provided so much in depth information and step by step guides to make replacing this myself very easy. The videos are excellent and detailed and the links to products I might need too are invaluable, as I may not have the time to source these items myself.

    Thank you very much for sharing

    Reply

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