Growing up I dreamed of the day my parents would buy me a doll house. It never happened so here is my DIY modern dollhouse. For a few years, I’ve been wanting to build a doll house for my nieces. I decided now is the right time, especially since my sister in law is at home with both of them (age 2 and 4) and working full time (Thanks COVID!) I wanted to help her keep them busy and away from screens. This wooden doll house would look beautiful in a girls bedroom with a rainbow mural and craft corner.
If you shop for wooden dollhouses online, they range in the hundreds of dollars. The price of this is under $50, not including your time which is “free” because it’s made with love.. right?
What you need to build a modern wooden dollhouse
- 1 sheet of 1/2 or 3/4 inch plywood
- 3 boards 9x30inchs (floorboards)
- 1 board 9×32 inches (side of the house)
- 1 board 9×18 inches (side of the house)
- 4 boards 9X9inches (room dividers)
- One odd shape for the backboard (we will get to this later)
- Tools (all mine are Ryobi brand but others are great too!)
- Circular saw (or table saw)
- jig saw
- nail gun
- mitre saw
- 1 1/4 inch brad nails
- Scrap 2x4s
- 8ft long board (I’ll show you a hack if you don’t have one!)
- Primer. I used Zinsser
- Paint of your choice. I used Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black and High reflective white
- Stain. I used Minwax Early American
Let’s start building
- Cut the following boards: Floorboards, room dividers, and sides of the house
– I placed 2x4s on the floor, then my my plywood board on top.
– I used leftover trim and clamped it to my board, 1 inch over from where I wanted to cut. This is really important as the blade is 1inch off the edge of the saw guide
– Use the circular saw to make a clean straight cut for the boards
– Use the mitre saw to cut the boards to the appropriate length
- Wood conditioner and Stain the floorboards and prime & paint the room dividers
- Nail the room dividers to the floor boards
– Before you nail them, mark a line on the top and bottom of the floor board so you know where the room divider will be nailed. (Trust me, don’t skip this step or you will get nails that are in the wrong spot and difficult to remove) Don’t place the room dividers directly on top of each other, it will be very hard to assemble. Make sure the room dividers are staggered on each floor by 1 inch
– nail the room divider on the BOTTOM side of the floor board
– nail all the room dividers on each floor
Top floor with arch door and rooftop patio
- To make the patio, you can use any thin scrap wood. I cut them to size (2 of10 inch and 1 of 9 inch piece).
- I drilled holes with a 1/4 in drill bit. Spray painted it black and then I hot glued faux flowers
- To attach it, I simply used wood glue.
- For the arch door, take one of your room dividers and draw a 90* angle at the top. Use a speed square.
- Set your mitre saw to 45* and cut the triangle shape
- use a jigsaw to make the arch shape. Make sure to use a fine tooth blade.
- Cut another roof shape using the speed square on the long side of the house
Assemble the house
- now it’s time to build the modern dollhouse.
- Start by adding the second floor and nailing on top of the first of the floor
- Attach the sides to the base and second floor
- Attach the 3rd (top level) to the second floor and sides
- You should have a full house except for the backing and roof.
- Cut the roof, measuring the distance between the two triangular walls. Make sure to cut the bottom long side on a 45* beveled so it makes up nicely with the back of the house. Paint it black. Nail it to the angled roof
- Lay the house down on 1/2 inch plywood and trace the shape. Cut it out. Cut the top angle beveled at 45* where it meets the roof
- Nail to the back of the doll house (or do this after you wallpaper and paint the walls of the rooms)
1. You need to fill, sand and paint the outer sides
Next up will be decorating the rooms with modern dollhouse furntiure!! If you build this house, be sure to share with me on instagram.