Dollhouse Bookcase

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 22:30
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Build your own dollhouse bookshelf with our free woodworking plans.  Uses off the shelf 1x12s and basic joinery.

If you’ve got a good miter saw, you can make this bookcase in no time. I have always loved this simple design. Our free plans include step by step diagrams, shopping list and cut list.

dollhouse bookshelf diy plans
dollhouse bookshelf dimensions
51 1/2 " tall by 45" width by 12 1/4" deep


Shopping List
  • 4 - 1x12 @ 8 feet
  • 1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet
  • 1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet
  • 1/4″ plywood cut 45″ wide x 51 1/2″ high, cut in a house shape with the vertical ends at 38 1/2″ (measure for exact fit)
Common Materials
2 inch screws
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List

Main Carcass

A) 2 – 1×12 @ 38 1/2″ (top edge cut off at 30 degree angle)

B) 2 – 1×12 @ 12″ (Bottom Vertical Dividers)

C) 3 – 1×12 @ 42″ (Shelves)

D) 1 – 1×12 @ 17 1/2″ (Top Vertical Divider, top edge mitered down at 30 degree angle)

E) 2 – 1×4 @ 1 1/2″ (Side Footer)

F) 1 – 1×4 @ 45″ (Front Footer)

G) 2 – 1×12 @ 27 1/2″ (Top Edge Mitered down at 30 degrees)


Trim for Windows and Doors

H) 6 – 1×2 @ 4″

I) 4 – 1×2 @ 4 3/4″

J) 4 – 1×2 @ 10 1/4″ Plywood 1/4″ plywood cut 45″ wide x 51 1/2″ high, cut in a house shape with the vertical ends at 38 1/2″ (measure for exact fit)

Cutting Instructions

Start by cutting all the boards as directed above. Review the diagrams to see how the angles are cut. Unless otherwise directed, use 2″ nails and glue on all joints.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander


Step 1

Use the above diagram to help guide you. Please note that the measurements are close approximations and the miter saw will cut the exact angle for you.

Step 2

Windows and Doorways. From Boards A, cut the window holes out as shown above.

Step 3

Windows and Doors. First build the window and door frames as shown above, using 1 1/2″ nails. Then center the frames on the openings cut in step 2 and nail the frames into the openings. If you are painting the frames different colors, you may wish to paint and finish the bookshelf and the frames seperately, and then fasten the frames to the bookshelf.

Step 4

Once the sides, A, are complete, begin working on the center. First nail boards B and C together, as shown above. Then fasten D to the top shelf. Once B, C, and D are completed, nail the sides A on.

Step 5

Step 6

Footer. Now fasten the front footer, F, to the front of the bookshelf as shown above.

Step 7

Top. Fasten the top as shown above. Make sure you nail from each of the top pieces into the opposite top piece at the top of the gable end.

Step 8

Cut and add the plywood to the back, using glue and 1 1/2″ nails.

Step 9

Finishing. Fill nail holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired.


Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 07:58

Dee, I find finishing MDF to be super easy. Just prime and paint! Oh, and I would take a second to sand any exposed cut edges to make them pretty, but I personally have had a great experience painting MDF. I'm painting some right now!

Dee (not verified)

Tue, 06/08/2010 - 05:07

Thanks Ana.

Do you think I can use 3/4" thick MDF for it? or should it be 1"?

e.g. your cut list says it is 1x12x12"

Jennifer (not verified)

Wed, 06/09/2010 - 16:59

Is there a supply list for this? By my calculations I would need 3 1x12's at 8 ft for the main part of the dollhouse. Would I be better off getting a sheet of mdf and cutting my 1x12's from that?

Sara (not verified)

Fri, 06/25/2010 - 09:49

My dad built this for my daughter August 2009. Too bad we didn't know about your plans then. I just gave him the picture ripped out of the Pottery Barn catalog and he showed up to her first birthday party with it. We LOVE it and get lots and lots of compliments!

I love your site. Now I can hand him "pictures" with all the building details :)

Rareview Interactive (not verified)

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:22

My wife saw this in pottery barn and asked me to build one. I have never seen this site before, but I was looking around google and came across this. I followed the instructions and just finished today. I built it for less than half the price of the PB one and it's sturdier, nicer, and made by dad for my daughter. These plans helped a lot! I just put it in my daughter's room today and she LOVES it. I'm really really excited about this. Thanks for sharing the plans; it made my life a lot easier. I'm looking around your site now for my next project! :)

I just wish I could post a picture of what it looks like!

Sarah (not verified)

Tue, 07/20/2010 - 05:47

Hi Anna,

Love this plan, thank you for offering this and all of your plans to the world.

Question, where did you get those cute baskets that are in the dollhouse. What are the made of?


LPiccolo (not verified)

Wed, 09/08/2010 - 08:48

I am so, so, so excited about your website and can't wait to build some of these things! This bookcase is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing these wonderful plans with us! Have you ever designed a puppet theater? I've been looking for plans so I can build one, but haven't found anything I love.

Brenda (not verified)

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 20:33

HI i'm wondering around how much does it cost to make this? i tried searching in the cost part of the site but i can't seem to find this project thanks so much