Dream Dollhouse

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 10/30/2011 - 21:36
| Print this plan

Build a three story dream dollhouse perfect for 12" dolls with these free easy step by step do it yourself dollhouse plans! Inspired by the KidKraft So Chic dollhouse, this do it yourself version is made of soy based plywood and finished with non toxic linseed oil.


Okay, you know that feeling, right before you go to bed on Christmas Eve, all the gifts wrapped, everything is perfect, and you are exhausted ... but you still can't sleep. Because you are just so excited to wake up and see the happy faces of your family enjoying Christmas morning. 

Been there?
I sort of feel that way right now. I am so excited to share this plan with you! 
So we've over the years built more furniture than I can count.  You would think I'd be over the "I can't believe I made that!" stage.  You would think.
Well, I'm apparently not.  I find myself wanting to just stare at it, smiling as I walk by it.  This building thing ... it is amazing.  
One sheet of PureBond plywood in Birch (yes, this dollhouse is made of formaldehyde free soy adhesive plywood!), seven pine 2x2s and some boiled linseed oil (can you believe this dollhouse is finished with oil extracted from flax seeds?), some scrapbooking paper and a quart of pink paint for accessories, and we've got an eco-friendly dollhouse that will outlast childhood.  This dollhouse is STRONG.  Like three kids can climb on it strong.  
And did I mention she rolls?
For the wallpaper, I simply decoupaged scrappbooking paper to each "room."  Quick and easy.  For the roof, I took scrap pieces of 1/4" plywood cut into 5" strips and cut scallops out with a jigsaw (just use a small round object to create your pattern with) and nailed the strips down.
For the stairs, I simply cut 19 1x2s to the width of the stairs, and glued and nailed them on top of each other.  Couldn't think of an easier way to do that!
And the furniture ...
The furniture shown in these photos was actually borrowed from my niece's dollhouse.  Just haven't quite had the chance to make furniture yet.
Will you help me?
I will of course be adding plans for doll furniture.  But because a dollhouse of this size could use 100 or more pieces of furniture before it starts to feel like a dollhome, I'm asking you to help me in creating miniature furniture plans.  If we all work together, we can make very special Christmas mornings everywhere!
Just make sure you select "Dream Dollhouse" on the Collection dropdown so your plan will show up on the Dollhouse page.  I can't wait to see (and build) your plans!
But first, we gotta build this dollhouse!
Warning - this dollhouse is HUGE! Measure your doorways to make sure it will roll through doorways.


Shopping List

1 - sheet 3/4" PureBond Plywood
7 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
1/4" plywood scraps for roof
2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long for stairs
4 - 2" caster wheels and screws for 3/4" stock
use either 3" screws or 2 1/2" pocket hole screws, depending on your joinery technique

Common Materials
3 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List

7 - 2x2 @ 32"
6 - 2x2 @ 24"
4 - 2x2 @ (Both ends cut at 30 degrees off square, ends are NOT parallel, long point measurement)
4 - 2x2 @ 37 5/8" (One end cut at 30 degrees off square, long point measurement)
Plywood cut to diagram

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Have your home improvement center rip your plywood into a strip 24" wide and a strip 13 1/2" wide as shown in diagram. Then all you have to do is make the crosscuts.

NOTE: I really considered using 1/4" plywood for the floors, but wanted to create a dollhouse that would last and last - and could even be used as a bookshelf later on. The 1/4" plywood is just too flimsy for that. Then I considered 1/2", but the price difference between 1/2" and 3/4" is only a few bucks, and 3/4" is just so much easier to work with because you have a wider area to work with. Of course you can modify this plan - if you made this dollhouse with 1/4" plywood, it would be CHEAP to make ... like $30 cheap.

Step 2

Build the ends as shown above. You can use a countersink bit and 3" screws or the Kreg Jig and 1 1/2" pocket holes and 2 1/2 pocket hole screws. For the angled joints, just clamp, glue and predrill holes with a countersink bit. I only used one screw (and alot of glue) for each joint to avoid splitting the wood.

Build two, make sure they match up.

Step 3

Now just join the two sides with the longer 2x2s.  This is easy stuff.  Just make sure that the top 2x2 is exactly 13 1/2" above the top story 2x2 - this does matter.

Step 4

I used pocket holes set for 3/4" stock and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws drilled on all sides of the plywood to secure to the frame. If you do not have a pocket hole jig, you can cut corner braces out of scrap 1x2s and fasten, or countersink (very carefully) long screws into the edges of the plywood.

Step 5

Step 6

Cut stair openings out as shown in diagram and place 2nd story shelf as you did bottom story shelf.

Step 7

Add the bottom story walls. I used pocket holes, but you can also use nails here. TIP: Offset the walls between stories a tad so you have a spot to nail if you are using nails.

Step 8

Add the top story as you did the lower two stories.

Step 9

Followed by the middle story interior wall.

Step 10

Finally, add the top story interior walls system.

Step 11

Stairs are built by stacking 1x2 boards staggered as shown above. Be very careful when nailing and use lots of glue.

Step 12

I then simply decoupaged the interior walls with contrasting scrapbooking paper. The roof is simply strips of 1/4" plywood - you could use 1/4" hobby stock as well - cut with a scalloped shape, lapped and nailed down.

Step 13

Attach 2" caster wheels to the 3/4" plywood base so wheels can swivel easily.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Indiri (not verified)

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 14:15

If I could make a suggestion for the staircase? My dad showed me an easier and faster way to build stairs out of a single 2x4 that I loved (I say this because I should point out that I didn't think of this myself). It's also a little stronger to stand up to a child beating on it.

If you have a tiltable miter saw or circular saw:
Tilt the blade at a 45 degree angle and cut along the 2x4 to make the front of the stairs. Then turn the board around and cut the other direction to make the tops. The end board, if you lay it down, will be flat on the bottom but look like triangles (or teeth) on the top. Tip up and nail it in for instant stairs.

There's a picture of his staircase here:

Also, if you want a chandelier in your dollhouse you can use layered mirror clips (the little clear flower things) and an eyelet screw to make a chandelier really quickly. There's a picture of it on the same link.


Mon, 10/31/2011 - 14:53

Again you came up with awesome plans! Is there any way to make the floors separately and then be able to put it together? I would like to have DH make this for one of our grand kids but since it's so large and heavy shipping it to South Carolina from SoCal is out of the question. :-)

k g (not verified)

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 20:04

What about a barn/batman mansion on one side and a more girly side on the other? (For those that want to do something for boys.)

Ana, this is amazing! And yes, I like so many others am totally making this for Christmas. Thanks so much!!! (I didn't even know the other existed and I LOVE this one!) Yay Yay!!

YOU are amazing. Thanks again!

Melanie (not verified)

Tue, 11/01/2011 - 07:16

This is hardly a furniture *plan*, but as a kid, I used wooden thread spools as table bases and stools for the dollhouse at my babysitter's home. I would glue a larger circle of balsa on top of a larger one for a nice pedestal table, etc. Craft stores also sell very small wooden flower pots that would be good for lamp shades if turned upside down and placed on dowels w/ a little base, like the standing lamp in your pictures.

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 11/01/2011 - 09:45

For those that are looking for dollhouse furnishing ideas, here are a few:

I made Ana's other dollhouse last Christmas but modified it to fit Barbies. For those that wonder what "decoupage" looks like, I decoupaged scrapbook paper onto the floors and walls to act as tile, rugs, and wallpaper. You can see that project here:

Also, http://myfroggystuff.blogspot.com/ is a blog dedicated to Barbie DIY! She has lots of cute ideas, like a TV, wall clock, a laundry room, bathroom, mailbox, kitchen, and even a sofa! They're all made from RECYCLED materials in her own home, but always turn out looking ADORABLE!

I use http://www.printmini.com/printables/pp.shtml for miniature printable items, like Barbie sized posters, books, magazines, assorted food boxes, and even a passport and laptop! Just print, fold, and tape or glue. I took the wall posters to my local teacher's supply store and had them laminated (just under $1) to help them last longer.

Barbie couch out of recycled materials: http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/doll-couch-670121/

Barbie bed: http://obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com/2011/03/barbie-bed-dollar-proj…

Barbie kitchen: http://www.dolldivas.net/Dioramas/2010%20Dioramas/DD-diorama-StinkersKi…

This whole website has lots of ideas: http://www.dolldivas.net/dolldivas-dioramas.html

Hope that helps to liven up the creative spirit! :)


Tue, 11/01/2011 - 11:51

I love this dollhouse, but have no idea where to put it....may have to get creative! I just finished a barbie camper that I made for my daughter's birthday, and I compketely furnished it. Chairs and couches can easily be made with leftover scraps of 2x2 and small pieces of plywood, then just make little slipcovers for them and they would be perfect. And I never did come up with a toilet....ended up buying the barbie i can be babysitter that had a toilet, sink and two barbies fo $12. I will try to post plans for all soon! And i LOVE this dollhouse!


Wed, 11/02/2011 - 05:15

I so want to build this for my munchkin for Christmas!! BUT I gotta say that the selection of 2x2 furring strips at the local Blue and Orange stores never look as good as the ones you use Ana!! They are always so knotty and crooked. I love the natural look on the wood but I always have to use so much wood filler on the furring strips I've used on projects... but they've all been painted afterwards. Do you think I'd have better luck finding nicer ones at a lumber yard?