Dream Dollhouse

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 10/30/2011 - 21:36
Difficulty
Intermediate
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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.

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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!
Dimensions
Warning - this dollhouse is HUGE! Measure your doorways to make sure it will roll through doorways.

Preparation

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
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

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Hammer
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Jigsaw
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!

Instructions

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.

Comments

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 20:40

is this dollhouse barbie doll sized or smaller? i know the kidkraft ones say for 12 in dolls or whatever

Karlise (not verified)

Sun, 11/20/2011 - 09:23

Went ahead and bought the furniture...after seeing an actual photo of our dollhouse in progress, I don't think it will be a problem to fit. This house is so much bigger than your photo makes it seem. LOL I've got to make room!

JohnBen (not verified)

Thu, 11/24/2011 - 18:34

Building one for my granddaughters. And raising them the way I was raised I know in my heart that this dollhouse built by ME will mean more to them later than anything made overseas by slave labor. Hats off to you Ana. You helped alot of people make life a little better by sharing this.

Ana White

Thu, 11/24/2011 - 20:32

Thanks everyone, yes, this dollhouse is most definitely inspired by the Kid Kraft So Chic dollhouse .... that was most likely inspired by the Voila Dollhouse ...

Which was then inspired by ... and so on.  We all find inspiration from somewhere, and I'm happy to help those that want to handmake furniture because they either cannot afford to buy it, refuse to support poor labor standards, are supporting local lumber mills, or want to paint or finish the projects with healthier alternatives, just to name a few amazing reasons why DIY rocks.  BLB!

Christine (not verified)

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 20:31

Hi Ana!

Thank you so much for the plans!
My husband and I are about to build two of these for our girls and we just realized we are missing a few pieces because they were not on the cut list.

The 15 5/8th pieces that make up part of the roof.
We didn't notice until now as we are about to put it together.

Thanks again! :)

Martin J (not verified)

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 06:51

Hi There,

I was wondering if you tried to estimate what would be the total cost of building and assembling the entire So Chic inspired dollhouse considering similar quality of wood, paint and preserving the same safety standards. That would be interesting to know.
Best regards,

Nuccatree (not verified)

Sun, 11/27/2011 - 19:52

What a great set of plans! Full assembly within four hours. Just did a final sanding and my wife is very excited for Christmas to give this to our little girl.
ROOF CONSTRUCTION: I used a scrap piece of beadboard which I cut as a two-pcs roof section, one for each side. Gives the appearance of the steel roof structure and saves even more time.
Thanks for a great set of plans!

Maren (not verified)

Tue, 11/29/2011 - 10:16

After some experimentation today I discovered the perfect formula for using pocket holes on the 30 degree angled joints. Set your pocket hole jig for 1 1/4" stock and use 2" pocket hole screws. Worked perfect!

Thanks Ana for the wonderful plan. My daughter will be so excited to get this on Christmas morning!