Three Story American Girl or 18" Dollhouse

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 15:13
Difficulty
Intermediate
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free diy American Girl or 18 inch dollhouse plans - 3 story.

UPDATE: New plans for a smaller dollhouse are available for smaller rooms or shorter girls -

You can check out the plans for the smaller dollhouse here.

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I built a house and painted it this past week.

Granted, it was a dollhouse.  

But it is a HUGE dollhouse.

 

Yes, huge.  

For years, Grace has been asking us for a dollhouse for her American Girl or 18" dolls, but I've resisted, knowing how big these dollhouses have to be for Kit Kitridge and Ruthie to fit inside.  

But Grace has been begging and begging and leaving for school, saying, "Mom, can you work on my dollhouse today?" or "I'll hold brother so you can work on my dollhouse."

How do you say no to that?

I couldn't, so this is what I've been up to (in the couple of minutes here when the baby allows me to work on projects) ...

We cut the plywood into strips 23-3/4" wide (have your home improvement store do this for you if you don't have a table saw or a truck) and then I used my Ryobi Cordless Circular Saw to cut the tops into the house shape.  I really like this saw because it's lightweight, has a handy laser on the front, and matches the battery of my drill.  That, and it's super affordable and works great!

Then to cut the doors and windows out,

I drew the windows and doors out on each of the panels, and then drilled holes on each side, inside the lines,

Then it's just a matter of connecting the dots,

With a jigsaw.

Cutting out the windows and doors was probably the most time consuming part of this whole project.

I used a Kreg Jig to assemble the pieces.  There's not alot of joints, but because the pieces are so huge, it was a little cumbersome - but nothing I couldn't manage on my own (the hubs is busy taking care of the baby while I worked on this project).

Then I built window trim to fit, stapling it together with my Ryobi AirStrike stapler and glue.  

Jigsawing is hard to get perfectly straight, but the window trim hid any imperfections.

Our happy client made a few requests that aren't in this plan - we did not add the bottom trim and used caster wheels instead.  And instead of the two rooms upstairs, we made one full room upstairs (but had to add a 1x2 at the top to support the 1/4" plywood on the back.

I also added veneer edge banding to all exposed plywood edges to finish them off.

For the floors inside the dollhouse, we wanted to keep the wood, so we used Rustoleum Wood Stain in Dark Walnut.

It's a one step - just apply and wipe off.  Easy enough for my seven year old to help out!

We also applied RustOleum polyurethane over the stain to protect the floors (just like a real wood floor!!!).

Then we taped over the floors with painter's tape (until we ran out and had to use duct tape) and newspaper,

A quick sanding, and she's ready for primer!

Jacob sprayed the dollhouse with primer,

And then I painted carefully the blue exterior paint on the outsides.

We LOVED how it turned out!!!!

But we wanted the roof to stand out a little more,

So I picked up some RustOleum textured spray paint and sprayed the roof.  It loos like roofing!!!

Of course, Grace loved the dollhouse!!!

Now we get to furnish it!!

The plans for this dollhouse follow, hope you like them!

XO Ana + Fam

Dimensions
Dimensions shown above - warning, it's huge!

Preparation

Shopping List

2 - sheets 3/4" plywood or MDF 1 - sheet 1/4" plywood or MDF (for back) 6 - 1x4 @ 12 feet long (add another one for the base if desired) 4 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long 1-1/4" pocket hole screws 1-1/4" finish nails or staples

Cut List

WALLS AND FLOORS 3 - 3/4" plywood or MDF @ 23-3/4" x 73" (sides and center divider) 1 - 3/4" plywood or MDF @ 23-3/4" x 48" (bottom) 4 - 3/4" plywood or MDF @ 23-3/4" x 22-7/8" (upper floors) ROOF 5 - 1x4 @ 49-1/2" (OR 1- 3/4" plywood @ 49-1/2" x 17-1/2" (measure and cut to fit)) 1 - 1x4 @ 49-1/2" 2 - 1x4 @ 14-3/4" BACK 1 - 1/4" plywood @ 48" x 61-1/2" WINDOWS - CUT TO FIT

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Jigsaw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
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

First, cut out all the pieces. If you don't have a truck or tablesaw, it might be easier to have your home improvement store rip your plywood into 22-3/4" widths, 8 feet long. Then cut the longest pieces first. The top roof angle is 45 degrees. You can easily find this by finding the center of your side and middle panels (at the top). This distance should be 11-7/8" from the sides. Then measure down 11-7/8", and draw a diagonal between the two points. Then mark out all windows and doors and cut out with a jigsaw.

Step 2

Once the pieces are cut, attach the floor to the walls. I used a Kreg Jig set at 3/4" and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 3

Next, add the floors. I used 3/4" pocket holes on the underside and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 4

Because we opted for one large room on the top floor, I opted to use plywood for my roof (no center support without the divided upper room). Keep top edge flush as you attach room with glue and finish nails or staples.

Step 5

Step 6

For the back, I used 1/4" plywood and nailed it to all of the walls and floors with glue.

Step 7

We opted for caster wheels instead, but you could also finish out the base with 1x boards. Shown in the diagram is 1x4s.

Step 8

I measured each window and built the window trim to fit snugly, gluing in place when I was done.

Step 9

I haven't added shutters yet, but this is what 1x2 shutters would look like.

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

jimmypaul

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 11:02

PDF . is anyone having problems downloading plans on PDF , I checked several projects an it appears that the PDF is not working ,, or is it just onmy end ????

Thank You

Mom24girls

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 17:31

Is the price $100-$150 if you have wood on hand? I just left Lowes and one piece of nice plywood would be $50! Any help would be amazing!!!

Ana White Admin

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 11:25

Hi, the price can vary from town to town. Having scraps on hand can help cut down on cost. It would probably be closer to $200, if that is the price where you live. I would call around and try the price match and beat by 10% if possible. Hope this helps!

pwrcarpenter

Thu, 10/22/2015 - 03:42

If you make the floors run all the way across and cut the center divider into 3 pieces this will

make the floors much stronger with less sag and less chance of screws pulling out.

since the picture shows a little girl sitting on the floor I would highly suggest this. :)

 

dustintphelps

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:26

I am looking at the cut list and wondering how this was made with only 2 sheets of 3/4 plywood. Seems as though you would need 3. Am I missing something here?

Piesq

Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:11

Unless I am missing something, there is no way this can be built with only two 4' x 8' sheets of plywood. The two outside pieces take up basically one full sheet. the middle piece takes up half of a second sheet, leaving you with about a 2' x 8' piece. This remaining 2' x 8' piece gets split in half, leaving two 2' x 4' pieces, used for the bottom floor and middle floor. You now are left with nothing but random scraps from the two plywood sheets and no floor for the third floor.

smitjd

Sat, 12/05/2015 - 16:33

Your correct, I just completed this build, and the material list shows everything for the house in the photos with the little girl sitting inside.  If you notice the diagrams are different.  Once you make your cuts for the outside walls, you will have 2 pieces that would be used for the inside walls on the first and second floors, as you can see the third floor in the pictures does not have a middle wall, unlike the diagram.

amyg74

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 05:35

Are the window and door frames made out of the 1x2s?  I have completed the steps for cutting the outside, walls, windows and doors, and now I am on framing them.  I want to be sure I am using the rigt size pieces to frame.  Please confirm that the 1x2s are for the window frames.  thank you.