DIY Simple Cardboard Doll House

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I've been dreaming of owning one of these Magnolia dollhouses since I saw them last year. I love the simplicity, the clean lines, and the fact that it looks like when my kid decides to sit on it (because he will) it won't break. But, while reasonably priced for a dollhouse, I can't bring myself to buy one for our family. Without knowing if he would be interested in playing with a house without an attached garage, and, let's be honest, knowing that it would be more for myself, I just couldn't click the "add to cart" button. But make one? That I can do.

duct tape
box cutter
hot glue gun (optional)

1. Cut off one side of the box and tape it to the bottom to give your house a sturdy base. I taped the bottom flaps of the remaining sides to the underside of the base.

2. Cut the two side flaps at an angle to support the roof. I marked off one using a straight edge, then cut it. I used the first cut off triangle as a template for the remaining 3 edges.

3. Create your roof. I used two pizza boxes taped together, leaving a quarter of an inch between the two edges to make folding easier, and also to act as a hinge so the roof could be folded.

4. Tape the roof to the angles you cut, tape it over the remaining long flap. Secure the roof by taping it to the flap underneath it.

5. Plan out where you want your windows and doors to be. Use a pattern to draw them on, then a box cutter to cut out where the glass panes would be. I modeled the shape of my windows off of the Magnolia house, with a larger lower pane then details on the top half. If you are going to cut the windows in your door, be sure to cut out the window before making the cuts for the door (three cuts, leaving one long side attached to the house).

6. It's time to paint! I painted the walls and ceiling with a flat white coat. You can add interest easily to the roof just by playing with the texture, which works best with a high gloss paint. I knew I wanted my roof to look metal, but I played around with making shingles by repeating a half circle pattern, starting from the bottom. Once the white paint was dry, I painted the door, windows, and trim black to make them stand out. The floor was created with a very light brown and white, which I would dip my brush into without mixing the two colors together, giving the floor a wood grain effect. The last step was to paint the "lawn" green.

7. To give the windows more definition and to add a touch more detail to the house I made window and doorframes which I painted the same color and then hot glued on. Totally not necessary, but I do think that extra step adds some charm.

And there you have it, my mother's day present to myself, a simple farmhouse.

Or, if you're my son, a super cool garage.

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