I just recently bought a home where my 4 year old daughter's room has two closets. I would like to use one closet to convert it into a 2 to 3 story doll house. Anybody could give me some ideas or pointers on how I could get this started. I have not one ounce of creativity in my pinky so I need some help.
Esther from Raleigh, NC
A wonderful idea! If it has 2 shelves with hanging rods take the rods out leaving the shelves in place. Use various sizes of sturdy cardboard boxes to make the rooms. place some on the shelf and some "downstairs" on the floor. They will be open on the "play with" side. When she outgrows this phase of her childhood simply remove the boxes, replace the rods and voila! instant closet again.
The rooms can be painted with wall paint or papered with scrap wall paper. On the back wall paint a window or 2 and hang curtains with fabric scrap or hankies.
All this from the mom of 4 boys. I have a 5 yr old granddaughter.
How Fun! if you're handy, you can build 2-3 "floors" about 2' apart (simple shelves) or go to Target ot the box stores to get a simple organizer unit. Help your babe make ladders fom twigs or inexpensive lath to go from floor to floor.Start saving cast-offs - spools, jar caps, etc, so she can fabricate tables, etc. Furniture scale depends on the size of the occupants of the house. Beds can be match boxes from kitchen matches - stacked and covered, they become a dresser w/ drawers that really open. pistachio shells become the rock face of a fireplace, the plastic jelly container from your favorite breakfast place becomes a sink...... wish my girls were still young, I want to play, too
You could do a "Mock Up" out of cardboard first. Just go to a store that breaks down boxes (or for bigger pieces go to an appliance store) & ask them for some of their cardboard. Then use the cardboard & some tape & a box knife to construct your doll house. If you like it & want to make a stronger one out of masonite. Then you can take the cardboard one apart & use the cardboard pieces for patterns to cut the masonite from!
* Another idea: Many dollar store sell "stick-on floor tiles" (like Dollar Tree) These 12"x12" tiles may be helpfull in building your doll house.
This is a great idea. I have a closet that I've been thinking of doing something a bit like this in, only keeping it useful for the things that are in there, so that everything won't have to be moved (there's a large dresser wedged in against one wall).
If she's going to be playing with Barbie-size dolls in it, place the shelves about 14 inches apart (2 feet seems a bit much). Many floorcovering and wallcovering stores sell remnants for extremely cheap, so you could go there and pick up a dollhouse full of wallpaper, wallboard, wooden floor pieces, and carpet for a very small amount. Just measure the length and width of the shelves before you go, so you'll know how much to get. The poster above, m.mckimmons, had some wonderful ideas on homemade furniture. There are also tons of printable miniature sites online. Just search 'printables dollhouse minis' or 'dollhouse printies'. They're a blast to assemble, easy, and they're quite durable, as long as your daughter plays gently with small objects.
Ready-made dollhouse furniture and miniatures, especially foods, are usually priced insanely high because of the amount of work that they require. You can find lots of inexpensive things in the craft section of stores to turn into dollhouse miniatures. Buy a large dowel and cut varying widths off of the end; decorate the little rounds to make everything from pizzas to cakes to little powder boxes for the doll vanity or dresser. Cheap pieces of clear or coloured tubing can be cut and sealed off at one end to make glasses, or with larger ones, vases for tiny wildflowers. Mustardseeds from the gardening area can be dyed with plain red food dye to make strawberries or cherries, depending on what tiny bit of greenery you glue to the end, or dye them light green or purple for grapes.
I know this is an old post, and you've probably already made the closet dollhouse by now, but I hope I gave you some ideas for tiny additions, anyway. :)
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