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Making Doll Furniture

Category Dollmaking
Whether you purchase kits to make realistic dollhouse furniture or help kids make it out of recycled materials, making doll furniture can be fun. This is a guide about making doll furniture.
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By 1 found this helpful
November 19, 2008

Some time ago there was a lady that wanted ideas for doll furniture. I find that most website ideas are for actual miniatures, not play-scale which means 11 1/2 inch fashion doll size.

Using office supplies, you can make some very fancy fashion doll furniture. Square pencil cases become end tables, especially the frosted glass kind. Letter holders or large pencil holders with multiple cubicles can be used for headboards to a Barbie bed. This works especially if they have a curved edge. Buy them when the stores are trying to change their inventory. Or if you frequent Wal-mart, you need to try every six months. Most of these stores will try to clear their inventories then.

Use glass candle holders for table pedestals with the mirrors or matching glass candle plates glued with epoxy resin or clear silicon glue. These don't break as easily I thought, but you might not want your little one playing with them. They can get heavy, but they are really good looking.

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Maybe you can use acrylic holders; I have seen them believe it or not.

Place mats make very sensible floor coverings.

Eye glass and contact lens cases make very durable suit cases. They snap shut, so you don't have to worry about attaching snaps unless you just want to make it look authentic. Just add a simple handle and go! Paint them with Krylon Spray paint if you don't like the color. I look for solid color cases so there isn't any bleeding of lighter colors up through the spray paint. Usually, I find a solid color that I like and don't change anything but add a handle.

These items can be used for things other than doll furniture and that is why I like these ideas.

Source: Doll Divas is a website that has some of the same bed and end table ideas that I have, but the suitcase made from eye glass and contact lens cases I found at the local Wal-mart optical store.

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November 30, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about dollhouse furniture with everyday objects. There are a wide variety of small things that can be repurposed for thrifty doll furniture.

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November 30, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a Barbie bath tub. Reuse a tissue box to create a fun, thrifty bath for a Barbie doll to lounge in.

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November 29, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a recycled Barbie bed. Doll furniture can be pricey. You can make your own using recycled and repurposed items found around your home.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 11, 2009

I am looking for ideas for making doll's furniture out of items in the home.

By helen

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Answers

October 14, 20090 found this helpful

As a crafter, I can say that I am good at telling others how to make the accessories, but the furniture might be found at places like Michaels, or visit this which I found by googling "doll house furniture to make".
http://www.goog  re&aqi=g-s10

You can get lace and make curtains, get wallpaper samples for wallpaper, pieces of flooring tile for the floors, make crocheted oval or oblong rugs, mini pillows, bedspreads and afghans for the bedrooms and living room. I cut the smaller versions of scenic calendars that are on the back, and they can be artwork. Old watches can be clocks when you take off the bands, and on and on.

If you love making dollhouse things, check out the many cool books at the library. Hope this helped!

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Check out youtube there are a lot of (how to make minatures, really cute lamps made from beads, plates, and food).

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

One gal made miniature candy bars, she shows how to pull an image from the web and size it also youtube. This might help to make wall paper to size. Curtain rods made from tooth picks and beads on the end. Cups made from glue bottle tops

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By 0 found this helpful
August 22, 2010

What recycled items can I use to make a 1:12 scale floor lamp?

By gina from MO

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Answers

August 28, 20100 found this helpful

I'm not sure if this helps, but I remember using toothpaste tops for either small lamp shades or for planters.
Any lid like mouthwash etc have cool tops that could be used if larger is needed.
Then use part of a pencil or dowel for the post of the lamp and medicine bottle top [upside down] for the base.

Good luck!

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June 4, 20120 found this helpful

Go to youtube.com and type in "how to make barbie furniture" and there's a woman who has a lot of videos, her username is "myfroggythings". She is a genius and very simple and inexpensive. Your little ones will love it! : )

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Photos

Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

By 4 found this helpful
January 20, 2013

Photo Description

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Doll furniture made from scrap wood and blanket made from 2nd hand material.

Photo Location
At home. The kids love these.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 22, 20100 found this helpful

Hello, again TF members. I am making a dollhouse for my granddaughter. I am making the furniture out of wood and cardboard boxes, but I am stuck on the sofa and bathroom. The doll is about 5 inches. Would anyone have any instructions or pictures that they could help me with this project? Once again many thanks.

By helen from U.K

Answers:

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

I was just reading a blog where the lady (her name is Disney) made dollhouse furniture using cardboard boxes. Her blog site is: Ruffles and Stuff. She's very good at what she does. She even made "people" to go with it. Hope this helps you. (11/16/2009)

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By carolcoen

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

We have just finished making our little girl a dollhouse for Christmas. It needed to be durable because she is pretty boisterous. I made the sofa and armchairs by cutting blocks of foam (available from craft/sewing shops) and then covering them in felt (no hemming required!) in pretty colours, and then hand stitching the blocks to one another to make the sofa shape. Felt is very finger friendly and sponge cleans a treat. The lightness of the foam means even if it gets chucked around, nothing (or no-one) gets broken. For the bed, I pinched some long, flat wooden blocks from her blocks set, and masking-taped them together before covering them in felt and stitching as before. I made a headboard from half a large yogurt tub lid also felt covered. Cut up yogurt lids and milk cartons are stronger than card.

We have saved mini frames from Christmas crackers and mini flowers off cards to pop in thimbles for decoration. The curtains are made from strips of wide ribbon. We painted the walls with tester pots, and wallpapered some rooms and floors with wallpaper samples free from B and Q, they have some ditsy prints in the kids rooms section. It has been lots of fun, and time spent together. I look forward to involving my little one in making the tables and chairs for the dining room, quality time! I must admit though, I bought a kitchen set. (12/23/2009)

By Lou

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November 5, 20090 found this helpful

Can anyone give me any creative, frugal tips for making my own doll furniture, etc.? I am decorating a miniature house and also a Barbie sized house for my daughter. I was hoping to make durable furnishings for the Barbie house for her to play with while she is little and can make the more fragile items for the miniature house to keep for when she is older. The websites I have found cater to serious collectors or they are selling kits. I am not a wood worker, but would welcome any simple hints people may have.

Thanks for such a great website, I visit daily!

God Bless!

Lee-Ann from Canada

Answers:

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

Check the pattern books at your sewing store, they often have a section devoted to dolls and accessories patterns. Also, check out the American Girl book on making miniatures. It has some cute ideas for using household objects and turning them into minis.

I made dollhouse furniture for my daughter using the inexpensive (pressed cardboard) cigar boxes. The wooden ones are hard to get for free since a lot of crafters are willing to pay for them, but many of my local stores are more than happy to get rid of the pressed cardboard boxes. I made beds, dressers, armoires, tables, chairs, sofas and even a vanity using an old compact mirror.

For instance, for the bed, I used a whole box as the bed frame and made a mattress with fabric and stuffing scraps that fit inside. I made pillows and bed linens from an old flower print dress of my daughter's, and glued round wooden beads on the bottom for legs. The pieces took some experimenting to get them just right, but boy, did they come out looking great! Better than any I'd seen in stores, and I'm no crafts person.

Good luck! (08/24/2004)

By karen

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

Buy a bag of the old fashion wooden clothes pins at the Dollar store. Cut to the right length, they can be used for table legs, lamp bases or bed posts. To make a bed, cut small slits in the 4 corners of a checkbook box or child shoe box lid and stick the clothes pins in the slits so the round part provides the top posts and the split section of the clothes pins provide the legs so the box is raised up off the floor. Now just make a small cushion to fit in the box. (08/26/2004)

By Linda

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

Years ago I built a fairly small doll house for my daughter, along with most of the furnishings. I bought a few wooden dowels of various sizes and found some thin wood from fruit crates (or something; a wooden cigar box would have worked fine). Then with an electric drill secured on its side to a table via a 'C' clamp, I chucked up table legs, chair legs, bed posts, etc. cut from the dowels. Using an X-acto knife to cut and shape the pieces the drill made a serviceable lathe. This made for a nice kitchen table and chairs. The horizontal braces for the chairs were cut from the center of round toothpicks. The frames for a couch and chair were made with pieces of the larger dowels which were then covered with some nice scrap velvet I'd scrounged. There was also enough of the velvet to use for carpet, and some thin cloth with tiny flower prints to use for wall paper. I think I used artists' spray mount for that, but 3-M makes a great spray adhesive available in auto parts places which I'd try now.

If you have access to a Dremel it will really come in handy for a lot of this stuff. I did this in the mid-70s and I've wanted one ever since but at the time just had to make do with the drill.

If you can get stuff free (or very cheap) such as popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, cool cloths, or thin leather scraps, etc. get it and let your imagination run wild. Don't throw that old leather purse away...you may be able to cut it up and use it for upholstery.

After careful shopping I found good deals on pre-made windows, a staircase, and a bathroom fixture kit (tub, sink, toilet, etc.). Mostly though it's great fun to take nothing and make something out of it; I believe I enjoyed making this stuff more than my daughter enjoyed playing with it. (08/27/2004)

By Warren D. Lockaby

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

I found a great pattern from the fabric store for sofas and beds and such for Barbies. You use boxes as the base, and cover them with fabric. It is fun, and something that can be "redecorated" with new fabrics for a "trading spaces" project. Scrap denim works great for sofas as well, and it is durable. A CD with some doweling for legs can make a nice table - just need a scrap of fabric to cover it. (08/27/2004)

By Regina Arlauckas

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

I love seeing all of these "creative" uses for ordinary things! When I was growing up in the 70s, my sister and I used to use Pepsi cardboard boxes set next to each other or piled on top of each other for the Barbie house. (You could use any box you have as long as it's tall enough for Barbie.) Our grandmother used to save tops from bottles, shaving cream cans, or whatever would spark our imaginations to make furniture! I'm doing the same for my girls. I think it's more fun and creative than going to Toys R Us and buying a house and furniture. One idea I have for you all is the plastic tops that are removed from the Glade scent jars before you put them into the plug ins. The little plastic lids look like lamps. My girls have them in EVERY room of their house! (12/28/2006)

By Sandra

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

There is a book called Tiny Treasures by Pleasant Company Publications, which shows one how to make detailed miniatures from everyday items. It is out of print now, but well worth an Ebay search. One can use the projects for 1'' or Barbie scale. (09/14/2007)

By VictoriaStarlight

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

When I was a little girl my grandfather made me some barbie furniture, and it was really neat! He used a couple pieces of wood (1"x4") about 7 or 8 inches long and nailed in an "L" shape, then took a little bit of stuffing that you would make pillows with and some really pretty fabric (any color, any print, and you could even do as you would decorate your own house), and he stapled the fabric to the wood and cotton stuffing. Then he took 4 penny nails (the ones with the little round heads on them) and nailed them in the bottom of the furniture to make the " legs". He made me a couch and a chair. I'm planning on building my 5 year old a house for her barbies and I'm going to make all of her furniture, right down to the kitchen sink! I hope it turns out the way I plan. Wish me luck! I would love to take pictures and post on here when I'm done, too. (09/04/2008)

By Rushell

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

Hello, I make miniature room boxes and dollhouses from scratch. I live in Kelowna, B.C.. I started out about 5 yrs ago and I literally haunted dollar stores. There you can find miniature ceramic dolls in the toy section, as well as many other things. To make wood looking floors, try buying wooden tongue depressors from the dollar store and cut off the rounded ends and measure them and cut them. Use a hot glue gun and place them end to end and you will have a real wood floor! Visit thrift shops for all your fabric needs, be it bolts of cloth or clothes you can cut up for your curtains. Leather purses cut up are good for hope chests etc. Happy miniaturizing! (01/06/2009)

By sue weldon

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

About 60 years ago my uncle made a wood doll house for me, it wasn't one of these fancy delicate looking ones that you see now. It was made out of wood about 1/2" thick from what I can remember. For the shingles he used slats from old wooden venetian blinds. He used one slab of wood for the base (a little yard around the house and also for the floor). The stairs to the second floor weren't attached.

In the yard he used miniature evergreen trees (I think they are called bottle brush trees and are usually in the stores around Christmas time). My aunt made the furniture. For the table she used a round salt box and cut it off to the proper height, then cut four legs evenly spaced around it and left a little margin around the top for balance. She then painted that brown. I can't remember what she used for the chairs.

For a couch she used the bottom of a Velveeta cheese box and covered it with some burgundy, tan and black striped fabric. I imagine for beds things like cheese boxes could be used too, and attach appropriate fabric for bedspreads. Other shaped boxed could be used for dressers, etc. and painted. A piece of cardboard covered with tin foil could be glued to walls for mirrors. The doll house lasted through me, two younger sisters, and my two daughters. (10/11/2009)

By Joan

Dollhouse Furniture and Decoration

When I was a kid, a friend of mine had some barbie furniture made of cigarette packages glued together and covered with scrap fabric, we used to play barbies for hours. I've since made furniture for my niece and daughter. I have found that it helps to stuff the packages with scrap paper or whatever. I've used scrap wood and nailed or glued it together and covered it with scraps of material as well. The things you can use are only limited by your imagination. I do have another new little daughter and I'm planning on making her some, too. When I do, I'll upload a photo. (10/28/2009)

By RJ

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