Building a Dollhouse

If you want a wooden dollhouse you could spend a small fortune. The following steps will show you how to build and an English dollhouse.

Materials and Tools:

  • 4-foot by 8-foot by 1/4-inch thick plywood
  • 2-foot by 4-foot by 1/4-inch thick plywood
  • 1/2-inch cove molding
  • 1-inch by 1-inch by 30-inches long
  • Wood stain
  • Paint
  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Sandpaper
  • Yard stick
  • Carpenter's square
  • Xacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Super glue
  • Hammer
  • Duct tape
  • Wood glue
  • 3/4-inch nails
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Miniature stairs
  • Plastic sheet
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Ivory contact paper
  • Weights
  • Drill

Creating and Cutting the Basic Form

The basic frame is an essential part of the dollhouse. When you make your master plans always make two just in case one gets lost or you have a professional cut them out.

On the pieces of plywood measure the following dimensions; labeling them, then cut them out (sand and stain the floor pieces):

  • 16-inch by 28-inch (Gable End #1)
  • 16-inch by 28-inch (Gable End #2)
  • 18 1/4-inch by 30 1/2-inch (Back)
  • 18 1/4-inch by 19 1/2-inch (Front 1)
  • 18 1/4-inch by 11-inch (Front 2)
  • 12 1/2-inch by 31-inch (Roof #1)
  • 12 1/2-inch by 31-inch (Roof #2)
  • 16-inch by 30-inch (Bottom Floor)
  • 16-inch by 30-inch (Top Floor)
  • 15 7/8-inch by 30-inch (Middle Floor)
  • 2 15 1/2-inch by 8 1/2-inch (Bedroom Walls)
  • 6-inch by 8 1/2-inch (Bathroom Wall)
  • 12-inch by 8 3/4-inch (1st Floor Wall #1)
  • 12-inch by 8 3/4-inch (1st Floor Wall #2)
  • 3 3/4-inch by 7 1/2-inch (Front Door)
  • 5 1/2-inch by 18-inch (Third Floor Wall)
  • 5 1/2-inch by 11 3/4-inch (Third Floor Wall)
  • 11 3/4-inch by 5 1/2-inch (Attic Back Wall #1)
  • 18-inch by 5 1/2-inch (Attic Back Wall #2)

Detail Cutting

To attain the gable look to the roof draw an 8-inch lines from one side then measure 18-inches up from the bottom drawing a line across. Connect the lines to a point and cut. Hold on to the scraps.

To create an opening for the stairs measure 12-inches in from the left side of the middle floor and the width of the stairs down. Remove that piece.

Create a 3 1/16-inch by 4 1/16-inch window template. For the back windows measure three inches in from each side and twelve inches up from the; draw a line across. Create two windows on the horizontal line touching the vertical lines. Put both front pieces together then measure five inches in from the outer edge and three inches up from the bottom. find the center and put a mark (the door goes here). Create two windows on the first floor line and three on the second. Cut the windows out with a jigsaw.

Assembling the Dollhouse

Cut the cove molding to 15 1/2-inches long and glue it to the 1st and 2nd floor lines 1/2-inch away from the right edge. Place weights on them to keep them together until dry. 

Apply glue to the inside edges of the floors and affix in place. Glue the bottom and top floors to the gable ends. Glue the back panel to the house and add a few nails.

Use the 30-inch long piece of wood as a roof beam. Line the corners up to a peak and drill a hole through the gable ends; thread the beam and glue in place. 

Place your middle floor in the house. Apply glue to the inside walls and carefully put them in the house.

Finishing touches

Use the window template make window panes by tracing out thirteen individual windows from the plastic sheet. Cut the mullions in 1/16-inch strips and place them on the plastic windows with two strips each going vertically and horizontally then glue them to the inside of the house.

Cut popsicle sticks to 52 pieces 3 1/8-inch pieces for the top and bottom of the windows and 52 pieces 4 3/4-inch for the sides. Paint, then glue around each window on the inside and outside of the house.