Dream Dollhouse

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 10/30/2011 - 21:36
Difficulty
Intermediate
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Build a three story dream dollhouse perfect for 12" dolls with these free easy step by step do it yourself dollhouse plans! Inspired by the KidKraft So Chic dollhouse, this do it yourself version is made of soy based plywood and finished with non toxic linseed oil.

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Okay, you know that feeling, right before you go to bed on Christmas Eve, all the gifts wrapped, everything is perfect, and you are exhausted ... but you still can't sleep. Because you are just so excited to wake up and see the happy faces of your family enjoying Christmas morning. 

Been there?
I sort of feel that way right now. I am so excited to share this plan with you! 
So we've over the years built more furniture than I can count.  You would think I'd be over the "I can't believe I made that!" stage.  You would think.
Well, I'm apparently not.  I find myself wanting to just stare at it, smiling as I walk by it.  This building thing ... it is amazing.  
One sheet of PureBond plywood in Birch (yes, this dollhouse is made of formaldehyde free soy adhesive plywood!), seven pine 2x2s and some boiled linseed oil (can you believe this dollhouse is finished with oil extracted from flax seeds?), some scrapbooking paper and a quart of pink paint for accessories, and we've got an eco-friendly dollhouse that will outlast childhood.  This dollhouse is STRONG.  Like three kids can climb on it strong.  
And did I mention she rolls?
For the wallpaper, I simply decoupaged scrappbooking paper to each "room."  Quick and easy.  For the roof, I took scrap pieces of 1/4" plywood cut into 5" strips and cut scallops out with a jigsaw (just use a small round object to create your pattern with) and nailed the strips down.
For the stairs, I simply cut 19 1x2s to the width of the stairs, and glued and nailed them on top of each other.  Couldn't think of an easier way to do that!
And the furniture ...
The furniture shown in these photos was actually borrowed from my niece's dollhouse.  Just haven't quite had the chance to make furniture yet.
Will you help me?
I will of course be adding plans for doll furniture.  But because a dollhouse of this size could use 100 or more pieces of furniture before it starts to feel like a dollhome, I'm asking you to help me in creating miniature furniture plans.  If we all work together, we can make very special Christmas mornings everywhere!
Just make sure you select "Dream Dollhouse" on the Collection dropdown so your plan will show up on the Dollhouse page.  I can't wait to see (and build) your plans!
But first, we gotta build this dollhouse!
Dimensions
Warning - this dollhouse is HUGE! Measure your doorways to make sure it will roll through doorways.

Preparation

Shopping List

1 - sheet 3/4" PureBond Plywood
7 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
1/4" plywood scraps for roof
2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long for stairs
4 - 2" caster wheels and screws for 3/4" stock
use either 3" screws or 2 1/2" pocket hole screws, depending on your joinery technique

Common Materials
3 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint
paint brush
Cut List

7 - 2x2 @ 32"
6 - 2x2 @ 24"
4 - 2x2 @ (Both ends cut at 30 degrees off square, ends are NOT parallel, long point measurement)
4 - 2x2 @ 37 5/8" (One end cut at 30 degrees off square, long point measurement)
Plywood cut to diagram

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Hammer
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Jigsaw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
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

Have your home improvement center rip your plywood into a strip 24" wide and a strip 13 1/2" wide as shown in diagram. Then all you have to do is make the crosscuts.

NOTE: I really considered using 1/4" plywood for the floors, but wanted to create a dollhouse that would last and last - and could even be used as a bookshelf later on. The 1/4" plywood is just too flimsy for that. Then I considered 1/2", but the price difference between 1/2" and 3/4" is only a few bucks, and 3/4" is just so much easier to work with because you have a wider area to work with. Of course you can modify this plan - if you made this dollhouse with 1/4" plywood, it would be CHEAP to make ... like $30 cheap.

Step 2

Build the ends as shown above. You can use a countersink bit and 3" screws or the Kreg Jig and 1 1/2" pocket holes and 2 1/2 pocket hole screws. For the angled joints, just clamp, glue and predrill holes with a countersink bit. I only used one screw (and alot of glue) for each joint to avoid splitting the wood.

Build two, make sure they match up.

Step 3

Now just join the two sides with the longer 2x2s.  This is easy stuff.  Just make sure that the top 2x2 is exactly 13 1/2" above the top story 2x2 - this does matter.

Step 4

I used pocket holes set for 3/4" stock and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws drilled on all sides of the plywood to secure to the frame. If you do not have a pocket hole jig, you can cut corner braces out of scrap 1x2s and fasten, or countersink (very carefully) long screws into the edges of the plywood.

Step 5

Step 6

Cut stair openings out as shown in diagram and place 2nd story shelf as you did bottom story shelf.

Step 7

Add the bottom story walls. I used pocket holes, but you can also use nails here. TIP: Offset the walls between stories a tad so you have a spot to nail if you are using nails.

Step 8

Add the top story as you did the lower two stories.

Step 9

Followed by the middle story interior wall.

Step 10

Finally, add the top story interior walls system.

Step 11

Stairs are built by stacking 1x2 boards staggered as shown above. Be very careful when nailing and use lots of glue.

Step 12

I then simply decoupaged the interior walls with contrasting scrapbooking paper. The roof is simply strips of 1/4" plywood - you could use 1/4" hobby stock as well - cut with a scalloped shape, lapped and nailed down.

Step 13

Attach 2" caster wheels to the 3/4" plywood base so wheels can swivel easily.

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.
Help Improve This Plan

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Comments

NaviniFiji (not verified)

Sun, 10/30/2011 - 21:48

JUST a few hours ago I was scouring the web and your blog for an easy DIY dollhouse for my daughter. No offense to most of the others out there, but they're all so gawdy and over the top. I wanted something a little more classic looking and this is perfect. I'm planning on making this for my daughter for Christmas and I'll be able to completely customize every last decoration thanks to you. You're the best!!!

Pam the Goatherd

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 07:37

Decoupage is when the paper is glued to the surface of the wood and then completely coated with a top coat of a clear glue which dries to a protective coating. Mod Podge is the popular decoupage product these days. When I was younger we just used a watered down form of Elmer's White Glue because it dries clear.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Mon, 10/31/2011 - 07:45

Decoupaged = Glued on with diluted white (Elmers) craft glue and water. Sealed on with another coat.

It might be easiest to mark the floor levels and wallpaper the walls before assembly.

navinifiji (not verified)

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 16:48

I'm decorating the walls now. I have to say I think it's easier once the walls are nailed together, but before you assemble the floors. After I decorated one side of the walls, I realized that I would eventually have to nail through the paper and leave a mark! So I would suggest building the walls, and then decorating, and then assembling the floors. Good luck!

leigh7911

Sun, 10/30/2011 - 22:00

Ana, you amaze me. I was going to do a dollhouse for my small human's third birthday, but ran out of time and just sewed a quick (robot!) cape instead. Was giving some serious thought to just buying her one for Christmas 'cause I couldn't find or make any plans I actually liked, but here you are...

Also, the stairs are *ingenious*, but thinking of cutting and nailing and gluing so many tiny pieces is kinda doing my head in a little. :)