Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cardboard Dollhouse

A lot of serious sewing/drafting going on on this blog lately, so I thought I'd swing way over to the other extreme of my manic creative spectrum for a little break. When I make cardboard things, sometimes I have a plan first and then scout around for cardboard to make it with. Sometimes I see a cardboard box that screams out to me the new toy it is destined to become. This week, I found a cardboard box lying around the house that was the perfect size and shape for a dollhouse.

My usual modus operandi is to stash such boxes in storage closets until I feel up to working on it - usually after 10 pm when the kids are in bed. And in the dead of winter when there is nothing to do and nowhere to go. This time, though, I made the fatal mistake of voicing aloud my plan to turn it into a dollhouse. Fatal because the kids were within earshot.

Immediately I was besieged by pleas and bargains to Make It Now.
"But I have a dress to cut out! In beautiful embroidered linen!" I moaned pitifully to nobody in particular (who would sympathize, I mean).

So we spent the afternoon on the deck making our dollhouse.

Here's the front:

Here's the back:

Here's a view of the attic (side-less, in spite of
protests from the kids, for easy access).

And here's a view of the other side, with a little
elastic band going over a paper fastener
that the kids can undo

to open out the dollhouse to fill with furniture and people.

Emily was very concerned that we remembered the staircase.
Because the last time we made a dollhouse, it had no
staircase and Emily was perturbed that we had to
make the residents fly from one floor to the other.

A happy Playmobil family moved in right away.

And in the last 10 minutes or so before it was completed,
Jenna and Kate got out all their markers, uncapped them,
and stood poised and ready to decorate.
Had to fend them off just to take some photos, before
I handed the dollhouse over to them.

Emily said, "we need to take our trees out
and plant them beside the house."

So we did.

And the wind blew the three blue robin's eggs
out of the nest in one of the trees

which devastated Kate, so she dashed in to rescue them.

I still haven't cut out that linen dress, but we spent all day outside in 75 degree weather today in spite of crafting, so I call that a midsummer success.


  1. my kids love cardboard too!Old boxes are great, and trips to Costco are always fun. The turn those boxes into cars tepee's, the list go's on...

  2. It's beautiful! What a great Mummy you are.

  3. Wonderful - I still haven't made those trees which I planned to since Spring, but now I might get to them after this post.

  4. How cute is that! What a great idea.

  5. So cute! It looks like the houses from "In The Night Garden" kids show!

  6. wow imperessive and beautiful. thanks for sharing!

  7. i love your house !! in fact, i love all your work with your daugthers !! i often feel like i don't spend enough time with my kids, and you encourage me to do more crafty things with them !

  8. Your kids are so lucky! That doll house is beautiful.

  9. Embroidered linen sounds wonderful but an afternoon crafting outside might just be a superior alternative!

  10. So cool. I love cardboard -the most versatile material in the world I think!

  11. Fantastic!!! I also love that you made a staircase -- my girls are always annoyed that their dolls have to "fly" in our house too : )

    Maybe we should add a "cardboard" staircase to ours!

  12. This is so resourceful. I love repurposing and recycling into fun playthings. It's a pleasure meeting you!

  13. What a beautiful house. I once tried to make one but it was not as nice as yoursÑ http://losrojasfischer.blogspot.com/2009/04/casa-de-carton-cardboard-dollhouse.html

  14. saw this and had to make one. Like you I had an impatient recepient but I got most of it done!


  15. Just wanted to let you know that I shared your house on my blog: http://mummycrafts.blogspot.com/2010/09/box-doll-house.html

  16. Wow, what a genius you are! This is such an adorable and creative item for your kids! Thanks for sharing.
    Best regards,

  17. Awesome! I've been searching the web for inspiration in making a cardboard dollhouse for some seven inch felt dolls I've recently made. Thank you for all of the great pictures. Your girls look wholly absorbed in the process :-)


  18. You did a great job on the dollhouse. Your children are blessed to have such a caring mom. God bless.


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