How to Make a DIY Doll House out of Recycled Materials

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For generations, Doll Houses have been in most little girls’ wish lists. Nowadays, you get really gorgeous ones in stores, but they are worth a pretty penny. However, you need not dish out all that money when you can make one of your own for practically nothing!! The doll house we’re featuring today was made with materials lying around the house; the only thing I bought exclusively for this DIY was another glue stick!

 Materials Needed:

Sturdy Cardboard Boxes like the ones you get when you shop online

Thinner Cardboard like empty cereal boxes

Fabric Scraps

Toilet Paper Rolls

Leftover scraps of colored paper, gift wrap etc

Old Magazines

Assorted junk like soap & toothpaste boxes, bottle caps etc.

Usual craft supplies like scissors, glue, thread & needle, pipe cleaners, play doh, sticky/double sided tape and lots of glue!

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Doors, Windows, Floors and Roof

1. Decide on how many floors you want and choose boxes accordingly. Mark doors and windows and cut them out with a paper cutter.

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2. For the top floor, open up the box and lean the two long sides towards each other and cut out the two short sides so they line up like this:

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3. Level the floors by placing a piece of cardboard in between the flaps and sticking cello tape over it.

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4. Cover the outside of both the boxes with colored paper, and cut out the paper that covers the windows and doors.

5. Cut little rectangles out of colored paper. Stick them on the roof closely to resemble roof tiles. Repeat on both sides.

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6. Paint on the sides of the boxes left uncovered by the colored paper. You can use acrylic paints and can also decorate with stickers. We used blue for the top floor and green for the ground floor.

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Wallpaper, Carpets, Curtains and Interiors

1. You can wallpaper the inside of the house with old gift wrap or colored paper, or even customized wallpapers downloaded from the internet. First cut the wallpaper to size and roll it. Spread glue all over the inside, and start sticking from one end, unrolling the wallpaper as you go. Once ready, cut out the paper covering the doors and windows.

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2. Use fabric scraps to make curtains. Run a simple running stitch through the top of the fabric and pull it a little tight to make pleats before knotting the thread. Stick it on top of the windows with glue. Repeat for both floors.

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3. Cut out carpets for both floors from felt or thick fabric. You can also download marble or tile prints and stick them on the floors. If you have real carpet samples, great!

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4. Now it’s time to decorate! Sift through old magazines like Good Homes or Good Housekeeping and cut out pictures of furniture, plants, paintings, appliances etc. to stick on the walls of your doll house.

Here’s an example: For the kitchen, we used pictures of pans, a fridge and a framed wall hanging.

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5. For the TV, cut out a picture of a Flat Screen TV and glue it onto thick cardboard of the same size. Then use double sided tape to stick it on the wall to give it a �?3D’ effect.

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The same technique can be used to make a mirror for the bedroom. Find a picture which has a frame-like border, stick it on cardboard and then stick aluminum foil cut to fit within the frame.

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Your house is now ready!! Let’s build some furniture to fill up the rooms!

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Bedroom

1. Cut the sides of a soap box to look like this:

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Stick another small box under it to give it some height. Then cut out the frill of some paper cupcake liners and stuck them to look like the skirt of the bed.

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For bedding, use fabric scraps. For the pillow, cut out two fabric rectangles and sew them together on three sides. Through the open end, stuff in some cotton and then sew it close.

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2. For the lamp, stick a straw into a bottle lid with play doh and cut to desired height. Use the frill of a paper cupcake liner to cover the bottle cap and another one as the lampshade.

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3. To make the dresser, stick a cupcake liner frill around an upturned empty playdoh tub. Cut a small circle of felt to top it.

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There, your pretty little bedroom is complete!

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Kitchen

1. For the stove, take an old box and cover it in aluminum foil to resemble stainless steel. Stick the picture of an oven door on the front and stick some buttons or raised stickers for burners.

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2. Use another aluminum covered box for the sink, along with a bottle cap, toilet paper roll, colored pins and a bent straw. We used one of those bent stick thingies placed inside shoes to keep their shape.

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Cut holes in the box to fit in the bottle cap and the straw on top, and the toilet roll at the bottom. Wrap the toilet paper roll in foil to look like steel. Red and blue pins become hot and cold water taps.

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The kitchen is done! We also added a vintage looking pot and ladles that broke off from an old fridge magnet.

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 Living Room

1. For the armchairs, you’ll need a new kitchen sponge – used ones are gross! This is the only part of the doll house that uses something that isn’t a craft item or recycled. Cut a large size sponge into two and wrap them individually in fabric. Cut out a piece of cardboard to wrap around each sponge, and cut out a shape to resemble the back of the armchair. Stick fabric on the cardboard cutouts and then stick them on the wrapped sponges with fabric glue.

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Then get a piece of leftover fabric border and stick it along the edges of the armchair.

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2. The coffee table is really easy. Cut out a short length of toilet paper roll and paint it to make the stand. Then place the lid of a play doh tub or a piece of cardboard on the stand. Top it off with a piece of felt in a matching color.

3. The living room can be decorated with a few extras, like cushions for the armchairs, made in the same way as the pillows. You can also make flower vases using large beads or bottle caps stuffed with Styrofoam/thermocol. Make flowers and stems out of pipe cleaners and press into the Styrofoam. Here, we’ve also made a bouquet for the bedroom, using the lid of a glue tube and pieces of pink pipe cleaner.

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     Your living room is complete; doesn’t it look comfy?

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And for the final reveal – an eco friendly house, made of recycled materials and completely furnished!!

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Here’s a more detailed view of the individual rooms:

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This is a fun house with lots of playability, but what’s truly great is that it can be customized to your liking – make it rainbow themed, or very vintage. Kids will have lots of ideas and they’ll love to see junk being made use of. Now you’re all set for a weekend of crafting!!