Building a barbie doll house

Written by michelle powell-smith
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Barbie has been a favourite of little girls for generations. The perfect addition to your daughter's Barbie collection is a Barbie doll house. Unfortunately, manufactured Barbie houses are often poorly constructed and quite costly. Making your own Barbie doll house is a great alternative and does not require any special skills. You can even customise your Barbie doll house to create all sorts of spaces, including an office, a boutique or a bakery.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bookcase, with a shelf height of at least 12 1/2 inches
  • Paint
  • Scrapbook papers
  • Heavy cardboard
  • Glue gun
  • Spray adhesive
  • Barbie scale doll house furniture

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  1. 1

    Start with a bookshelf unit. You may already own one that will work well, but if you do not, discount stores offer affordable bookcases with adjustable shelves. Barbie is 11 1/2 inches tall, so the floors of the doll house should be at least 12 1/2 inches apart. Consider using upper shelves as display space if you have a large bookcase.

  2. 2

    Prepare your bookshelf to make a Barbie doll house. You may want to divide the shelves into individual rooms. Use a glue gun to secure upright cardboard dividers in place if you would like. If you are recycling an old bookshelf, you may also want to paint the outside and edges of the bookcase. If you will be painting the inside of the dollhouse, sand and wipe down the inner surfaces.

  3. 3

    Paint and wallpaper the interior of your Barbie doll house. You can use scrapbook paper secured with spray adhesive as flooring and wallpaper in your new doll house. Consider painting on or gluing down rugs and other accessories. Add windows made of scrapbook paper as well. Get creative with possibilities for decoration in your Barbie doll house. You can even layer cardstock to create kitchen cabinets for Barbie.

  4. 4

    Add furniture to your Barbie doll house. You can purchase Barbie furniture or make your own. Plastic canvas and yarn, cardboard and other materials will work well to make various furnishings for your Barbie house. Keep in mind that Barbie is heavier than she might look, so furniture should be broad and stable. You can also check craft fairs and eBay for handmade Barbie furniture.

  5. 5

    Move into your Barbie doll house. A bookcase style Barbie doll house is durable and offers room for many dolls or children to play at one time. Use a feather duster to clean as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider providing a few storage bins that can sit atop or under the bookshelf to hold Barbies and accessories.
  • When your daughter is too old for Barbie, simply refinish the bookcase with stain or paint and allow it to hold art supplies or college texts.
  • Thoroughly secure all paper and embellishments, especially if you are giving this doll house to a young child.

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