How to make wooden dollhouse furniture

Written by annie mueller | 13/05/2017
How to make wooden dollhouse furniture
(normanack on Flickr.)

Whether you have purchased a pre-made doll house or designed and built one yourself, the next step is filling it with the perfect furniture for the dolls. Doll house furniture can be simple and enjoyable to make, and when you make your own you can finish it just as you would like to match the doll house interior. Use doll house furniture designs or design your own furniture. Here is how you can get started.

Find designs for doll house furniture. See Resources below for a link, or find woodworking books that contain designs for doll house furniture. The most important point is to choose doll house furniture to the right scale for the doll house and dolls with which it will be used. Look for dimensions and scale information (1/12 scale, for example) on the designs and compare that to the size of the doll house and the dolls. A 3-inch high chair won't work very well for a 12-inch high doll, but it would be perfect for a smaller doll.

Make your own designs. If you can't find what you're looking for, you can create your own plans. Just keep it simple. Tables and chairs are simple objects that involve support pieces (legs) and top pieces (seats or table surfaces). Other items, such as book cases and beds, can be created from real furniture designs and simply brought down to the doll house size.

Choose the wood you will use. Balsa wood is light and easy to use, but can splinter when cut. Thin plywood is easy to work with but may not look as appealing in the finished product; you'll want to paint it. Better quality lumber, such as cherry, mahogany, oak, or even pine, can be perfect. Purchase thin cuts of lumber to make it easier to work with. You can still paint or stain it, if you'd like, or you can simply sand and oil it for a natural look.

Create the furniture by first cutting all the pieces out of the wood you are using, then glue, staple or nail the pieces together. The method of attaching the pieces depends on the type of wood you are using and the scale of the furniture. Lighter wood, such as balsa, should be glued rather than nailed or stapled. Plywood and lumber can be glued, nailed or stapled, but if the pieces are very small glue is probably a better option.

Finish by letting the glue dry thoroughly (if glue was used) and testing the joints of the furniture for any wiggle. Reapply glue to loose joints if needed, then paint, stain, or sand and polish as desired. You can also use fabric scraps and foam to upholster furniture. Simply cut the foam into the desired size and glue to the furniture, then cut the fabric slightly larger, stretch over the foam, and glue or staple onto the furniture.

Things you need

  • Various sizes of dowels
  • Balsa wood, thin plywood or other thin sheets of lumber
  • Paint

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