How to make a doll house roof

Updated April 25, 2018

Doll house roofs can be closed on one or both sides. Some are hinged, which allows easy access. The area under the roof is often used as a nursery or playroom for the doll house children. Doll house roofs can be shingled, thatched, tiled, or can be simple, flat sheets of thin plywood. You can truss them for authenticity and realism. You can make doll house roofs flush with the walls of the house, overhung, or cantilevered over breezeways and courtyards. You can make them slightly pitched, gabled or steeply pitched. You can even attach gutters and downpipes, including cisterns or rain barrels at ground level.

After you have nailed or screwed your doll house walls together, cut two or more sheets of plywood to make the sides of the roof. These will be identical if the roof is a simple, two-sided, standard pitch roof. For gabled roof construction, reduce the scale of plans from an actual home and cut pieces to the correct dimensions. For example, a flat, modern roof with shallow pitch might require only one sheet to cover the entire roof.

If you made your doll house side walls from pentagonal sheets of plywood, your roof pitch is already established. Simply lay one sheet of plywood across the back of the roof. Nail it into place using finishing tacks and a tack hammer, or screw it into place using wood screws.

If your roof will be hinged, set the piano hinge along the roof ridge line and screw it into place. Attach the other side of the hinge to the second side of the roof. If the roof will not be hinged, attach the second side of the roof using removable clips, or leave it off altogether.

Thatch, tile or shingle the roof if you want. Otherwise, paint the roof black, brown, or tile red.

To thatch, coat the roof with a thin layer of rubber cement. Lay straw across the roof until it is covered. Allow the roof to dry. Coat the entire roof with rubber cement a second time. Lay down some straw again, taking care to cover any spots left bare in the first layer. Repeat a third time.

To shingle, cut cedar shakes or use flakes of slate. Begin at the lowest edge of the roof and work toward the ridge line, gluing rows of overlapped shingles. Mitre the shingles along the ridge line for a tight, clean fit.

To tile the roof, cover the roof with rubber cement and lay rows of tile, butted together side by side. Overlap each row halfway as you work toward the ridge line.

Attach gutters and down spouting. For added realism, run the spout lines into rain barrels or a cistern.

Things You'll Need

  • Piano hinge
  • 1/2-inch by 1-inch stock wood for framing and truss-making
  • 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch thick plywood
  • Cedar shakes
  • Straw
  • Miniature red clay coping tiles
  • Black, brick red or brown paint
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Jane Smith has provided educational support, served people with multiple challenges, managed up to nine employees and 86 independent contractors at a time, rescued animals, designed and repaired household items and completed a three-year metalworking apprenticeship. Smith's book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in 2008. Smith received a Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995.