Many manufactured dollhouses come with all the modern conveniences, including lights that really turn on, blow-up pools that actually hold water and washing machines with doors that open. Even though these furnished dollhouses are simply amazing, children sometimes prefer to make their own. For an entertaining family project, begin with an old-fashioned wooden drink carton. These cartons were used to hold soda before plastic cartons and usually have "Pepsi" or "Coke" stamped on the side. You can find them at junk and antique shops; you can make your own wooden frame or even use a big box. Whichever you select, section it off into six small rooms using scrap wood or heavy cardboard. Set it up on its side to create the illusion of the inside of a house. Let the children find different materials and build the furniture that goes in the house.
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Things you need
- 2 long jewellery boxes
- 9 soda caps (screw tops)
- Assorted pieces of scrap material
- 2 doll tea cups
- 1 box of white clay
- 1 short jewellery box
- 1 large piece used aluminium
- 7 square wooden building blocks
- A variety of acrylic paint (colours to paint tables and appliances)
- 1 medium paint brush
- 1 small paint brush
- 2 doll or baby socks
- 2 cardboard squares
- 4 tiny buttons
- 1 package cotton balls
- 2 pieces of yarn or plastic string, 4 inches
- 2 thumbtacks
- 6 nuts
- 1 bolt
- 1 sunglass lens
- 1 contact lens
- 1 bottle glue
- 1 glue gun
- 4 glue sticks
- 1 toothpick
- 16 Lego blocks
The first step is to paint. Decide what colour you want the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, refrigerator, stove, side table and TV. Paint the wooden blocks that colour and let them dry. Remember that you will need two blocks for the refrigerator. Take two long boxes and paint them for the kitchen and dining room tables and a short box for the bedroom vanity. Let them dry.
Cutting and gluing is the next step. Cut nine 2-inch squares out of the scrap material. Line up nine soda bottle caps, flat surface on top. Pull out five cotton balls and divide them in half. Take one square and stuff it with half of a cotton ball. Fold the material around the ball and place glue on the side where the material meets. You should have a cushion now. Add a little more glue and stick the cushion on top of the bottle top. You have just made a doll stool. Repeat this activity until all stools are made. Plug in the hot glue gun. Glue two of the wooden blocks together to make a refrigerator. Glue four Legos to the corners of the tables to make legs. Glue four Legos to another box to make the bed. Glue the sunglass lens to a wooden block with the curved part of the lens facing toward the block. This will make a big-screen TV. Take a short box. Put a slit in the middle. Slide it over one of the teacup handles and glue the box to the teacup to make a potty for Dolly.
Take both doll socks and stuff them with cotton. Slide one sock over a long jewellery box top and one over the jewellery box bottom. All of the stuffing should remain on one flat side of the box top and bottom (This will make the cushioning for the sofa.) Tuck under the edges of the socks and glue them. This will make the top and bottom of a sofa. Glue four Legos under the bottom of the jewellery box; this will make the bottom of the sofa. Glue the top piece of the sofa to the side of the bottom piece (the two cushioned sections should be facing inward, the legs on the bottom), making a cushioned sofa. Glue material around the base of the sofa to make a skirt. Cover the socks with material and glue the edges. Glue a skirt of material on the bed. Glue material on the bed for the bottom sheet. Cut out materials for the top sheet, the blanket and the bedspread. Cut out two more squares of material and stuff and glue the edges to make pillows. Cut a headboard and posts out of heavy construction paper and glue to bed. Cut a circle with scalloped edges out of construction paper. Glue a 2-inch square of aluminium in the middle of the circle to make a mirror for the bedroom. Make toothpick flowers for the dining room table by cutting about five toothpicks in half and gluing tiny colourful beads to the tops. (Use green toothpicks to create a more realistic effect.) Glue the contact lens to the front of one block to make the washer.
Adding the detail is the final step. Take the blocks for the sinks and glue teacups in the middle of them. Use the white clay to surround the teacups and make the clay into counters around the sinks. Cut out tiny circles and glue them on top of your stove to make eyes. Use the small paint brush to add trim and a handle to the fridge and an oven to the stove. Now, set up your kitchen: sink, refrigerator, stove and table with four chairs.
For the bath, paint a handle for the toilet. Make a toilet top with white clay or heavy construction paper by cutting out a structure to fit over the teacup. Add a little blue food colouring to a tiny bit of water if you want a realistic effect in the bathroom. Place the toilet and the sink in the bathroom. You may want to add a towel rack by putting two small dots of white clay on the wall and placing a toothpick between them. Then cut out a small towel and place it on the rack.
In the dining room, place the table with the four stools. You may want to cut out a piece of material to place over the table for the tablecloth. Take the thimble. Put it on the table and fill it full of toothpick flowers. Make the laundry room by placing finishing touches on the washer and dryer. Outline the contact lenses with the small paintbrush and outline a door on the dryer. Place these inside the laundry room. Take the yarn and run it across the room, attaching it to each side with small tacks. Place doll clothes on the line. The last room is the living room. Take the sofa and place the four small buttons on it for decoration. Put the block beside the table and the TV in front of the sofa. Take the bolt and put six nuts on it. Make a paper lampshade by taking a small rectangle of paper and folding it in a circle. Glue the place where the ends meet. Cut a pipe cleaner in six sections. Cross two and place them at the top of the lampshade. Rest the cross on the top nut. Use white clay to stick the lamp to the table.
You have spent hours of fun with your children, saved money and recycled materials to make your dollhouse.
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