Fig.2 How to make a cardboard dolls house
Printable PDF diagram
Here is a diagram which shows how to make a bog standard cardboard dolls house with four rooms and a slightly interesting roof. The most fun you can have with a cardboard box, in my opinion. The stronger the cardboard the better but you will usually find that your horizontal floor needs an extra cardboard floor adding for strength and to stop it sagging. No glue required. No paper fasteners required (though I am trying to find a way to work them in) just slots cut in the walls and the partitions so they fit together.
Check out the printables and patterns section for some free dolls house scale wallpaper to decorate your cardboard house or keep an eye out for future blogs posts with more decorating ideas.
There are some great play kitchens out there, particularly the Brio one but after discussing present ideas with a friend we decided that it should be pretty easy to make one from an old bedside table.
First you have to find a bedside table. Luckily I have a second hand furniture shop round the corner so this was mine for £5.
Then all that was needed was a nice coat of paint and some knobs. We decided that it would be great to double up as a blackboard so we used blackboard paint for the oven front and the hob top. My friend painted the whole of the back of hers with blackboard paint so she can just turn it round for a larger blackboard.
We keep some utensils in the drawer and a basket of shopping in the oven and some nice wooden bottles and play biscuits in the shelf. The bottles are from Plan Toys as is the saucepan on top. The wooden tea party biscuits are brilliant, especially the wooden party ring. We got them from the Southbank Centre shop
It is played with quite well although like everything it does go in and out of favour. It is currently in favour as a shop with a toy till on the top. Everything you see here is currently £5, slightly steep for a party ring, even a wooden one.
Back in the day, before we discovered the joy of dolls house structural engineering with cardboard boxes, I was desperate to find something new to do with a cardboard box, and a toddler who had been inside for too long.
Out came the sharpies and a knife to make a little house. It’s pretty good for a younger toddler, at this stage mine was obsessed with putting things in things so on several occasions ALL the toys disappeared in this box.
It’s very quick to make. If you are not 100% confident with your drawing skills (and I am not) have a browse online at some basic illustration. It’s sometimes just good to get a bit of inspiration to start you off. Basic sharpie line drawings can also double up as colouring templates for kids so they can help to decorate the house.
And always build a cat flap. It’s amazing how occupied a 2-year-old stays with a cat flap, or a corgi flap in this instance.