Making your own dollhouse is a great way to spend quality time with your children and encourage your own creativity. It’s also a great way to teach them the value of reuse. However, actually making the dollhouse can be frustrating when you’re not sure how to do it.
Here are 5 helpful tips for making your own dollhouse without the frustration.
1. Plan your dollhouse
Most of us haven’t been blessed with the ability to play a big project by ear and make it all work. You should have a good idea of what you want the finished product to look like and how it will all fit together. Know where you need to cut, why, and clearly mark “this side up” where necessary to stay oriented. There’s nothing worse than going most of the way, only to realize that one of the pieces won’t fit because it was backwards!
If you do, make detailed notes about what you did so you can repeat the process when your neighbor wants one for their children.
2. Involve your children
Unless the dollhouse is being made as a gift for one of the children, it is best to involve them in the entire process. Making something from scratch, building it, and watching it take shape is very healthy for a child and fosters her own creativity and confidence. While it’s tempting to think it would be faster to do it yourself, get your kids involved and enjoy the experience, no matter how long it takes.
Be careful and control the scissors and the exact knife at all times!
3. Make it durable
Dollhouses are made for play, so focus on making them durable. You can also make it fancy if you and your kids want it, but durability has to come first. They will have much more fun with a dollhouse that lasts for years than one that falls apart after a couple of play sessions.
Cardboard is a convenient and inexpensive building material, but it is not known for being durable. The edges of the cardboard are danger points, as the arms of the youngsters can go over a wall and into a doll‘s house. You can reinforce the edges with scrap wood from any other projects you may have to create an edge that will hold up to abuse.
4. Use what you have
It’s tempting to go to the craft store and buy everything you need for a new dollhouse. But it sends a better message to your kids, and it’s cheaper to use materials you already have around the house.
An empty paper towel tube, for example, can become a dining chair or a painted column. Be prepared to learn from experience what works and what doesn’t. For example, old popsicle sticks can function as the top and legs of a dining table or the sides of a stroller. But craft sticks are cheap enough and much more durable.
5. Accept what comes
Chances are high that something won’t go as planned. Instead of getting mad about it, just accept it as something new in the plan and carry on as best you can. If the window isn’t exactly where you wanted it, well, the view is probably better from the new location anyway.