Recycleable - Paper Doll House with Update

I originally posted this tutorial at the start of the year when the weather was miserable and I needed a quick fix for a bored preschooler. It seems the idea went down well and I wanted to post it again in honour of Kristen's "Best Of Theme". I have updated the tutorial at the end of the post and if you want to jump straight to the update, please feel free to do so

We were all set this morning, coats, gloves and hats on and ready to head out the door until...

Snow...and rain...and icy

So back inside and now I have a three year old who was desperately looking forward to a walk around the town this morning,

Because this morning we were supposed to be going to get her some new ballet pumps.

Ah well, such is life I guess. I'll measure her feet and run down tomorrow while she's with Nana, come hell or high water.

So I needed something to take her mind off the fact that she still wanted to go out regardless of the weather.

Hmm, crafts with nothing planned.

A paper doll house.

All you need to complete this very simple project are;
  • 2 pieces of stiff card (or a cardbox box will do).
  • A glue stick (or PVA or Mod Podge, whatever's within reaching distance)
  • Some sharp scissors (for you)
  • And the Ikea catalogue (or home inspiration magazines like Ideal Home).

You need to have a quick flick through the catalogue or magazines and tear out any pages with a room which pretty much covers the majority of the page (its easier to manage this with the Ikea book trust me, but then beautiful glossies don't have huge prices printed in the middle of the kitchen, so). Then with the scissors cut a very narrow slot halfway along the long side of the card and halfway through the card. Slot the two pieces together to look like this.

Then you want to give the three year old a glue stick and swan off into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. Now you'll need a damp sponge to quickly sponge the (hopefully) still wet glue off the carpet because you weren't intelligent enough to put a mat or drop cloth down first.

Or if you're that way inclined you can sit and watch to make sure she "stays within the lines".

It's much easier if you keep the two pieces of card slotted together and then lie the whole thing flat on the floor, that way all you have to do is make sure that the magazine pages you stick to the two facing sides are both of a kitchen, or bedroom or whatever.

Like this.

Carry on around all four sides (you'll need eight magazine pages in total) and it should wind up looking something like this.

Doesn;t she looked pleased with herself. I cut two small slots near the corners at each side of the "kitchen" and strung a length of silver cord across, before hanging up a little t-shirt and trousers I cut from some old fabric. I'd picked up those tiny clothes pegs to use for hanging cards at Christmas and I've been trying to think of something else to use them for.

If you're feeling particular inspired and creative you could always colour the pieces of card yourself, then cut out individual pieces of furniture, chairs lamps that kind of thing and have fun designing your very own rooms.

I'd love to know if anyone does this their child.

For more great WFMW tips and ideas, head over to We are THAT Family


The paper doll house went down so well in our house (it has become Toots "go to" toy) that we decided to make it more of a permanent fixture. We are still in the process of decorating her house but basically we replaced the pieces of cardboard with sheets of balsa wood. You could also use thin sheets of plywood or fibreboard (just make sure to seal all the cut edges and wear a dust mask while cutting). Best of all we're finally using up all the paint and wallpaper leftover from decorating our own home.

Oh yes, we're making her a mini version of our house, so she'll be able to play in her bedroom, in her bedroom.

I've wanted a doll's house for Toots for a long time now but just couldn't bear to part with around £100 to buy something sturdy enough to l ast, plus some of those things are a fair size and take up a lot of space while not in use. The real beauty of this house is that you can simply slide the pieces apart and slip them in under her bed.

Now THAT definitely works for me.

I'm also linking this post to the 6 o'clock stich's Make and Tell Monday carnival. You should head over there and check it out, there are some fantastic tutorials.


  1. Wow - that's very crafty and cute! Good job!

  2. I LOVE this idea - looks like something I would have done as a child. I also took empty boxes (jello size) and covered them with paper and decorated them as furniture. I'm totally showing this post to my daughters - I think they would love to make one of these!

  3. You should submit this tutorial in the Mr. Linky for "Make & Tell Monday"! Feel free to jump in every week! I love it!

  4. It was so nice meeting you. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial with all of us at "Make & Tell Monday". I can't wait to make this for my little Sweetpea! Feel free to jump in again next week!


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