Rainy-weather project: Make a dollhouse
by Laura D Queal
This easy-to-make cardboard dollhouse is a project that can grow with your children
To solve the “something-to-do” question when rainy days keep the children inside, we started a dollhouse project that cost very little and required almost no experience.
Our dollhouse was made from a cardboard box and most of the furniture was contrived from little boxes we had around the house. The house is most useful when set up on a movable base (a cedar chest is good), so it can be rolled away in a corner.
The work was designed to go on for some time so the children could have a hand in planning and doing the easier jobs – such as painting the chimneys and shingles. They are much more interested when they can help with the work. They are ingenious, too, particularly at thinking up accessories — like using buttons for dishes and birthday cakes and making flowerpots out of corks.
When the house was finished, we bought a minimum of furniture at the five and ten — just enough to stimulate a day’s play. We found room divisions impractical for a house of this size so we placed the furniture to define room limits (see sketch, below). The children planned furnishings for each room. To make chests, desks, stools, cupboards, beds, etc, we painted little boxes in desired colors and outlined appropriate panels and drawers. Tables shown at right were made by tacking cardboard to the tops of empty spools with picture brads. We made the love seat and easy chair of heavy cardboard – padding the love seat with cotton and covering it with cloth, and painting the chair to resemble cretonne.
Life goes on in our dollhouse just as it does outside. We made a very satisfactory doll family out of pipe cleaners, and dressed them with scraps of cotton and felt. They wear well and can even be washed.