tutorial :: making a peg doll house

Over the past three years I've received many requests for tutorials (and book content) related to peg doll houses & accessories.  I love getting feedback and requests, however, I've hesitated to create tutorials (and book content) for a peg doll house because there are already so many good online tutorials. Last week I posted a round-up of some of the nicest tutorials I've spotted on the web, however, in the course of doing research for that post, ideas started brewing in my head.

Up until now, if any of our peg dolls felt the need to cook a meal or take a nap, they marched off to a doll house which was handed down to our family 11 years ago; in case you want a peek, the doll house shows up in my first book as home to the Three Bears, and in my second book, it appears on page 74.  The peg dolls in my home also sometimes take up residence in castles made of wooden building blocks, so there really hasn't been a need to make a doll house.  

But after seeing so many doll house ideas online, the impulse to make my own was too irresistible. Today I'm posting a tutorial for the house, and later in the week (plus next week) I will have a series of posts on creating peg doll furniture.

-- A cardboard box: I started with an 8 in (20 cm)
    cube box, however you could stack smaller
    boxes or use a larger box if you prefer.

-- Extra pieces of cardboard

-- Decorative paper, fabric or paint and pens

-- PVA (white glue) and a glue-stick

-- Scissors, Exact-o knife (or box-cutter), a ruler,
    and pencil

STEP 1 :: Cut the flaps off the box and turn it on it's side.  Cut back the roof section half the depth of the box (for example, my "roof" was originally 8 in (20 cm) so I cut it back 4 in (10 cm) -- see photo above for clarification.

If you'd like to cut windows in the sides, now is a good time (just be sure that they are low enough so that they are not obscured when you add the second floor).

STEP 2 :: The sleeping loft/bedroom is 3/4 the original depth of the box, i.e. the original depth of my box is 8 in (20 cm) so the depth of the sleeping loft is 6 in (15 cm).

To create support for the sleeping loft, add 1 in (2.5 cm) around 3 sides of the floor. Score the cardboard along the added 1 inch sections and cut out the corners (see photo above). Use PVA glue on the three flaps to secure the sleeping loft in place (see photo below).

If your box is a different size from mine and you plan to add a second floor, you can adjust the measurements accordingly.

STEP 3 :: Once the sleeping loft is glued in place, set the house on it's side, use a ruler to draw lines from the top corners of the box down to the bottom corners, and then cut away the sides.  This will allow light into the house and also make it more accessible.

STEP 4 :: To add a peaked rooftop, cut a long piece of cardboard the width of the roof, score & bend in the center, then glue it to the sides of the house (see photos above & below).

STEP 5 :: After construction  of the house is complete, you may choose to cover the floors and walls with decorative paper, fabric or paint.  If using paper for covering the walls and floor, you will want to secure it in place with a glue-stick (PVA/white glue will cause your paper to ripple). You can also add a decorative carpet, and framed pictures to the walls.

Having a selection of decorative card stock on hand is wonderful when working on a project like this. Several years ago, I invested in a several books of paper-crafting card-stock: the designs I used for this project are no longer available, however I own this card-stock book, and thought this one and this one looked nice, too.

In addition to papering the floors and walls, I was tempted to add curtains to the windows and cardboard shingles or paint to the exterior; however, I ultimately decided to keep the decor of my house simple, flaunting it's origins as a recycled cardboard box.

How will you or your children decorate your little peg doll house?  Please email me photos (or post photos on my facebook page) if you're so inclined. And come back soon -- I will have blog posts on creating furniture for your peg doll house!

1 comment:

I know that word-verification makes it difficult to comment, and that, due to moderation, your comments seem to vanish into thin air once you've hit "submit," but your comments will appear after approval (really!) I read every comment and love hearing from you (truly!)