artsy-fartsy mama: DIY Dollhouse

DIY Dollhouse

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse and Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

This is my very first *big* furniture makeover, and I'm SO thrilled with how it turned out!! I can see why these kinds of projects can be addictive. It's so fun to see a piece of old, worn out furniture transformed into something new and beautiful!! My daughter has fallen in love with this dollhouse with a dress-up cabinet and we have so much fun playing together with it.

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse and Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

As with any furniture makeover, it's always fun to see the before & after shot. We found this old entertainment center next to a dumpster in surprisingly pretty good condition. The glass was missing from the left door, but that's really not a huge deal.

With a lot of people switching to larger flat screens, these types of entertainment centers are becoming a little useless. Because of that, you can most likely find one in a dumpster, on any yard sale site, or at a goodwill for cheap or even free!!

Every piece of furniture is unique, so take into consideration the type of wood, finish, and color/previous paint jobs into consideration before jumping into the project. Do a little research on the best ways to prep the piece, get the right paints, and what types of tools you'll need before starting to prevent any disasters.

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse & Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

First, remove all the doors and shelves. Sand the entire entertainment center, inside and out with a 400 grit sandpaper. You're just trying to rough up the surface to help the paint stick better. Then, wipe the entire piece down with a damp cloth to remove any loose dust.

If you have any holes or scratches, this would be the time to use wood putty to fill them in.

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse & Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

We painted with a primer paint combo using a 2 inch brush and a microfiber roller. The rollers give it a smoother paint finish, and the brush works great for covering the edges and corners. Since the primer and paint are combined, you only need to use one paint instead of two. Make sure to let the paint dry between coats. We ended up using about 3 coats so that it would be sure to stand up to my daughter and her dolls beating it up.

My daughter really wanted to be a part of this project, so we let her help do some of the painting! She loved that she was able to help and I love that it wasn't too hard to fix toddler painting skills after she was done.

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse & Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

To create a space for dress-up clothes and accessories, we installed a very DIY closet rod at the top of the left cabinet. First, we attached closet pole sockets to each side of the cabinet. Make sure they are level (or close to it), or your clothes won't be hanging very straight. Then, we placed a 1 1/4" PVC pipe cut 18" long inside and can easily hang up all the princess dresses with ease.

DIY Dollhouse from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

Measure the opening of the TV area for height and width. To create the four rooms of the dollhouse, you'll need to cut two interlocking pieces of 16" wide 3/4" Melamine. Cut one piece to fit the height, and the other for the width. Mark the center of each board and cut an opening about 7/8" wide with a jigsaw to the middle of the board.

DIY Dollhouse from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

After both boards have been cut, they should look like the one above. Put the boards together to form a + and make sure the edges match. If not, you might need to cut one of the boards a little more to fit.

Place the board that fits the height of the TV area in first. Make sure it's centered, then put in the cross piece (see finished picture below to see how it should look). Once the pieces are in place, attach them to the top and sides with wood screws.

DIY Dollhouse from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

To finish the back of the dollhouse, we used wainscoting measured to fit the backside of the opening. The dress-up cabinet backing stayed in place, otherwise we would have used this for that, too. Attach the wainscoting to the back with 3/4" nails.

DIY Dollhouse from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

We gave the dollhouse some fancy flooring by gluing on some pieces of linoleum cut to fit each room. We started by using some spray adhesive, but the edges kept popping up so we needed to use some stronger glues to keep them in place. My best advice is to use stronger adhesives in the beginning, and place some heavy books or clamps holding the linoleum in place until the glue is dry.

DIY Dollhouse from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

Instead of putting glass back into the dress-up cabinet, we went with some Plexiglas instead since I knew my daughter would most likely slam it shut at least once. Plexiglas can be cut at most hardware stores for free, so measure the openings before you go! Place the Plexiglas in with mirror mounting hardware.

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse and Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

Reattach the  cabinet doors and put the shelf back in the dress-up cabinet. Then, add some new knobs to the cabinet doors, and your new dollhouse is ready for fun!! 

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse and Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

The dress-up clothes and every accessory she'll need are now organized, which makes it easy to find whatever she needs and makes clean-up even easier! There's even room for a box of doll clothes for when her dolls need to get in on the dress-up fun, too!

Entertainment Center to DIY Dollhouse and Dress-Up Cabinet from artsyfartsymama.com #upcycle #dollhouse #Barbiehouse

We found some bins on clearance that fit perfectly in the bottom cabinets for all her Barbie dolls and accessories. We're working on a bunch more furniture and seating arrangements for the Barbies, but for now, check out these simple tutorials for the Barbie bed and the Barbie couch & chair!


8 comments:

  1. You did an awesome job writing up this tutorial. Not to mention, your project looks great! I love this idea. I have this on my bucket list.

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  2. How fun! I have a few barbies that want to move into your cool house:) My daughter was a huge barbie fan. She's grown now, but I still have bins of dolls, clothes, and furniture in the attic.

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  3. Oh my gosh, how cute! Wish I'd known about this a few years ago when I spent $110 for a wooden doll house at toys r us! It was cute, but this one would fit better in the room...just to cute! Good job!

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  4. That looks awesome, very sweet :)

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  5. Wow this is so clever!! What a great idea!!

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  6. What a great idea!! I love it!! Pinned :)

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  7. Okay. This is THE cutest thing ever! My daughter needs one...like now! (Even though she is only one and not quite into dolls and dress ups yet!)
    Thank you for linking this up at the Wednesday Roundup (and just back next week to see if you are featured...wink wink!)

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  8. Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by the Wednesday Roundup! This awesome post is being featured this week! Come on by and grab a featured button! I've also pinned this to our Link Party Pinterest board!

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