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Build a Dollhouse or a Dolls House Style Bookcase From Baltic Birch Plywood

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Build this easy dollhouse or dolls house bookcase with a traditional front opening using a single sheet of plywood and some standard wood trim. It is designed to fit in with standard sized bookcases placed against a wall. There are also instructions for building custom doors and windows. The case can hold individual roomboxes, or it can be built with fixed shelve and partitions as a standard dollhouse. Adjust the trim and details on the front opening doors to suit your own style, or follow the suggestions for a traditional finish.

1. Build the Dollhouse Case For a Simple Dolls House or Dollhouse Bookcase

A completed baby house case with two adjustable shelves holds a collection of unfinished roomboxes.
Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Free plans and instructions to build a traditional styled dual purpose dollhouse or baby house in 1:12 scale shown here with plywood and bookboard roomboxes. As designed, the dollhouse is the depth of a standard bookcase, and will accept the basic roombox sizes listed below if you want to build it as a bookcase and insert individual roomboxes on the shelves. The case can be used to store individual roomboxes until you have a full doll house collection, or it can be finished on the interior as a stand alone dollhouse with fixed floors and partitions by adding slots or mouldings to hold the walls in place on the shelves.

If the case is set up to hold roomboxes, the adjustable shelves allow it to be used as a bookcase should the owner's interests change.

Instructions and Plans for the Basic Dolls House Case

2. Make Front Opening Doors For the Dolls House - Baby House Case

Two asymetric doors on the front of a baby house or bookcase, ready for final finish and trim.
Photo copyright 2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Instructions for how to plan and fit your choice of windows and doors into the front opening doors of the basic dolls house case outlined above. If you build the house according to the plan measurements, one sheet of 5ftx 5 ft Baltic birch plywood will complete the entire house of case, doors and shelves.

Make the Front Opening Doors For the Basic Dolls House Case

3. Add Traditional Quoin and Cornice Trim to Finish the Dolls House Case

Simple front opening dollhouse finished with strip quoins and cornice trim.
Photo copyright 2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Instructions on how add quoin and cornice trim made from standard wood moldings to the front of a basic dollhouse for a traditional townhouse house style.

Add Quoin and Cornice Trim to The Basic Dollhouse.

4. Make Simple Dolls House Doors

Simple dolls house door with window and panel trim.
Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd
These instructions include a plan to make a half glass dolls house doors with a divided base suitable for bevel edged panels. You can use the instructions to build a range of dolls house scale doors, with various panel designs and with and without 'glass'.

5. Make Dolls House Windows, Opening or Closed

Opening casement window for a dolls house
Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

These instructions show you how to make dolls house windows from strip wood or card, or from special sash moulding for 1:12 scale windows. The techniques can be used for many miniature scales, and show you how to make opening casement windows, fixed windows, and windows with muntins.

6. Make Basic Dollhouse Roomboxes from Baltic Birch Plywood

A simple picture frame encloses the front of a dolls house scale roombox which fits on a bookshelf.
Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

These plywood roomboxes can be connected to make a doll house, or used as single room displays. They are designed to fit in a standard bookcase, and can be given glass roofs or framed glass fronts to protect the contents from dust.

The townhouse dollhouse shown above will hold three standard roomboxes and three half size roomboxes to create a townhouse collection of entrance hall, living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and staircase.

Make Simple Plywood Roomboxes

7. Make Simple Dollhouse Roomboxes from Book Board or Cardboard

The exterior of a book board box is covered with paper for strength.
Photo ©2008 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Simpler and less expensive to make than the plywood roomboxes, boxes made of bookboard or Davey board will stand up to careful use for many years. These roomboxes are built the same size as the plywood roomboxes to allow them to fit on standard bookshelves.

Make Simple Cardboard or Bookboard Roomboxes

8. Choose an Electrical System for a Dolls House

A clamping dollhouse power centre next to a simple plug in board from China.
Photo ©2007 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

What do you need to know before you start wiring a dolls house? Will it be easier to use round or tape wire?

How to Choose an Electrical System for a Dolls House

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