Sunday, December 29, 2013

Shoe Box Doll House {tutorial!}

I found a few empty shoe boxes as I was trying to make more space in the cabinet, instead of throwing them away I had an instant thought of making a craft with it. I have always wanted to make a dollhouse for my little ones, these seem just perfect.

Upon hearing the idea, my little boy volunteered to help up instantly. He is fond of handmade craft, partly influenced by me and partly by the teachers from his preschool who are good at art and craft.

So after gathering some basic materials, we started making right away. I handled all the cuttings while he helped to paint all the wall.

Came out pretty cool huh. It is a 3 storey house completes with a living hall, a family hall and a bedroom.

Each room has a different theme: golden leaf, spring blossom and cool blue. Noticed there is a little rocket on the wall in the bedroom? Creative craft by my little boy! *mommy feeling proud*

My favorite has got to be the roof top, painted with their names and decorated with sun, cloud and moon.

The entire dollhouse is made of recycled material, from the shoeboxes to the wallpaper which are made of used wrapping papers. One of the reasons that I like to introduce all sorts of DIY projects to my little ones (instead of buying a ready store made which is far more convenient) is that I would like them to appreciate their toys, and understand that not all things have to be bought with money, some can be made by our own hands too. Through these hands on experiences, I hope to raise kids who can appreciate the available resources and be resourceful in problem solving. Of course I can choose to send them to art classes, but I always believe parents made the best coaches to the kiddos, especially at such tender age where they need our  100% attention and guidance. Being a fulltime working mom, weekends and holiday is the most precious periods for me, and the duo enjoyed having mommy around indeed (of course daddy too :)

Ok, enough of long talk, here's the tutorial for making this shoe box doll house!

The Tutorial - Shoe Box Doll House

Materials you need:
• 3 shoe boxes of same size with at least 2 covers
• few wrapping papers
• water color & paint brush
• scissors, glue and cutter

Making of a shoe box dollhouse @ FunWithLittleOnes

1. Gather all the materials, make sure the shoe boxes are clean from dust.

2. Start painting the floor & side walls with water color. (Do use old newspaper as base to avoid unwanted mess if you are letting the kiddos do this!)

3. While waiting for the water color to dry completely, cut 3 different wrapping paper the same size as the back wall (base of the shoe box) to be the wall paper. Glue it on firmly or you may use a double sided cellophane tape.

4. Using one of the shoebox cover, slit a small cut in the middle of both sides, this will be used to make the roof top.

5. Paint over the "roof top" in your choosen color, let dry.

6. Now, cut small rectangular shape out from each shoe box to make space for the staircase, make sure they are aligned. Don't stick the different boxes together just yet.

7. Cut 2 long rectangular shapes, fold them into 1" thickness each in zigzag pattern (see below). Then glue the top to the ceiling of the box and the bottom to the base of the box. 

8. Finally, glue all the 3 shoe boxes together using glue or double sided cellophane tape, and start making all the small furniture using the remaining shoe box covers. (Sorry, no tutorial available for those tiny furniture, they were just  cut-outs folded into box shapes (for the bed & bed frame), or simple folds for chairs and tables. 

I kept some of the furniture loose so my little one can move them around when playing.

9. Now that the main frame is in place, put the roof top in place and secure both ends with glues. Need some patient here to hold on to the cardboard as it may takes a few minutes for the glue to dry out.

10. Now if you don't like the exterior of the shoe box, just wrap it up with a large piece of wrapping paper. I choose this one with green leaves and a big bad wolf, looks more interesting isn't it?

That's it, a 3 storey shoe box doll house in 10 steps. We made the entire dollhouse in about 2 hours, right after completing my little girl can't wait to play with her little dolls, kept bringing the "papa" to bed. :)

This shall be my last craft for 2013. Happy new year to you!

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  1. Cool !! tell u what , i did a similar one long time ago , when i was 9/10 years old , i did a stage , get a big box (my stage), cut the top of the box , and the front side of the box to make it like a stage, my big box has about 2 slots for me to change my scene(布景),lastly make a few different characters as my puppet , and start my Cinderella puppet show ! (this activity involve drawing , coloring , cutting, as all handmade)
    Everyday, i will invite my siblings come to listen to me . Too bad , i throw it during the time when i shift house. you remind me of my childhood! hope you understnd my ideas! hehe

    1. Patricia, yes I get what you mean, it sound like a great theater! You can always make another one now, I realize a second trial always turns out better :)

      I made a simple puppet theater for my boy too using a TV frame, it's been 3 months now and he still happily playing different show for us... So really, childhood fun don't have to be expensive!

    2. btw , u have tutorial for your "tv frame puppet" ? hehe ...

    3. It's a really simple tutorial coz was another ad hoc job :)