Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DIY Dollhouse Furniture

One of our greatest sources of website traffic come from Pinterest with people searching out the doll house we built for Emma.  Not only did Brent build the dollhouse, he also built the furniture.  I'm not sure if you've shopped around for Barbie furniture, but if you have, you know it's expensive.  And flimsy.  We wanted to build sturdy furniture that wouldn't tip over when Barbie sat/laid/looked at it.

In my original blog post of the dollhouse there weren't any great photos of the furniture, so I staged a little photo shoot with better close ups of each piece.  I don't have any documentation of the building process since Brent made them several years ago, but I'm hoping with the dimensions provided and the photos, one could replicate the pieces.  As a side note, Brent built most of this furniture out of birch or cherry.

Baby Cribs

 In magical Barbie world, everyone has twins, so Brent built these little matching cribs.  
Dimensions are 5 3/4" tall by 4" wide by 6" long.  Brent said he first made a chunky base out of 4 pieces of wood, mitered at the corners.  Each side rail of the crib was built seperately, like fence panels, and were then glued to the base and pinned to each other with a nail gun.
You can see the small pin holes where he nailed the slats into the frame.  With all of the nooks and crannies on the crib, spray paint was the fastest and easiest way to paint these babies (no pun intended).  The mattresses are simply a piece of foam wrapped in a piece of receiving blanket that I cut apart.

Dining Room Table & Chairs

Barbie isn't doing anything if she isn't entertaining - which meant we needed a table for six.
These chairs are sturdy enough to hold Barbie and her friends in an upright position IF they have the types of legs that bend at the knee.  But really, unless Barbie has had too much to drink, her booty is not tipping out of these chairs.
Chair dimensions are 6" tall by 2 1/4" wide and depth is 2 1/2".  The height of the seat is 2 1/2".  
Table dimensions are 4 3/4" tall by 5 3/4" wide by 8" long.  Brent made the top first and then tacked each of the four legs to it.  The skirting was added last.

Bedroom Dresser

The dresser dimensions are 6 1/2" tall by 7 3/4" wide by 2 1/4" deep.
He started this piece with a solid block of cherry.  The grooves that give the appearance of drawers were made with a table saw.  To create a space for the four legs, he cut a dado/rabbit out of the four corners of the block with the table saw.  He then glued the legs in and glued the top on.

Coffee Table

I'd actually take one of these tables in human size!
Dimensions for the coffee table are 2 3/4" tall by 3" wide by 8" long.


Dimensions for the couch are 5 1/2" tall by 13 1/2" wide by 5" deep.

Here again, to make the cushions, I covered some foam in scrap fabric.
The back of the couch is cut at approximately a 10 degree angle, which would mean the arm was also cut at 10 degrees.  The seat and the front of the couch are two pieces nailed and glued together.

If I was really good with a sewing machine or hand stitching, I would have made way too many throw pillows for the sofa and bed - just to make Ken mad.

Bunk Beds

Dimensions for the bunk beds are 10" tall by 6" wide by 14" long.  
 I flipped the bed upside down so you can see how the underside was constructed.

Queen Size Bed

Dimensions for the bed are 8 1/2" tall by 8 3/4" wide by 14 1/4" long.  To create the reveal you see around the bed, Brent built a base first and then constructed a second frame to sit on top.  He built the headboard separately, like a fence panel and attached it with nails and glue.

The mattress is a piece of foam wrapped in a scrap of receiving blanket.
 Here is a view of the bed without the mattress on it.
If you flip the bed over, here's what you see.
If you're attempting to build your own furniture for some Barbie dolls, hopefully these images will be useful.  We're always happy to answer questions if you get stuck and need some help!


  1. If you still lived in Omaha, I could help you sew all the tiny throw pillows. Hint...hint...

  2. If you still lived in Omaha, I could help you sew all the tiny throw pillows. Hint...hint...

  3. Oh this takes me back, when I was really little my dad used to make dolls house furniture for me, the couch was very similar style to yours but much smaller of course. When I had Barbies I used to try to make my own from shoe boxes and the like - lots of fun but never very practical for poor Barbie. Your ideas are beautiful.

  4. These are amazing and you can still do pillows with a fabric glue uses thebfoam and a cotton ball to get the shape. Glue three sides then place it in and fold over the other side and glue it too. E6000 fabric glue works great