Friday, July 6, 2018

Easy-to-Make Cardboard Dollhouse Plans

The information and dollhouse plans in this post appeared in an article in Family Circle magazine in December 1976. At the time I was contemplating building a dollhouse for my daughter and I couldn't decide how I wanted to build it. And yes, I still have this article after 42 years and no I am not really a hoarder!  I actually built a house by these plans but constructed it out of plywood instead of cardboard. But this house made of cardboard could be a good project for a big brother (with help from dad of course) to make for a little sister. Or for a grand dad to make for grand daughter to play with when she visits. 

The house, designed by architect Jeff Milstein exclusively for Family Circle,  is made of corrugated cardboard....from large boxes found free at appliance stores or a box store for a low price. The article says all you will need to buy is spray paint! You will need a utility knife, glue, and a metal straight edge. Wallpaper can be made from white or colored paper and felt-tip pens.


Sides: cut 2

Roof:  cut 2


Interior Walls:

Floors:  Plan indicates to cut two; actually you will need 3 because they recommend you glue 2 together to make the bottom floor sturdy...the 3rd is for the second floor.

Chimney: cut 2 of each piece

 Door and Window Frames: 


Patterns for paper dollhouse furniture can be found in abundance on Pinterest, and I posted plans for some I have made in a previous post.

If you make this little dollhouse, please send  pictures to me at and I will be delighted to show them on this blog. Happy building!


  1. so well remember my husband making 2 of these way back when for kids in the family - still have the instructions somewhere - nice to see it again. i remember it being sturdy and he had fun making it.

    P Miller

  2. My Dad made this dollhouse for my daughter Rachel's 4th birthday back in 1992. (I had saved the instructions and still have them today). Now I'm planning to update it with new furniture and dolls for Rachel's daughter Cora's 4th birthday this year. I have 6 months to get it done. Just wish my Dad was still here to see it. RIP Papa Ron.

    1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories! I would love to share the story of your dad making this dollhouse for your daughter and your refurbishing it for Rachel's daughter. Would you be willing to share before and after pictures and story with my readers? You can contact me at Cheers!

  3. Years ago, my uncle made a wooden dollhouse for 5-year-old me. I loved it and kept it throughout my entire childhood. Eventually I grew up and had children of my own, and I still had the dollhouse.

    As my children grew up, I was thinking how cool it would be to make dollhouses for my grandbabies when that time came. So a few years ago I went looking for dollhouse plans, hoping to find plans for the simple dollhouse my uncle had made in his shop back in the early 70s. No dice! I tried every possible search term I could think of for wood dollhouses and kept coming up empty.

    But I *knew* the plans for my long-loved dollhouse had to be found in a vintage magazine, so I kept looking, especially since two of my children had recently told me that they would soon have children of their own. Sadly, I kept having trouble finding those plans even though I knew they had to be somewhere out there.

    Imagine my surprise (and pleasure!) to come across your blog today, just a few days after my first grandchild was born. My cherished homemade wooden dollhouse came from cardboard-dollhouse plans! :D

    I'm looking forward to recreating this dollhouse for my grandchildren. Thank you so much for this post.

    1. Thank you for sharing this....YOU made my day! If you would like to share with my readers the construction and furnishing of a gift that will surely be treasured as you did yours, please contact me at Cheers! Florine

  4. I remember this article and I have these plans in my "minitures' file in my craft filing cabinet. I am saving this to my 'Dollhouse" pinterest board, too, just for back up! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have always been enamored of doll houses and miniatures (I'm 63 now, lol). This one looks very doable - I think I want to try it from plywood instead of cardboard. I still have a 1969 Family Circle Holiday Helps magazine that had a very modern dollhouse from cardboard boxes - and lots of furniture made from all kinds of found objects (detergent bottles, hangers and twine, etc). I wish I still had my collection of House of Miniatures furniture :-( and my numerous books on making furniture from balsa wood. I do still have a book with directions on making 'wicker look' furniture from soda cans! Now I'm off to read more of your wonderful posts!

  6. I was searching for this article and found your blog! Back when I was 10 I showed my dad this article and he built me wooden version of this, only mine had actual stairs between floors and three floors (two stories and an attic). I still have it and passed it along to my daughter who has now outgrown it. I could attach a picture of what I had if the comment would let me. I remember I asked my dad to make everything to the scale of my Dawn dolls, who populated the house and basically fit perfectly into the doll house furniture I could buy.

    1. Great memories this article brings back! I would love to see a picture of the dollhouse your dad made for you. If you are willing to share it with my readers, I would love to do a post about it sharing the information from your message and any other you wish to share. You can contact me at Hoping to hear from you soon!