Do you wanna build an upcycled dollhouse…

Upcycled dollhouse accessories from the thrift store /
Sung to the tune of Frozen’s “Would you like to build a snowman.”

“Do you wanna build a doll house….

It would be for a good cause…

You can put your spin on it.

Any way… any way you see fit cause….

(how am I doing?)

Playing with dolls

wooden bookshelf for an upcycled dollhouse
We’d like to utilize your talent.

To help a place with kids…

Won’t you please say yeeeeees?

Do you wanna to build a doll house…

Yes, it needs to be a doll house….

Me: Sure!

Okay, thaaaaanks!

Intrigued was an understatement. Doll houses have a special place in my heart.

Growing up, we use to make our own out of stacked cardboard boxes. We’d cut the windows out, use wrapping paper for the walls, fabric for curtains, and the Barbies would be all set!

Well… here’s my chance to relive a little of that childhood once again… but this time, we’re going upcycled with stuff from thrift stores.

Upcycled dollhouse accessories from the thrift store /
This is the kind of stuff I’d normally throw away pretty quick! But when you think of it as Barbie doll furniture and accessories, it becomes valuable property! 

Everything in this picture was .99 each. And I’ll be hand making lots of accessories.

Do you see the windows? How about the big screen TV? And even part of the bed… 

Goodness… I may have to locate my sewing machine! 

I said the S word… 😀

Let’s hope hot glue does the trick for what I need. 

Bookshelf to build an upcycled style dollhouse /
The idea behind the dollhouse was to utilize a bookshelf. Because I’d like to build it Barbie scale, I think this lightweight storage rack will work out great! With adjustable shelves and being solid wood, I plan to somewhat mimic features in my own home. I hope! 🙂

How unique is this challenge?! 

Not only is it going to a place that works with children in some capacity, it’s a neat way to create yet something unique that anyone else can do for little money. 

peeking under the door

Doyou wannawatch me build a doll house?

An upcycled thrift store doll house…

Ok, fiiiine! 😀

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with the good folks at Porch to create a dollhouse out of a bookcase, to donate for a good cause. I’m donating my time for this project, because this one spoke to me. All my ideas are my own.

Movie photos courtesy of Frozen, Walt Disney Studios

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27 thoughts on “Do you wanna build an upcycled dollhouse…

  1. I know this question is off topic, but where are your favourite thrift stores. I live in the Lower Mainland and my husband and I like to take daytrips to different ones. Thanks.

    • Hey Pamela!

      I love Harrison Hot Spring’s “Rusty”, Bibles for Mission and Salvation Army in Chilliwack, Granny and Grumpas in Abbotsford, and the antique mall in Fort Langley. Basically, I’ll stop at any thrift store or salvage yard because you never know… 🙂

      And if you make it all the way to Hope, there’s one on the back end of town on some Avenue… not on a map or online. It’s AMAZING. Just ask anyone in town where it is… they all know of it.

  2. What can be more fulfilling than using your creativity to bless some little children! Can’t wait to see the finished product! Fortunate children…..blessed you!

  3. What a fun project! Brought back memories of my sister and I playing with our dollhouses and making fun furniture & accessories too…like beds out of cigar boxes. My only thought (having 5 & 7 yr. old granddaughters who have a dollhouse) is the height of the 5 ft. tall shelving unit you plan to use. I’m envisioning my girl’s having to stand on something to reach the top shelf. Could a smaller version be built using a shorter shelf unit or bookcase? Can’t wait to see what you’re brainstorming and enjoy being a “child” again!

    • I thought of that Luane! I’m debating on just building the two units so they stand side by side. Condominium style! haha That way they can have a roof top patio! 🙂

      Thanks for chiming in on that! You helped me make up my mind on that!

  4. How exciting is this project! My Dad built a dollhouse for me and my sisters one Christmas. I rarely played barbie with it but instead would spend hours and hours decorating it. Our neighbor made sofas and beds out of cigarette packs wrapped with fabric. I can’t wait to see the progress of your doll house.

  5. Wow, so cool! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I’m sure it will be a far cry from the “houses” I used to build on the steps with pictures of rooms torn out of the JCPenney catalog! 😉

  6. Wow, does this bring back memories. When I was a kid, my parents put in a wood burning stove and Mom saved all the chimney boxes as they were 13″ tall. Just right for a Barbie house. We never glued the boxes together, as we wanted the flexibility of moving them however we wanted. I think we had 10 rooms? Sometimes it would be a 3 story home, stair stepped, so that the second floor had a roof top patio, sometimes it would be a two story, sometimes it would be 3 separate houses, as we all wanted to do it our own way.

    I am currently working on a dollhouse for myself (only girl in a house of boys…. needed something girly!) – it’s been fun creating my own pieces as well as following tutorials I’ve found online.

    Can’t wait to see your house progress and the finished piece.

  7. Okay, I’m already on the edge of my seat here…I can’t wait to see how you put all of these items together to make a dollhouse! Hurry please…my heart can’t take the waiting! 🙂

    And good on you for doing this for a good cause, too! I’m sure this dollhouse is going to make a lot of children’s days much brighter! Bless you!

  8. wooohooooo! I’m watching this build with even more interest than usual, Donna! I’m into miniatures- building my own dollhouses and decorating and furnishing them. I’m keen to see how you utilise the ‘stuff’ you bought and find along the way!

  9. i’m very interested in the dollhouse from old stuff,are done with it yet or are you still thinking about everything and how it will become a barbei house, let me know when you have pctures of your creation i’d love to see them and what you came up with ,thanks tenny

      • Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. My sisters and I would also spend countless hours setting up elaborate homes for our Barbies and making our own furnishings. I particularly remember using the old Q-Tip boxes to make chests of drawers for their clothes. My Mum sewed and knitted all sorts of clothing for them and made tiny comforters and blankets for their homemade beds. Thanks for inspiring a trip down memory lane. So many happy, carefree hours spent on this.

  10. Can’t wait to follow your build! My fav dollhouse was my best friend’s dollhouse. Her Grampa built her’s from scrap wood and put real working tiny lightbulbs in it so each room had a ceiling light. The entire dollhouse operated off of a regular light switch somehow rigged up to one of those 24 volt batteries. It had old wallpaper scraps on the walls and little furry rugs in the bedrooms. Wow, I haven’t thought about that dollhouse in many moons 🙂

  11. Can hardly wait to see your dollhouse creation! Know it will be phenomenal & unique ~ something those kids will surely treasure. I have a wooden & wire house (really a huge 2-story bird cage) that I converted to a great dollhouse for my “grands” … it now has a permanent place in our living room. The fun part about it being part wire is that you can see into it from all sides. I’m intrigued by the pieces you’ve already gathered from the thrifts: I have an idea or two myself, but I’m sure yours are much more ingenious!

    Hope you will post progress pics along the way!?! We’re all SO anxious to see & share, you know! Happy building & furnishing, Donna!

  12. I can’t wait to see your doll house as well. I just won the book “The Paper Playhouse” by Katrina Rodabaugh. Just the cover alone is great. I was never into Barbies even though I have my one and only from the 50’s. I like the smaller scale for dollhouses. I even make little peg people for the little ones to use in their houses.

  13. Yup…I love you! Lol! Not in a CrAzY, dIsFuNcTiOnAl kinda way! Just love what you do and your site!

    Every now and again I feel that I have to post a comment simply because I am so inspired by your projects!

    Honestly, on days when I’m either feeling down or unmotivated, I’ll hop online to do a little “surfing”.(And “DING!”<—a light bulb w/o light..or the bulb!) Your website will pop into my head. And if nothing else (which is rare) I know I can count on a laugh!

    If you ever choose to do a little online mentoring PLEASE shoot me an email!

    Thank you for sharing your gift!

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