How to make a shoe box doll house

Some instructions and tips for using shoe boxes to make doll houses for little girls. Ideas on where to find the boxes as well.

Want to put together a doll house for your little girl real fast? Gather some old shoe boxes and worry about decorating it later. Be sure the boxes are wide enough for the intended dolls to stand. To begin you'll need ten shoe boxes of equal size in height, width and depth. Lay four of the shoe boxes on their sides with the opening facing towards you and align them in a row, side-by-side. Where the first two shoe boxes meet cut the sides from the first two boxes. Where the second set of shoe boxes meet do the same thing. Tape or glue the two sets together to form two very large boxes. Attach the two box sets together at the side. You should now have two large rooms, which are attached, for the first floor of the dollhouse.

For the next story align three shoe boxes side-by-side, on top of the first story. Where the first two boxes meet cut the sides from the two boxes. Tape or glue the cut boxes to form one. Glue the small shoe box to the large box and glue the entire row to the first story of the doll house. You should now have a second story that has one large room and one small.

For the third story of the house cut the ends off of two boxes and glue or tape them together. Glue them to the second story of the house. They will form the third story. Glue one shoe box on the very top for an attic.

Put up wallpaper, lay carpeting and hang pictures to give the boxes a homey look. Fold 8th inch cardboard strips as you would a fan then open them up to make steps for the dollhouse. Spread the steps from the first to the second floor and glue. Do the same for the other floors. Felt can be used for carpeting or you can simply paint or color the steps.

Cover the boxes, altogether, with vinyl, cloth or another decoration. Glue small silk trees or bushes to the sides. Use the box lids to make things like a portable playground. Line the box lid with Spanish moss or felt then attach miniature swing set, slide and other playground equipment. Another idea for the lid is to make an animal kennel. Line the bottom of the lid with small pebbles or sandpaper. Put a picket fence around the perimeter and glue in kittens and pups. Other ideas for the lids are a garden and a parking garage.

If the house is intended for dolls that are taller than your box is wide, stand the boxes on one end. Use six boxes rather than four for the bottom. Cut the sides to where they will form two rooms from six boxes. For the second story use five boxes and cut to make two rooms - one small, one large. Four boxes will make two small rooms on the next story. For the attic use three boxes but cut them to make one room. Of course, the larger the boxes, the larger the rooms so try to use the largest ones possible. Some shoe stores have extra boxes that they will give you if you ask.

For a miniature dollhouse use children's shoe boxes placing three on the bottom, two in the middle and one on top.

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