Friday, September 4, 2015

DIY Tutorial - Mini Doll Houses

Recently on my G+ page I have been posting a lot of pictures of these tiny 'doll houses' I have made. Since I have been so busy in my life etc. making these tiny creations has really been a big form of stress relief for me. You can get one done in an evening or two and the result is totally adorable and pleasing.

I first found out about miniature doll houses on the blog Open House Miniatures. They talk about the history and origin of these things, so if you are interested in that please give their blog a look. There is also a tutorial on the blog, but I found it rather confusing, because I wanted to make my own houses rather than the print out provided in the tutorial.

So... I have created this tutorial for you on how to make your own folding doll house! My only request is that when you have finished one please let me see a picture, I think they are so cool.

  • Card stock
  • Plain printer paper
  • Clear/white glue (like Elmer's Glue)
  • Scissors
  • Markers, pencils, whatever you want to use to draw your doll house.

Step 1
Cut out all your squares of paper, you need 12 in total. I make my rooms 11/4 x 11/4 inch large, but you can make them any size you'd like. I used to make them slightly larger, but I think smaller looks cooler and I was able to buy a handy hole punch that would allow me to make these squares easily.
Step 2
Draw each of yours rooms! In total you will have four rooms that have two walls and one floor. Decorate the rooms however you like :D. There isn't a right or wrong way to do this, for example, here I made a tiny Tardis.
Step 3
Now it is time to start gluing. (A tl;dr gluing guide is at the end of this post.) Take your plain piece of paper and make 7 strips of paper around half an inch thick and double the length of your rooms. These are the strips you'll use to join the rooms together. Then lay out all your rooms like this. As you can see you have four rooms - a, b, c, and d. Each has a wall on the right _R, wall on the left _L, and a floor _F.

Step 4
First, we glue the right walls (R) to the floors (F). Spread a bit of glue along the bottom edge of room aR and attach one strip of paper to the bottom, lengthwise so that half of the paper is still visible.

Then put some glue on the top of the floor aF, place it face down on top of aR, with the glue side facing the paper strip, fold the paper strip over the exposed glue.

Repeat this process for all rooms.

Once the glue has dried trim the excess paper from either side of your rooms.

It is really important that you manually fold the paper strip over your room tiles and that you don't try to guesstimate where you should place the tiles or fold the paper strip in half and glue them on. The method of folding the paper makes sure that you have enough space between tiles so that your miniature doll house can fold together properly. Without enough space it will fold wonky and slanted.

Step 5
Now, starting with room b, glue another strip on the left, back side of bR.

Attach bR to bL using the same method as we used for the floor. Repeat this process for all room except a. Let the piece dry and cut off the excess paper from the strips.

Step 6
All your rooms should now be looking like this:

Now, glue the back of aR to bL.

The glue the back of cR to the back of dL.

They'll look like this when you are done:

Now, glue the back of bR to back of cL.

Finally, glue aL to the back of dR. At this point you can also add some squares of paper to the bottom of the house, to hide the paper strips on the bottom, if you think it would look nicer (I always do that :D).

And there you have it! Your very own miniature folding doll house!

I ended up adding some stamps to mine to snazz it up a bit!

Update: Someone asked me what the doll house looks like folded up. So here is a pic of that and also one where it is folded flat!

I hope you have fun making these and let me see your creations!



Quick Gluing Guide

  • With paper strips glue - aR to aF, bR to bF, cR to cF, and dR to dF. Let dry & trim strips.
  • With paper strips glue - bL to bR, cL to cR, and dL to dR. Let dry & trim strips.
  • Glue - aR to bL, cR to dL, bR to cL, and aL to dR.
  • Done!