DIY Doll House: Part Two

Doll house |K. Elflein Design
I’m back with interior pictures of my doll house project. I posted about prepping the house and the exterior here. This project was really so much fun! I was in my element, planning and executing designs. I did reuse/re-purpose some furniture, but I made a lot of the interior too. My goal was to create an attractive, yet sturdy doll house that I was comfortable the kids playing with. After all, they are 5, 3, and 1! I knew it couldn’t be precious or I’d never let them play with it. They have all impressed me with their interest with the house. They love to move furniture and make up stories with their Little People figures. Will has broken a few things, but so far we’re doing pretty well maintenance-wise.


On to the kitchen…

I made all of the kitchen furniture and most accessories, except the plant and wooden island! This room definitely took the majority of my time since I had to make everything. I did actually look for a kitchen set to buy, but I didn’t see anything I liked. The final outcome is different than I originally anticipated, but I still love the look. And because I was often working after midnight, but craftsmanship is a little lacking in some areas! I didn’t measure anything so everything has a rustic, handmade feel.


The top 1/3 of the walls are covered with a woven look scrapbook paper. On the far wall, I painted doll house bricks white and colored the mortar lines with a gray marker to look like subway tile.

Doll house kitchen | K. Elflein DesignI crafted the cabinets the cabinets, appliances, and range hood from balsam and scrap wood. I cut out the pieces with a utility knife and used wood glue to attach them. Once they dried, I painted them. The hood has layers of paint to resemble a copper hood. The cabinets are painted gray and have copper/aged brass handles. I covered the front of the fridge with metallic scrap book paper and added a handle. Shhhh, don’t tell… I didn’t add backs to anything that’d be against a wall! The cabinets, fridge, and dressers do not have backs.


The pendant light was fun to make, too. I painted half of a plastic Easter egg, cut a slit in the top, and strung string through it. For the top, I did the same using the cap to one of those quarter prize containers.
The chandelier over the table is still on my maybe-to-work-on list. I strung together leftover miniature Christmas bulbs and painted them silver and gold. The original colors are still poking through, though, so I may change it sometime. I found the pictures online and scaled them down to the appropriate size before printing them on cardstock. To “hang,” I used a glue stick! We’ll see how they hold up to little hands. 😉


The table was another thrift store find: I painted a candlestick holder navy and glued on a wooden disk from Hobby Lobby. I’m not wild about the chairs (and Will just broke some of the legs off – ugh!) but they work. I started with scrap wood, covered it in batting, and then used fabric glue to secure the “upholstery.” Definitely not my best work, but again, they work for now!

Doll house kitchen | K. Elflein DesignDoll house kitchen | K. Elflein DesignThe “enjoy” chalkboard sign is actually a mirror I found at a thrift store and painted black. I thought about using chalk to write the message, but wanted it to be permanent so I wrote it with a silver Sharpie.

I kinda love the bar stools, even though they’re super wobbly. I bent over-sized paperclips, painted them gold, and taped them onto wooden disks. Voila – a stool!
Doll house kitchen | K. Elflein DesignDoll house kitchen | K. Elflein DesignDoll house kitchen | K. Elflein Design


And now the living room…

Doll house living room | K. Elflein DesignThe living room was fun to do. The top part of the walls are covered with gray gingham scrapbook paper, trimmed out with scrap wood. I added three small wooden pegs by the door for hanging storage and the round mirror is a perfect fit for last minutes checks before heading out the door! I painted the inside of the door navy, as well as the desk under the window. My grandma made the lamp, but I painted it gold and the shade white to better complement the decor. Doll house living room | K. Elflein DesignI added legs to a broken couch and covered it with old fabric and fabric glue. I also recovered a too-traditional wingback chair in a modern stripe. I’m in love with the curtains! A bold floral and pom pom fringe is always a win in my book! For the fabric, I cut up one of Ellie’s outgrown dresses. Then I glued on the pom pom fringe. I do know how to sew, but since I was working late at night, I didn’t want to wake up the kids with the noise from the machine.
Doll house living room | K. Elflein Design Doll house living room | K. Elflein Design Doll house living room | K. Elflein Design Doll house living room | K. Elflein Design I found the coffee table at a thrift store. It was a candlestick holder in its previous life, but isn’t it perfect here?! I think it adds a bit mid century modern flair.Doll house living room | K. Elflein Design Dominic painted the art above the fireplace. If you look closely, you can see the Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious George by a tree. I love that he could contribute to the house!


I built the fireplace out of balsam wood and leftover doll house bricks painted white. For the logs, which in my opinion make the fireplace, I cut a dowel rod and painted the pieces to resemble birch logs. I glued them into place so they wouldn’t disappear as the kids played. Here again, I added some dimension by “painting” the grout lines gray with a gray marker and then wiping it off with a cloth.Doll house living room | K. Elflein Design DIY fireplace logs for doll house | K. Elflein Design Doll house Living Room | K. Elflein Design


Bonus: Doll house decked for Christmas

Since Brett and I gave the kids the doll house for Christmas, I had to decorate it for the holiday. I didn’t go overboard, but did add a few festive touches on the first floor.

Christmas doll house decor | K. Elflein A simple, unadorned flocked tree adds some Christmas and wintery spirit to the kitchen.
Christmas doll house decor | K. Elflein Christmas doll house decor | K. Elflein I free-handed this little Santa painting. It’s a great modern nod to the holiday.
Christmas doll house decor | K. Elflein I made this trio of stockings from felt, twine, and pom poms. I love their natural, classic look while still having personality. The tree ended up, ummm, interesting! At the last minute I wrapped the twine around the tree and glued on the plastic bulbs. I just wanted something colorful that the kids couldn’t destroy. Next year it will look different, I’m sure.
Christmas doll house decor | K. Elflein Christmas doll house decor | K. Elflein Christmas doll house decor | K. Elflein

That’s it for now! Be sure to check out the bedrooms and bathroom next.

DIY Doll House | K. Elflein Design

Doll house: the beginning 

Doll house: part III

Doll House: the beginning

Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design

Hey hey there! I’m excited to share a project I did for my kids’ Christmas gift. We always like to do something handmade for them, and this year, the gift idea presented itself. Dom and Ellie had been playing with one of my childhood doll houses but were starting to break the delicate furniture. I decided to revamp my doll house and make sturdy furniture that also fit my design style and give it to them to play with. One of my favorite things when I was younger was playing with my grandma’s beautiful doll house. I’m so glad my kids get to have a similar experience.


This project took many late nights. And even though I told myself I wouldn’t invest too much time/effort in it, I couldn’t resist! I never finished the house when I was a kid, so this was my chance. I did stick to my guns about not spending much money. I made much of the furniture, used fabric scraps, and scoured the thrift store to re-purpose items as furniture.


And I’m so glad I spent the time! All three of my kids love playing with the house. Will is still rough (and has broken the bathroom set already) but they have a blast.


Here’s what I started with. Yikes!

 Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design

 Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design

And here’s the finished house:

Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design
Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design

The house decorated for Christmas…
Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design


I have a ton of pictures, so I’ll split them into separate posts. For now, here’s how I got started.

The process

Clean up + prep

Here’s the house in all of its unfinished glory. I removed broken trim, wallpaper, and random accents that I never finished the first time around. Then I lightly sanded any rough spots and cut a new floor for the room with the stairs opening. I knew my kids would love the stairs, but they were broken and take up a lot of valuable real estate. So out they went! And in with a new solid floor.

Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design

For a realistic look, I stained the floors in Minwax Kona. As you can see, I didn’t worry about getting stain on the walls since I’d be painting them soon. Make sure you move in the direction of the wood grain for a smooth finish. I had planned to apply polyurethane to smooth the floors, but I didn’t bother. They’re a little rough, but just fine for playing.


While I was at it, I stained the roof and base. Shingles would be more realistic, but I didn’t have any, didn’t want to spend the money, and definitely did not feel like cutting 1.2 million rectangles.

Dollhouse | K. Elflein DesignDollhouse | K. Elflein Design



Next, I spent awhile taping. I covered the roof line where it intersects the ceiling, the newly stained floors, and the exterior vertical dividers. Then I painted everything white as a primer. The walls are very rough and pocked with holes, but the paint helped smooth them. I painted a second coat of white in every room except one, which I painted gray (the same as the exterior).

Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design

I had fun checking out my local stores for scrapbook paper for wallpaper. It must have gotten too cold outside, because I didn’t take progress pictures of installing wall coverings. But, I selected my wall treatment, measured, cut, and applied with either wood glue or mod podge. In addition to scrapbook paper, I used wood paneling and “bricks” from a doll house stash my grandma have me.



For the exterior, I removed the remaining shutters and made new ones, removed the porch, and replaced the picture window. I lightly sanded rough spots, and then painted the house with leftover paint.

Dollhouse | K. Elflein DesignDollhouse | K. Elflein DesignDollhouse exterior | K. Elflein Design

Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design


I’ll tease you with a quick peek into the modern, fresh, and bright interior:2016-02-02 15.37.45

Ok, that’s it for now! I’ll be back soon with pretty pictures of the interior.Dollhouse | K. Elflein Design

Part II – kitchen and living room

Part III – bedrooms and bathroom