Making your own dollhouse is a great way to spend quality time with your kids and encourage their creativity. It’s also a great way to teach them the value of reuse. Actually making the dollhouse, however, can be frustrating when you’re not sure how to go about it.
Here are 5 helpful tips for creating your own dollhouse without the frustration.
1. Organize your dollhouse
Most of us aren’t blessed with the ability to play by ear on a big project and have everything close at hand. You should have a good idea of what you want the finished product to be and how everything will fit together. Know where to cut, why, and clearly mark “this side up” where needed to stay oriented. There’s nothing worse than doing most of the way, only to realize that one of the pieces doesn’t fit because it was upside down!
If you do, keep detailed notes on what you did so you can repeat the process when your neighbor wants one for his or her children.
2. Involve your children
Unless the dollhouse is made as a gift for one of the children, it is best to involve them in the whole process. The act of making something from scratch, building it and seeing it take shape is very healthy for a child and encourages their own creativity and confidence. While it’s tempting to think it would be quicker to do it yourself, get the kids involved, and enjoy the experience no matter how long it takes.
Stay safe and always keep track of the exact scissors and knife!
3. Make it durable
Dollhouses are made for play, so focus on making them durable. You can also make it fancy if you and your kids want it, but durability should come first. They will have a lot more fun with a dollhouse that lasts for years, rather than one that falls apart after a couple of play sessions.
Cardboard is a convenient and inexpensive building material, but it is not known to be durable. The edges of the cardboard are dangerous spots, as young arms could reach out over a wall in a dollhouse. You can reinforce the edges with wood scraps from any other project you may have in progress to create an edge that resists abuse.
4. Use what you have
It’s tempting to go to the craft store and buy everything you need for a new dollhouse. But it sends a better message to your kids and it’s cheaper to use the materials you already have around the house.
An empty paper towel tube, for example, can become a dining chair or a painted column. Be prepared to learn from experience what works and what doesn’t. For example, old popsicle sticks could serve as the surface and legs of a dining table or the sides of a stroller. But craft sticks are quite inexpensive and much more durable.
5. Accept what comes
There is a good chance that something is not going to plan. Rather than get angry, accept it as something new in the plan and continue as best you can. If the window isn’t exactly where you wanted it, the view is probably better from the new location anyway.
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