Discover: Modern DIY Dollhouses Made From Recycled Supplies

Oh, the miniature magic of dollhouses! Back when I was growing up, dollhouses were one of the most coveted toys a kid could have. They came in all shapes and sizes – traditional, old-fashioned Victorian dollhouses, purely-plastic Barbie Dream Houses, the classic Fisher-Price dollhouse, tiny Polly Pocket homes. One of our very favorites was the Ewok family treehouse – swoon!

My sister and I happened to have the absolute best entrée to the dollhouse world – a very creative babysitter who helped us turn piles of old cardboard boxes and scrap paper into a miniature mansion. For months our ever-growing shoebox dollhouse took up a large corner of our small living room – lovingly housing our Sylvanian families, Lego people, and, Woodseys.

It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with simple, handmade dollhouses from recycled materials. In honor, I’ve put together this great big collection of inspiration so your own kids can discover the joy of making an imaginative dollhouse by hand!

DIY Cardboard Dollhouses

Cardboard boxes are pretty easy to come by these days, so grab 1, 2, or a few and try making one of these cool kid-made dollhouses!

A collection of modern DIY dollhouses made from recycled supplies | via barley & birch
A collection of modern DIY dollhouses made from recycled supplies | via barley & birch
A collection of modern DIY dollhouses made from recycled supplies | via barley & birch
  • A DIY cardboard castle from The Artful Parent – Save ALL of your cardboard boxes and tubes – this project is royally fun.
  • An upcycled cardboard dollhouse from The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood – you MUST see the furniture details and superbly cute peg doll crafting featured in this fun afternoon craft – so many good repurposes!
  • A cardboard box dollhouse from Non-Toy Gifts – Magazines do the furniture design work for you with this clever upcycle.
  • A box dollhouse from Made By Joel – Have some unique packaging you don’t know what to do with? This play home is inspiration to check out and save!

DIY Shoebox Dollhouses

It doesn’t get any easier than pulling out a shoebox, some paper, and glue, and letting your kids go to town creating their own rooms and houses.

A collection of modern DIY dollhouses made from shoeboxes | via barley & birch

DIY Fold-Up Dollhouses

These fold-up upcycled dollhouses are perfect space-savers for small spaces!

A collection of modern DIY fold-up dollhouses made from recycled supplies | via barley & birch

DIY Dollhouses from Other Upcycled Supplies

Getting tired of cardboard? Here are a few ideas that use other kinds of recycled materials to create cute mini doll homes…

A collection of modern DIY dollhouses made from recycled supplies | via barley & birch
A collection of modern DIY dollhouses made from recycled supplies | via barley & birch

DIY Bookcase Dollhouses

An bookcase or shelving, some paint/scrap paper, etc to decorate, and a tiny doll moving company are all you need for these clever upcycles!

A collection of modern upcycled DIY bookcase dollhouses for kids | via barley & birch

DIY Upcycled Dollhouse Extras

Take your dollhouses to the next level with a few recycled accessories reserved for the most EXTRA play fun.

A collection of modern upcycled DIY dollhouse extras for kids | via barley & birch

DIY Dollhouse Cities

So you have the house…why not turn make a few more and create your own dollhouse city?!

A collection of modern upcycled DIY dollhouse cities for kids | via barley & birch

DIY Upcycled Playhouses

Make a life-sized version for your real-life minis with these DIY ideas for upcycled playhouses for kids!

A collection of modern DIY playhouses made from recycled supplies | via barley & birch

Aren’t these a great excuse for you to play with dollhouses too?!

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Amanda E.
With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.

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4 Comments

  1. Cool DIY! Really you are so talented. I am totally impressed with your work. I am going to try this. Thanks and keep sharing.

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