How to make an American Girl Dollhouse from an old Armoire
American Girl Dollhouse
I have taken on a pretty big personal project and I’m excited to share it with you. I’m hoping that this project will give you inspiration of your own! Before I get too far into the project, I first want to share a little bit of my background so hopefully you will understand me and what makes me tick. ?
I love to be frugal. I coupon every week when I buy groceries and when there is a good deal out on clothes, toys, you name it, I know about it! I was on Extreme Couponing a few years back. That’s when I had a coupon blog and I did coupon classes almost every weekend. Being a part of the coupon world became a little crazy, especially when TLC made me seem over the top(I’m NOT!), so I stepped away from that and started doing American Girl crafts with my daughter. I enjoy this blog much better! I am very thrifty when it comes to decorating my house even if that means I need to give an old piece of whatever I find a little elbow grease. I love old thrift shops, consignment stores, antique shops, and a good ole flea market always gets me excited. On Saturday mornings I like to cruise around my neighborhoods looking for a yard sale to stop at. I keep my “doll eyes” open looking for goodies that my daughter can use for her American Girl dolls as I’m sure most of you do. And even though my husband hates when I do it, I’m not afraid to stop at the dump or on the side of the road when a poor piece of furniture has been thrown out never to have a future again. I absolutely LOVE bringing things back to life. Repurposing things excites me and even though many times during a project I’m tired and I want to give up, when it’s finished it’s always worth it.
And that is why I bring you this post. A few weeks ago I noticed large pieces of furniture had been thrown out at a dump. Curious me decided to go check them out and boy am I excited that I did! I found a few huge, wooden armoires that were in great condition. They are old, but other than that, they are structurally sound. They are very heavy so I had my husband load two up, and home we went!
Here is a picture of them once I found a place in the house for them. This is my craft area so it’s the perfect destination. Oh, I’m sure you have figured out by now that I want to turn them into dollhouses right?! I love the thought of being able to close them when they are not in use.
I started off by brainstorming. How many levels do I want? How many levels will fit the dolls comfortably? Where do I want my rooms? Should I put the Our Generation Retro Diner in it? I had to think of these things before I started because I didn’t want to be halfway through and then realize some things wouldn’t fit. So, if you are going to build a dollhouse, whether it’s from scratch or you are repurposing a piece of furniture for it, think about the things you already have. What do you have that you want to go in the dollhouse? Measure them first to make sure they will fit.
I took out the top shelf and saved it. It just needed to be lowered. I sanded the spots that were rough.
Once I measured where each level would be, I added supports. So far I have only used scrap wood from my supply! Woohoo! After the supports were in place, I added the levels. One level was already cut since it came with the armoire. I just made another one like it to fit into place.
I am painting the top level now. I might play around with the colors. Not sure yet. What do you think?
I have added a wall on my second level to divide the space for two rooms. The smaller room will be a bathroom. I am still not sure what I want the room next to the bathroom to be, I am playing with so many options in my head. Kitchen? Bedroom? Changeable room?! I like the last option the best I think. It could be my one room that I change the setting/scenery for.
One the wall was in place I painted both rooms the colors of my choice. A light blue is always good for a bathroom and yellow is always a fun, happy color. If you look closely, you will notice the floors are in too! There are so many ways you can do floors. You can get the sticky back linoleum, peelie tiles, sample hard wood floors, or just paint them! I chose to do something new as this isn’t my first house and I love exploring new options. I googled bathroom floors and found an image that I liked. I printed it on hard card stock and used Mod Podge to stick it on the floor. Once it was glued in place I did a thick coat of Mod Podge on top of it to seal it on. That way it doesn’t have the paper feel to it. Check it out! I love it!
I decided on this fun pattern for the kitchen of my dollhouse. It is wrapping paper that I got one year from Target on clearance at 90%off. I knew it would come in handy one day! I am slowly putting everything in to place. I don’t want to rush any room. I want to make sure it turns out exactly as I’d hoped for, even it takes a little longer! Plus, the kids are still having fun with it while it’s under construction!
**I will keep updating this post the further along I get in the project. I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas on this project so far! Please share a comment below. Thanks! **
July 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm –
This is so awesome!!!!!! I love it.
March 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm –
November 17, 2015 at 9:19 am –
Hi, do you have any pictures of the entire dollhouse? I have an armoire I’m working on and would love to see the full view!
August 14, 2015 at 9:32 am –
This is such a great idea!!!! I love it!! I love all your creations!!
July 24, 2015 at 11:07 am –
i admire your talent and skill for all the projects that you have share with your audience. You have inspire us all to take our crafting to the next level. Will their be a kitchen sink or dish washer tutorial in the near future. Your armoire doll house is fabulous. Will both armoires become doll houses. I would like to know have you thought about replicating the latest American Girl hair and spa chair. Thank you and love everything you create an avid fan.
July 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm –
I have that wrapping paper! What a great idea to use it as wallpaper for a kitchen!
July 1, 2015 at 5:26 am –
That is awesome!! Can you maybe make a tutorial on how to make an AG chimney? please
March 8, 2015 at 12:02 pm –
This is amazing! I need to find armorie when will you be able to update this I really want to see the progress it’s so brilliant and organized I need to see the progress
February 12, 2015 at 11:35 pm –
This is exactly what I need to do! We have young kids over at our house frequently, so I don’t like all of our AG stuff exposed, so I have been trying to figure out how we can do a house without having everything out for careless hands to break. This is genius! I can’t wait to see some more progress and the final result!
February 13, 2015 at 8:07 am –
I agree, I don’t always like company to see the doll ‘mess’, so this is a great way to hide it!
January 27, 2015 at 10:14 pm –
You did a Great Job I will have to try and find one of these or something similar at a yard sale to start working on
January 18, 2015 at 11:31 am –
Great idea! I wish I had the space to do something like this.
January 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm –
Phenomenal idea, and the most creative thing I have ever seen! I love it!.. I bet it keeps the dolls clean as well.
January 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm –
This idea was SO NEAT! I love it! Where did you find / how did you make the doll oven?
January 3, 2015 at 1:50 pm –
I built the oven myself:) Here is the link to the oven https://www.americangirlideas.com/american-girl-stove/
January 2, 2015 at 11:24 pm –
It’s past 2 am and I’m glue to your website. Great ideas. I will follow your progress with your dollhouse. I need to find an armoire.
November 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm –
A fellow crafter, yeah! I discovered your YT channel. Mine’s been going since January when I was charged up to make a dance studio. Since then, I can’t seem to stop! I have bags of small recycled items in my house for “someday” projects. I’m glad to see you look at things like that too. Great score on the armoires! They look great in your room.
November 18, 2014 at 7:14 pm –
Thanks so much! I LOVE “upcycling”