Anatomy of a Dollhouse

Check out the directions below to make the dollhouse featured on "GMA" today.

ByABC News via logo
December 21, 2008, 11:11 AM

Dec. 22, 2008 — -- Check out the directions below to make the dollhouse featured on "GMA" today.

1/2 inch AC Plywood (sanded on both sides) 15/32" x 4' x 8' **Building supply stores can cut the plywood to the dimensions needed. See cut sheet for details.
Wood Glue
Sandpaper--(80 grit/rooftop shingles)
Knobs for Drawers--(2 – can use knobs you already have)
3" x 5" Picture Frames--(11) for windows
4" x 6" Picture Frame--(1) for door
1 1/4" Wire Nails
1" Wire Nails
Straight Edge
Hand Saw
Tape Measure
Marking Pencil
Drill with assorted Drill Bits
Medium Duty Hammer
High Temperature Hot Glue Gun

Corner Molding -- (1) 8' strip
Decorative Architectural Elements--(furniture, chimneys, stairs, etc...)
Pin Striping Tape--(for window grids)
Small Wood Screws
Miter Box--(for cutting molding)

Step One – Build Base1) Nail two of the base supports (measuring 3¾" x 15¼") together, using ¾" nails. They should form a piece that is 1 inch thick.
2) Mark a line at the center of the long side of the base shelf (measuring 15¼" x 36"). The center line should be drawn at 18".
3) Place the base supports (the two you just nailed together in the first step) on their narrow side, at the middle of the base shelf. Attach them with 1¼" nails.
4) Place the two remaining base supports on either side of the base shelf, on their narrow edges, flush with the edge of the base shelf. Attach them with 1¼" nails.
5) Flip the base shelf with attached supports over, and attach the second base shelf to the top using 1¼" nails. There should be two openings in the base measuring 3¾" by 17".

Step Two – Build Drawers
1) Build a small box by nailing the two shorter drawer sides (measuring 3" by 13½") to the two longer drawer sides (measuring 3" by 16¾").
2) Attach the drawer bottom (measuring 14½" by 16¾") to the bottom of the box.
3) Center the drawer front on the longer side of the box. Attach with nails and wood glue, making sure the bottom of the drawer front is flush with the bottom of the box.
4) Repeat steps 1-3 to make the second drawer.

Note: These windows are sized so that you can use inexpensive 3" by 5" picture frames to cover the openings, creating the illusion of real windows.

1) Draw a line down the center of each side panel (measuring 15¾" x 48"). The line should be drawn lengthwise at the 7 7/8" mark.

2) Measuring from the bottom of the side panel along the center line, place a mark at 8", 21", and 34". This will mark the bottom of each window opening.

3) From each mark, measure up the center line another 3¼" and make another mark. This will be the top of each window opening.

4) Measure out 2 3/8" in both directions from each mark on the center line. These points are the four corners of the window openings. Draw straight lines to connect them.

5) Drill a hole at each corner. The idea is to make an opening big enough for the end of the saw blade to fit in to.

6) Cut out the window openings using the saw. (You can also use a jig saw if you have one available.)

Step Four -- Cut the Roof Slope
1) Find the top of the center line on each side panel. From this point, draw two lines at a 45-degree angle out to the edges of the panel. (A speed square will make this easier if you have one available.)
2) Cut along the angled lines with the saw. The top of each side panel should now come to a point.

Step Five – Cut Out Windows and Door On Front of House
Note: The front windows are also sized for 3" by 5" picture frames. For the door, a 4" by 6" frame will cover the opening.
1) Find the front panel of the dollhouse, which measures 36" wide by 40" tall.
2) Measuring along the bottom from left to right, place a mark at 6", 16", and 25¾".
3) From the marks at 6" and 25¾", measure over an additional 4¾" to the right and make two more marks. These marks are for the width of the windows.
4) At the 16" mark, measure over 4" to the right and make an additional mark. These marks are for the width of the door.
5) Find each of the marks for the door width. Measure up from each one, making a mark at 4¾" and at 11¼". These four marks are the four corners of the door. Draw straight lines to connect them.
6) Find each of the marks for the window width. Measure up from each one, and place a mark at 8", 11¼", 21", and 24¼".
8) From each of those marks, measure out 2 3/8" in either direction and make a mark. These new marks are the four corners of the windows. Draw straight lines to connect them.
9) For the center window on the second story, measure over from right side of the panel and place a mark at 15½" and 20¼".
10) From these two marks, measure up 21" and 24¼ and place a mark at each point. These are the four corners of the center window. Draw straight lines to connect them.
11) Drill a hole in each window and door corner that is big enough to fit in the end of your saw blade.
12) Cut out holes for all windows and the door.

2) Attach the floor supports at the bottom of each line using 1¼" nails. (A second option is to pre-drill holes and use screws to attach the floor supports instead of nails.) The floor support for the front panel goes from edge to edge, and the floor support for the side panels should be secured flush with the outside edge. Note: Always drill or nail from the thinner material into the thicker material.

Step Seven – Attach Sides And Front To Base
1) Align each side panel with the outside edge of the front panel, and nail the side to the front.
2) Slide the base inside the three connected panels.
3) Make sure all sides are flush, then use nails to attach the panels to the base.

Step Eight – Install Shelves/Flooring
1) Slide the remaining shelves (measuring 15¼" by 36") into place above the floor supports.
2) Use nails or screws to attach shelves to supports.

Step Nine – Install Room Dividers
1) Decide if you would like room dividers to be recessed (leaving space between the divider and the edge of the dollhouse) or flush with the edge of the house. Choose the appropriate size dividers.
2) Slide dividers into the dollhouse, between the shelves, to create rooms of whatever size you would like.
3) Nail or screw from top of shelf to hold in place.

Step Ten – Connect Roof Panels And Secure
1) Cut a half-moon shape into one of the roof panels to allow access for playing on the third floor.
2) Place both roof panels together, with the long edges flush, to create a right (90-degree) angle. Nail together.
3) Place the joined panels on top of the house, with the cut out side facing the open room areas. Use 1¼" nails to attach to side and front panels.

Step Eleven – Decorate House
Note: You can use things you already have for trimmings. Leftover paint and wallpaper, fabric scraps, etc. can all be used to decorate the house.
1) Paint body of house.
2) Add corner molding to front corners and any other trim enhancements. (To add molding, you will need to miter the edges so that it fits properly under the roof.)
3) Cut out strips of sandpaper with scalloped edges by using decorative scissors. Use hot glue to secure strips to roof to mimic shingles.
4) Glue on picture frames to create window and door frames. (Remove back of frame, secure glass with a bit of glue, and then glue the frame over the window or door hole in the dollhouse.)
5) Add any desired wall or floor coverings to inside, add furniture, etc.

Finished dollhouse will be 4 feet tall by 41" wide by 17" deep.
Dollhouse plans courtesy of Simply Michele, Inc.