Get creative this summer, and make your own American Girl doll condo. My daughter and I made one for her 8th birthday party. Her friends enjoyed playing with the condo so much that she had an American Girl party again when she turned 9. When she was finally tired of the doll bedroom, we disassembled it and recycled the cardboard.
For Christmas last year, I upcycled my son's dorm refrigeration box into a doll condo for my nieces. My nieces helped customize their condo. Currently, they are using their doll bedroom as an orphanage.
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Step 1: Materials
- Cardboard box(es) (approximately 21" x 23" x 35")
- Wooden dowel (approximately 24", length of side + 1")
- Fabric and binder clips for wall paper
- Linoleum or carpet for floor
- Brown wrapping paper and construction paper for brick front
- Box and paper fasteners for mail box
- White shirt box and green construction paper for street sign
- Glue stick
- Clear packing tape
- Box cutter
For my daughter's doll condo, I used two CRT computer monitor boxes taped together. I used the box from my son's dorm refrigerator for my niece's condo.
Step 2: Prepare Box
If the box has metal staples, remove the staples, and use packing tape to maintain the box shape while you work.
Position the box lengthwise on your work surface. Cut the top side of the box open.
Tape down box flaps.
Step 3: Add Closet Rod
Decide which side the closet is on. Cut a notch 6" from the side and 1" down on the front and back for the closet rod. Place wooden dowel closet rod in notches.
Step 4: Cut Door Opening
Cut opening for door. My door was about 20" wide. I left 8" on the left front and 12" on the right front, closet side.
Step 5: Add Flooring
For flooring, I used an old piece of kitchen linoleum. A carpet scrap or wood flooring remnants are other options.
Step 6: Decorate Walls
I used an old curtain for wall paper. I cut the fabric the correct length and used binder clips to attach the right side of fabric to outside of doll condo. I removed the wire pieces from the binder clips and flipped the fabric over for a neat finish.
Step 7: Decorate Outside
I used various shades of brown and black construction paper to make bricks (about 2" x 8"). I glued these to a piece of brown wrapping paper in a brick pattern. This brick paper was glued to the outside front.
Step 8: Furnish Your Doll Condo
For my niece's condo, I used a wooden doll bed with an Amish quilt. My daughter had bunk beds for her American Girl dolls that fit well in her condo. Hang doll clothing on closet rod and add a laundry basket.
Step 9: Customize With Mail Box
My niece helped add a mail box to her condo. She printed "Mail" and the house number and glued a USPS mail logo on a small cardboard box. We attached this to the front of the doll condo with paper brads.
Step 10: Customize With Street Sign
My niece also helped add a street sign to her condo. She printed the street name she choose on a piece of green construction paper with a thick marker. I cut out the letters. She then glued the street sign on a white shirt box. When dry, she cut out the street sign and glued it to the outside of the condo.
Step 11: Other Customizations
What customizations can you think of? My daughter and her friends strung paper chains in her condo to celebrate one of her doll's birthday. My niece added Christmas garland to hers for the holiday season and made a side table out of cardboard. I think window boxes would be a cute addition.