Introduction: Foldable Milkcrate Doll House
When I saw the Re-use contest I was immediately inspired to make something with milkcrates because I have so many of them. After pondering the idea of different storage options and tables, I somehow landed on a foldable dollhouse. This is my best attempt at making a useable dollhouse by re-using household items.
-Two Milk Crates
-Spray Paint (optional)
-Old Shoe Lace
-Hot Glue Gun
-Cloth/Material of choice (optional)
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Step 1: Spray Paint
Although this is an optional step within the process of making a dollhouse out of milkcrates, spray painting the crates one color (in this case white) makes the milkcrates more uniform and seem higher in quality. I chose to spray paint my crates white because it is nice, simple, and it applies to a larger variety of people. The main reason behind this being an optional step is because spray paint is the only thing I bought for this project, so I obviously didnt reuse it.
Step 2: Drill Holes for Shoelace Hinge
Use a 9/64 inch drill bit to drill 10 holes in each milkcrate in the places shown to allow for the shoe lace to be threaded through. On some milkcrates the square holes on the side are closer to the edge, meaning you could also potentially skip this step as well, but in my case the holes were too far from the edge so I made my own with the exact size of the eaglet of the shoelace.
Step 3: Tie Shoe String
Take the old shoe string and “lace up” your milk rates just like an actual shoe through the holes drilled in the previous step. When you get the shoe lace through all of the holes, tie a basic knot and cut off the ends of the shoe string so there isn’t any extra hanging around. This simple method creates the most important part of this project, the hinge.
Step 4: Dollhouse Floor and Walls
Next, cut two 12 inch by 12 inch pieces of cardboard to act as the back wall in the milkcrate. Then cut two more pieces out of cardboard that are approximately 10 and 1/2 inch’s by 12 inches to act as the floor of the dollhouse. These measurements may vary every so slightly depending on your milkcrate, but the values provided are for my specific milkcrate.
Step 5: Floor Carpet
This step is optional as well, but it adds a little bit of variety any child may enjoy while playing with this dollhouse. Take an old piece of fabric, or any other type of cloth and cover one of the floor cardboard pieces with it. In my case, I used a blue hand towel to make a blue carpet in the bedroom section of the dollhouse.
Step 6: Add Floors and Walls
Take your hot glue gun and hot glue on the back four corners of the back wall, and press cardboard into place. Repeat the same process but for the floor, and then repeat the process once again for the other milkcrate. You may need to add extra hot glue on the milkcrate with the hand towel to help hold the fabric tight against the cardboard, but that depends on the size of your hand towel/fabric and the thickness of it. At this point in the build it’s starting to actually look like something.
Step 7: Add Toys
The original plan was to print out back drops and glue them to the back walls of the milkcrates, but I figured that might restrict a kids imagination while playing if you designated one room as a kitchen or bedroom because they may never be able to imagine it as a different room. By leaving them basically as a blank slate, one time a child plays with this dollhouse it could be a kitchen, but the next time they play it might be a secret hidden room. To counteract the General scenes set by the walls and floor, add your kids favorite toys to begin play.
Step 8: Fold Up
Fold the milkcrates in and close them up tight by tying the side handles together with an old bandana. Not only will this compact design help make your kids room look cleaner, it also creates an easy storage option for the dollhouse and prevents any toys from falling out when it’s closed.
Step 9: Carry by Handles
Imagine, it’s time for work and you need to take your kid to your parents house to babysit them. This milkcrate design leaves the original handles of the milkcrate exposed, making a very viable solution for transport. Carry the dollhouse by the handles shown above. Toy transportation has never been more convienient. With this milkcrate dollhouse you have easy to carry handles and you’ll never drop or lose a toy through its holes due to the fold up feature and included cardboard sheets blocking the original milkcrate holes.