Playmobil House




About: I begun in that artistic/craftsman world by the hand of my mother who is potter and art teacher. Also in my father's hobby wood-workshop I learn to lathe and use all kind of tools. I coursed some studies ...

My 2012'Summer project has been  to build up a Playmobil house for my son what fits whit the "henhouse" which he currentlyalready has.

To make it a little bit more interesting I plan not to spend anything but finally, I'm tired of seeking materials and finally I buy some of them... Without exceeding 7$, compared with the 120$ to 260$ prices playmobil houses on ebay... really cheap!

To build it I use the following Bill of Materials:
- Scrap "wood", picked from the rear plate of a wardrobe, in my case, the measurements are something like 80x180cm. (0$)
-"Wood batten" 2,5mtrs x 1cm. x1cm. (4$)
-6little hinges. (2,20$)
-1 box of little fasteners (20x6mm). (0,80$)
-Rapid drying white glue. (already had it)
-Contact glue.(already had it)
-some other scrap materials like plastic profile, wire... etc...

For the tools, I use:
-Jigsaw, with "clean and curve cutting saw",
-"Mitter saw",
-A Dremel tool with some implements.

Step 1: Planning

For the plans I sketch an orthographic view of the house I got in mind, and few days after, I convert it to a more defined blueprint (with MS Word!). But I don't know if I did it well because I made the blueprint without thinking too much, and the width of the wood I use differs from the one I planned, and after it, when I cut all the pieces, I needed to discard some of them and cut it again...

Because of that, I do not stress the measurements of the house, if somebody wants to build one like this one, you need to take your own measurements of the different rooms/spaces he/she wants...

The only thing you really need to keep in mind is that: Playmobil figures measure 7,5cm tall, and 5cm width.

In my plans, I need to bear in mind is about the henhouse I want to put against the wall of the farmyard, measure 11cm width and 10,5 cm high.

For the different roofs, the height one to another I plan to be 10cm.

Step 2: Drawing on the Wood

This step is really easy. Following the blueprints, draw the different pieces on the wood plate with different metallic and plastic rulers and a permanent ink pen.

If you make errors drawing it, you can clean it with alcohol.

Is really important to draw/place all the pieces one to another to save sawing time when cutting and save wood also.

Step 3: Cutting

For cutting this type of plywood, I use a jigsaw equipped with a tiny blade marked as "wood clean cut".

Is important to remember:
Do a clean and straight cut,
Better with high jigsaw rates but slow advance velocity
Cut for the outside part of the lines marked on the wood, and after sand the pieces if needed.
Go numbering or naming all the pieces to not lose them or have the risk to forgot where it goes...

CUTTING INNER CORNERS: to cut inner corners, when the saw arrives at the end of the first cut, go back 1 cm and now, go forward "eating" a little bit of the wood on the inside part of the piece, repeat this until you get sufficient space to turn the jigsaw and continue cutting the other side of the piece. (To clarify this point, see the fourth pic of this step).
CUTTING WINDOWS: With a drill, perforate a hole (or a couple of them) where you can insert the jigsaw blade to cut the windows. See pics 6 and 7 of this step.
Using these techniques, you got a clean cut, but unfortunately, you need to re-cut the pieces to make doors or shutters...

Step 4: Sanding

Now it's time to sand the pieces.

It can be done with the classic hand methods:
- Sandpaper wrapped around a square piece of wood as  seen on pic 3 of this step.
- With a file,
The classic table method:
- Sand paper fixed on a table and sand the pieces over it.
Or the different mechanical methods:
- With a "vibration/orbital sander" or a belt sander...
Or ... You can do as I do and adapt a grinding machine to be a sanding machine. See pic 1 and 2 of this step.
What you gain with this is a powerful, big and regular sanding surface, ideal to level all the sides of a big piece at the same time.

The only thing is to be careful with the sanding and do not sand too much... if you do it, maybe you need to cut again the piece...

Step 5: Assembling

To assemble it, I use the wood batten as a reinforcement at the "inner" part of the joints, Rapid Drying  White Glue and clamps, lot of clamps, I like The Clamps! I buy 2mx0,5cmx0,5cm batten on local wood dealer (for 3$ +or-). And I cut this batten at different sizes depending on where I want to place it.

First I glue one batten piece and attach it onto one of the pieces to be joined (see pic 3&4), and once dried, I attach to it the other piece / other side of the corner(see pic 5).

To join the inside walls, I use two pieces of batten side by side with a separation of few millimeters where I can place the wall (see pics 6 to 9).

Inside an old printer, I found a lot of interesting parts and pieces, one of them is an aluminum "L" shaped piece, what I use as a ruler and for join some of the corners as you can see in pics 12 & 13.

In pics 14 & 15 you can see different parts and stages of the assembling process.

Step 6: Doors and Other Apertures

One of the most important parts of "doll houses" is to give the opportunity to play inside them to the kids. And, this project can't be lacking!

I buy some little hinges, usually used to craft pencil cases (as the box says).

On some of the "hinged parts" I need to cut a little part of the wood to fit better the hinge, in some others, this is not necessarily, it depends on the "door" position and on the hinge shape.

First I try to glue it with contact glue, but it fails and I need to fix it with some little screws. The "problem with this is the screws are longer than the width of the plywood and the hinge, and once fixed, they need to be cut. For that I use a Dremel with a cutting metal disc. When the points of the screws are cut, I sand them to prevent any damage to the user's hands.

Step 7: Stairs

With a plywood plateplaced in an upright position, a scrap 'L' shaped piece of plastic and contact glue, I build up the 1st floor stairs.
For the second floor stairs, I use a playmobil stair what we already had...
Go trough the picts to see what and how I do...

Step 8: Decorating and Finishing

For the outside part of the house, I engraved some stones and bricks on the doors, windows and on the wood wall of the "corral".
For that, I use a Dremmel Tool with a tear shaped engraver. I try to imitate the typical Mediterranean stone lintels.

On the beginnings, I plan to paint the finished house, but now, I prefer to leave as is, more "natural"... Maybe in a future, I paint it... maybe...



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    16 Discussions


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks, is an old project, now I will do it slightly different, but my sons continue playing with this house yet!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice. I tried to make one too (based on my own plan), but I found I can't cut straight enough with the saw (I think we even have the same Bosch saw) and I don't have a sander to correct any errors, so I gave up.
    The engravings are a nice touch. I also liked the mechanics behind the instructable, the batten sticks, the custom ruler and the way of construction in general.
    Anyhow, you gave me ideas, and I'll try again. Thanks a lot.

    PS Seeing this house, I wondered for the Nth time why we don't see more instructables including Playmobil mods, houses, customizations.

    5 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You are welcome!
    And that's it What I prefer when I dive into the ideas the people gave me and how they solved the difficulties...
    And yes I think the same about the absence of playmobil mods... Maybe is about isn't an american toy, and they have much popularity in Europe than in Amerikas... I don't know...

    And if you build up this house... We want photos and the instructable!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Ah, I thought you maybe were European, when I saw the Bosch and the marker you used (Staedler with two tips?). I am also European. Due to work, I don't have much time, but I made some thoughts about Playmobil-related projects and maybe later, on the winter, I'll make an instructable or two.
    I am also looking for ideas into instructables, the only sad think is when I find something of a good project that I know is beyond my capabilities, for example surface mounted circuits. I am making the thought, that maybe if someone (that applies to you) comes up with a good instructable like the house you made, there might be others inspired and we may soon see more.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I' from S-Pain...
    And I have the same time problem, When My son is sleeping I can do something, but when I do the Big Part of the work is in weekends and holidays...

    "I am making the thought, that maybe if someone (that applies to you) comes up with a good instructable like the house you made, there might be others inspired and we may soon see more." Hope it too!



    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I am from Greece... and making projects is one way to keep me sane these days...

    Cheers to you too!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Jeje! We are from the opposite sides of the sea, but on the same side of falsehood economy top level countries!!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Good work!
    I like the additions around the windows and the flap back roof.
    Will you do furniture too ?

    1 reply