Plywood Dollhouse




About: I'm an architecture student from Lisbon, Portugal that loves to create stuff and learn woodworking.

This project is a small dollhouse made of Birch Plywood.

( 560 x 350 x 400 mm)

I got inspiration from nordic furniture and decided to design this simple wooden toy that can fit anywhere without taking lots of space.

I used one third of a full sheet of plywood (18 x 2500 x 1250 mm) that i had from a previous project.

I hope you enjoy and make one too!

Step 1: Materials and Tools


1 - Birch Plywood or other kind!

2 - Masking Tape

3 - Dowels (8 x 40 mm, to cover screw holes)

4 - Wood Glue

5 - Wax finish

6 - Papper Templates

7 - Spray Glue

8 - 1 x Big Dowel (25 x 350 mm)

9 - Sandpapper (180 and 250)

10 - Wood screws


11 - PowerDrill

12 - Drill bit for wood (same diameter as the dowels)

13 - Hinge bit (25 mm diameter)

14 - Clamps

15 - Jig Saw

16 - Circular Saw

17 - Chisel

18 - Orbital sander (optional but makes the task of sanding faster)

Step 2: Cut the Templates

Next step, cuts!

1 -Print the templates of the diferent parts in A2 format sheets (420 x 594 mm)

2 - Stick the templates to the plywood using spray glue!

3 - Use masking tape everywhere to prevent tearout!

4 - Outside cuts - Use a circular saw or a hand saw .

5 - Inside cuts - Use a jig saw, to cut windows and doors.

In the end, you should have this list:


Side A ( 400 x 560 mm)

Side B ( 400 x 560 mm)

Side C ( 350 x 560)

Sides D ( 280 x 350 mm)

Big dowel (25 x 350 mm)

Step 3: Dry Fit and Holes

You are done with the cuts!

Drilling Time:

1 - I marked the location of the holes on the template and you just need to follow that.

2 - Use the power drill to make all the holes!

3 - Don´t forget to use masking tape to avoid tearout.

5 - On top of Side A and B, you should use the hinge drill bit with the same diameter of the Big Dowel and make a hole 10 mm deep!

6 - Dry fit the dollhouse and make sure that you don't have to fix any error before applying glue.

Step 4: Fixing Mistakes

My list of mistakes, can be usefull for you:

- I used too much spray glue in the papper templates, so it took lots of sanding to remove all the glue.

- I had to fix some cuts after dry fitting the dollhouse

- Although i was using masking tape in my cuts, i have some tearout in the windows and doors. So i decided that the best solution would be to apply a wood filler.

Step 5: Glue and Assembly

After dry fiitting and fixing important mistakes....


1 - Apply glue in both sides

2 - Screw everything and use some clamps to keep it in place.

3 - Don't forget to clean the glue with a wet rag.

4 - Let it dry for few hours!

5 - Cover the screw heads with wood plugs

6 - Cut the plugs using a hand saw and the chisel for the final details.

Step 6: Sanding and Round Edges

This task is going to take a while....turn on some music and be patient! Try to sand every single edge until it looks soft and rounded!

First - Use 150/180 grid sandpapper to make the sides rounded and take some imperfections.

Last - Finish with 220 grid sandpapper to make it soft and ready for the finish.

Step 7: Finish

Because this is Birch Plywood i decided to use a Clear Wax finish. This is really easy to apply and takes 30 minutes to dry in between layers.

How to apply Wax Finish:

1 - Use a clean cotton rag

2 - Put some wax on the rag and apply the first layer evenly on the dollhouse.

3 - Wait 30 minutes and use sandpapper to correct any rughness.

4 - Apply the next layer of wax finish and you should be done!

5 - You may need just one more coat of wax to look perfect!

Step 8: Personalize and Play

I made this project as Dollhouse that could be personalized with stickers, paint,....really anything!

Mine is going to be a gift for my cousin's newborn daughter and could be a nice christmas gift to last generations!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Ana Labrincha,

Lisbon PT

Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

Runner Up in the
Wooden Toys Challenge 2016



    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge

    23 Discussions


    2 years ago

    As simple as it is, it is a very smart design! By going with a halved second floor, you enhance accessibility and make it look interesting - way better than many DIY dollhouses that look like roofed shelves or bird feeders.

    Great job!


    2 years ago

    My wife had similar doll houses her Grandfather made her. Neat to see them again.

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the Wooden Toys Challenge!

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    this whole thing, it pleases my eyes.. thank you..


    2 years ago

    This is very nice, simple and attractive.

    Am I missing something? The measurements for the gross pieces are there but the cut out sizes and placements of windows and other cutouts are not present. Is this correct? Thanks for any feedback.

    6 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    You are right, i didn't put any measurements but you can print the templates in A2 (step 1- side A and side B).

    The idea for this project was to make papper templates that you can stick to the wood and use them as reference for the cuts.



    Reply 2 years ago

    I was so hoping to make this but no matter what I try with my features lacking Epson printer I cannot print the templates to actual size. Without measurements to go by I guess I will have to pass.


    Reply 2 years ago

    New plans (side A and B) with measurements! Good luck and share your version!


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for your reply and the measurements.

    I own two printers, both can only handle 8 1/2" x 11" paper, so A2 paper is out. The average person in the US only owns this size printer.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Me too I can't print out A2 but it's such a simple design I just printed out A4 and plotted out the major points direct to the plywood. I reckon it's better that way as no glue no cleanup! Just plot up the dots direct and connect with a straight edge. It's actually quite large I'm considering an A3 version


    2 years ago

    This is a truly great project. I have a great deal of experience in Early Years teaching, and this is the perfect dolls house for children aged 3 to 5. As adults we often see children's toys from our perspective, so we might think that the perfect dolls house might be a Victorian mansion, with every architectural detail correct. Children don't see it the same. They want to be INSIDE the house, living with their imaginary characters, on the inside looking in. For maximum development of a child's imagination, your house is excellent. It is stripped back to the basics, waiting for a child to fill in the details from their imagination. Particularly pleasing is the way you have made it accessible from all directions. Adults see a dolls house as a stage, with the action happening almost in 2D. Children see this as a 3D world and need to access it from all sides. So no roof necessary and minimal walls. I'm off to the workshop now to make one for my granddaughter.

    4 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks, i really appreciate your opinion. Please make sure to use thinner plywood, maybe 12 or 15 mm maximum! Mine is to heavy because i only had 18mm birch plywood and don´t forget to share a picture of your dollhouse!


    Reply 2 years ago

    As I said above great design perhaps an A3 version for smaller households, hands etc. So 12mm ply and maybe 18mm dowel.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I added the measurements to the pdf files (side A and side B).
    You just need to download them again, good luck!

    the normana_labrincha

    Reply 2 years ago

    Here is my open concept. It disassembles and goes flat (five layers of plywood high), all round access. I didn't put doors between rooms though.
    I think I will build one like yours, too.


    2 years ago

    This is a very nice project and doesn't require advanced skills. I really like it. Well done.


    2 years ago

    Beautiful project and great write-up. Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    My dad made something similar for my sister when we were kids. It was made so that they could be stacked to give multiple floors or side by side... I Think my niece still has it.