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DIY Handmade Dollhouse

My hubby built my girls a dollhouse, and it was a BIG success!  I had so much fun planning and painting and mod podging paper onto this bad boy…or should I say girl?  Here she is all fancy!

…and the reaction…

Here it is in its’ original state.  He worked many many hours on this.  He loves the raw-ness of the unfinished wood, and I felt sorta bad painting it, but he knew it was best to have it colorful.

I originally started with a darker blue and purple, but it looked too boy-like to me.  So I went with a few softer shades.

Hubby snapped a shot of me without even asking (he’s been trained well) as I paint the inside rooms.  I’ve got earplugs because he was using loud tools to make the stairs as I painted.  I had such a hard time planning out the colors according to what papers I was using.  If it was for me, I would have done different papers (I don’t love butterflies or hearts–call me heartless, but they seem overdone) but it was not for me, it was for my girls.

Up close, we have the attic space.  My daughter calls it the Texas basement, which is the storage space in our home.  I put a fun mosaic tile-like paper on the side walls here.  Maybe that one was for me, but daughter specifically mentioned she liked that one–yay!

As I tried to secretly plan out the rooms, I asked her what are her favorite shapes or designs (she didn’t know why I was asking and didn’t question) and she said hearts, butterflies, strawberries, cupcakes…so those are the rooms we have.

I think these stairs ROCK!  It took about 5 hours, but my hubby handcrafted them to perfection and I really love them.  I think they add a great detail, especially since they are big enough to be functional, you know, the dolls can actually sit on the steps, or different animals can be lined all the way up them.

He left an intentional space at the bottom as a secret hiding spot or tunnel to the back of the house.  I put a few quote frames around, on the bottom here it says, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”  Above, not pictured, I’ve got “Girls just want to have fun” by the yellow butterflies and “Smile and make your own sunshine” in the green fruit room.  I meant to put their names on it, but totally forgot…maybe I will later.

 Here it is with the few furniture items we got from Target.  Piano, chairs, and a birthday set complete with a pennant banner!  We had so much fun putting our hearts into this gift, so glad the girls enjoy it….and so do the boys (legos and all)!

Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. Amazing! I would have loved something like this as a little girl. Great job!

  2. That is so beautiful!! I love gifts with so much heart put into them. I know your girls must LOVE it!

  3. So so cute! You and your hubbs did a great job!

    ~Allison @ House of Hepworths

  4. I want a doll house! This is so stinkin’ cute! come on over and link up to MMM :)

  5. Stellar job! So fun! I can’t imagine how you kept it a surprise. Way to go team Duke!

  6. This is AMAZING Kristen!!! WOW a million times over. Just beautiful!

  7. Love it! You two did a great job. I love that you worked on it together.

  8. This is wonderful!! I love that you made it together for your girls :) So special. Visiting from MMM!

    Would love for you to visit my blog sometime :)

  9. I think you did an awesome job! I love the bright colors!

  10. That is AMAZING!!! I bet they loved it!!!!! What girl wouldn’t love that?! My husband loves to do woodworking too and we just had a baby girl a few months ago, maybe we’ll be doing something like that someday in the future! Great job on the decorations too, it looks AWESOME and so personalized!

  11. love it all!

  12. What a fun gift! Your girls will treasure it!!! And it is the kind of thing that will last probably until you have grandchildren!! I love it!

  13. It is so bright and fun!! Just like your house (without the butterflies and hearts of course!)

  14. omg! that is so amazing!!! I loved it unfinished- but it is little girl perfection all painted up. Great job, mom and dad!

  15. your children will forever remember this loving gift – such a beautiful job! And how great that you and your husband created it together!

  16. Your children will forever remember this loving gift! Such a beautiful house! And how great that you two did this together!

  17. This is beautiful! I’ve been waiting to see the finished product! You both did an amazing job

  18. Wow, you guys make a great team!

  19. LOVE it! Wish my parents were that handy and creative when I was little! What lucky girls you have. While I love the shots of the house details, the reaction shot is definitely the best of the bunch. Merry Christmas!

  20. Sweeet!! We love handmade gifts the best of all.. hubby here built a deluxe cooking range for our daughter, and a wooden train was one of my favorite porjects for the boys one year. Not every year is there something that we get to whip up in the workshop.. but those are the gifts that are truelly remembered, not so much the ones that are bought in stores.
    You did an awesome job deccorating, Kristen!
    I just love the photo of the big hug & baby girl checking it out, (big brother,too.)
    You guys are so fun. :)

  21. brooke schaefer says:

    AMAZING! And totally worth it! They will have so much fun with this. And the colors are so fun.

  22. heather diane says:

    Hello! I love, love your dollhouse. How cute is that! What a treasure for your daughter.

    Also wanted to know where you had your holiday card printed? Do they also do the die-cut. I’m interested in finding that same shape.

    I’m sure you’re so busy, but when you have a moment, I’d love to find out. Thanks!

  23. way to tag team! you guys did an amazing job- love all the details! and I love the reaction. sweet.

  24. Kristen!! That is seriously AMAZING!! If you ever find the Sweet Streets by Fisher Price (they don’t make it any more…), those would fit perfectly in the dollhouse, plus give the girls little sized people to play with! I would sell you ours, but I sold it all a few months ago! :(

  25. Holy cow I LOVE this!

  26. Um. Every little girl’s dream! It’s really cute.

  27. Y’all did an amazing job, both of you! I bought my 3 year old grand-baby a doll house for Christmas I looked and looked to find something close to what you have there. I finally got one at Sams, but even thought she loves it, it will never compare to one your mommy and daddy made for you! I LOVE it! One of my favorite gifts I ever got was a used bike my grand-father fixed up, painted and put stickers and things on it just for me. Your daughter will have a great memory from this too. :)
    God Bless y’all for being great parents!

  28. So great! My husband and I have a few questions: what are the dimensions of your dollhouse. Also, did you only use plywood? Did y’all buy a plan, or just whip it up on your own? Great job!

  29. awesome! do you have a “how to” list?

  30. Thanks for posting this. I regularly follow your blog and find it inspiring, so I’m passing along the Sunshine Award to you today for all of your creativity and inspiration! Come on over to to check it all out~

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  32. What a wonderful and cute dollhouse. This is exactly what I want to make for my daughter. Great blog, very inspirational. Happy Wednesday! towe.
    Towe recently posted..My sous chefMy Profile

  33. I love this doll house – we are looking to buy one for our girls and you may have inspired us to get moving and build our own. So much more character – I love your blog – a new follower, but so much fun to catch up on you and your beautiful family. We have four kids ourselves and I’m kinda drawn to bigger families and seeing how other mama’s do it with many many kiddos! have a great day!


  1. […] for each child, and the stairs were made nearly identical to the mini version he crafted for the girls dollhouse a few years […]