Did you know you can build almost anything out of craft sticks? Today I’m going to show you how you can easily build a small dollhouse out of craft sticks, with minimal tools.
Some of my kids’ favorite toys are small dolls or characters. From little princess dolls to these small felt animals, they love playing with little toys. One thing that can be a bit harder to find is a variety of little doll houses. My kids like to each have their own house, and they have different purposes. My son also loves playing with the animal characters, but all the commercial dollhouses available are bright pink and geared towards girls, and he likes cabins and forts. So I decided to make him one!
Depending on your kid’s age, this is a project they can easily do too! Plus, it’s great for teaching STEM and building skill!
Craft Stick Doll House Tutorial
- Wood craft sticks. I picked up a large box of 1,000 for only about five dollars, and only ended up using about 1/4 of the box, so there’s more left over for other projects.
- Glue. I chose to use hot glue to make the process faster, but you can use wood glue or even white school glue.
- Old scissors. I used an old pair of scissors to cut the craft sticks.
- Dremel. This is completely optional. I used the cutting wheel on a dremel to trim the floorboards and cut out the window and door, but you can easily just measure and trim these with scissors if you don’t have access to one.
- Paint. Again, completely optional! I chose to leave the wood plain for a rustic look, but you can easily paint these.
I started by cutting 8 sticks down to 4 inches each, and glueing 2 of them together at the edges. Then take the 4 longer sticks, and glue them together at the corners. This is going to be flimsy, but we make it stronger in a second. Next take two sticks and line them up inside the square you made, and mark where they over lap.
Glue the two sticks together at the overlap. Then glue them inside the square, about an inch in from the edge. You’ll want to do this several times, spacing the sticks about an inch apart.
If any areas look unsteady or like they’re bowing inward, add a short cross bar in to stabilize it. A lot of this is trial and error, but starting off with a good base really helps. Once the foundation is finished, you can start on the floor. I clipped the ends of the sticks off so they were straight, and started glueing them down in the middle, against the direction of the foundation sticks.
I glued one entire side, and then the other. Don’t forget to stagger them for a realistic wood floor look. Since I had a dremel, I let the edges overhang. I was able to mark where they needed to be cut and trim them later. If you’re using scissors, you’ll want to measure the edge sticks and trim them to size before gluing them down. That’s how to build a sturdy floor!
Let’s build a wall now! Glue four sticks together in a square. You don’t need to trim the round edges flat either.
Just like we did for the floor, put in a couple of vertical supports. Now, this is going to be a doorway, so I also put in what is called a header. It’s just a cross bar above where the top of the door will be. Then glue sticks across the front of the wall, and cut the doorway out! Or you can measure the sticks and cut before gluing if you’re using scissors. Then just put some glue along the bottom, and glue the wall onto the floor where you want it!
Once you build one wall, the rest go really fast! You can easily make shorter walls by just trimming the sticks.
On this wall I put a window. Just don’t forget to put a cross bar above and below where you want the window to be. Once all your walls are up, you can start on the roof. I decided to do a flat roof, because my kids love the idea of a roof picnic and it give me the option of adding a second floor later. I also built the roof only halfway so they can easily reach the bedroom area. I made sure to glue sticks around the top so it was even, and add in cross bars where I knew the roof would need extra support. Then I just started glueing sticks down across the top until I reached the outer cross bar where I wanted to stop.
I glued a couple short sticks together that were left over from cutting out the window to make a little porch railing! And yes, I do pretend that the glue gun strings are spider webs.
And here it is with animal friends and furniture added! These are Calico Critters, but this size of house works well for any miniature dolls.
I didn’t finish the interior walls again for a rustic look, but you could easily panel the inside with more sticks or even use a heavy paper card stock as drywall.
Through the window.
My kids absolutely loved how this turned out, and were begging me to play with it before it was even finished. I have a feeling I’m going to be making more of these!
I kept this cabin very simple and rustic, but you can easily add a second floor, a pitched roof, or all kinds of cute details! It’s very easy to go over board though, so make sure you have plenty of time if you decide to make a mansion!