The Traveling Sisterhood: Animal Dollhouse DIY: Get an Early Start on Something Charming for Christmas

Tuesday, August 23

Animal Dollhouse DIY: Get an Early Start on Something Charming for Christmas

In just three more months, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be upon us! For that reason, I'm posting my first Christmas Gift DIY. This is something that's been cherished by my children for 3 years and was very affordable to make but does take some preparation. If you decide to try it, let me know! And I'd love to see pictures!

Last year, my husband and I made this Animal Dollhouse for our children for Christmas.  I was inspired to create it when I was looking for animal houses along the Calico Critter styles, yet all of them were too small for more than 1 or 2 children to crowd around! I designed the plans for this simple home, my husband put together the boxes with scrap wood from the garage and Home Depot, and I filled it with items I found at the Dollar Store, on Ebay, and around the house.  The boxes can be stacked to make a 4-story home, can be placed back to back for more comfortable play, can be shut when not being played with, and the playground is removable.

I made the rabbit's table out of two cookie cutter tree scraps.  The ladder is made with a dowel rod that I cut and then hot glued.  I wound it with thick string for aesthetic appeal.
I found a 4-pack of tiny chalkboards at Michael's for $1! The rug was part of a 4-pack of coasters I found at the Dollar Tree.  I bought the books on-line from Amazon. The pages are real and can be turned and written in.
The only thing I "splurged" on was this nursery set--my youngest daughter loves babies so we just had to have a nursery!  The rugs here are made with cut and frayed washcloths from the Dollar Tree. 

I made the canned food out of small thread spools I colored with a silver paint marker and then taped printable labels to them I found by Googling "free dollhouse printables".

This bamboo flooring is made from a placemat from the Dollar Tree.  The blankets and pillows are made from felt.  Felt is wonderful because it doesn't have to be hemmed! For the pillows, I didn't even sew--simply hot glued them together.  The train pictures on the wall are old stamps which I hot-glued cut off pieces of the flooring to as frames.

This flooring is felt I bought at Michael's for about $1.  The birdcage is meant to be a ornament.  The mirror came from a 10 pack of craft mirrors which I got at the $1 section of the craft store.  The picture frames here are made from toothpicks hot-glued side by side.  For these pictures, I simply mounted the stamps on a piece of cardboard for more durability.  I also glued pieces of scrap plastic between the stamps and the frames, though I didn't do that with the train pictures.

These small cakes are from a bead store.  The wallpaper is simply old material I had laying around.  In other rooms of the house, I used scrapbook paper as wallpaper and material placemats from the Dollar Tree as carpet and bamboo floor coverings.  I purchased most of the animals from Ebay in "Mapletown Lot".  Mapletown animals are a cheaper 80's version of Calico Critters.  The lot came with tons of animals and furniture for about $70.

Almost a year later and my kiddos are still playing with their animal house, adding to it with new family members and friends whenever they have saved up allowance or birthday money. It makes my heart so glad that they love this gift that I put so much thought and time into!


  1. I've wanted one just like it since the first day I saw it. You inspire me my friend!

  2. I love this my daughter loves Calico Critters this would be a fun project to do with her.Thank you for sharing this :)

  3. This is the cutest! I love it!!! I wish I was this crafty!

  4. super great play house i remember playing with these furry soft animals when i was younger

  5. This Animal Dollhouse is just wonderful! My daughter would have been thrilled with this when she was young. She was always playing with little animal toys but never had a house for them. This is just lovely!
    twinkle at optonline dot net

  6. Very creative and charming. Speechless. :)

  7. Now this is adorable! I so want to do this! It's fun for all ages!

  8. What a precious idea for the littles!!!

  9. Tamalyn L.11:33 AM

    That is precious! Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Laura9:08 PM

    That's absolutely adorable! My Aunt used to make doll houses when I was growing up!

  11. This is absolutely adorable.

  12. Wow, you did a great job, and it's so creative! We just got our four year old daughter the Calico Critters Cozy Cottage, and the Koala Family. She's in love! They're awfully cute, no?