A little bit of imagination and some time and you can have something you can play with. Make them out of spare boxes that are lying around.

There is something so wonderful about a DIY playhouse or a DIY dollhouse. It is easy and doesn’t take much time. It is cheap! And your children will be amazed at your skills.  This is something I love to do with my girls. They have never had a proper dollhouse. We have been offered several dollhouses over the years but I have always declined. One, because I don’t want something big and bulky taking up space in our house (it is not a big house). Two, because I love to do things on the cheap and show the girls how we can make our own things. We don’t have to have the latest and greatest.

A little bit of imagination and some time and we can have something we can play with. We just make them out of spare boxes that are lying around – as in, it used to be from diapers/nappies and wipes. Now we hit up the recycling center for boxes if we don’t have any big ones laying around.

DIY playhouse made from cardboard boxes
Peppa and friends play in the DIY playhouse


Now, our houses are never just for dolls or are never just houses. My girls will use their Peppa Pig figures or Paw Patrol pups. Even Playmobil can’t compete with our cardboard houses. The Playmobil people are always moving into the houses we have made. (We must be good landlords.) Don’t feel because you have boys that you can’t do this. Boys absolutely can play with “dolls houses”. And they should. It could be a firehouse/fire station or an ambulance station. Maybe even a farmhouse. Use your imagination. Talk to your kids about what they would like. We now have a castle and I have been asked to make a schoolhouse. You can use the internet for inspiration.  


The time has come to build this thing! You can do it! Build a DIY playhouse!

You will need:

  • Boxes of different sizes
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Packing tape
  • Hot glue gun (though not absolutely necessary)
  • Fabric scraps
  • RIbbon scraps
  • Sharpies/Markers
  • Imagination
Two cardboard box DIY playhouses
Twins need two DIY playhouses!


Don’t overthink the making. I know I don’t. We tend to make it up as we go along. I just start stacking boxes, cut and stick, pretend that any mistakes were meant to be like that, take a step back and look, and then continue until we feel that it is done.

We don’t make plans. We do not look at what we have and do some trial and error. There are no sketches of what we hope it will look like. If that is not for you, then draw up a sketch. Do trial stackings. Plan where you want doors and windows. Think through color schemes. No one is going to stifle your creativity and how you go about it. 

What to do: 

  • Whatever you like in whatever way. Stack the boxes, glue them and tape for stability. We design as we go.
  • Add a roof if needed.
  • Cut in doors and windows
  • Make stairs……or a fire pole
  • Add curtains and rugs
  • Draw in detail (like pictures)
  • Paint the outside if you like (we don’t usually but sometimes on another day inspiration strikes and we go for it)
  • Play!


What we love is that it is easily portable because it is lightweight. It is great as an indoor playhouse, though because they are so portable our houses have been moved outside for some fresh air and new locations.  We also love that if our houses get destroyed (and they will) we can recycle it and start again! Something new is always waiting to emerge. 


Let the dollhouse games begin! There is nothing sweeter than watching your children engage in imaginative play using something that you made with your own hands! Your very own DIY playhouse. Stand back and be proud!

If you go ahead and make a house, take a pic and show me in the comments! I would love to see them. I know my girls would also love to see them. 

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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