Here’s my DIY dollhouse for Monster High figures. You can use this dollhouse for Barbies too. At first, I wanted a glass cabinet for those six dolls of mine, but nothing pleased me. Finally, I decided to use IKEA BILLY bookcases to make this large dollhouse with a balcony.
It can still be further customized with wallpaper and furniture, of course. But I wanted to share the basics of making a dollhouse. IKEA hack it as you see fit!
If my collection of Monster dolls grows, I can easily add another bookcase for a house extension.
2x BILLY small bookshelves
HUSET dollhouse set
I made some visual instructions that show every critical step. It has to be ‘read’ from left to right. Here it goes.
DIY Monster High Dollhouse instructions
Step 1: Make the doorways
My BILLY bookcase was an old one and already assembled. So I first disassembled it. It’s easier to make the cuts when the panels are flat on the floor. And there are quite a few of them to do. On the side panels, I cut holes for the passageways to create access between the two narrow bookcases. I first made two holes with a hole saw at the top and bottom of the passage and then used a jigsaw to join up the two holes and straightened out the bottom of the doorway for an arched passageway.
Tip: You can omit the hole saw if you don’t want to make an arched passageway, or you can freehand it with your jigsaw. If you don’t have a hole saw, use a drill and drill a hole large enough for your jigsaw blade to go through. Then insert the jigsaw blade into the hole and cut out the shape.
Step 2: Create the balcony
Using the first side panel as a template, I traced the cutouts on the corresponding side panel of the second BILLY bookcase. I repeated Step 1. Then, I made a hole through one of the bookshelf pin holes to join the two side panels. I also repeated the passageway step for the BILLY extension, which I used to create the top floor. The opening leads out to the balcony.
Step 3: Make windows and caulk the holes
Then I made openings for the windows on the other side panel. I used the same process of first cutting out holes and then going over them with a jigsaw to make them square. I did 3 windows on each panel. The next step is also optional, but it leaves a cleaner finish — I took some time to caulk all the pinholes and then sanded them down. It’s nicer to live in a house not riddled with holes!
Step 4: Paint and make the balcony wall
Next, I painted all the exposed edges with white acrylic paint. When the paint dried, I assembled the BILLY bookcases and joined them to each other through the holes I made in Step 2.
Lastly, I used a piece of scrap wood to make the low balcony walls. I measured the top of the bookcase and marked it on the wood, making allowance for miter cuts. Then I joined the three pieces of wood together with wood glue and painted them to match the rest of the bookcase. The wall is just placed on top of the BILLY bookcase. No gluing is necessary.
I also painted some of the walls of the Monster High dollhouse, using mainly red and black — what I had in my stash.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.