Recently, we had an awkward month between when we had prepped our (former) home for sale and the closing date for the new home. We were 100% finished with the former home, but not able to really begin anything for our new home. So, in this gap of time, Collin built a bunch of SUPER COOL things including this dollhouse, a lemonade stand, and toy boxes for the girls’ rooms. It was so much fun to focus on small projects for a bit.
This dollhouse was inspired by the unfinished wood dollhouse I’ve been seeing on Etsy. I like how rustic they feel and how simple they are.
So, first I’ll share some more photos of the completed project and then I’ll hand it over to Collin to share the DIY with you!
OK, here’s Collin to share the full DIY instructions:
-jigsaw or bandsaw
-pneumatic or cordless pin nailer
-1/2″ and 1″ 23 gauge pin nails
-small wood clamp
Start by cutting 15 of your 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 4′ boards to 30″ as well as cutting three boards to 21″. Lay all of the 30″ boards down and use wood glue and a pin nailer to attach the 21″ boards across them to make the base floor of the treehouse. The use of a pin nailer is pretty essential for this project since we’re working with such small and thin pieces of wood. It’s definitely worth the investment! I bought it for this project but have used it so many times since! If you have an air compressor, you can buy a pneumatic pin nailer gun attachment, but if not you can buy a cordless battery powered one.
Next, cut your 1/2″ square dowels with a miter saw with 45º angles to trim out the “floor”. That will make the total size of the base floor 31″ x 23.5″. To make the second floor, repeat the exact same process but smaller. Cut 9 of the 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 4′ boards to 16″ and attach them together with 12.5″ pieces across the bottom the same way as the bottom floor. Cut and attach the square dowels to trim out, making the total size of the second floor 14.5″ x 17″.
Cut four 4″ pieces of your 1″ dowel rod to make the legs for the base. Flip the base upside down and mark one spot in each corner where the dowel legs will be making sure they are all equal distance apart from each other and from the edges of the base. I attached mine 4″ in from the edges of the base. Attach them with wood glue and by placing a screw through the top of the base down into each leg. Pro tip: To make attaching the legs easier, hold them in place where they will be attached and shoot a few 1″pin nails around where the screw will go to temporarily hold in place so you can use both hands to place the screw in! Repeat the process for the second floor but cut your legs a little higher to 7″. The placement of the second floor can be wherever you decide, but i attached ours so it lines up with the back left corner of the base floor.
To make the stairs, cut two pieces of 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ boards to 9″ with 45º angle cuts on both ends to make the stair supports. On one end of the stair supports, make a 1/2″ flat cut on one end of each support so they can rest on base floor as shown in the first picture in the collage above. To cut out the spaces for the steps, divide the total length of the support boards and divide by how many steps you have. In this case, six steps. So 9″ divided by 6 = 1.5″. With a pencil, make a mark every 1.5″ and then with a square, trace 45º angles to make a V in between each mark and then cut out with a jig saw or bandsaw. You could also use a fine toothed handsaw if you don’t feel comfortable using power tools for these small cuts.
For the steps themselves, cut 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ board into six 3″ pieces and attach them to the support boards with wood glue and pin nailer. For the stair “landing,” use the 1/2″ square dowels and cut four 3″ pieces to make a 3″ x 3″ box. Also cut two 3″ pieces of 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ board and attach them to the top of the square dowel box. Once the landing is done, you can attach the stairs to the landing with wood glue and pin nailer. Lastly for the stairs, cut a 6 3/4″ piece of round dowel rod and attach it under the stair landing and to the base floor the same way you mounted the legs for the floors.
Now, for the “house” part of this treehouse! Using the 1/2″ square dowels, cut and make a 10″ L x 8″ W x 6″ H box, leaving the bottom front empty. Next, panel the back and two sides by cutting and attaching the 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ boards. For the roof, you’re going to make a 12″ X 10″ panel exactly like the floor pieces you built. To attach roof to house, cut two 3.5″ pieces of 1/2″ square dowel with 30º angles on the top end. Attach both pieces on one end of the top of the house and lay the roof panel on top and attach with wood glue and pin nailer as shown above.
For the railing, you’re going to use the 1/4″ square dowels. First, cut and attach the bottom piece of the railing around the top of the second floor. For the middle pieces, cut a bunch of 1/2″ pieces and attach them about 1.5″ apart. Lastly attach the top part of the railing. That’s pretty much it! Take a sanding sponge and lightly sand any rough areas, corners or pencil marks and then paint on a coat of clear satin polyurethane.
Thanks so much for reading! We really appreciate you! xx- Elsie + Collin