Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reader Question: What Material Can I Use for Walls in a Barbie House?

Hello my lovely blog readers!!!  I can hardly believe that the holiday season is upon us once again.  It has been a whirlwind of a year. I won't bore you with all the details but I am BACK with ideas to share!  Thank you all who emailed me asking if I was planning on returning to the craft room.

A reader by the name of Rhonda recently sent me an email after discovering my fun little blog.  She is constructing some condo units for her dolls using shelves & was wondering if using cardboard would make the finished project cheesy. 

First of all, kudos to you for your vision, your energy to tackle this project & brilliant idea to use readily accessible inexpensive materials to create a charming space for your dolls.  Many miniaturists use non-wood materials to create backdrops in miniature scenes. I personally find that it is much easier to work with and I do not need specialty tools.  I am an instant gratification kind of girl so this works for me on so many levels!

In addition to cardboard, one of my absolute FAVORITE mini wall surface is FOAM CORE.  The picture above is a quaint breakfast nook scene that I created with foam core.  It is light weight, inexpensive, and found at most Hobby stores (even at my local dollar store!).  The window that you see...shhhh...I'll tell you a little secret. You know the pre-school MATCHING card game? When you get a set new you have to punch out the little cards. What is left is a piece of cardboard with evenly spaced squares that resemble a multi-pane window! Add a little wood trim & a window sill & you are DONE. 

I use foam core extensively to create backdrops for my photography.  I cover in appropriate scale wallpaper or scrapbook paper to transform the space into a realistic setting.

 I even use it to build furniture. It really is quite versatile & creates a sturdy alternative to wood.  The upper cabinets in the photo below were constructed out of cardboard & trimmed with wood.

And the countertop. It's cardboard. Wrapped in faux granite contact paper. Bah-bam!

This entire Chicago Bears Themed room was built with cardboard.  I even created faux stones with recycled egg cartons. (tutorial to come)

You can either glue the edges together to form your walls, use T-pins or even duct tape to secure the corners together.  Even better-use the walls to create some architectural interest. Add in a closet, a bay window-complete with a seat, a fireplace or any other structural element to help reinforce the wall to allow each one to be free standing within the shelving unit.  

I also like to use old Barbie boxes to add a niche to an otherwise flat wall.

The beauty of constructing a dollhouse in this matter is that it is flexible. You can move the walls around without having to dismantle the entire thing. How is that for ultimate creativity? Could you imagine being able to do that in your real house? I know I LOVE to rearrange furniture, décor & artwork frequently. Having the ability to do so in my mini projects is a MUST.

I really want to thank Rhonda for reaching out to me. I am thrilled you found my blog and are INSPIRED to create your own fabulous rooms! As always I love pictures! If you would be so kind as to share your project once you are finished I would be thrilled. I enjoy seeing the creativity my readers produce. You all are so talented! I am humbled that I inspire you to get creative with your doll spaces, but truth is you all inspire me as well!

Thank you for stopping by

Happy Crafting!


  1. Hello from Spain: I am very happy to your return. Your scenes are always the best and very inspiring for me. Thanks for sharing your tips for creating the furniture. I adore your creations. Keep in touch

  2. So glad to see you are back on. Always have loved your work. Anxious to see what you have done with your husbands special Barbie house gift.

  3. Hello from Poland ! I already bought high school musical playset and I plan to remake it for more modern dollhouse. I have a few questions about your work. Firstly what brand of spray paint did you use to paint house? Secondly, did you secure the paint? And If so, what brand of fixer did you use? Thanks in advance for any help


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