better homes & gardens

Be warned: once you start this doll’s house, you’ll find it hard to stop, and empty containers will never look the same again!

Doll’s house
Gather your supplies
For the house: 60 x 30cm lengths of sturdy cardboard (2); metal ruler; craft knife; cutting mat; paper masking tape; white acrylic paint; paintbrush; leftover wrapping paper; spray adhesive

For the furniture: Empty boxes in various sizes; craft glue or hot glue gun; silver spray paint; fabric scraps or old bed linen; stuffing; small plastic water bottle; aerosol lid; wooden satay sticks; greeting cards; felt scraps; cylindrical storage tube; plastic pump dispenser; scraps of shiny black cardboard; paper clips; wine bottle tops; jar lids; bulldog clips; dried beans, seed beads or rice; old tea towel; matchboxes; matches; milk carton; egg carton; Paddle-Pop sticks; double-sided tape; buttons; black acrylic paint

Here’s how

STEP 1 For the walls of the house, measure up 2 rectangles on sheets of strong, thick cardboard, each 60 x 30cm, and cut out using a sharp-bladed craft knife and ruler. In 1 rectangle cut 2 doorways, each 20cm tall and 7.5cm wide, as well as a 15cm slot in the middle (from the bottom up). In the other wall, cut a 15cm slot from the top so that the 2 walls can be slotted firmly together.

STEP 2 Bind the edges of the walls and the doorways with masking tape for reinforcement.

STEP 3 Now paint both sides and the edges of each rectangle using acrylic paint. This will seal the cardboard and also adds a band of colour to the edges. Let the paint dry.

STEP 4 Use wrapping paper to cover walls of each room, cutting paper to size and applying with spray adhesive. Remember that when you slot the walls together, the paper should match on each wall – unless you’ve decided on a feature wall.

STEP 5 Slot the walls together to form the rooms. Now you can start decorating! (For the floor plan, see page 166.)
STEP 6 Use an empty chocolate box for the bed. Glue lid to base and spray the whole thing silver.

STEP 7 Make a mattress, Doona, pillows and linen from fabric scraps or an old pillowcase. A small gift box makes a good bedside table – spray it silver to match the bed.

STEP 8 To make a lamp, cut down a plastic water bottle and cut the top out of an aerosol lid. Pierce
4 small holes in water bottle. Insert 2 satay sticks across the bottle to hold the lampshade in place.

STEP 9 Make a picture for the wall from a greeting card, and a floor rug from a scrap of felt.
STEP 10 For the kitchen bench unit, spray the base of a shoe box silver and paint the lid white.

STEP 11 To make the sink, remove the metal lid from a cylindrical storage tube (such as a gravy can), trace around it, cut out a hole in the bench and fit sink in place.

STEP 12 Spray a pump dispenser silver and glue it in place behind the sink – there’s your new kitchen tap!

STEP 13 Cut a hob from silver cardboard, and an oven door and hotplates from a scrap of shiny black cardboard, such as a coffee box. Glue these in place on the bench, as shown. For extra detail, coil silver paperclips into stove elements and glue in place.

STEP 14 You can make saucepans from wine bottle tops and jar lids, sprayed silver. Remove the clips from bulldog clips and use as saucepan handles. Glue dried beans, seed beads or rice into saucepans.

STEP 15 Cut miniature tea towels from an old tea towel.

STEP 16 For wall cabinets, cut and glue a square of cardboard to fit behind the bench, then glue on white-painted matchboxes. For handles, spray cut-down matchsticks silver and glue in place. Glue 1 of these to the oven door as well.

STEP 17 The finishing touch in the kitchen is a tiled splashback. Cut a dairy carton into small squares. Glue squares to a white rectangle of cardboard and attach this to the backing board between bench and wall units.
Lounge room

STEP 18 To make a sofa, cut an empty egg carton in half. Remove pointy bits from bottom half of carton so it sits flat when turned upside down. Glue top half to upturned base. The sofa back can be made by gluing 2 rectangles of cardboard together with a couple of Paddle-Pop sticks sandwiched between, ends extending down. Glue and tape back to sofa, then paint the whole thing in black acrylic paint. Decorate back
of sofa with paper or fabric and add tiny throw cushions made from fabric scraps.

STEP 19 A wall-mounted flat-screen TV can be made by spraying a narrow box (such as a tablet box) silver and then adding a rectangle of shiny black cardboard for a screen.

STEP 20 To make a console cabinet, wrap a freezer-bag box in masking tape, paint it black, then stick decorative paper or fabric onto each surface, using double-sided tape. A tiny shell and a small cube or dice make terrific ornaments on the console table.

STEP 21 A jewellery box can double as an ottoman and a rectangle cut from an old jumper or from felt is ideal for a rug.

STEP 22 Choose a small white box, glue the lid to the base, add miniature bed linen cut from scraps and you have a bed for a baby.

STEP 23 A pasta box makes a good wardrobe. Simply paint it pink and glue on white cardboard to create doors and drawers. Buttons make excellent door knobs.

STEP 24 To make a chest of drawers, paint a tea box white, then glue on some Paddle-Pop sticks for drawers and buttons for knobs. An old card can be cut down to decorate the wall.

STEP 25 For a toy cube, mask and paint a small cube box and stick on sections of a greeting card to decorate each face.

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