Dollhouse Bookcase: Beach Cottage, Brick Row House — Cute Ikea Hack

Dollhouse Bookcases P1060242  

I really LOVE this project. There are endless possibilities for design and décor… you can build your dream house, try out designs you’d never do ‘in real life,’ and more than anything… have a blast.

Beach House Hero Straight P1060276

When I began this project, I had intended to make a Dollhouse Bookcase… rather than a Bookcase Dollhouse. (One being a place that looks like a house, where you can display books and objet d’art, the other being a house for dolls that is made from a bookcase.)  But as the pieces progressed, I decided to make one of each. (Click here to see video of the bookcases on Home & Family!)

Brick House Hero P1060236

Variations I’d seen were very pink and very fancy, and designed for a little girl’s bedroom. I wanted to stretch the capabilities of a cabinet. Who says a boy can’t have a place to house his books? Why can’t a chic city-dweller use this architecture-inspired repository to shelter her curios?

A beach cottage and a brownstone house were my choices.

Beach House Materials:

Photo: Ikea

Photo: Ikea

White Ikea “Billy” 41 ¾” tall Bookcase (or comparable)

4 Foot Pine Board 1” thick by 12” wide (NOTE as this is “dimensional lumber,” the actual size of a 1-by-12 is ¾” x 11 ½”. Go figure.)

4 Foot piece of Decorative Molding

Picture frames for Windows

Screws

Wood Glue

Glue Gun

Paint

Wood Putty

White Spray Primer

Acrylic Paints – Turquoise, Apple

Laser-cut picture frames

Wooden craft sticks or popsicle sticks/tongue depressors

Bead-board style panel

Assembly:

To cut holes for windows, measure and mark outsides of bookcase. Drill 2 holes at opposite corners inside the border, to create starting point for jigsaw blade. If using the Ikea bookcase, I highly recommend taping the surface of the board, to reduce tear-out of the board finish.

Drill Window Holes P1060106

Cut Window Holes P1060108

Tape Window P1060102

For a more finished look, putty and paint the inside “sills” of the windows. Remove tape. Glue picture frames to outside.

To make Roof:

Cut 1” x 12” in two pieces, one at 24” long, one at 23 ¼” long.

Drill Holes P1060010

Drill 3 holes along the short face side of the 24” board.

Drill Pilot Holes P1060014

Butt the shorter board up against the longer one at a perpendicular angle, drill pilot holes.

Screw roof P1060062

Finished Roof P1060066

Glue the two boards together, secure with screws. Putty holes if desired.

Prime and paint.

Cut decorative fascia molding and attach to front of roof edge, using hot glue.

Attach Roof P1060149

Screw roof onto bookcase house at inside corners of bookcase.

Atop Beadboard P1060135

Lay bookcase house atop bead board panel, square up cabinet. Trace outline onto bead board, remove house and cut along outline.

Attach Beadboard P1060171

Attach to back of house with screws (best to drill pilot holes before screwing).

Popsicle Stix P1060170

To make fence pickets, cut rounded edges to a point, and straight cut the opposite end.

Picket Fence CU P1060191

Glue fence pickets along the side of house.

Adorn with shells, sea glass, etc.

Interior Beach Ttop P1060209

Beach House Hero Side P1060260

Picket CU w Stuff P1060256

Brick Cottage Materials:

White Ikea “Billy” 41 ¾” tall Bookcase (or comparable)

4 Foot Pine Board 1” thick by 12” wide (NOTE this is “dimensional lumber,” but the actual size of a 1-by-12 is ¾” x 11 ½”. Go figure.)

4 Foot piece of Decorative Molding

Picture frames for Windows

Screws

Wood Glue

Glue Gun

Paint

Cellulose Sponge

Gray Spray Primer

Acrylic Paint – Brick Red, Chocolate Brown

Roofing material

Wood 2” x 2” cut at 8” long at 45° angle

Trellis fence material

Ivy

Assembly:

Apply gray primer to exterior sides of bookcase. Let dry.

To make brick detail, cut cellulose sponge with a serrated knife to 4 ¼” x 1 ½”.

Mix Brick Paint P1060034

On a ceramic or plastic plate, pour out brick-colored acrylic paint, spread out on plate. Add a few drops of chocolate brown to add dimension and variation in brick color. Dip sponge into paint to cover the stamp ‘face.’

Finished Brick Stamp P1060039

Beginning at the bottom of side of bookcase, place sponge “stamp” to create first row of bricks. About ¼” to ⅜” away, apply another sponge stamp of paint. Repeat, until first row is complete. Re-apply paint as needed to fill any gaps or blank spots.

To make next row, place sponge ¼” to ⅜” above the top of the first brick line, and center the sponge above the ‘grout line’ of one of the bricks from the first row. This will give your wall a staggered brick look. Continue with the rest of the row. Repeat until the bottom half of the house is covered in bricks. Let dry.

To make Roof: (Same method as Beach Cottage, above.)

Cut 1” x 12” in two pieces, one at 24”long, one at 23 ¼” long.

Drill 3 holes along the short face side of the 24” board. Butt the shorter board up against the longer one at a perpendicular angle, screw the two boards together. Putty holes if desired.

Glue on Roofing P1060185

Cut roofing material to size, adhere with hot glue.

Attach Chimney P1060187

To make chimney, paint pre-cut eight inch wooden 2“ x 2” using brick pattern. Attach to roof with screws.
Adhere picture frames to exterior ‘wall’ for windows.

Trellis Fence CU P1060190

CU Brick Side P1060270

Make your own trellis fence, or find at a craft or hobby store. Secure to house and weave in faux ivy.

Hero Both w Brick Side P1060275

Interior Dollhouse CU P1060272

Use scrapbooking paper as wallpaper. I even had vinyl flooring scraps for the floors!

Bathtub P1060245

I envision making a series of these… seven-foot bookcases, lined up side-by-side, each decorated a little differently. Use as bookcases, maybe fashion some bookends that look like railings… add some steps… a perfect row-house neighborhood in my own library. A gal can dream, can’t she?

 

Wait. Is that a skeleton in the attic?! Enjoy!

42 thoughts on “Dollhouse Bookcase: Beach Cottage, Brick Row House — Cute Ikea Hack

  1. Oh my goodness! Who would’ve thought? This is so clever, and amazing! I love DIY projects, though I don’t do them as often as I’d like.
    I’ll have to keep this in mind for my little cousin 🙂 Great post.

  2. clementinegoesusa

    Absolutely beautiful, good job! I love dollhouses, an art taught to me by my grandmother. My grandfather used to make our dollhouses from wineboxes stacked on top of each other, which is also a good tip for those who want to try and build a first house on the cheap 😉
    I love the little fence, what a cute little detail!!

  3. Kim

    What did you use for the wall partitions? It looks sturdier than craft paper but thinner than piece of wood. Very clever idea! I want to make one for my son with a garage or barn on bottom and house area up top.

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    • Tamara Berg

      Hi there! I cut the foam core just exactly the height of the room, maybe a hair taller, then just fit them in place. They held because of the pressure, and because the foam core has just a bit of give. I suppose they could be cut just a bit smaller, and glued in place if you want them to be more secure. Hope this helps!

  5. LM

    if you need the height to be 20″ how many shelves would you have in the end? I am trying to find a house for my DD American Gril dolls and they are 18″ tall
    thanks

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