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Folding Foam Board Dollhouse Tutorial

May 13, 2014

**100th Blog Post!**

I designed this dollhouse to be much simpler to construct than my last, more modern styled foam board dollhouse tutorial.

It’s a project that you can cut out and put together in its most basic form in a couple of hours for under $10 and the completed house is quite durable for a long life of play time.

The dimensions are for a 1/24 scale house to correspond with THIS furniture set. Further details on how I completed the furniture for the house can be found HERE.

This is a great project to build yourself or to involve (older) children in, and the decorating possibilities (for all ages) are endless. 

Before I start I just want to say that this is a toy for my daughter and the house pictured is my first draft. There are a few measuring issues that I’ve compensated for in the instructions provided below, so the house that you make will not have the same flaws. 

Materials Required 

Large foam board sheets

Ruler

Pencil

Box Cutter

Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks

Duct Tape

Optional Materials 

Paper for covering

PVA glue

Felt for carpeting

folding foamboard dollhouse 1

The first thing that you need to do is cut out all of the pieces from the foam board with your box cutter. Be sure that the blade is new and sharp or it will tear hunks of foam from your nice clean edges.

You will need to cut the following number of pieces in the dimensions provided.

Tip: measure and cut cut one of each and then use it as a template to trace and cut the rest.

Front/Back = 12 x 15 (2)

Sides =    To make the angle for each piece measure one side at 12 inches then the other side at 14 inches and join the two points. The width between the sides is 5 inches  (4)

Floors = 5 x 14.5 (6)

Roof =    16.5 x 6.25 (2)

Dividers = 5.25 x4   (4 or more depending on your preference)

folding foamboard dollhouse 3

Next comes the totally optional and very time consuming step of covering the pieces you’ve cut out. (skip this explanation if you’re not interested in the tedious task of covering the foam board)

If you do cover you will cover everything except two pieces of an exterior side before proceeding to the next step.

This time I used wallpaper. I had a roll of wallpaper that I picked up in 2013 for £1 because it was from a discontinued line. I’ve used it in a few projects and still have some leftover. For the interior of the house I used it backwards (cream colored) and for the exterior I used it with the intended colored side out. I also had some fake stone wallpaper that I used for the roof.

It was an experiment that more or less went pretty well. I tried using a glue stick but it dried too quickly and left air bubbles. Then I switched to PVA which is effective but more wet overall and it created its own problems but I’m not too worried about it. If you cover foam board with anything there will be imperfections. My favorite combination for covering foam board remains mulberry paper with PVA.

The one thing that I think would work best which I have yet to try is contact paper (drawer liner) but I’d need to find it quite cheap to make it worth my while.

folding foamboard dollhouse 4

If you decide not to cover the pieces the house will still be awesome, and fun, and white. It would also be a lot of fun for kids to decorate with stickers and markers so whatever you choose to do, it’s going to be great.

folding foamboard dollhouse 2

Next you need to make the hinge by placing two of the side pieces together and attaching a strip of good old duct tape to join them together as pictured above. The side with the tape is the side that will be facing the exterior of the house. Trim the tape and then paper over it if you have covered the rest of the house. If you’re not covering the house, you’ll be pleased to know that duct tape also comes in white!

folding foamboard dollhouse 5

Then mark out where the floors go in pencil. The line you create will be where the bottom edge of the foam board will line up.

Measure 5.25 inches up from the bottom of one of the large front or back pieces to make the first line and 5.25 inches from the first line to make the second.

After the lines are marked out you can take one of the floor pieces and apply hot glue along one of the long edges. Immediately apply the piece with the glue onto the bottom edge of the front or back piece and hold it until it’s dry. Be sure that you leave room on either side of the floor for the side pieces to attach. There should be a length of extra space on each side about the width of the foam board if you cut everything out correctly.

If you have anything (book, dvd/cd case) with a right angle to it, holding it against the floor as it dries will ensure that it maintains that 90 degree angle that you want.

Repeat these steps until all of the floor pieces are glued in place on both halves of the dollhouse.

folding foamboard dollhouse 6

Once the floors are all in you can glue on the sides. I applied glue only to the edges of the floor pieces to make the process as speedy as possible before the hot glue started to dry. Hold each piece in place until they’re set.

The dividers can go in wherever you want them to. I laid out my furniture first to decide how large I wanted each room to be. You can make two or three rooms on each floor but I do strongly recommend that you do not leave anything except the attic (which could also be divided if you wanted) without any divisions because they add strength to the structure.

To secure the dividers I just applied glue to the back edge and slid them into place. They fit in quite snug and don’t really need glue at all but I don’t trust my daughter to not rip them out so they got glued in place.

folding foamboard dollhouse 7

Lastly the roof pieces go in the obvious spot. I didn’t quite measure my pieces to be long enough so they don’t look as tidy as I wanted them to. As previously mentioned I’ve compensated for the measurement flaws in the measurements that I’ve provided so your house should have plenty of width to create a nice joined peak with some overhang.

folding foamboard dollhouse 8

One final little functionality thing that you’ll need to do is snip the roof pieces as pictured above the hinge so that the house can open out.

And you’re finished!

folding foamboard dollhouse 9

I did some finishing touches with felt, linoleum scraps and some leftover dollhouse emporium dollhouse carpet (furry contact paper) to make it nice and colorful inside and in the photos below you can see it fully furnished.

There are a few things that I plan to do to it at some point, like decorating the outside and making a counter top and fridge to help fill in the kitchen but it serves its purpose for the moment and my daughter thinks it’s pretty great.

folding foamboard dollhouse 18

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