This list of easy to find and inexpensive supplies will have you creating cute and colorful DIY dollhouse decor in no time. Keep reading for supply list, sources, and lots of photos and inspiration of DIY dollhouse decor from my recently renovated dollhouse!
I got my first dollhouse when I was about 10 years old. My mom gave me the dollhouse and a bunch of furniture for Christmas but little did she know that I’d found her hiding spot months before and would play with the furniture as I sat in a dimly lit unfinished closet at her apartment. Fast forward to quarantine in 2020, I finally made progress on updating my 1970s dollhouse. I wasn’t terribly concerned with anything being perfect or precise but I did want it to be cute and colorful. Over the course of renovating my childhood dollhouse I found there were supplies I used over and over. I hope you’ll find this list of DIY dollhouse decor supplies helpful and accessible for your own mini-making adventures!
1. Coffee Stirrers
Coffee stirrers are easy to cut and paint and can be used in a variety of ways. My favorite is to use them to frame dollhouse artwork.
2. Thrifted Vintage Books
One of my favorite supplies for any project, vintage books can add character to dollhouse accessories. I’ve used cut text and pages to embellish miniature books, wallpaper a room, and label tiny containers.
3. Balsa Wood
Balsa wood comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses and is the go-to material for making all types of dollhouse furniture. It cuts easily with an X-acto knife and is highly versatile. I’ve used balsa wood to make shelves, crown molding, and faux drawer fronts on kitchen cabinets.
Magazines, like vintage books, are another one of my favorite supplies. I’m always on the lookout for colorful past issues of magazines at the swap pile at the dump and at our local library. Bonus: magazines are often free😄. I use magazines to make miniature books (great tutorial here) and as a source for artwork. Once you start flipping through a magazine you might be surprised at the photos, or portions of photos, that make great dollhouse artwork.
5. Wooden Skewers
Wooden bamboo skewers are one of the workhorses of my miniature making adventures. I use them for structure (in lamps), as accents (a great modern drawer pull), and as a tool to place tacky glue with a bit more precision and a bit less mess. A package of 50 can be found at Dollar Tree so lots of bang for your buck (.25).
6. Foam Board
Foam board is another versatile and economical supply for miniature making. From just one sheet of foam board at Dollar Tree, you have enough material to make many projects. I’ve used foam board to make tiny fabric bolts, as a structural material in furniture (sofa, fridge, bed), and to make quick and easy mini books.
Cutting foam board can be frustrating, so make sure you have a sharp/fresh blade in your X-acto knife. And don’t forget to save the scraps ~ you never know when you might be able to use them.
7. Popsicle Sticks
Popsicle sticks, both jumbo and regular size, make excellent “hardwood” dollhouse floors. They can be cut with scissors, though they tend to warp just a bit on the ends. For the sake of convenience, I find the minimal warping is fine. Something like this mini miter saw would be much better and likely worth the investment if you plan to do a lot of mini making or prefer clean cuts. You can use wood stain or paint to color your floors.
8. Scrapbook Paper
For many years I was an avid scrapbooker which means I collected lots of scrapbook paper. Now I’m just an occasional scrapbooker but I can’t resist a sheet of cute patterned paper (or pad of cute paper…), especially when it’s on sale. I use scrapbook paper and colored card stock mainly for dollhouse flooring, rugs, and wallpaper.
Fabric is another easy way to bring color, pattern, and character into your dollhouse. My fabric stash includes a variety of types of fabric from quilting cotton to designer samples. I use fabric to decorate my dollhouse much as I would my actual house: to upholster furniture, make bedding and pillows, as well as for rugs & lampshades.
What’s not to love about beads for mini making? They’re inexpensive and come in a huge array of colors, shapes, materials (glass, wood, plastic, metal). I use beads mainly to make dollhouse accessories. Beads can be stacked to form the base of a cake stand, used to create decorative accents, and make fun drawer pulls. Larger wooden beads make great plant pots and table legs.
I hope this list of easy to find supplies will inspire you to make your own DIY dollhouse decor. And be sure to check out my list of my 10 most used tools in my studio, all of which are so handy for mini-making. Happy Creating!
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