Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DIY Three Ring Binder Barbie Dollhouse Tutorial


Sadie has been asking for a dollhouse. There are a few important reasons why a dollhouse isn't a good match for our family right now. They are as follows:
1) Dollhouses are big. Our apartment is small. New math tells us that big stuff in a small home is a bad combo.
2) Dollhouses are expensive. Oh, money tree, oh money tree, wherefore art thou, money tree? Even the "cheap" ones are over $100. A really super awesome one is $400.
3) Dollhouses are not cute. I don't mean to be rude to Barbie, but I'm just not into her house. Especially not for $150.

I thought (and thought and thought) about how I could possibly reconcile Sadie's desire for a dollhouse with my desire to combat the three evils of dollhousedom: It had to be compact, inexpensive, and cute. Welcome to the tutorial on how to make this happen on a dime!

Step 1: Purchase FOUR three-ring binders...these will be your "rooms"

Step 2: Purchase cute (small print) scrapbook paper to serve as "wallpaper"

Step 3: Trim the paper to fit your binder, and decoupage (carefully to avoid creases) onto the inside "walls"
Kitchen:

Living Room:

Bedroom (used two different papers for this one + trimmings from the bathroom for the chair railing):

Bathroom:

Step 4 (optional): Make a little cover-curtain for the three rings. I just sewed a piece of fabric with a hole at the top and the bottom (for the top and bottom rings to go through), just like you'd sew a simple curtain:

Open the rings, put the curtain on:
Ta-da! No more glaring indications that these are actually 3-ring binders :)

Step 5: Decoupage any furniture that you will not be making/buying for the house directly onto the walls (dude...not every piece of furniture needs to be mobile...even Barbie's dream house is half made up of cardboard pictures on the wall, amirite?)

Important:
1) I found all of my paste-to-the-wall images online and printed them in color onto normal printer paper - furniture, lamps, Barbie-themed artwork, etc...I got all the images online. I have no recollection of where I got them - if they are your images, please let me know so that I can appropriately source!
2) Before decoupaging them onto the walls, I decoupaged them onto cardstock paper so that you wouldn't be able to see the wall pattern through them (since copy paper is so thin). In hindsight, I could have saved this step if I had just printed onto cardstock. Live and learn, right?


Step 6 - Furniture making time!! Make everything you'll need for the house (that isn't already pasted to the walls). I made (mostly out of styrofoam, cardboard, fabric, and hot glue):

Bed and bedding (bedroom)
Bathtub and sink (bathroom)

I broke down and bought a $1.99 miniature topiary at Michael's. Sorry.

Once the rooms are all finished, you'll have an adorable three ring binder Barbie house! Sadie's has a...
Kitchen:

Living Room:

Bedroom:

Bathroom:

Here are all the rooms together:

Aerial view of the house when opened (sans furniture):

The best part...the Binders are SO compact that you can remove the furniture, fold them up, and put them on a bookshelf!


So there you have it. I probably spent about $30 on the entire project, but you could EASILY do it for less than $10. Cheap notebooks, cheap paper, re-use things for the furniture pieces...easy peasy.

Let's recap:
Compact? - Check.
Inexpensive? - Check.
Cute? - Double Check.

Mission Accomplished. Christmas is gonna be awesome!

Photobucket

259 comments:

  1. You.are.amazing. I wish Michaela was younger!

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    1. Michaela may not be young enough but there are still nieces, great-nieces, and maybe someday . . . granddaughters!

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    2. what a great idea ^^
      thanks for sharing ! ^^

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  2. This is so stinking cute I can barely stand it.

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  3. how insanely cute and smart!

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  4. kendra- You.are.awesome!!

    great job on the doll house (and all the other tutorials!)

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  5. I love your dollhouse. I feel very strongly that the best thing about dollhouses is the chance to use our imaginations. You are just getting her started, and having such fun doing it. Congratulations Mom!

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  6. wow this is great idea thanks love it!

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  7. Thank you guys!! <3 So much fun - definitely her favorite Christmas gift too!!

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    1. I am looking at your tutorial and saying to myself, "Kendra should see this. Kendra could do this with her girls." Well, the Kendra I was referring to is my own daughter, Kendra! She has 2 little girls and this would be great! From one Kendra to another.

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  8. I was searching for something completely not related to this (at least during this search!!). I was just saying I was going to try to do a barbie house, but hadn't started planning anything and then I came across this. I'm totally doing this. Or I'm going to try to get the little girl to try it and if she doesn't, I will! I linked to your blog from mine, since that's how I track my projects (http://blogofeternalcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/12/barbie-dollhouse-on-dime.html)

    Thanks again for the great idea!

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  9. I saw this on Pinterest, and I have to say - it is adorable! My version of this would not be nearly so cute!

    Thanks for sharing
    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com

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  10. I could be wrong, but isn't there a way you could remove the rings entirely? You might need to force it with a pair of pliers but it seems like the metal part could come out.

    I think it would be fun to incorporate a few of the binder pockets into the design. You could use them to store flat accessories like blankets, clothing, cardstock dishes, and so forth.

    The great part about this is that she can make her own houses similarly when she wants to grow her dollhouse community. Hopefully you have lots of shelf space!

    My grandfather built me a dollhouse and my grandmother and mother did the decorations. It is still one of my cherished possessions! But you are right that they take up a lot of space-- mine still lives at my parents' house because I have nowhere to put it.

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  11. Thanks everyone!! @Anon - I did think about getting rid of the rings, but it looked like it was going to compromise the structure of the notebooks, so I decided to work around them instead. I'd love to see one done without rings!

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  12. I love what you did to hide the rings. Makes it seem like something you would find in a fancy house. My first thought, before I knew there were rings behind it, was that it was curtains tucked into the corner. So kudos! You have a terrific imagination.

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  13. This puts my home made Barbie house to shame! Im going to try and make the furniture - it looks amazing!!! Good job. No, wait, FANTASTIC job :) !!

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  14. I am OBSESSED with this!! We too live in a smaller space and my daughter will eventually have to share her room with our new baby boy..so something that can be put away and brought out as new again is PERFECT! I cant wait to get started on this:)

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  15. I'm thinking multiply this by 100 and have a really awesome (and foldable...under the bed maybe) portable playhouse. AWESOME!

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  16. This is SO clever! Congrats on your tidy-thrifty-awesomeness!

    Could I make 1 suggestion? As I am obsessed with all the uses for velcro, maybe you could take little velcro dots and place one side on each upper corner of each binder face (front and back). It may allow you to keep the "4 square" house open a bit easier when it's being played with, but is no problem to take apart/reconfigure and slide back onto the shelf.

    Again, brava! Great job!

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  17. Very good idea, i love the colors too.
    Hugs
    Maria
    p.s. i(42 years) collect Sindy furniture and put them in a decorated bookcase. I also have a lot of dollshouse 1:12 were i blog about. It is a grown up hobby too.

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  18. Wow - those look awesome! Such a great idea!

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  19. How creative! I love the idea.

    My grandfather made my sister and I compact portable wooden dollhouses. I still have mine. He also made me Barbie doll furniture which I still have.

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  20. What an awesome idea! I have to make one of these for my kids.

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  21. This is such an adorable idea! I love it. We just put the dollhouse we won in the attic. There were so many cons starting with its size and ending with the fact that it just kept falling apart. This is awesome! Pinning now :)

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  22. This is amazing. Seriously. I am so impressed. You have so much talent.

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  23. WOW. I just came across this and I am so impressed. What an incredibly cute and practical and pretty and amazing idea!!! I LOVE this! I would have loved to have this as a little girl.

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  24. Amazing. Someone in my town just posted on our town list that she's giving away tons of three-ring binders right now, all different colors and sizes. I am totally not crafty enough to make something like this (and am TOTALLY impressed with yours!!), but I posted the link to your blog, in case anyone in Medford, MA wants to make such a dollhouse. :)

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  25. Love, love, love. I found you by following a pin on my 13 year old daughter's Pinterest board. My daughters and I are dollhouse girls. Your house would be great for Gramma's house, or any place where you wouldn't want to leave a dollhouse out all the time.

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  26. You should manufacture these! Make some $$! I'm working on a Barbie House for my daughter; making out of an old, unused bookshelf. My goal is to do it for a little as possible. I LOVE the idea of using household items; things that I would otherwise throw out for the decor! Thanks for the suggestions!

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  27. Found this on Pinterest- I LOVE it!! I am so excited to try this for my daughter's upcoming birthday! Thank you for sharing such awesome ideas!

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  28. This is so creative! I see that others found this on Pinterest, but I've not seen it so I'm gonna Pin it to my 'Miniatures' board.
    Then I'll check out your furniture posts. :)

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. http://mfdwife-toohottohandle.blogspot.com/2012/06/pinspiration-has-struck-again.html

    I just wanted to let you know that I used, and cited, your photos in my blog post. Thanks for the life saving inspiration. Mine are no where near as nice as yours, but my girls will love them when they come home from Grandma's tomorrow.

    Thanks again!

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  31. this is amazing. well done. my brain is spinning with the possibilities.

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  32. This is awesome! I don't have girls, but have nieces! I want to to this.

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  33. Wow this is amazing. I like the rings still being in the binders - maybe when (or if) your girl grows out of her barbie house, she can still use the binders in school/college and smile at her "secret" dollhouse every time she opens them up! So wish i'd seen this when my girl was little!

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  34. I love it! I have 4 girls on friday's (two are mine) I can't wait to get to the store and make this our project for next week! The older 3 are going to love it!

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  35. Thank you all for the lovely comments! If you decide to make one, please, please, PLEASE send photos! I love to see other peoples' projects! :)

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  36. So smart! I was one of those kids who had popsicle sticks and shoeboxes and made my own doll furniture/Barbie Cars/Barbie jacuzzi. haha! I wish I'd thought of this back then!

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    1. That's how we did it when we were kids too! And rolled up wash cloths for the sofas and chairs :)

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  37. I just found this on pinterest and OMGosh I am in love!! Awesome job.

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  38. You could use the plastic pencil keepers designed to go in a three ring binder for a closet.. Barbie clothes and accessories, or even for house accessories, flat dishes, pillows, etc. that way it all goes together to put away.....

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  39. Here is our completed dollhouse binder project! We labeled ours "Camp Dobsee" and used one half for outdoor activities, one half for inside. Instead of making rooms we made an experience! Thank you for the inspiration for this project!


    http://dirigochristianhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/07/3-ring-binder-dollhouse-complete-camp.html

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    1. Jennifer, it's adorable!!! I love that your daughter got to join in on the fun...I'd love to make another "not-a-surprise" one now so that Sadie could help me :)

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  40. Where did you find the printables or what did you search to find them? I am having trouble finding anything other than accessories.

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    1. I think I searched for things like, "gold standing lamp" and "vintage credenza" - if you use Google images to search, you should come up with some pretty good ones. Here's a search I just did for "white chest of drawers" - you just have to dig until you find one that is front facing and not at a significant up or down angle: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=vintage+white+credenza&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1350&bih=615&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=MVQHUKejGan20gHqmPHtAw#um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=white+chest+of+drawers&oq=white+chest+of+drawers&gs_l=img.3..0l3j0i5l7.20272.22675.0.22772.22.21.0.0.0.0.156.1994.14j7.21.0...0.0...1c.uxje8N3GqvE&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=94d3bf492429e697&biw=1350&bih=615

      Good luck!

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    2. Looks like you'll have to copy and paste that entire link...it didn't post as "hot." Sorry about that!

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    3. just highlight the right click open in new tab.

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  41. You could even store barbie in the rings. Just slide the 'curtain' to one side, open the rings and slip barbie in. When you close the rings the curtain slides back in place and you have a hidden storage spot for Barbie <=o)

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  42. Wonderful idea!!!
    I was thinking that adding velcro to the outside of the binders so you could attach them to each other would be a good idea and add some stability.The "curtain" could also be made as a fold out pocket ,that could be rolled up for play, to store some of the furniture and dolls.

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    1. Hi Anna, I actually did do little velcro dots at first. They stayed attached to each other, but came off of the binders :(. I'm sure there's a good way to do it, but I gave up. The fold out pocket is a good idea!

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  43. Holy cow! This ROCKS! Thanks for sharing. I am pinning this!

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  44. If you have even more limited space, you could just make the walls and laminate them, then punch the 3-ring holes in them and open it to the room's page. And like someone suggested the Velcro dots, you could put dots at the corners of the laminated pages to keep them open. That would be a good option for older girls who want to make these to include in a babysitting kit so they don't have to carry around a whole box of supplies. I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS!

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  45. I just made one in a scrapbook. Each set of pages is a different room, so it's just the one book for the whole house. My 3 year-old is having a BLAST in the other room with it right now, and I haven't even made any furniture yet!

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    1. That is such a good idea!! I'd love to see pictures!

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  46. This is so cute. I would love for you to link this up to my weekly link party going on now. http://thelifeofjenniferdawn.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-little-bird-told-me-link-party-2.html

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    1. Thank you! I'll try - I've never linked up before :)

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  47. Love it! I had a Barbie house made out of apple boxes turned on their sides. When I was done playing I'd store the furniture in the boxes and store them away. Definitely not as compact as your idea, but it beat the heck out of store-bought houses!

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    1. Exactly! Store bought can never top home made...especially when it comes to Barbie stuff :)

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  48. These are awesome! I think I must be really slow...but what did you do for flooring? Forgive me if this is a given, but couldn't find any mention of it. Is it just the whatever surface that you set the binders on? thanks!

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    1. Hi Haley - you're not slow...I didn't talk about it :) We just use whatever surface we're putting them on for flooring. I thought of doing a fold down floor, but I couldn't think of a "neat" way to do it.

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  49. Ok, sorry. I think I understand. The flooring IS just the surface you sit it on. I was over thinking the chair rail thinking you divided one binder into two levels. Sorry. I have pregnancy brain.

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  50. Adorable!! Just curious... how do you store the furniture? (I'm guessing some super cute container)

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    1. Hi Mama Peck! We do have a cute container - it's just a plain pink miniature suit case :)

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  51. This is the most clever thing ever...you HAVE to be the worlds best mommy!! WOW

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  52. I do not have kids yet, but I am so excited about making this someday! My grandmother and I would cut things out of magazines for hours and paste them to cardboard box frames my grandpa would make for me. I am in love with so much of this, the DIY part is the best, and I bet all her friends lover her dollhouse!

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  53. this is just amazing, so creative, unique and super special since YOU made it for your little one- love love love it!!

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  54. I wish i still played with barbies!!

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  55. what dolls do u use? or where do u get them?

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    1. We use Barbie dolls...1:6 scale dolls.

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  56. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! Best Barbie house idea ever. So appreciate you sharing. Thank you!! Did I say thank you? Can't wait to start this. THANK YOU!!

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  57. Kendra you are officially DA BOMB. Thanks for giving me a fantastic idea for my granddaughters' Christmas. It'll be so much fun. MWAH.

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  58. Found this on pinterest and I am so glad that i hopped over to your blog. While reading the post when I came across the point where you wrote that you're gonna use some immobile, stick-on furniture, i must admit that I did not quite like the idea but when i scrolled to see the image I was amazed at how wonderfully you did it. Absolutely amazing!! I am at a loss of words!

    Pinning it with the hope of being able to make something like this someday :)

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  59. You are a genius!

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  60. How about using (decorated) binder clips to hold the walls to each other? They are one of my go-to office supply staples. I will be a first time grandma in one month to a little girl and already my mind is going in a million directions to make one of these. Thanks!!

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    1. That is such a cute idea! I tried velcro, but it didn't work...I love the idea of cute binder clips :)

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  61. Absolutely have no idea how I wound up on this page. Of course I was on Pinterest. I have 2 grown children and no grands as of yet so I won't be making a doll house but I just wanted to tell you how beautifully talented and creative you are. What a Special Thing for a Special Mom to do for her Special Daughter. In a nutshell Kendra...you are awesome!!!

    Leah :)

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    1. Leah, you're so kind! Thank you for the sweet compliments! Hopefully one day you'll have some grandbabies to make a dollhouse for ;) I had so much fun putting it together!

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  62. Not only is this clever, the style is GORGEOUS! So elegant and classy, in keeping with Barbie's more glamourous years way back when, before she went all pink-ish and plastic-y. All she needs is a mid-century, classic wardrobe to go with it. Maybe you can have the accessories in binder sleeves (they make ones designed for multiple pages so you can fit more or bulkier items in) or even in zippered pencil cases or pencil boxes designed with holes to fit into a ring binder. You can store accessories, even clothes & accessories, and you can either add one more binder to the set, or make sure the corner curtain can be pushed aside to make room for the cases. The tricky bit would be to make folding furniture that can be stored in the binders, too, that's easy for kids to work out, that doesn't take more than a few seconds' set-up & put-away time, but still goes with your ultra-classy design. Oh, not you have my wheels turning!

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  63. I just thought, also, that you can add lights easily. Just drop a tiny string of lights down the holes in the binder. You can get them for, I think, $2 or $3 from Ikea (for the Winter holidays) or on the internet. They run on batteries and use LED lights, so they last a good, long time. The curtain fabric will soften the look and give you that pillar light effect. What kid doesn't like to have functioning lights in their toy house?

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    1. Wow - you have a ton of good ideas! You should definitely make one...I'd love to see pictures!

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  64. Oh my! This is so great! My 4 sisters and I made all of our own doll stuff growing up. We saved cardboard boxes to make each room and had up to 6 stories of Barbie apartments in the basement. This idea is way more compact, and I wish I had known about it. The possibilities are truly limitless with the binders. I'm sure my mom would have loved our doll houses a lot more if they could be folded up and put away, but oh well.

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  65. I love this idea & am so getting some cheap binders next time I'm out.

    Think I'll try lining the binders with felt though & put pencil case holders in each one with little felt furniture ( maybe just some printed pictures glued to felt) so my daughter can decorate the room.

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  66. That is amazing! So creative and WAY better than any plastic dollhouse crap you could have bought instead.

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  67. Darling! But why not just take the 3 ring binder metal thingys out entirely (instead of covering them up).

    Cute idea!

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    1. Hi TB - I actually was going to take out the rings, but it was going to leave the binders damaged and full of holes, so I opted to cover them up instead :)

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  68. Good job ! I made a doll houce from trash! any thing, to help keep it crafty, and out of trash island!

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  69. I saw this on pinterest - it's fantastic! My kids got a book style doll house when the eldest was 2. I put it away for safe keeping as it was all 'paper' furniture and dolls, but it is still my youngest's favourite toy (as of last weekend!). Another thing you can add is flooring, by having a fold up 'floor' with woodgrain or some kind of rug style covering. I think my eldest would LOVE to make her own version of this. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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  70. This was so cool! Love the idea. I don't have a girl, but want to make this. My dad built me a doll house as a surprise when I was a kid. I loved it, but it was large. Eventually gave it to a young relative to enjoy when I grew up. When you have a little more space, I have seen some great doll houses built out of a small bookcase. Playhouse and storage - Just make a curtain to close when it's not in use to hide the stored dolls and furniture.

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  71. Found your idea on pinterest and love it! I'm actually making one this week as a birthday gift for a friend of my son. I'm going to velcro a pencil pouch to the outside when its folded for the accessories to be kept in... I am planning to blog my creation too, but I will certainly link back to you as the one with the brains... I'm just a copy cat! ;-)

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    1. That's so cute - I can't wait to see pics!!

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  72. I started reading all the comments to see if my question was already answered, but I didn't see it first off, so I thought I'd ask (:

    You are brilliant and I absolutely LOVE this idea. I've already started buying the supplies!

    My one question was if you had saved the links or images to which you wouldn't mind sharing...Even for a price? Thank you so much either way! This is so awesome. My nieces will die for it (if it turns out as well as yours did (; )

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    1. Hi Anon - I didn't save any of the links to the decoupaged furniture - I wish I had! I found them through simple Google searches ("retro white credenza", etc.). If I had them, I'd send them to you!

      Good luck with yours!

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  73. I did the very same thing for my daughter when she was young only I used two pieces of sturdy cardboard and cut them to fit into each other (one sliced from botton; the other from top and interconnected them). Then when it was time to put away-it was flat! Portable too.

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  74. I don't have small little ones, but I have shared this with my family it is just AMAzING! Easy, inexpensive, and portable what else could a girl ask for? What a great idea this is classic!

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  75. Another idea to add to the "house" style might be to cut out some doors between the rooms as well? I love this, it's so cute and I don't even have kids

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    1. Hi Anon - I actually thought of doors, but Barbie is so tall that I would have had to cut almost up to the top...I was nervous it would compromise the integrity of the house, so I forwent the doors, sadly.

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  76. OMG- this is so cute! It would be great on a large lazy susan- then the house could twirl around. I have no idea how I ended up on a doll house page, but I am so glad I did! The possibilities for this project are endless. Again, this is one of the best ideas Ever!!!!!

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  77. YOu are the most AWSOME MOM. It is absolutlely beautiful !!!! I don't know one little girl who wouldn't like this Doo House. !! CONGRATS MOM !!

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  78. No words... you are amazing. you rock. Your daughter will remember (and probably keep) this doll house and share it with her daughter. I only wish I had seen this 7 years ago before that gigantic Loving Family dollhouse took up half of my daughter's wall space!!

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  79. Oh my Stars!! That is so freaking Fantabulous!!!

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  80. whoa! the most amazing thing I've seen all day. No, make it all week!

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  81. This is just PERFECT! Thank you so much!

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  82. Love this idea! I think my daughter would like to cut her furniture etc. out of a catalogue.

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  83. This is brilliant! It amazes me how cleaver some people are. Love it!

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  84. This is seriously the most brilliant idea ever! I currently have a huge ugly barbie house sitting in the corn of my daughters room. Even with it folded up, its an eye sore. Im going to have to make one of these!

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  85. I dido Dani. Wish I had thought of this many years ago for my girls.

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  86. wow! so clever, and beautiful! So much so, that you are my very first 'pin' on pinterest (just joined).... I hope to try this one day (my daughter is only 11 weeks old) xxx

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  87. What search words did you use to find the images?

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    1. I wish I could remember!! Just try things like "credenza" and then click on "images" at the top - you should be able to find some good ones. You can get more specific with colors, etc., too!

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  88. that´s so cute!!! I wish I could be 12 again!

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  89. when I was about 5 (42 years ago) my Mom made a similar house for me out of card board squares taped together like the binders. She wallpapered and carpeted it from samples from a local decorating store. the furniture was also handmade. it was one of the best Christmas memories I have.

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  90. I just found this on Pinterest, and I just wanted to say that it is a great idea and so adorable! I hope to make this for a special little girl in the future.

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  91. I made one of these after I saw your blog for my friends daughter! It turned out really cute, and they love it!! Thank you so much for posting this, and for making the instructions so easy to follow:)

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  92. Adorable!! I would have loved this when I was little!!

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  93. What size binders did you use? 1 inch or 1.5 inch?

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  94. What a great idea. Love all the comments and thoughts of those who commented. One thought I had was to use folders that do not have rings in them. The folders usually hold a legal pad for notes and a pocket for business cards. My hubby uses one for work and I see them at the thrift stores quite often. Also, I love your Martha Washington quote at the bottom of your blog. So true and good words to live by.

    Beverly

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  95. I made one of these for a friends girls and it turned out so cute!! Thanks so much for posting this! The bathtub tip with the earing backs turned out perfectly:) I had so much fun making it, I may make another one just for fun! If I can figure out how to post a picture, I'll add one for you to see:)

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  96. i didn't read all of the comments so someone may have already said this, but i work at a factory that makes these kind of binders. If you want to take the metal rings out, use a drill with a drill bit and from the inside of the binder at the top and bottom there are rivets.. you can drill them out and it will just leave a hole in the binder where the rivets are. a tip for drilling, kinda go at a bit of an angle, going straight down on it is harder and you may ruin the binder.

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    1. Hi LW - this is so helpful! I had no idea this was possible...thank you for the tip!

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  97. thank you for this great idea!!!! we are about to start traveling and this will be great in a barbie case!!!

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  98. Oh my goodness!! These are so cute and the tutorials are fantastic!! I will definitely have to copy this for when I have a little girl.. In quite a few years!!

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  99. I don't mean to sound too forward or overly friendly, but in all honesty....I love your brain.

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  100. This reminds me of the Barbie houses I made when I was little! I even had a waterbed! (Hey, it was the 70s. Don't judge.) Ziploc bag filled with water and folded to fit the top of a book. One handkerchief wrapped around the "mattress" and one between the mattress and book as a bed skirt.

    I don't know how durable this bed would be in the long run, though, since my mom wouldn't let me leave a Ziploc full of water laying around for very long.

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  101. this is BRILLIANT! I may do this for my younger niece who also lives in an apartment!

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  102. What a darling idea, too bad my daughter is headed to college soon! ;-) IMHO home-made things are a much better than store-bought anyway, because there is so much satisfaction in creating. My sister and I still have some of the tiny Barbie-sized foods we made in the 1970s...including bowls of peas (green seed beads)!

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  103. Wow!!!!!! I am so impressed!! I love it!

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  104. i am impressed!! i know i would have liked this as a kid, and we could take it on vacation with us!

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  105. Whhaaaat?!? This is crazy good! I only have boys, but this post makes me wish I had a little girl! Thanks for sharing your awesomeness! I even read how to make all the furniture - maybe I should just make a dollhouse for myself! ;-) Have a great week!

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  106. Wow..you are so talented and patient..it turned out beautifully..just awesome

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  107. This barbie house is genius! Love it :)

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  108. This is so awesome!

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  109. The furniture in that house is better than the furniture in my actual house. Where did you find that cute stuff?

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    1. Thank you! I actually made the furniture - you can see links to the how-to's for it in the blog post.

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  110. I can't believe no one else has asked about this, but could you please share how you made the furniture? It's awesome!!

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    1. Hi Sharon, there are actually links to the furniture how-to's in the blog post. Please let me know if you can't find them.

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  111. This is such an adorable idea! I also live in a small space and am not a huge fan of traditional barbie houses so this is perfect! Thank you!

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  112. That is adorable. Do come and share this at our linky party which just opened at http://www.finecraftguild.com/party/

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  113. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
    perfect for Gramma's house!

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  114. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! Just sent a link to my sis-in-law. She may be making one this weekend. Thanks for sharing the inspiration!

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  115. If I may add a suggestion or two? put a stop on the outter page edge so it doesnt close tight, make the furnitue three dimentional by pasting atyrafoam between wall and cut out, bend light cardboard twice glueing over rings to make a chimney? room devider? fold down floor covering when open? i'm thinking of using your unique idea to make santa's work shop as a christmas decoration, maybe a cretch?thanks gordie wendling

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  116. I saw some comments about only have boys, well if they have star wars figures make it a ship, planet home? for other action figures make a mini set for them to play in, boys just want to have fun too.

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  117. This is just incredible. Thanks so much!

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  118. I love this! I actually bought all the furniture for a dollhouse when we were in Germany last month. Problem is, we live in a small apartment in Manhattan with no space for a dollhouse. I am planning to make this next week for my daughter's birthday. Where did you find your binders? I have looked all over and all I can find are the plastic ones. I'm assuming mod podge won't work on that.

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    1. Hey Kris, Target has some really pretty cardboard binders. That's what I use in my office.

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  119. Oh my God! This is frigging brilliant! I have this nasty, ugly, black three ring binder that I didn't want to toss but had nothing to do with it. Now I do! A Halloween room!!!! Ohhhhhh a Dexter kill room! OK, so its not cute like yours, but wow, you had an awesome idea!!!

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  120. Great idea! I can see adapting this for either gender and for non-domestic scenes. I mean the "non-Barbie" tableaus are endless. For instance how about the inside of a fire station, a doctor's office or even the police station? That would give any child the opportunity for hours of imaginative play. Can you say "oval office"? :)

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  121. I love this idea! I was reading through the comments, suggestions of keeping the sides of the binders together, maybe a doorway, lack of the rings......

    If one didn't mind spending some money and a bit more mess, I bet you could construct a slightly taller (to accommodate for doorways) wooden version of this. You could use hinges and have a sort of hook or latching mechanism for the open sides both for keeping the house stable when in use and closed when not in use.

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  122. This is a great idea for limited space but, ton's of imagination! I re-posted your blog on my FB page-hope you get more followers-you are so creative!

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  123. You are an amazing mom. This made me tear up just a bit. Such a labor of love and imagination instead of purchasing some plastic monstrosity. Love it.

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  124. I am totally making these for my granddaughter for Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

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  125. This is adorable! I am getting all kinds of ideas for making a auto shop, farm, store, and all kinds of things (I have boys and teach preschool)!

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  126. Excellent Idea. This would also be great for traveling. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  127. So neat... My daughter would love this!
    Daisy

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  128. This is such an amazing idea! As a little girl I used to make my dollhouses out of boxes... But this is so much more creative and functional!

    http://seelovemake.blogspot.com

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  129. This is amazingly cool! I'm going to make this for my daughter for xmas this year! :)

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  130. Love it! I have both a boy and a girl so I might make some rooms up to be fire station, hospital and super hero lair too! X thanks for the inspiration!
    Emma x

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  131. Love this!! So cute and imaginative!! I pinned it as a future project for my granddaughter who's only 18 mos right now. Thank you for sharing! A new follower...Amy :)

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  132. I found this via Pinterest. This is a fabulous idea! I could also see it working as a version of doll house quiet book for travelling. You could put pages of "walls" into the ring part. Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

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  133. alright, no kids in this house so I am out of the loop on those but this is such a creative and fun idea I just love it!

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  134. I love this idea. I am going to put it on my pintrest board for next years Christmas ideas for my 4 nieces that will be 4,5 and 6. They will live them. And best part it will bot take up too much room in my suit case to fly home with them or to mail them.

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  135. OH MY WORD!!! Can I just tell you how awesome you are for coming up with this and thank you for the freat idea now my two girls can have a dream doll house without me breaking the bank or taking up too much space!!!

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  136. OH MY WORD!!! Can I just tell you how awesome you are for coming up with this and thank you for the freat idea now my two girls can have a dream doll house without me breaking the bank or taking up too much space!!!

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  137. I am totally going to make this for my grand daughter who lives out of state! I think I will call it "grandma's house" and real pictures from my home and incorporate a yard with my very own animal pictures...maybe this way she won't forget me?!! Thank you for sharing...you are soooo creative!!!

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  138. This is awesome! My granddaughter has a doll house already though so I am going to make it a ZOO! to handle all her little plastic animals. I already bought paper with ocean, grass, jungle themes and a barnyard one for all the sheep cows horses and chickens!
    The zoo would be a great one for the boys in our lives too!
    Thanks for an amazing, creative idea. I love when someone else's creativity sparks my own!

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    1. I'm not big on dolls, but you are a GENIUS!! There are few things we love more than the zoo around these parts.

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  139. You could make mini wire hangers and the binders rings could be the "closet."

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  140. Fantastic! I'm a home ec teacher and this would be a terrific Interior Design project. I gave you a shout-out on my blog! Thanks for sharing!

    http://facsclassroomideas.blogspot.com/2012/11/interior-designhousing-project-idea.html?m=1

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  141. i know exactly what you mean about the barbie houses..huge and yucky. i turned an antique radio into a house for my daughter in dec 2011, too. it was handed down from my late father, so i wanted to keep it, but not have it just waste space.
    http://www.emilyaidenwhyte.blogspot.com/2011/12/mini-whyte-house.html

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  142. I have an idea for the 3-rings. You could cover them with white corrugated cardboard, & make them into grecian columns.....just an idea. I also wondered about using heavier cardboard (painted or use scrapping paper) & making a murphy bed in the bedroom that folds out. I'm gonna tinker with it anyways. Kendra this is an adorable project. About to have my first grandbaby in January.....a grandaughter, & thinking about going ahead & starting on this project soon. Thanks!

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  143. Wow thanks for sharing! I'm curious if you think it'd work to attach fabric to the bottom of each binder to serve as flooring?

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    1. Hi! I actually thought about that when I was making it, but I didn't see a way it could work...I'm sure someone will figure out a clever way to make it happen, though - if you do, please share pics!

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  144. you are just awesome Kendra, I love love love this idea!!!

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  145. I am making sets of paperdolls for my great-grandaughters and was wondering what they could be kept in and this is a great idea. to work from for storage and a "home" for the paperdolls to be played in too. And would be so portable to take visiting like to G G Mom's house or could sotre them at my home and not take much space. Love it!!!

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  146. paste-to-the-wall images online... i need it !!! some link for share ?

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  147. What a great mom! I think all the work you put into your daughter's present is so much more special than plunking down money for something already made. When she grows up she's going to remember how much you loved her to put all this effort into something she wanted so much when money was tight. Kudos to you

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  148. Your dollhouse decor is cuter than may real house! Brilliant idea.

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  149. you should change the background on your blog. the pictures on the side make it really hard to read. And dollhouses are cute, you're just a cheapskate.

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  150. Such a cute project! I love your creativity. Thanks for sharing.

    Chantal from Montreal

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  151. This is a fantastic idea, and one I would never have thought of myself.

    I have an after-school program, and it has to come out every afternoon and be put away the next morning in a little teeny room.

    Needless to say, space is limited. I love love love this, and am busily thinking of ways to use your idea with 'my' kids.

    As for anon directly above?

    What an a-hole. Smooch my donkey you insecure crabby butthead.

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  152. What a great idea you have.You are very creative you are.I had a pattern that had how to make Barbie doll funiture about 20 yrs ago.And styafome was used for the furniture and my daughter loved it.I bet your daughter loved it better then a real Barbie doll house.I may make one like you made for my other granddaughter because they don't have a lot of room for a big barbie house ty

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  153. Just love your idea. I'm 60+ when I was about 9 my mom made one similar to this from cardboard. It had floors, and folded up completely flat and not to wide when ready to be put away. A few years ago, I tried to remake it, since my "loving" brother had accidentally burnt mine in the trash when I was 14. I had trouble getting my floors and walls to line up evenly. Since the attempt looked terrible, I threw it out and gave up the idea. Only have a grandson, but I noticed one of the comments regarding making it themed for boys - spaceship etc. now the lightbulbs are firing up again. Grandson is only 2 - time enough to get project done when age appropriate. Thanks for the reminders. Kathy

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  154. My Daughter just got a Minnie Mouse doll (the one with the snap on accessories) I wanted to make a bakery out of a cardboard box until I saw this. I think I will try the 3 ring binder!

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  155. Wow! A tip of the hat, fellow thrifty/creative mom!
    This is SO ingenious, I wish I could give you a big ol' hug -- my daughter will FLIP OUT for both the project itself & the resulting dollhouse.
    YOU ARE A LIFESAVER!!! Keep up the good work, lady!!! :)

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  156. I love this. I made one for my neice... here's my pictures. Thanks for the awesome creative idea!

    http://swansontales.blogspot.com/

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  157. Hi everyone, I hope you all have an awesome new year!
    Stephanie, I think your rooms came out great also. I like the idea of putting in some clear folders to keep little things in too. Thanks for sharing and keep up the awesome work everyone! I love this place! Happy new year everyone!!

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  158. I love this!! Did you come up with this on your own? I am so glad I found this, and that I am following your posts. Please come visit and follow my blog?

    http://paigeslittleblogdiycrafts.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for reading my comment!!

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