Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Construction Site/Dollhouse

How can a construction site also be a dollhouse?  Depends on the child looking at it.  This is my son’s Christmas present this year.  It is a construction site made of an inexpensive plastic shelf, foamboard, and velcro. 

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I cut pieces of foamboard to match the sides of the shelf.  I then put the velcro on the shelf and removed the adhesive strips from the other side (while the velcro was still attached to each other).  With a sticky side open, I lined up the foamboard and firmly pressed it on the shelf against the velcro.  Now the wall and velcro pieces lined up perfectly.  I did this around 3 sides, but you could do it around all 4. 

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I cut the wall pieces in half, so my son could carry the pieces around in his construction trucks.  If you are making a dollhouse out of this, you would not want the walls cut in half.  But this variation allows my son to construct his own building using his trucks.  The best part about using the velcro is that he can demo it as well, and then rebuild again and again.  No need for taping or anything.  Mommy is taking a styrofoam ball and painting it black to make a wrecking ball for his crane truck.  :-)


If you choose to make a dollhouse with this, you would not have to use the velcro, you could just tape the foamboard (or even posterboard) on the shelf.  I used a skinnier shelf unit.  The dollhouse version might look better with the longer unit.  I think those come as 4 shelves, but you could just not put on the legs and 4th shelf.  It is that easy.  The dollhouse variation will allow your daughter to decorate the walls herself.  She could draw, paint, or wallpaper it with cutie scrapbooking paper.  You could use a TON of scrapbooking accessories to make this shelf a home! 

Not only is this an extremely creative toy option for your child, it is CHEAP!  I made mine for about $15.  Yep, $15.  The shelf was $9.97 at Walmart.  THe foamboard was $1 each piece (3 pieces) at the Dollar Tree.  The velcro was $1.50 at JoAnn Fabrics.  The larger shelf version is only $14.97 at my Walmart.  So this is a VERY frugal gift for your kid.  Your child will have hours and hours of enjoyment playing and being creative.  You can buy a dollhouse for $80, if you want.  You just plain out can’t buy a building for your kids to construct.  You can do blocks, erector sets, and logs, but no building.  This is a neat twist on building (construction site or dollhouse) and teaches and promotes some serious creativity.  I am SUPER excited to see my guys face when he sees this.  I will have to update you all on the response.

This post was linked with other on Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family.


  1. Great Job! I've been contemplating making a dollhouse with a Sony box we have. I know he'll love it!

  2. That is awesome!
    I remember you telling me on twitter that you were going to make one! Glad you found the time.
    I think Austin would LOVE this! I'll have to keep an eye out for the parts or order for his birthday!

    I'd even go as far as to make some walls have windows, let Austin color the foam, AND then even try and give him some things to decorate the inside of his building once it's built. It really could be a construction site and then a dollhouse!
    I have really tough boys, but they still like to play with dolls, too! ;)

  3. This is such a creative and great idea! How cool! By the way, I love your blog design. It is so cute.
    I'm stopping by from MBC and am now following.
    My address is www.thestrollerballet.com, if you want to come by and visit!

  4. Wow, what a great idea! My 3 year old would love this. Way less expensive than buying any of those sets sold in the toy departments.

    Thanks Kim! Again, you are so creative :-)

  5. Hi! I just came across your blog and love your concept:) This is a really cute idea- I'll be making one when my son gets old enough to play with it:)
    P.S. My blog is all about scrapbooking- something you might be interested in based on your own blog. Come check it out:)

  6. We do have the big craft poms (almost 2 inches) to use for "dirt". We used to use the small ones before the baby was born and got mobile. I also have a stock pile of empty toilet paper rolls to use as "pipes".
    Not only can he take the walls off and on, but with this shelf, he can completely take down the building and build it back up without instructions or getting frustrated.
    That is the plan, anyway. :-)

  7. Thanks for the idea - I have a 3yr old whose birthday is in January. He LOVES construction and this won't break the bank, especially right after Christmas.

  8. Wow that's a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a great idea. My girls would love this.

    You could have so much fun decorating!

  10. This is such a good idea! :) Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, lots of drama today. Lol!

  11. This is a great idea! I have been wanting to do some type of craft but wasn't sure what. Now I know what I will do : )

  12. What a great idea!

    Following you from MBC...

  13. I like that idea! I'm following from MBC!

  14. Kim you kill me with how freaking crafty you are! The boys would love this! Very cool idea ;)

  15. This is a great idea. I know a group of kids that will enjoy a construction site. Thanks for the inspiration and idea.

  16. Very fun idea. I love the demo and rebuilding aspect! My boys will love it. Thanks for sharing.

    My blog is http://sibleyweb.blogspot.com .

  17. We had done this for our daughter when she was alot younger (she's 15 now). We couldn't afford one of those expensive dollhouses, so we had used one of those shelving units. Took carpet reminents and glued down on one level and took contact paper that looked like wooden flooring for the other, etc. Attached cardboard to the back to create the back wall and decorated it. We still have it and soon will be her little sister's who is 4, once we decide to get the barbies out again. :D

  18. Nice i will definitely make one of this for my Beautiful Daughter. seo australia services



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