Dollhouse Furniture

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Total Time afternoon or evening Ages all-ages

Aspiring interior decorators can transform household recyclables into their own line of original home furnishings.

What you'll need

  • Lightbulb carton
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Drinking straws
  • Hot glue gun
  • Colored paper napkin, felt or paper
  • Styrofoam meat tray
  • Egg carton
  • Cracker box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Permanent marker
  • Paper clip
  • Plastic cup or juice container
  • Glue
  • Jar lid

How to make it

  1. To make stand-up walls for each room, cut open the outer sleeve of a lightbulb carton at one corner. Fold the sleeve in half lengthwise, cut out window openings, and then set the sleeve on edge to form an L-shaped room divider.

  2. To hang curtains, use two small fabric squares. Fold back your material 1/2 inch from the top and glue the edges in places. Insert a drinking straw to the wall.

  3. Give your dollhouse instant carpeting by spreading a colored paper napkin or a piece of felt between the walls. Or, you can make a decorative tile floor by gluing paper squares onto a cardboard base.

  4. To make a miniature sofa, cut one end from a clean Styrofoam meat tray for the seat. Next, cut two cups form a cardboard egg carton and hot-glue them to the bottom of the seat. Turn the softa upright and drape on a cloth cover. Use the same method to make an armchair or, simpler still, attach paper clip legs to an egg cup seat.

  5. A tall, thin cracker box makes a perfect wall-lenth kitchen counter. Cover one end with a square of aluminum foil and draw on stove-top burners with a permanent marker. Cut an oven door in the face of the box and poke through the ends of a paper clip for a handle.

  6. To install a sink, cut the bottom from a plastic cup or 1/2 pint juice container. Cut an opening in the countertops, then fit and glue the sink in place. For faucets, snip the tops from flexible drinking straws and glue them to the sink.

  7. Fashion a kitchen table by inverting a plastic cup and drawing four wide table legs on the sides. Cut away the sections between the legs. To finish, set a jar lid on top of the leg base.

  8. To craft kitchen chairs, cut a plastic drinking straw into 1-inch pieces for legs (four for each chair) and glue them to the bottom of milk jug caps. A carboard tissue tube cut into 1-inch rings will serve as chair backs. Cut the rings into halves and then glue on half onto each seat.

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