Creating a Bookcase/Dollhouse
While ‘containing the clutter’ is a big priority in any child’s room, your choices for furniture can still show lots of style—especially if you’re creating them yourself! Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to make an attractive bookcase or dollhouse. As always, these instructions are simply a guideline—feel free to make adjustments or improvise wherever you like.
3 high-quality 1 x 12 pieces (8’ each)
2” x 4” Birch plywood (2 pieces, 1/4” thick)
2” x 4” Birch plywood (I piece, 1/2” thick)
1/4” x 3/4” stop moulding (1 length)
11/16” cove moulding (1 length)
1 oak accent rail (4’ length)
3 chair rail corners
15/8” flat head wood screws
1 box 3/4” wire nails
1 box 6-d nails
1 box 4-penny finishing nails
3/8” countersink bit
Paint or stain
Two drawer pulls
Drill (with 1/8” bit)
Sander (or sandpaper)
Begin by cutting the sides and shelves to their appropriate sizes, in this case 11 1/8” x 47” for the sides and 10 5/8" x 22 1/2" for the shelves (including top and bottom). Afterwards, cut 1/4" x 1/4" rabbets (joint recesses) to fit the back piece.
Drill and countersink your screws for each shelf—three holes across all three shelf locations. Then attach with screws and wood glue, keeping the fronts flush and square with the side pieces.
With the unit face down, center and attach the back piece (24" x 47") with glue and wire nails.
Measure and cut all pieces for the unit's stop moulding. Then mitre your corners and attach with finishing nails.
Prepare the roof by cutting the front and back pieces to the unit width (24 7/8") along with the two pieces (16 5/8" each).
Measure and cut the cove moulding for your roof, then mitre and fasten with glue and wire nails. Now you can attach the front and back triangular pieces with glue and screws. (Be sure to drill the screws from the bottom so that they remain unseen.)
Finish the roof by attaching the two side pieces—fasten one side with glue and wire nails, then overlap and fasten the other side in the same manner.
Prepare the framing of the bottom drawer by measuring, cutting and attaching the sides and bottom. After ensuring that the bin fits cleanly in its space, attach the front of the drawer to the sides and bottom. Finally, drill two holes to serve as front pulls for the drawer.
Cut your accent rail into six 5 1/2" pieces. The turnings (or small posts in the rail) should be equidistant, with two turnings in each of the six pieces.
Cut your corner posts in half to create six posts—one for each piece of railing from Step 9. Now, drill pilot holes in the sides of your posts. With glue and small finishing nails, attach the posts to the three left and three right side railings.
Glue the bottoms of the finished post-rail pieces flush to the front edges of your shelves.
After filling (and later lightly sanding) all nail and screw holes, you can paint or stain the unit however you like. As well, you can find appropriate drawer pulls.