This Reader Took a $10 IKEA Shelf & Turned It Into a Doll’s Dreamhouse!

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barbie house with accessories and doll

Save your dough by making a DIY American Girl Dollhouse!

Ask a child and they will let you know that every doll deserves a dollhouse. I get it – I mean dolls have to go to bed too, right?😉 The problem is if you have a doll-collecting kiddo then you know how pricey some of these dollhouses, or should I say doll mansions can be. I am fortunate that my daughter now loves making houses out of cardboard and personalizing them herself so I haven’t had to shell out too much cash on the dolly castles lately, but I do remember the struggle!

If you’re looking for options on how to house your kiddo’s dolls without using their college fund money to buy a dollhouse, then this week’s Happy Friday story is for you! Check out how a chance finding at IKEA left this reader thinking about how she can make her own DIY dollhouses for $10!

barbie house and accessories and doll

I’ve been on the hunt for an easy DIY 18” dollhouse for some time now. I found this IKEA upper kitchen cabinet 24″ (Height) x 40″ (Length) x 14 3/4″ (Deep) in the IKEA bargain area for $10 (normal retail price $40) and brought it home a while ago.

It turns out that it is the PERFECT size for 18” dolls and all of the accessories! Now I want to go get a few more “rooms” 😀 Happy Friday!!!

Thank you for sharing this brilliant idea, April, on how you used a shelf you already had to create a beautiful dollhouse (gotta love IKEA)!

Not only does it look amazing, but it also looks like it will hold up so much better than those plastic dollhouses do. I love all the little details and accessories you added to this house too, my favorite is the “Throw kindness around like confetti” picture frame sitting on the desk. That totally made me smile😊 – great job, April!


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique tip to share?! Fill out our Happy Friday form. Every Friday, we post one submission by a Hip2Save reader (view past submissions) that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. If yours is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon eGift card!

Love DIY as much as we do? Check out this page we have dedicated to all things DIY!

About the writer:

Jessica holds a Business Degree and 10 years of writing experience from various deal sites including Hip2Save. Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn

Join The Discussion

Comments 9

  1. 5pink1blue

    Good job! Iā€™m sure your daughter loves it.

  2. jessie

    Can we get some additional pictures or links to the shelf? Its hard to tell what were looking at. Thanks!

  3. Tammy

    No IKEA for miles around, but I just wanted to say that I think this is such a brilliant idea, surely other items could be re-purposed to do this as well. April, I love how you think outside the box. Congratulations on winning the gift card and thanks for sharing such a cool idea with the rest of us.

    • rebecca

      yes — this made me think a person could find an inexpensive laminate bookshelf at a thrift store or yard sale. if the shelves were too close together for a doll’s height, just remove one shelf and reposition the others. and if it was nicked up or scratched, add cute contact paper to the different “rooms” to hide the imperfections.

  4. Tracey

    Wow; this looks amazing! I know your daughter loves it! šŸ™‚

  5. MamaDee

    Very creative! Looks great!

  6. Silva

    When I was a kid my Mom took an old television center and made it my doll house. I loved it because it was the type with a wide lower middle with towers on either side and no sides, just columns. It was a doll house with 180 degrees access. Pool area, bedroom set, kitchen set and vet set in their own areas. As an adult now and being a bit more crafty than her I currently would love to recreate this … Velcro walls, some wallpaper/paint and lighting?

  7. Tonya S

    Adorable! Great job!

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