Nesting Shoebox Dollhouse

While playing around with some empty kid shoeboxes, I came across these two that nest together quite well — a fun find that lend to some creative dollhouse making!

I covered them up with wallpaper samples (discontinued wallpaper sample books are available at most paint stores for free, just ask for them!), and scraps of leftover scrapbook paper. Emily picked out all of the patterns she wanted to use on the walls, and helped fill up ย the small box with some of her dolls and furniture.

We also had some leftover free flooring samples from the hardware store, which made great dollhouse flooring! (One of these days we’ll replace that carpet in the sewing room….) Since each surface is covered with different paper, we found there are countless ways to configure this simple dollhouse — so much fun!!

Emily found an empty trial sized box of cereal, so we covered it with wrapping paper and she drew an aquarium on one side and a fireplace on the other.

These two sister dolls seemed to have a lot of fun exploring their new home!

And when we were all done playing (which wasn’t for quite awhile), everything fits neatly inside the largest shoebox!!

Mark said he wants to keep this at his office so the girls have something to play with whenever we come visit him at work, and I think that’s a great idea! (Although he might be tempted to play with all these fun toys himself….. )

Have fun!!

I added this post to:
Get Your Craft On @ Today’s Creative Blog
Weekend Wrap Up @ Tatertots and Jello


  1. I can just see Mark playing with this at work.

    I really like this idea. It looks like something my kids will have fun with. They are currently playing with shoebox castles, so we will have to try this too.

    • Seriously, I wouldn’t blame him for playing with this — I couldn’t resist it myself!

      A shoebox castle sounds awesome!!

  2. Salaam ya’ll. My boys (13 and 17 now!) and I used to make shoebox dioramas; they were into digimon and pokemon so we made “poke-world”. They would collect little rocks (they made a climbing wall with them!) and tin-foil ponds. It was so much fun!

    • What a great idea, and something that really promotes hours of fun imaginative play! I bet they had a lot of fun with that!!

  3. Hi

    I just wanted to say I love your blog!!! You always have the neatest and thriftiest ideas!!! I love it!!!

    Thank you so much!

  4. Dear Valerie,

    I would never play with dolls at work.



  5. This is terrific – my girls are always begging for box doll houses. I like the idea of covering each side with a different surface. And the aquarium/fireplace is brilliant!

    • I think your girls would love something like this!

      There have been some neat additions to our house this morning, including post-it note windows and doors that can be moved from wall to wall. The girls have been playing with this ALL morning!!

      Have fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hmmmmm……. Yet another great thing to make with shoeboxes. I’m beefing up my collection again after having used them all for our little house projects.

    • I hardly ever throw away shoeboxes — they really come in handy for all sorts of school projects (and pretend play projects too). I know what you mean about stocking up your collection. I only have a couple more left!

  7. what a wonderful idea! Im sure my kids will love this!

  8. What a fun toy! I like the commentors idea w/ the rock wall and stuff like that. Sammy is very into the movie Cars. I might have to make up little play box for some of his cars.

    • What a great idea! It would be a really fun play parking garage or car wash… What fun!!

  9. Great frugal idea! I see many play possibilities.

    • Thanks, Scott! For the classroom, each kid could make their own room and you could build a mansion or castle with them!

  10. I just love a good show box craft!

    (P.S. You helped inspire our Science lessons last week:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!)

    • How wonderful!!! Looks like your solar oven worked like a charm!! I’m so happy you gave it a whirl! Yay!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Very clever!

  12. That IS a great idea for an office toy. I never knew they gave away old wallpaper samples. I’ll have to check next time I’m in. Thanks for the idea!

    • Oh yes, the crafting possibilities for wallpaper samples make my head explode… LOL Have fun!!

  13. What a great idea! I had some dollhouse furniture from my childhood that I brought back when I last took a visit to my dad. My boys actually like playing with it (not too old for that yet) but I don’t want it getting mixed up with the stuff in their toy box. This is a great idea for keeping it separate!

  14. super cute idea! Love your blog.

  15. oh..super cute

  16. I love this idea! It really is great for travel and you could do all sorts of variations with the theme.

  17. It’s adorable!

  18. What a great travel dollhouse!

  19. a very great idea! can I play with you???


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