Updated on September 21, 2023
DIY Barbie House. How to build a DIY Barbie house for your Barbies to play in. Add your own Barbie furniture and decor for the perfect gift. Includes three levels with four rooms, plus ideas for how to decorate the house with furniture.
For my daughter’s birthday, we built a DIY Barbie house. If you follow along with me on Instagram, you will have already seen some sneak peeks way back in January! Today I will walk you through how to build a Barbie house.
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How to Build a DIY Barbie House
I was struggling to figure out what to get my daughter for her birthday. At the last minute, I decided it would be really cool to purchase a Barbie house for her. I looked online but they all came furnished. I didn’t want one with too much furniture because I had saved all my Barbie furniture from when I was little and wanted to use it in the house.
Buy a Bookshelf Pre-Made: So, my next solution was to convert a bookshelf into a Barbie house. We found the perfect bookshelf online – great price and the perfect size for the furniture. This is a GREAT option if you plan ahead or do not do much DIY building yourself!
We found it on Amazon, but it was going to take WAY too long to ship to us since this was so last minute. There was no way to get it in time for her birthday party. Luckily, I have a patient husband who usually goes along with my insane ideas, and I suggested to him that we could build one ourselves.
- 4′ x 8′ MDF
- Table Saw or Circular Saw (or you can have the hardware store cut the MDF for you)
- Nail Gun and Nails
- Wood Putty
- Paintbrush and Roller
I drew out a sketch based loosely on the dimensions of the bookshelf I found online and headed to Lowe’s. We used MDF to build the house. They come in 4 foot by 8-foot sheets for less than $35. I drew out how we could get the whole thing out of one sheet of MDF. We had one of the employees at Lowe’s do all the cuts for us.
Note: You can use these plans to construct your Barbie house, but instead of the shelves being 32″ x 12″, make them 32″ x 11.25″.
Build the Bookshelf
We got home and we assembled the basic shape of the house/bookshelf. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the shelf depth. I didn’t take into account the fact that there was a piece of MDF on the backside, so each of the shelves was sticking out a bit. Instead of being 12″ deep, the shelves should have been 11.25″ deep to account for the 3/4″ MDF in the back.
As you know, we were on a time crunch and we didn’t have time to disassemble it or mess with the tools to cut the boards. I instead decided to trim out the edges and the top to make it all look cohesive. I actually like that I had to add the trim because the “house” looks more finished.
Below are the inside and outside trim around the side edges of the house.
Lastly, below is the top edge. I used an inexpensive piece of baseboard we had leftover from doing our kitchen.
Paint the Barbie House
Then, it was time to paint. I decided to paint it white as a nice, blank slate for decorating. It took several coats. I used a small roller and an angled paintbrush to cover it all.
Decorate the Barbie House
Once the paint dried, I was able to start decorating. So far, Olivia only knew that Daddy was building Mommy a bookshelf. She had no idea it was her new Barbie house. I had to wait until the night before her party to do the finishing touches on the decorating so I could hide it from Olivia. The house had been sitting in the middle of our living room so far.
Barbie House Flooring
I used woodgrain contact paper for the “wood floors”. I used a few small carpet squares cut down to carpet the bedroom and living room. I also used shelf liner to look like tile in the bathroom.
Wallpaper the Barbie house
I purchased scrapbook paper and vinyl from Jo Ann’s to decorate the walls with. I used vellum in the upstairs bedroom behind the bed. I used scrapbook paper in the upstairs bedroom and the living room. In the kitchen, I found a really fun sparkly pink vinyl to attach to the side wall.
I made some little picture frames using scrapbook frames and different scrapbook sticker quotes I found. I didn’t go overboard because at some point when Olivia gets a little older I would love for her to be able to add her own special touches to the house.
Completed Barbie House
Below are pictures of the finished Barbie house and how it looks decorated and with all the furniture in place.
She was so excited when she got to pull the sheet off and see the new house at her party! Even my son was excited to see it all finished.
Top floor: Bedroom
Middle Floor: Bathroom and Bedroom
Bottom Floor: Living Room and Kitchen
The kitchen furniture is new as part of the Barbie furniture set I bought.
80’s Barbie Furniture
The roof has my old hot dog stand and some patio furniture.
The next level down has a bed, armoire, and all the baby furniture.
Below that is a bathroom and another bedroom. I had the shower, but I purchased the little toilet as part of a set.
The very bottom level is the living room and kitchen.
I am hoping this will be great for her to play with for years to come. I know I played with my Barbies long after most of my friends. And at some point, when she is no longer interested in Barbies, it will make a great bookshelf for her room.
The only thing we may still do is add some feet to the bottom, so it doesn’t sit right on the floor.
Did you play with Barbies when you were little? I created a Barbie house on shelves in my closet when I was younger and that is actually what inspired this whole project!
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