How to make a rolling dollhouse stand out of affordable materials to raise up a dollhouse to adult height and store all your building supplies and decor inside.
I have been working on my upcycled dollhouse project for almost three years now. Recently I built an addition on the side to add two more rooms, and I also built a covered front porch. These additions made the house a lot bigger than it was when I first started, so I needed to upgrade my table in order for it to all fit. It’s also a lot heavier now, which makes it hard for me to turn it around when I need to work on the interior or exterior.
So on a random whim last weekend, I decided to try to build a new stand with enough storage for all my supplies, tall enough that I didn’t have to bend over to work on the lower level and with wheels so I can rotate the whole thing when I need to get to the other side. My goal: to recycle some old cube shelving units to save on lumber costs. Here’s how I did it.
How To Build A Dollhouse Stand With Cube Shelving
Supplies You Need
- Cube Shelving Units (I used three 6-cube units from Walmart but you can adjust to size)
- 3/4″ or 1″ thick plywood sheet
- 4 heavy duty swivel casters with brakes
- Circular Saw
- Screws in a few different lengths
- Caulk or Spackle and plastic spatula
- White paint & paintbrush
Why Cube Shelving Units?
I had three 6-cube units from Walmart already on hand and assembled, so I decided to use them to save on costs and keep them from getting thrown out. This stand could definitely be custom-built with 1-inch plywood all the way around, including the shelves, but I really wanted to recycle those old cubbies.
This is also a great way to build a dollhouse stand if you’re not comfortable building things from scratch yet. It’s a super beginner-friendly project. And if you don’t have a circular saw, you can take measurements ahead of time and ask the nice people at your home improvement store to cut it for you.
How To Turn Cube Shelving Into A Rolling Dollhouse Stand
Start by figuring out your layout. I tried a few different designs but ultimately landed on arranging two units back to back with the third on the side.
Measure the shelving units together as a whole to get the full dimensions of your dollhouse stand. The “top” you’re measuring right now will actually be the bottom. Write down those measurements so you don’t forget when you’re cutting.
Now take those measurements and add two inches to both the length and the width. This will be your top piece. You want a one-inch overhang on all sides to make the stand look like a finished piece of furniture.
Head outside and cut your top and bottom pieces of plywood with a circular saw. I love this circular saw because it’s cordless and really easy for beginners.
Once your plywood pieces are cut, screw the smaller piece on top of the grouping of cube shelves. It helps to have a partner hold them tightly together or use hand clamps to keep them in place. You want them to be squished together as much as possible while you’re screwing the plywood to the units.
Drive the screws through the edges of the cube shelving units, not the shelf parts. This allows your screw to go through the frame of the shelving and makes it more secure.
After you’ve screwed the plywood onto the group of cube shelves, attach the four casters to the corners.
With help from a partner, flip over the group of cube shelves. They will flex since they aren’t connected aside from on the bottom, so if you have some hand clamps, now is a good time to use them.
Attach the top piece leaving a 2-inch overhang on all four sides using the same technique as you did for the bottom piece.
Patch holes and plywood edges using paintable caulk or spackle. (Or you can use wood veneer edge banding if you want a more finished look) Once it’s dry, sand everything down really well.
Paint the plywood white to match the cube shelves. If you want to change the color of the cube shelves, you can use this primer before painting. It works really well on laminated furniture.
How To Organize A Rolling Dollhouse Stand
After the paint is dry, it’s time to fill up your new dollhouse stand and get all your supplies organized. For this part of the project, I laid out a bunch of containers on my craft table and filled them by category.
Once all my dollhouse building supplies and decor were sorted, I made a list of all the labels I needed to make. I like to make a list first because I always end up forgetting something. You can label your containers any way you’d like. I went the fast and easy route by using my handheld label maker. I may make fancier ones later, but for now, these are just fine for me.
A great way to store all the tiny dollhouse food, decor, and accessories is in these photo organizers. They’re made to hold 4×6 printed photos, but they’re perfect for separating all your minis by category. They can be stored inside the case they come with, but the case didn’t fit in my cubes so I took them out and stood them inside shoe bins.
I also really like to keep small building supplies like wooden dowels and craft sticks inside a utensil tray. It keeps them separated and accessible without having to have a bunch of different containers. I recycled an old makeup organizer to hold my cutting tools, adhesives, and hand tools.
The cubbies allow you to store larger items freestanding inside, like a mini table saw, paint cans, cutting mats, handheld vacuum, and upholstery foam.
I ended up with a few empty cubbies, which is great because my dollhouse supplies are always changing. My goal for any organizing project is to not max out the space to allow for new items to come in. By leaving breathing room and empty space, you ensure your storage zones don’t get cluttered again.
I originally planned to add a pegboard to the side of the dollhouse stand, but it didn’t work out. The cube shelving is too thin and the composite wood isn’t strong enough to hold the furring strips. I had to scrap the idea, but I may revisit later with lightweight Ikea pegboards instead.
Share Your Own Dollhouse Organization
Once you’ve built your own dollhouse storage stand, I’d love to see it! Share your photos and videos on Instagram using #lelaimorganizedish and tag me @lelaburris. I can’t wait to see your new stand and how you organize all your supplies. And while you’re there, check out the Reel I made that shows a recap of how I made this dollhouse stand and watch it spin around in real time.
The next semester of The Organized-ish Craft Room is open! This is my self-paced workshop-style training for how to plan, set up, organize, and maintain your craft space, no matter how big or small it is. If your craft room (or closet, or dining room nook) needs some serious organization, this course is for you. Enrollment fills up quickly, so grab your spot while you still can.