Upcycle Style: Suitcase Dollhouse

What can you do with an old suitcase?

What can you do with an old suitcase? If you have an old suitcases collecting dust in the shed or under the bed, it’s time to dust it off and get re-purposing.

Old suitcases really lend themselves to fun upcycling projects. I’ve used my imagination and turned this old suitcase into something really cool that any kid will love!

Time to make a Suitcase Dollhouse!

I’ve been looking for an old dollhouse for Emma without any luck, so turning an old case into her own mini doll mansion was the perfect project.

Vintage suitcase dollhouse upcycle mypoppet.com.au

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You’ll only need some basic tools to make this dollhouse. If you don’t have any scrap wood laying around, try using strong cardboard instead. It can be taped rather than screwed in place.

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You will need:

  • An old hard shell suitcase
  • 2-3 wood pieces cut to size (width x depth of case) I’ve used some old narrow shelving.
  • Screws and screwdriver
  • Blackboard paint and paintbrush
  • Chalk
  • Decorative paper, and felt (optional)
  • Doll house furniture

How to make a dollhouse from a suitcase:

1. Clean your suitcase thoroughly, vacuum out the inside and give the exterior a wipe with a damp cloth.

2. Measure the interior of the case to determine the size of your wood inserts = width x depth of bottom of case.

3. Cut wood to size, you may need to round off back corners if your case has curved edges. I’ve chosen 3 inserts (4 floors)as Emma’s dolls are small, but for larger dolls you may only need 2 inserts (3 floors).

step1 suitcase doll house

4. Screw in inserts from the outside of the case.

step 2 suitcase dollhouse

5. Give the exterior 2 coats of Chalkboard paint. Follow manufacturers instructions for drying times between coats.

painting suitcase dollhouse

6. Time to decorate the interior. I added some felt on the lower floor as carpet but liked the look of the hardwood floors on the other levels. You can add decorative papers on the walls, be as creative as you like. I actually left the original lining paper exposed as the house’s wall paper as it was my favourite part of the case. It’s why I bought it in the first place.

decorate dollhouse

7. Rather than cutting out holes for windows and doors, I’ve drawn the house facade on with chalk. You can just wipe it off and change it’s look whenever you like. It’s a great way for kids to get creative and design their own house.

suitcase dollhouse chalkboard

8. Fill it with little furniture. We found some of these items at the op-shop and made others out of bits and pieces we had at home.

Finished suitcase dollhouse

Time to Play!

Play with a suitcase dollhouse

And the beauty of this Doll house is that it’s portable. When you are finished playing, it’s totally portable and can travel with you wherever you go.

portable doll house

I hope I’ve inspired you. Now it’s your turn to get creative with an old suitcase.

before & after old suitcase to dollhouse mypoppet.com.au
Happy upcycling!

Originally published Sep 2013, Updated April 2020

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