These cute dollhouses are popping up everywhere, but this tutorial offers the simplest technique, plus a free pattern and video tutorial. Bonus furniture templates for “Marzi’s Mobile Home,” too!
1Begin by ironing your fabrics. Then cut two pieces of batting, and two different patterned fabrics, to 21×9 inches. You’ll also cut two more pieces of batting and the two different fabrics to 12×8 inches.
2Now use a fabric adhesive spray on the backs of the four pieces of fabric you just cut. I suggest laying down a piece of wrapping paper to protect your work area. Then you’ll press the coordinating batting onto the back of each. Alternately, you could use iron-on fusible webbing, but adhesive spray is easier.
3Now we’ll cut the roof pieces. I like the look of felt for this, but you could also use cotton or flannel if you prefer. Cut two rectangles to 9×3 1/2 inches.
4Next you’ll pin the roof pieces on the big piece of fabric you’d like to be the outside of your house. Measure 3 inches from the end of the fabric, and pin in place. Do the same at the other end. You’ll be sewing these only on the side closest to the end of your large fabric. Sew with a quarter inch seam.
5Time to make the handle. I used the same fabric i chose for the interior of my house. Cut two strips that are 9 by 2 1/2 inches. Fold in half, and sew on the open edge with a quarter inch seam. Press the seam open then turn right side out. Repeat for the other strip. Press the strips.
6To form the handle, fold each end downward. The open center should measure about three inches across. To make sure your handles are identical, form the second handle by laying the strip on top of the first handle. Match up the edges and pin the second handle.
7Topstitch around the perimeter of the handle with a quarter inch seam. Do this for the second handle as well. Center a handle on each roof piece, with the end of the handle pointing towards the edge. Pin in place.
8Print out the free template for the house’s endpiece. You’ll cut out four total, using the 12 by 8 fabric rectangles you cut earlier. Now place one endpiece of the inner fabric to one endpiece of the outer fabric, right sides together. Pin in place.
9Sew with a quarter inch seam, along the long side, the two slanted sides, and the other long side. Leave the short bottom side open. Turn right side out. Use the handle end of a paintbrush, or another gentle tool, to poke out the corners. Iron flat.
10Cut a piece of plastic mesh to fit into your house. It will need to be cut slightly smaller than the endpiece. Cut off about a half inch extra at the bottom, as you will be sewing a seam there later.
11Pin the endpiece, pointing inward, to the bottom center of your fabric. The middle should be at 7 inches. Next we’ll add four hair elastics as closures. Pin one in the center bottom of each roof piece, and one on each side of the house, centered.
12It’s time to sew our fabrics together. Layer the interior fabric piece on top of the exterior, right sides together, and pin. You will be sewing along the short side, the bottom, and the other short side. You will NOT sew the top long side.
13Remove the pins and turn right side out. Make sure the elastic is sewn well. Press the fabric flat.
14Now we’ll sew seams to make pockets for the mesh walls. Toptsitch along the edge of each roof piece.
15Next fold up the endpiece and sew beside either side of it. If you’re worried you won’t be able to sew straight the whole way, you can measure and use pins to guide you. But I’m gonna wing it. Sew down the length of the fabric, stopping about a quarter inch away from the raw open end.
16Then, cut rectangles of mesh to fit inside each pocket you created. Remember, we need to sew the open end shut later, so cut the mesh a half inch short.
17Turn the edge of the open end under on both sides. Press.
18Insert the other endpiece, complete with mesh, into the center panel. Pin in place. Tuck in four more elastics, opposite the sewn ones. Then sew the long side shut, close to the edge.
19Now we’ll add the button closures. Stretch the elastic until it reaches the center, and make a dot where the button should go. You’ll be sewing four buttons total. Remember, if you are using a button without a shank, you’ll need to add some stitches before sewing the button so that the elastic will fit behind the button.
20You can print off my furniture template, or design your own. Attach using fusible webbing or hot glue.
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- Sheila Barrios
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