DIY Hack: American Girl Dollhouse (from an old entertainment center)

DIY American Girl Dollhouse

As Scribber’s 7th birthday approached I found myself stressing a bit. While we make some major life changes, we’re living incredibly frugally, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to squeeze a birthday party AND a gift into our budget. (Heck, let’s be honest! I wasn’t sure how I’d get either…) 

Scribber LOVES American Girl. She has been crazy lucky with these dolls too! My aunt has given her two as gifts, and a few months back we found Saige for $20 at the Goodwill!! And her wishlist is entirely doll related. (And she is equal opportunity, he watches hours of videos on youtube reviewing the Target and Walmart brands too!) But it all just seemed out of my budget, at least for anything with “WOW” factor! 

I had originally found a DIY Shelf House on Pinterest that I wanted to make, but by the time I priced the shelves? I was WAY over budget. And I couldn’t convince hubby to part with any of the from the garage! 


Then my neighbor posted on Facebook that she was getting rid of her old entertainment center as she remodeled her basement. (And if you are reading this my friend, I apologize for this horrible photo of your basement! I know you were tearing it apart as you took the photo!! But it shows the piece in action in it’s previous life!) 

So after I called, texted and commented on her Facebook post, I claimed this beast as my own!! (And I have to give this same friend and her amazing husband another shoutout — they really helped me out to complete this project – by the time I got over to look at it in person her husband had taken the doors off and she had a game plan for our new project!) 


This whole project was surprisingly simple and cheap! I had a gallon of paint left over from a previous project, so that was free! (And 4 layers made this center absolutely gorgeous.) 

After painting, we bought foam board at Hobby Lobby (2 sheets of 1/2 inch for $6.99/piece, and since we both used the 40% off coupon? It was even cheaper!!) We used duct tape and lots of hot glue to both form the triangle top and secure it. 

Next up? We nailed 4 more sheets of smaller, thinner foam board ($3.99/board) to the back to make a backing for it. 


Now we were ready for the finishing touches!! We hot glued some “turf” into the old drawer, making an adorable front yard. We used 3m strips to secure an old tin “mail box” to the side. 

We did decide to leave the decorating up to my daughter – eventually I’d like to use scrapbook paper as wallpaper, and make curtains for the “windows” – but that’s all coming up in the future! 

Front Yard

When Scribber’s birthday rolled around? Needless to say, my $34 Entertainment Center Dollhouse was a HUGE hit!! (And it only took about 6 hours of total work to complete!)  She absolutely loves her new dollhouse! She has spent HOURS arranging and rearranging the rooms, and I couldn’t be more excited about how well this turned out!

Finished Product!!

I’m a Nebraska girl transplanted to Southern Colorado! I’m a homeschooling, coffee loving, book reading, hockey mom with a passion for music, blogging and serving others! I’m glad you’ve joined me in my little corner of the web!

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