Material Required to Make Furniture for a Doll-house: cardboard boxes of all kinds, especially flat letter-paper boxes, jeweler's boxes, correspondence-card boxes. Pencils and spools may be of help in making some of the furniture.
When you look at the pictures of my boxcraft doll-house, you will see how well it was furnished. All the chairs and tables, and the bed - all the things that are in the pictures - are cut from cardboard boxes. You have just such boxes as I used, I am sure. Every home has them.
Shall I tell you how the furniture is made? First, I will tell you how I made the bedroom, shall I?
The old-fashioned canopy bedstead is made from a candy box and its cover. The four posts are long pencils. One pencil is run through each corner of the lower half of the box and glued tight. Then the cover is placed upon the upper ends of the pencils to make a canopy. Lace-paper is pasted around the rims of the cover. I made tissue-paper sheets and a lace-paper pillow. You can do that, too.
I made a tall bureau from eight empty match-boxes. The match-boxes were safety-match boxes with tiny drawers that are made to slide in and out. I saved till I had eight boxes. Then, I glued four, one on top of the other, and four others I glued in the same way. When these were dry, I pasted my two sets together. This made the upper part of the bureau. To make legs, I cut a low bench from a small box cover and pasted the boxes to its top. (For bench, see Diagram Six, A, page 175.) I sewed shoe-buttons to each drawer to make a handle. The mirror is a piece of cardboard cut oblong and pasted at the back of the bureau so that it is upright. I painted a frame around the sides of the cardboard to make it look like a mirror. The bureau cover is a strip of lace-paper. The candle and candlestick came off a birthday cake.
The wash-stand is cut from the lower half of a box about five inches long. It is cut almost as if it were a bench, only that its legs are shorter. The "splasher" is a piece of cardboard pasted upright at the back of the box.
Boxcraft Bedroom furniture.
Boxcraft Table and Chairs.
Mantel and Settle made from cardboard boxes.
Piano and Grandfather's Clock made from boxes.
Almost all chairs I made were cut from narrow box covers and jewelers' hat-pin boxes. One hat-pin box will make two chairs. Each half makes one. (For chair, see Diagram Six, G, page 177.) Hat-pin boxes will make high-backed chairs. Other box covers make other kinds. When you cut an ordinary chair with a low back, begin to cut the rim from the side of your box near the center on one long side. When you make a chair from a hat-pin box, cut the rim off your box two thirds of the way around, leaving one end only with the rim on. The part without rim is the back of the chair. Press that upward, and cut the legs of the chair from the end that has a rim left upon it.
I made a grandfather's clock by standing a hat-pin box on end. I glued to its upper front part the face of a penny watch. You do not need to spend a penny. Just mark the face of a clock in pencil and glue it to the front of your clock.
Really, I am very proud of the piano. It is not every doll-house that can have a piano - but you can make one, for it is easy. You will need a shallow letter-paper box and a narrow box such as fountain pens come in from the store where they are bought.
Paste one long side of the narrow box across the front or back of the letter-paper box after you have stood the letter-paper box upright. The narrow box should be placed about where you think the keyboard belongs. (See Diagram Six, F, page 179, for making a piano from two boxes.) The music-rest is a bit of folded box rim glued to the central part of the piano above the keyboard. The keyboard is marked off with ink upon a strip of white paper and pasted upon the top of the narrow box. You can easily draw the first part of some music that you know, and place it on a tiny sheet of white paper to make a "piece" for the piano's music-rest.
A mantel for the living-room may be made from a flat letter-paper box. Stand the box upon one long rim and place its printed side to the back. Cut from the front a mantel opening like the opening for a fireplace. (See Diagram Six, G, page 180.)
The Morris chair is made like any other chair. (See Diagram Six, G, page 177, for cutting a chair from a box.) It has two bent box rims glued to each side to make the arm rests, and the cardboard is cut rounding from the front rim of the box in cutting its legs.
I made a very cute little cupboard for my doll-house dining-room. It was easily made. You can make one out of any shallow box that is like a spool box, by cutting out all of its front rim excepting a narrow margin left all the way around its front cover. I cut some strips of cardboard and fitted them across the inside of this box and glued them to make shelves. Lace-paper made the shelf-paper. Metal corks from bottles and cold-cream tubes made mugs and silver-ware. Plates for the dining-room were circles cut from cardboard.
A sideboard may be made from half of a letter-paper box, cutting this in half lengthwise. Then cut this half the box as if you were making a high bench. Do not cut far up in the box rim to make the legs. Cut them curving at the front. Outline a drawer and cupboard doors upon the front, and paste a plate-rack at back. It is the cover of a narrow box glued behind the buffet.
Of all my doll-house furniture, I like the kitchen best. It looks so homelike. If I were a little doll, I know I should love to go into that kitchen and make candy on the stove. It would be such fun!
The stove is made from an oblong candy box cut like a bench. At two sides of its front, I cut oven doors and put round-headed paper-fasteners through them to make knobs. The prongs of each paper-fastener, bent, make latch for oven doors. At the back of each oven door, right inside the box, I pasted a small box and made a real little oven. I could put dishes in it!
The boiler in the kitchen is the kind of round tin they use to pack blue-print paper in. I stood mine on a spool after I washed the printed paper off from it. You can use an old baking-powder tin, if you have no blue-print paper box.
You can see how the kitchen sink is made - merely a box cover placed over the end of a deeper box. At the back of the box paste an upright piece of card-board. The faucets are made from the two ends of a kid hair-curler pressed through the cardboard downward.
The kitchen table is the lower half of a correspondence-card box. It is cut as if it were a bench with long legs. (For cutting the bench, see Diagram Six, A, page 175.)
You will have a very good time playing in your doll-house, if you make one. You can make a fourroomed house from four large bandboxes placed on their sides. Put two upon the floor and glue the other two to their tops. Of course, you will not need to use the covers of the boxes. Each bandbox will make a room.
Boxcraft Doll-house Furniture. The Dining-room.
Boxcraft Kitchen Furniture for dolls. Stove, table, and sink are all boxes. The boiler is a tin box upon a spool.
You can use strips of wall-paper for carpets and rugs. You can cut windows in the bandboxes. When you have furnished the doll-house, it will be quite like a real little home.
I painted my furniture with ink. If you paint yours, be careful to put newspapers down under your work, and be very, very careful to use your brush as dry as you can. In this way your work will be evenly colored. Let the furniture dry thoroughly before you attempt to play with it. If you like, you may paint it with water-color paints.
Little boxes make such fun! I can use each tiny one! I have made a dollies' bed, And a mantel, painted red! Bureaus, chairs, - a table, too! Oh, I have some work to do! Oh, I think that it is gay, Making furniture this way!