How to Make a Barbie House

How to Make a Barbie House

If you’ve ever shopped around for a house for Barbie, you know the market’s pretty limited. You’d think the people at Mattel would understand that Barbie has a lot of stuff and needs a house that can hold it all. But no–most of the commercially available Barbie houses are too small for Barbie’s extensive wardrobe, not to mention her collection of cars and (let’s face it) boyfriends.

If you want a Barbie house big enough for the average Barbie collector, you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands. Building a Barbie house isn’t a huge project–you should be able to put together a sweet new pad for Barbie in a single afternoon.

Materials You’ll Need

Different sized paint brushes

Cheap plastic “bookcases” or shelving units


One or two yards of indoor carpeting



Scrap wallpaper


Hobby saws or knives

Assembling Barbie’s New House

1. Your first step is to gather your materials. The most important feature of your new Barbie house is the small plastic bookshelves or shelving units that actually constitute the house. Make sure the shelves you buy are tall enough to allow Barbie and her friends to stand up inside. Also, you should decide how big you want the house to be. Determining the number of rooms and floors for Barbie’s new mansion is key to figuring out how many plastic shelves you need.

2. Assemble the plastic shelving units. Be creative–if you want a two-story house for Barbie, you should buy a three shelf unit so you can remove one of the shelves and use it for a front porch or an adjoining pool house. Your imagination is your only limit.

3. Barbie wants fancy carpeting, so pick up a yard or two of nice (but thin) indoor/outdoor carpeting. Just cut the carpet to fit the floors and glue it down. Not every room in Barbie’s house needs carpeting . . . maybe Barbie is a hardwood floor or tile girl. Buy materials to suit the look of the interior of her house.

4. If you want, you can purchase two shelving units and hinge them at the back, so that Barbie’s house can open for more living room. Either way, you’ll need to use cardboard or thin hobby wood to cover up the plastic “walls”. You may not even have to wallpaper the back and side walls if you find good enough wood to cover the walls.

5. If Barbie doesn’t like wood paneled walls, use scrap wallpaper to cover both sides of the interior walls and one side of the back and side walls. This is another time when you should get creative. Wallpaper comes in all styles, and most wallpaper or home improvement stores have deals on scrap or older styles of wallpaper.

6. Now it is time to decorate the exterior of Barbie’s  new house. Plastic outside walls just don’t do–so cover the exterior of her house with shelf paper in an attractive color, or (even better for Barbie’s style) go ahead and paint the exterior an attractive color. Hobby stores also sell imitation wood and brick exteriors. Remember to do whatever Barbie wants.

7. Barbie’s house looks pretty plain without windows and doors–using a hobby saw or sharp knife, cut out an appropriate number of window and door holes. Barbie’s house should have a front door and a back door, and maybe  a side door if Barbie’s house comes with a pool or hot tub. As for windows–get creative. Usually, homes have an even number of windows, or at least a balanced look to the windows themselves. A few windows of different sizes should look just fine. Be sure to decorate the exterior of the windows with shutters or dress up the inside with curtains or drapes made from old fabric.

8. You have the option of attaching cardboard walls to the bookcase using glue if your shelving units are difficult to paint on or glue to. You can attach pretty much anything you want to the cardboard interior walls.

Keep In Mind:

Barbie has a lot of furniture and a lot of friends. Make sure your rooms are big enough for slumber parties, dinner parties, and just hanging out time.

Some rooms in Barbie’s house are smaller than others–bathrooms and closets are generally smaller than bedrooms, and living rooms and kitchens should be the biggest rooms of all.

Every type of room has its own style of wallpaper. You wouldn’t want flowery, girly wallpaper in Barbie’s gym, and you wouldn’t paint a bathroom the same way you’d paint a dining room.

Keep Barbie’s size in mind when it comes time to cut windows and doors. If Barbie can’t fit through the door, she won’t be happy with her house.

The biggest thing of all–make sure that there’s a place in your house where Barbie’s new mansion fits. Otherwise, your favorite Barbie collector won’t be able to play with it.

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