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How to Make a Cardboard Dollhouse Strong

If you are building a dollhouse out of cardboard one of the things you might be concerned with is the strength of cardboard.

Here I will show you some tips and techniques to make your dollhouse strong so it can be used and will last.

This mini tutorial is part of my overall tutorial on how to make a cardboard dollhouse. In that tutorial I take you through all the steps from start to finish. You can see it here: How to Make a Cardboard dollhouse

I have a couple of important tips for you that will help make your cardboard dollhouse nice and strong.

First off you have to think about how cardboard is made. It is something called corrugated This means that it is made up of three sheets of thick brown paper. There are two sheets of flat paper with a sheet of crinkled wavy paper sandwiched in between. In the following picture I have peeled away part of the top layer of paper.

The internal part of cardboard

This reveals the corrugated middle layer.

And this shows that cardboard is very strong in one direction but not so strong in the other direction.

You can maximize the strength of your dollhouse by making all the walls out of two layers of cardboard glued together. And glue them together so that the corrugations run in contrary directions. So, lf you glue together these two pieces you glue them just as you see them. With one piece the corrugations run north to south and the other piece the corrugations runs east to west.


Tip #2: Use a spray adhesive for the large flat surfaces.

When you are creating the double layers of cardboard you should apply an even coat of spray adhesive to the sheets. This will give you a very strong and uniform bond between the two sheets.

This next picture shows me applying Elmers spray adhesive I have also drawn light red lines on the cardboard sheets to show you the direction of the corrugations and how the two pieces differ in direction.

Apply spray adhesive


Tip #3: When adding horizontal pieces like floors you should put a cardboard support in. Like this. These are half inch wide strips of cardboard hot glued into place. Now we can glue the second floor right onto these.

Add a shelf


Hot glue the floor right in. And add more hot glue onto the top seams. Using hot glue for this kind of assembly is the best. It works better than white glue. And the hot glue isn't just applied to the sides. It is also applied to that long length along the back. This process of gluing with shelves and along multiple edges will make the dollhouse nice and strong.

The second floor is glued in place


Tip #3: Make the rooms smaller. Don't have large rooms. Large lengths of cardboard are weaker. So design the dollhouse with mostly smaller rooms, maybe one larger living room.

The living room in this dollhouse is a bit large. I added this new piece to create an attic. Adding more pieces to break up large areas will make the dollhouse stronger.

Various rooms



My tutorial on how to make a cardboard dollhouse:

New: Make a Cardboard Dollhouse (Tudor Style!)

Make an inexpensive and durable dollhouse that looks great. I give you the designs and blueprints free. And I have a video tutorial showing you how to make it. Make a Cardboard Dollhouse



Hot glue gun

Will's Favorite Hot Glue Gun

Surebonder PRO2-100 100-Watt High Temperature Industrial Glue Gun, Black

Note the model number. That's the important thing. Sometimes they change the colors of this glue gun but it's the same model.


Elmer's Spray Adhesive