I’ve got a neat tutorial for you today – DIY patio lounger for your 18″ dolls (as in Maple Lea and American Girl dolls). I haven’t seen these available for purchase on the doll sites, so your creation will be a novel addition to your child’s dollhouse.
To build this DIY doll furniture – you will need a 1×2 board, 1 1/4″ finishing nails and somewhere between 6 and 8 paint stir sticks – the grand total for this project will come to about $3.
First you’ll want to cut your 1×2 down – you’ll need two pieces that are 7″ long, 2 that are 9 3/4″ long and 4 pieces that are 1″ long. Set your mitre saw to approximately 35 degrees and cut all of the pieces with angles running parallel to each other (see photo above).
Using wood glue and a finishing nail, attach the bottom legs (the 1″ pieces) to the bottom of your 9 3/4″ pieces – one at each end. Keep the angle flowing from the seat base down to the legs (see below)
To attach the chair back I did use one screw on either side – but wood glue and a finishing nail should be sufficient to hold it together. Attach the 7″ piece to one end of your 9 3/4″ piece, maintaining the angle from back to base to leg.
Next up, lightly sand your paint sticks; they usually come with a stamped logo or wording on them which can easily be sanded off with a 220 grit sandpaper. This will remove the logos and ensure that the chair is nice and smooth and won’t snag on the doll’s clothes or hair.
If the sander is out, you might as well sand down the chair sides as well. DIY doll furniture can be just as polished as store-bought.
Return your mitre saw to 0 degrees and cut the paint sticks down to 6″ long – with most paint sticks this will be half of the total length.
Attach a paint stick to the base of the chair where the bottom meets the back. Use a bit of wood glue and a finishing nail to hold in place. I opted to leave a slight overhang on either side – roughly 1/4″.
Continue by attaching another paint stick piece at the end of the base with wood glue and finishing nails.
Finish up the base of your patio/ lounge chair by splitting the difference (finding the middle section) and inserting boards until the bottom of the chair is covered.
Repeat by attaching a paint stick to the top of the back of the chair (as above, and then splitting the difference until the back is covered as well.
I added another board to the front of the lounger (at the feet) to hide the seam where the legs attached.
DIY Doll furniture – patio lounger
Things I learned:
- You do need wood glue, don’t skip this.
- Don’t try to counter-sink the nail heads for aesthetics – they go right through the paint stick and the board won’t be attached at all.
- Line up the paint stick at the top with the angle of the top of the chair. You can see above that I have one that is lined up with the angle and one that isn’t, and the look is more polished with the smooth edge.
This is the patio lounger that Chloe’s Papa built for her and the inspiration for my slightly larger version.
Let the kids paint the chair, or finish it yourself in bright colours and a coat of polyurethane for protection.
If you don’t add the bottom legs to the chair, it looks a lot like a dog sled – so it could be fun through a couple of seasons.
I was thinking this would make a cute plant holder as well – put a few succulents on it and use it as a centrepiece on your patio table maybe?
Have a great one!