Good designs will allow your children’s furniture to grow with them – like this small cupboard: tailored as a dollhouse for a girl or a pirate ship for a boy. The dollhouse will later serve as a small wardrobe.
Quick project guide
Hard labour 4/10
Skill level 5/10
Time needed Three hours
Finished size: ±1450mm (H) x 1100mm (W) x 450mm (D)
1. Cut the 2400 x 44 x 44mm lengths to size. Now mark 44mm-wide bands around one end of the four 450mm lengths (legs). Then drill a pair of (3mm) pilot holes at adjacent ends of each and countersink the holes to a depth of about 5mm using the 8mm bit. Dab wood glue before using the 60mm cut screws to fix the 1012mm and 362mm lengths on either side of the legs to create the base framework.
TIP Drill the sets of holes at right angles to each other to avoid the screws conflicting.
2 Place the 568 x 434mm sides at the edges of the 1100 x 450mm pieces (flush with the back edge) and mark around these, as shown. Mark a 16mm wide band midway along the length of the sides. Drill evenly spaced pilot holes between these lines starting 30mm from the ends, to prevent splitting.
3 Now mark 150 x 100mm ‘doorways’ along the length of the 434 x 276mm partitions. Use the jigsaw to cut these out neatly.
4 Fix the partitions to the shelf using 32mm drywall screws and offset the partitions by about 100mm to facilitate the fixing process.
5 Fix the 568 x 434mm sides to either end of the shelf, as shown, by glueing and screwing.
TIP Use a mitre clamp or trisquare to ensure that all your joins are fixed at 90 degrees.
6 Finish off the structure by positioning the top and bottom panels (1100 x 450mm) on the sides (after adding glue) and fixing in place. Then fix the partitions in place from the top and, after turning it over, also from the bottom.
7 Place the finished structure on top of the base frame, then fix it to the framework from above; remember to first drill pilot holes before glueing and screwing together.
8 Use the 38mm Forstner bit to drill two holes 3-4mm from the edges of the two doors (564 x 548mm) and fix the hinges in place, using the chipboard screws. Fit the doors by fixing the hinges to the inside of the dollhouse: mark the position of the door handles, then use the 5mm drill to drill holes for the screws before fixing these in place.
TIP Use a trisquare to ensure the hinges are fixed at right angles.
Use a trisquare to ensure the hinges are fixed at right angles. Construct the roof (refer to diagram for details) by fixing the 680mm roof sections to the 410mm upright. Then fix to the 1100 x 450mm base.
NOTE You will need to cut the end of the upright at angles to accommodate the pitch of the roof panels.
The ‘ship’ will start to take form when you add the ‘bow’ and ‘stern’ sections. Construct these in the same manner; refer to the diagram if necessary.
TO FINISH Fill all the holes with wood filler then sand these, as well as all the edges. Then apply a primer to all the surfaces. Once dry, apply one or two topcoats in the colour(s) of your choice; we applied two coats of Plascon Velvaglo.
Words: Ashley Stemmett, Home magazine
Photographs: Francois Oberholster