Let’s Make an 18” Doll Apartment for Less Than $10

When my daughter began expressing an interest in dolls, I felt it was finally time to share the one set of toys from my childhood I still owned. I went down to the basement and brought out a large box that contained my American Girl doll and various clothes and accessories I had kept tucked away for just in case. It was such a special moment. She was so excited to have a doll of her own. And I was excited to be able to share this slice of my childhood with her, too.

Of course, in typical preschooler fashion, the next question was where was her house. Something that we would go back and forth on for a while until an idea finally formed. For me, her house was my room, or the living room. It was wherever I was playing with her. But the child insisted she needed a structure.

Quite the challenge ensued as I perused Pinterest. I really didn’t want to build that large of a house or spend that much money. Then, one day while I was at the local craft store, I spotted a poster board that looked like a wood floor. Right next to the foam core trifolds. And then I had it. I would build a doll sized apartment to look like my daughters room. I even made a little wall hanging with yarn scraps and a wooden dowel for a pop of color.

She was surprised and amazed! I felt like the coolest mom ever. It fit perfectly in the bottom left side of her closet when she wasn’t playing and it had the same Dalmatian dots as her room. Ready for the tutorial?


  • Foam core poster
  • Foam core trifold
  • Wood or tile-look poster
  • Hot glue
  • Craft glue
  • Box knife
  • Paint (optional)


  1. Use craft glue to adhere the wood-look poster to the foam core poster and allow to dry. This will be your floor.
  2. Cut the top third of the trifold off using the box knife.
  3. Use hot glue to attach the trifold to the “floor.” Then use craft glue to fill in the gaps around the base.
  4. Using the leftover trifold, cut 1-ish inch drips for the baseboard and attach them with hot glue. Again, use craft glue to fill in gaps.
  5. Optional step: use paint to create a faux wallpaper design on the walls
  6. Give the apartment about 24 hours to fully dry before use. 

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