Want to inspire the kids to clean up and provide a fun space to hang out? This shelving and storage unit in the shape of a dollhouse is just the trick – after all, they’ll want to keep their house in order! Made of laminated pine, it is a little more expensive, but the chunkier appearance gives it the look of quality furniture and makes it very sturdy.’s time to shelve the kids’ clutter!
It’s time to shelve the kids’ clutter!
Gather your supplies
A - Bottom sides (2) 1264 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
B - Base 1440 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
C - Top 1440 x 400 x 18mm laminated pine
D - Seat shelf 900 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
E - Small divider 300 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
F - Main divider 1216 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
G - Small shelf 510 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
H - Stair risers and treads (5) 150 x 250 x 30mm laminated pine
I - Top riser 180 x 250 x 30mm laminated pine
J1 - Back 1200 x 1264 x 9mm grooved plywood
J2 - Back 300 x 1264 x 9mm grooved plywood
K - Top/Base (2) 1440 x 400 x 18mm laminated pine
L - Sides (2) 286 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
M - Divider 250 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
N1 - Back 1200 x 286 x 9mm grooved plywood
N2 - Back 300 x 286 x 9mm grooved plywood
O - Roof (2) 1061 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
P - Base 1415 x 400 x 18mm laminated pine
Q - Shelf 719 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
R - Divider 330 x 400 x 30mm laminated pine
S1 - Back 1200 x 750 x 9mm grooved plywood
S2 - Back 300 x 300 x 9mm grooved plywood
Note: You will need 4 panels of 900 x 2100 x 30mm laminated pine and 4 panels of 1800 x 450 x 18mm laminated pine
You’ll also need
30, 40 and 75mm screws; filler; Dulux Weathershield low sheen or semi-gloss in White and Floss (for Floss, sample pot will do); 505 x 860 x 9mm plywood offcut (optional); chalkboard paint (optional); painting tools.
Cut the 30mm- thick panels into 7 strips, 400mm wide. To ensure these cuts are straight, use a straightedge to guide saw – this can be factory edge of 1 of the other panels. To position straightedge correctly, measure distance from edge of saw plate to saw blade (about 34mm) and add this to the 400mm. Here straightedge is clamped to the unwanted section of pine, so we added thickness of saw blade (normally 3mm) for a total measurement of 437mm. Also cut the 18mm-thick pine to 400mm wide.
Cut sides (A), base (B) and top (C) to length, again using a straightedge. Make sure you are square to long sides. As you approach end of cut, support offcut to avoid splitting.
Measure positions on sides where shelves will be located and square parallel lines across panel, 30mm apart. Repeat where dividers join top and base. Drill 3 clearance holes between lines – 1 in centre and two 50mm in from edges. Also drill clearance holes for fixing top and base to sides.
Glue and screw a side to the base using 75mm screws. You do not need to countersink, as the screws will do this themselves in soft timber such as pine. Add right-hand side. Fill in- between with 18mm-thick top (C).
Join seat shelf (D) to small divider (E) so it is centred. Also glue and screw main divider (F) to small shelf (G) so shelf will be 300mm down from inside top of unit. Glue and screw these into the box.
Create steps by screwing the 5 stair risers and treads (H) together, finishing with top riser (I).
In a similar way, make smaller middle section that sits on top of bottom box. Here, both top and base (K) are 18mm so when they double up with roof
and bottom sections, the combined width looks similar to the thickness of the rest of the units. Screw sides (L) to top and base, then add central divider (M).
The top section has a ‘roof’ (O) with a pitch of 45°. To cut these to length, make the first 45° cut at end of a board, using a straightedge and making sure cut is square to long side. Leave straightedge in place.
Measure distance from straightedge to sharp point of cut (here, 105mm). Subtract this distance from length measurements when you clamp straightedge
to wanted piece as you cut pine length. Cut roof pieces, then base (P) and shelf (Q), with 45° angle at each end.
Glue and screw the 2 roof pieces together with 40mm screws driven perpendicular to the mitre. This holds joint tight without the mitre slipping out of position.
Glue and screw base and shelf to central divider (R) to form an ‘H’ section.
Apply glue to ends of shelf and base, then push shelf assembly into roof assembly. Screw from base into roof, again across the mitre.
Cut the backs (J1, J2, N1, N2) for bottom and middle sections to size, with 45° slopes on backs (S1, S2) to suit top roof section. As plywood sheets do not come wide enough to cover back of shelves in 1 piece, join pieces along a groove to maintain groove spacings.
Fill screw holes with filler, then sand smooth when dry. Paint sections and backs, including edges, separately with 2 or more coats of low sheen or semi-gloss in white. (For an even harder-wearing surface, use gloss or semi-gloss enamel, but remember to allow for longer drying times.) When paint is dry, screw on backs using 30mm screws.
Using a small foam roller, paint front edges of shelf and stairs in Floss (pink). In order not to get paint on shelf faces, load roller, then roll on a piece of scrap timber first to remove excess. Paint edges using light pressure only.
When dry, fix stair assembly into place by screwing down from top and in from divider. To make it easier to hold stairs in position, clamp an offcut of timber so its top edge is 480mm down from inside top of unit.
Bring sections into desired room and clamp together. Join with screws from the underside. As it is quite wide and heavy, the shelving unit is unlikely to topple, but just to be safe, screw through back into a stud in wall.
To make a chalkboard, coat plywood offcut in chalkboard paint and allow to dry. Position in shelving unit and leave a jar of coloured chalk close by.