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Turn a Thrifted Nightstand Into a Dreamy Dollhouse Storefront

Turn a Thrifted Nightstand Into a Dreamy Dollhouse Storefront

Are you a fan of functional furniture that can double as play and imagination for your littles? Then you will love this thrifted DIY storefront dollhouse! While it took a little bit of hunting, I found the perfect little cabinet to turn into a seriously whimsical piece of furniture that can act as a kids’ bedroom side table and a great addition to a dreamy dollhouse collection.


I did plan on transforming this into a dollhouse initially, but once I started planning, I got the idea to turn it into a sort of downtown area of little storefronts instead, and I am so happy with how it turned out. They look like they could have popped straight out of a storybook!

If you’d like to try this yourself, you only need basic craft supplies and a simple cabinet or nightstand. Ready to get started? Follow these simple steps to make a darling DIY dollhouse nightstand.

Related: Canada’s Most Popular Baby Names in 2022

Paint materials for their DIY dollhouse nightstand


  • A thrifted nightstand/side table
  • Wooden dollhouse doors
  • Furniture paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Industrial strength adhesive
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint pens
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Ruler


Step One: Finding the Perfect Thrifted Piece

Finding the perfect thrifted piece of furniture was definitely the most challenging aspect of this project, but eventually, I stumbled on the perfect little cabinet! My best advice is to find something small (like the size of a nightstand) with flat cabinet doors rather than drawers. Who knows, you might already have the perfect little piece of furniture in your house, just waiting to be transformed.

Related: The Most Adorable Kids’ Rooms We’ve Ever Seen 

A thrifted piece of old furniture for their DIY dollhouse nightstand


Step Two: Prep and Paint

First, go over the entire piece of furniture and a light sanding (I used sheets of 120 grit sandpaper). Removing the doors from the cabinet will make it a little easier to work on them, both in the sanding and painting process. Once you’ve finished sanding, you’re ready to paint! I used two coats of mineral paint in a light colour to create a solid base coat.

A person adding a door to their DIY dollhouse nightstand

Step Three: Design Your Storefront


This is the fun part! Once the paint has dried, you can start to map out your storefronts. I decided to go with a separate two-storey design for each door – a bookshop and a plant shop (two of my favourite places in the world!). There are so many options here, though!

You could create a restaurant, a bike shop, a post office, a pet store or even an antique shop. Whatever you choose, be sure to use a pencil and a ruler to sketch out your design before you start painting. The ruler will help you maintain straight lines, and using a pencil makes it easy to correct any mistakes or change the design a little while you are working on it.

See More: Smart Toy Storage Solutions That Will Help Your Family Stay Organized

A person painting a door in their DIY doll house nightstand project

Step Four: Add Your Dollhouse Doors and Windows

Take your dollhouse doors and remove them from the frames, making them easier to glue to the cabinet doors. I used industrial adhesive to ensure they stick through many play sessions and let them cure for a few minutes before moving on.

Next, I filled in the windows on the “bottom floor” of my shops using peach-toned paint to make them feel lit from within. I painted the windows on the top floor black to give the illusion that the lights are turned off.

Related: This DIY Macrame Lion is the Sweetest Homemade Gift Idea for Newborns

A person drawing books on their storefront DIY dollhouse nightstand

Step Five: Time For Pretty Details!

As you move around the shops, add some of those finer details that will really give them personality. For this design, I added books and plants to the window displays. Depending on the design you choose, yours might look a little different. I also added some outside details like awnings, trim, and bricks to really bring them to life. Using acrylic pens, I added some finer details like shop signs, building numbers, and book titles.

Step Six: Seal and Protect Your Little Shops


Seal everything with a clear coat as the final step of the project. This will ensure that your shopfronts stay fresh and protected for years to come. And you’re done! Such a cute, fun DIY project to get creative with and bring a little bit more whimsy into your life.

Looking for more ways to spruce up your kids’ space? Check out how to design a playful kids’ nook.

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