We had a lot of fun creating a dollhouse for REs American Girl dolls, and it was all done on a budget! The very few dollhouses on the market for 18" dolls were either too expensive, too bulky, or too flimsy . . . So we thought about RE's room. One of her closets already had two shelves, so we adjusted the heights to accommodate the dolls- which took a few scrap pieces of wood and a screw driver to anchor the shelves, and then we were set!
We tried to be as thrifty as possible. We reused old AG doll boxes for beds, cardboard and fabric for walls, flooring and wall remnants from family and friends who had recently renovated their kitchens or living room (for example, the floor is made of wainscoting from our grandparents' country kitchen- all we did was add some brand paint- and voila!- an instant and very cheap wood floor!). Bath mats and carpet remnants also make for very fun and cheap flooring options.
For the walls, we used marked down or onsale "oops" paint samples from Home Depot. The walls on the 1st floor are painted cream- a nice neutral color- and all for 50 cents! For the wallpaper, we used cardstock. Contact paper also makes a fun and affordable option!
We reupholstered the couch and beds with fabric samples or scraps. Sometimes you can find the samples in quarters for about a dollar. These made cute curtains and bedspreads. We also made use of little tchotchkes here and there. Last summer, RE was hospitalized for a brief illness. The kids at the local bible school made these adorable handmade pillows that were donated to the hospital for kids. We use that in Kit's bedroom. Also- Happy Meal toys and other small toys make great playthings for RE's girls.
Don't forget old jewelry boxes or music boxes for dressers and cabinets! Consider yardsales and thrift stores for these finds. And the dollar sections in Target or Walmart, and the dollar stores are also great for dollhouse finds on the cheap!
The last shelf- the top one- we did not show- but maybe in a future episode . . . It is on an angle and mimics the ceiling of a real attic- so this is what we turned that area into. We converted a MyLife doll into a boy doll, and he sleeps up there and takes care of all the house's pets. Also, things we don't use are stored up there- much like the function of a real attic!
And one of our favorite youtube channels is MyFroggyStuff. We are hoping to make our bathroom by following their bathroom tutorials!
Our biggest splurge was on the discontinued Our Generation Kitchen from ebay, which was purchased for about $70 including shipping. The Christmas tree lights strung on the perimeter of the walls makes for great (and affordable!) lighting in the house- and it is neat to see how the light radiates through the back of the Our Generation fridge! It looks like it has lighting in it.