How To Turn A Lunch Box Into A DIY Traveling Dollhouse

DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse

My daughter Molly has always been fascinated with all things miniature, so I thought it was high time that all her mini friends (and mice) had a dollhouse to live in for the summer holidays. A lunchbox is the ideal size for a portable dollhouse, and more importantly, it’s a great way to reuse items after the school year that would normally be discarded.

DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse

This portable little mouse house has everything that your kid will need for pretend play. When they are finished playing, they can just snap it closed and travel with it in any direction. Into the garden, off to camp, out on a car trip, or even all the way to the beach – anywhere their adventurous hearts desire!

Ok, it’s time to get to repurposing! Let’s turn old lunch boxes into something really unexpected and cool. Here’s how:

DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse

What You Need

  • Lunch box (or shoebox)
  • White paint or household emulsion (for primer)
  • Tissue paper
  • Craft glue and small bowl
  • Paint brush


DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse

Step 1
Paint the outside of the lunch box with white paint (acrylic paint or a little household emulsion will cover the printed graphics in just two coats.)

DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse

Step 2
When the paint is dry, rip up pieces of the tissue paper (into whatever shapes and sizes you like) and use your paint brush and craft glue to smooth them into place. Layering the tissue pieces looks great, too. It makes it so that you don’t need that many different colors of paper at all(we only used three!). The more you layer, the more new colors are created.

DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse

How cool does this look?! A humble lunchbox has been reborn into an adorable piece of DIY art.

DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse
Step 3
Now it’s time for some interior decorating! I used little matchstick boxes on the wall for picture frames, and a few bits and pieces from Molly’s playroom dollhouse to decorate the rest of the space. I also think it would be adorable to use stencils to create a patterned wallpaper or even a tiled floor.

DIY Upcycled Suitcase Dollhouse

Ok, wakey wakey Molly Mouse! No time for sleeping. It’s time to head to the airport for you next big adventure.

Bon voyage! We’ll see you there :)

  • sonia

    so cute!!

  • Creative Children

    Love this project and can imagine so much creative play around the dollhouse!

  • Julia Fain

    brilliant! love this Michelle!

  • Pat S

    So cute. If my girls weren’t in high school and college already this would be great. Alas I think they are to old but maybe I should make one for myself. LOL

  • Michelle McInerney

    thank you SO much Julia xx

  • Michelle McInerney

    My daughter is in her element with this all weekend, the play conversations are so cute :)

  • Michelle McInerney

    Thanks so much!! so delighted you like it xx

  • Michelle McInerney

    Do it Pat, you’re never too old for playing dolls :)

  • Misako Mimoko Eva

    <3 loving it Michelle!!

  • Michelle McInerney

    awww thanks @MisakoMimoko:disqus coming from you that means the world xxx

  • Nikki Kraus

    Such an awesome idea. I have a metal lunchbox with a broken latch that would be perfect for this. Maybe I’ll make the miniature items magnetic to be able to rearrange em :D

  • Adri

    love this so much might make a coupe of these soon for my nieces. yours is awesome :) thanks so much for sharing this great idea