How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5

How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5

In today’s tutorial, we’ll be working on the kitchen, pond, and gray water systems! We’ll make the kitchen appliances, a simple compost toilet, a wetland pond and wastewater recycling systems for our off-the-grid dollhouse.

In this chapter, we’ll learn how to set up our dollhouse so that it’s off the sewer line and deal with waste (especially sewage) in our own eco-friendly way! We’ll separate gray water (waste water from the shower, washer, and sinks) from black water (from the toilet) to reduce water overall water usage and make our own compost. With these recycling systems, our doll house will minimize its impact on nature. Gather up some empty cardboard boxes, drinking straws, felt, and paper to craft along with this new tutorial!

Kitchen Appliances

How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5

Our dollhouse has an eco-friendly kitchen, with energy efficient appliances including an induction oven, refrigerator and washing machine.

What You Need
  • Printable templates (download here)
  • Cereal boxes
  • Thin bendy drinking straws
  • Play dough
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft knife
  • Marker
  • Scissors

How-To
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5
  1. Download and print the kitchen appliance template. Glue the printed paper onto cardboard cereal boxes.
  2. Cut out the templates from the cardboard. The refrigerator template only has three sides, but you can add a fourth side and a base to make it sturdier if you like.
  3. Do the same for the all-in-one kitchen cabinet template (which includes the sink, oven, and washer).
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5
  1. Fold and glue the templates together.
  2. Cut a piece of bendy straw to make the faucet, leaving 1/2” from the flexible part to the top end. Shape two tiny play dough balls to be the knobs.
  3. Glue the faucet on top of the cabinet, centered over the sink, with one play dough ball on each side.
  4. Using a craft knife to cut along the lines of the oven and cabinet doors so that they can fold open, as if on hinges.
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5
  1. Set the cabinets and refrigerator into the kitchen. Make sure that the plumbing and electrical wiring are in the right places to supply the electrical appliances, faucet, and washer.

DINING ROOM FURNITURE: TABLE AND STOOLS

What You Need
  • Cardboard
  • Colored/patterned paper
  • Felt
  • Two corks
  • Paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Toothpicks
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors

How-To
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5
  1. Cut out several circles from colored or patterned paper and felt to be carpets and tablecloths.
  2. Cut a circle from the cardboard to be the tabletop and paint it white. Cut a much smaller cardboard circle (slightly larger than the cork) for the table’s base, and paint this white too.
  3. Glue the cork onto the small cardboard circle and then glue the large cardboard circle on top of the cork.
  4. Paint the cork white to match the table.
  5. To make the stools, you’ll need a cork and some toothpicks.
  6. Slice cork into four pieces and cut the toothpicks in half.
  7. Poke each piece of cork with three toothpick halves. Adjust the toothpicks’ positions until the stools stand evenly.
  8. Glue a paper tablecloth on top of the table, and center it on your favorite felt rug, setting the stools around it.

Decorate the kitchen with small plastic caps and tiny plastic or dried flowers.

GRAY WATER RECYCLING

Now we’re going to create a simple gray water recycling system. Grey water and water waste will be collected from the shower, bathroom sink, washer and kitchen sink and treated by a filter tank. It will be reused later for flushing the toilet, in the shower, and bathroom faucet.

What You Need
  • Bendy drinking straws (in different colors)
  • Felt
  • Small empty cardboard box
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

How-To
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5
  1. To make the filter tank and plumbing: turn the doll house upside-down and glue the small cardboard box centered under the bathroom and kitchen wall. Cut two different colored bendy straws and glue them to one side of the box, one color for the wastewater (green) and another for the clear water (blue).
  2. Cut another green bendy straw and glue it on the opposite side of the filter tank. This will be the pipe for the kitchen wastewater, so place it under the kitchen sink and washer.
  3. Attach another green bendy straw from the filter tank to the bathroom sink and shower.
  4. Now let’s install recycled clear water pipes that go from the filter tank to the bathroom sink, shower and toilet. Glue a piece of blue bendy straw from the filter tank and up to the bathroom floor.
  5. Attach more blue straws until you reach the toilet. Your grey water recycling system is now complete!

Pond

Our man-made pond will also help with treating sewage. Water, soil, plants and animals will all live together in an ecosystem. Water plants such as sedges, rushes, and grasses will keep our pond algae-free and use the contaminants from the gray water as nutrients. At the bottom of the pond, there’s a filter bed of sand and gravel. Frogs and fish will reduce pests such as mosquitos.

What You Need
  • Pond and lily pad templates (download here)
  • Play dough
  • Colored paper
  • Scissors

How-To
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5
  1. Download and print the pond and water lily templates. Cut out lily pad shapes, transfer onto green colored paper, and cut out. Sculpt colorful play dough into flowers for the lily pads
  2. Press to close some of the flowers to look like opening buds and add tiny play dough balls to the centers of the open lilies.
  3. Cut out the pond shape from the template, transfer the shape onto blue felt, and cut out.
  4. Time to install the pond! Place the blue felt on the ground by the dollhouse, with an edge underneath the filter tank straws. Place the paper lily pads and play dough lilies all over the felt.

COMPOSTING TOILET

How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5

A composting toilet will turn bodily waste into nutrient-rich compost to make homemade garden fertilizer. It provides a low-cost, hygienically safe, environmentally friendly sanitation option that produces the most fertile soil. It’s very simple to build and all you need are three parts: a toilet receptacle, a compost bin, and carboniferous materials (such as straw, leaves, or wood shavings) to mix with the waste. The waste will be covered with the carboniferous materials in the compost bin to help with decomposition.

What You Need
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Marker
  • Craft knife
  • Bendy drinking straws (same colors as before)
  • Hot glue gun

How-To
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5
  1. To make the composting bin, use a marker to draw a small square door onto the toilet paper roll and cut open along three sides using a craft knife.
  2. Cut a small notch into the top of the toilet paper roll to fit the blue straw (clear water pipe) going from the filter tank up to the toilet. This will bring water to the toilet’s high tank water closet to use for flushing. Glue the top of the toilet paper roll to the bottom bathroom floor under the toilet.
  3. This image shows the completed gray water recycling and the composting toilet system.
  4. Turn the doll house right-side up again. The composting toilet door must stay closed during the composting process, but once it’s finished you can open it to take out the compost for fertilizing your garden!
How to Make an Off-the-Grid Dollhouse: Part 5

And stay tuned: in the next chapter, we’ll be making a few more additions to our off-the-grid dollhouse. Happy crafting!