How to make a doll castle for your little princess out of an old bookcase

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The main thing on my daughter’s wish list for Christmas was a Barbie & The Diamond Castel play set. It’s a very cute 3 foot castle that any fan would love. It was also out of Santa’s budget. So using a little creativity we made an even bigger castle for our little princess for much cheaper.

Items needed to create your own castle:

Bookcase (we used a 3 shelf particle board one purchased second hand at a garage sale for $3)

Paint, primer and/or contact paper

Extra wood such as plywood and thicker scraps


We had limited time and space to work on our project since we couldn’t let our children know about it. The bookcase we purchased had a laminate finish that someone had tried to paint over without preparing properly. Because of this we had to scrap the paint off first. If you find a piece in the same condition as ours don’t be scared off. It was a fairly easy job removing the paint since it didn’t adhere correctly. Then we lightly sanded the bookcase.

Then came the fun part. We removed one shelf and relocated the other two, creating three levels. When doing this, make sure your levels are the right height for the doll your child is going to be using. You want a little extra room to make it easier to move the doll. Because of the condition of our bookcase we decided to remove the backing (a piece of painted cardboard) and replace it with plywood.

We cut the left over shelf to use as walls in the castle. You might choose to cut doors or windows in your castle. We decided not to because of time for ours. Then we used some wood scraps for the top.

Next we premiered it(we used white that we had left over in the garage) and then painted the castle using leftover trim paint from redecorating our children’s rooms.

Depending on what kind of material your bookcase is made you might choose to forgo painting and simply apply contact paper. Another option is to do a combination of both.

If you follow these instructions, you will have a wonderful play castle for your little girl. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.


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