This TikToker’s Thrifted Dollhouse Becomes an Unbelievably Charming Bookcase

published Jul 3, 2023
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Certain trends tend to touch on a specific nostalgia for the past — even if you weren’t actually present to experience it. “Cottagecore” is all about embracing a quiet life in the countryside, which you can happily do inside a city apartment. “Dark academia” pulls from the look and feel of ivory towers, but you can place a leather couch in your living room whether or not you plan to hold “office hours.” 

Quick Overview

This TikToker’s Thrifted Dollhouse Becomes an Unbelievably Charming Bookcase

Using black, gray, yellow, and gold metallic paint — plus a coating of moss for the roof and windows — a TikToker transformed a dollhouse into a bookcase.

The beauty of these trends is that they can be open to your interpretation, or blended together as you see fit. And in the case of TikToker Kendall Nicole, that’s exactly what she did when she turned a discarded dollhouse into a library of her burgeoning collection. 

“Watch me turn this dollhouse that I thrifted for $15 into the fantasy bookshelf of my dreams,” she says at the beginning of the video with a smile on her face. 

The original dollhouse consisted of three levels that were all painted white, topped with a pink roof. There were three small windows also painted pink, and two archways resembling doors on either side of the ground floor. Nicole started the mini-reno with a good cleaning using Clorox wipes and magic erasers, saying that it was “very clearly well loved” with a coating of what she hoped was lip balm. “We’re basically going for ‘dark academia,’ ‘fantasy fairy house,’ ‘cottage core’ aesthetic,” she notes. 

After the dollhouse was cleaned, Nicole painted the roof a dark green and the inside black. It took a lot of time and was a “tedious process,” only because she accidentally used small craft brushes when a larger brush would’ve likely covered more surface area faster (a lesson she adopted for the second coat). “After a couple of hours, I wish I had spray painted,” she says. She was glad that she mixed baking soda and gray paint together to create a texture for brick-like walls on the outside of the dollhouse, though, which were then accented with one coat of yellow paint followed by a second coat of metallic gold for the windows. 

“For the most exciting part, we’re doing a moss roof on this house,” Nicole says, showing herself spraying the roof outside and carefully applying faux moss to it. 

In another charming admission of a forgiving learning curve, she says that she probably should’ve worn a mask to spray on the adhesive. “I cut little slits in the moss and then hot-glued all of the edges so I could wrap it around [the front of the roof],” she continues. “This just secured it a whole lot better and made it look a lot neater.” For a finishing touch, she hot-glued moss to the bottoms of the side windows and then put it in place in her living room.

As a final step, Nicole arranged books and a bust inside, completing a project that looks whimsical, fun, and full of imagination. This can be a great way to upcycle a dollhouse from your childhood, or to get your kids interested in books. Either way, if you spot a dollhouse at a garage sale or thrift store, Nicole’s easy project should give you an idea of what you can do with it. 

“I am so excited, and this has brought me closer to my goal of having everything in my house covered in moss,” she says. 

What do you think of this transformation? Let us know in the comments!