American Girl Dolls are sort of a right of passage for many young girls. Usually around 6 or 7, parents decide their little darling is ready for the responsibility of a $100 (ish) doll. Once you’re done buying the doll, however, you realize that the dolls (and all their stuff!) need a cute place to live. Since the dolls are pretty expensive, I decided to go for an Ikea Hack for my daughter’s American Girl, Samantha, and came up with a bookcase transformation for the little lady to live in. ***This post contains affiliate links! If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you!***
I wasn’t a doll person growing up. I did love doll houses, but not so much the dolls and the pretend play where you make the dolls do stuff. I didn’t get that. My daughter is like me in that way, but she still somehow managed to weasel her way into three American Girl Dolls. And I have to admit, they are lovely dolls and I do like that some of them are historical and that there is a story to each of them.
The clothes and the accessories are great, too, although a bit expensive in my opinion. I like to look for clothes and furniture for them at Target or craft fairs or little mom and pop places. There’s one not too far from where I live and it’s literally a mom and a pop. The mom sews the clothes and the pop makes the furniture.
Of course, the problem becomes, what do you do with all of this stuff? My daughter has a Barbie sized doll house, but the American Girls are too big for that. I did some googling and found that a lot of people had created homes for the Girls from bookcases. Well, Santa came through and brought this Besta bookcase:
Ikea Hack: Besta Bookcase to American Girl Dollhouse
This project was so incredibly easy to do; I almost can’t call it a project. We simply turned the bookcase on it’s side and only used one shelf to divide the space so that there were two “rooms” in the bookcase and the top would serve as a bedroom area. The bookcase on it’s side is the perfect size for the American Girl Dolls.
We also used some craft paper to wallpaper (I use that term very loosely, I’m talking scotch tape here, people) for the downstairs rooms. The furniture we used is mostly from the Target line for their 18″ doll, although the little sofa is from the Mom and Pop store near me.
Isn’t it adorable? Hours of fun for a little girl who loves dolls. The bookcase was $70 and, by the way, very easy to put together. The Target furniture and accessories are much less expensive than the American Girl brand. And if you’re wondering, the clothes are a mix of American Girl, Target and Mom & Pop.
Here are some close ups:
We designated one portion of the bookcase to a little kitchen area where the ladies can have some tea.
And then we have the “Chill Room” as it has been designated by my daughter. Of course the dolls have an adorable little dog to hang out with.
And the bedroom/glam room is probably my favorite. It’s in the “penthouse” of the dollhouse and includes a wardrobe with all of the girls gorgeous dresses.
The wallpaper is scrapbooking paper from Michael’s. If your daughter is really into this, you could pick up a second bookcase and have an American Girl Doll Townhouse. It would only take additional vertical room, really. Or, if you’re short on space, you could use one bookcase vertically (you probably want to fix it to the wall) and have a three story home.
Now, I’d like to hear from you with ideas on how to spin this for a boys room! Super Hero Hang Out? Baseball Clubhouse?
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