Long before the Barbie Dreamhouse, there was the dollhouse. Originally intended for adults instead of children, the first dollhouses were made in 17th-century northern Europe and were meant for display rather than play. These dockenhauses served as symbols of wealth and status, functioning as cabinets and storing small, expensive objects. The “baby house” emerged in 18th-century England. Instead of housing valuables, the interiors featured copies of the owner’s own rooms. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution, when miniatures became affordable and accessible thanks to mass production, that the dollhouse was considered a children’s toy.
Many artists have made their own versions of the dollhouse to explore themes of domesticity, interiority, and voyeurism. Miriam Schapiro and Sherry Brody collaborated to make one, Robert Gober’s early repertoire includes two, and Laurie Simmons both photographs and designs them. Dollhouses are having a moment again thanks to a cultural interest in tiny houses and downsized living. A great toy for kids and adults alike, dollhouses are rewarding to assemble and provide a rich foundation for imagination. Browse our selection of the best products below.
1. Hands Craft Miniature Dollhouse
Craft your own tiny kitchen with this DIY set, which comes equipped with LEDs, furniture, and home accessories like books, dishware, and plants. As fun to assemble as it is to play with, this sunny kitchen appeals to people of all ages who love miniatures.
2. Cutebee Miniature Dollhouse Kit
Another dollhouse with LEDs, this model apartment features more than just a kitchen. Other spaces include a sleeping loft, living room, dining area, and bathroom. Rewarding to assemble and fun to play with, the kit has everything you need to fully furnish and decorate this complex living space.
3. Robotime Miniature Dollhouse Kit
Available at a price considerably lower than that of many other options, this DIY room is a great pick for those on a budget. The package includes everything you need to assemble a furnished living room: wood, glue, fabric, paper cutter, pigment, tweezers, and a brush. Replete with hinged French doors, LEDs, rugs, and paintings, this tastefully decorated tiny space has it all.
4. Flever Miniature Dollhouse Kit
The only option on this list with exterior views, this DIY kit includes everything you need to assemble a coffeehouse. With details like chalkboards and mini magazines, the LED-lit interior looks ultra-realistic. A three-level structure, this model is designed with a ground-floor sales area, second-floor seating, and attic storage rooms.
5. UniHobby Miniature Dollhouse Kit
Modeled to look like a hip contemporary house, this two-story DIY structure is more California cool than Victorian mansion. The only product among our picks with an outdoor space, this miniature house features a swimming pool and a deck complete with lounge chairs. Indoor rooms include a furnished kitchen, living room, and upstairs bedroom. Both the swimming pool and the rooms are LED-lit for a realistic touch.