how to make a doll house bed from clothespins – part one

make a doll house wood bed

Do you know somebody very little who needs a bed? A tiny rag doll perhaps? I’ve made you a tutorial for a sweet wooden dollhouse size bed made from clothespins and craft sticks. It is perhaps my greatest gift to humanity. Also, I had an unbelievably good time figuring it out and making it. So obsessed…

It is the latest Miss Thistle Society project, the quest to fully outfit the tiny rag doll’s world. Of course she needs a super cozy bed. The epic instructions for the bed are below and find the instructions for an easy tufted doll mattress here.

I hope you make sweet little beds! Tag your posts on instragram with #annwoodpattern and #missthistlesociety.

how to make a doll house bed from clothespins

note : It is very helpful to read through the directions completely before beginning.

doll bed from clothespins materials

*This post contains affiliate links – if you purchase supplies through some of these links The Miss Thistle Society gets a small commission.

Materials:

  • 6 clip clothespins and a few extra for clamping – I’m using these.
  • 11 jumbo craft sticks – The sticks are 6 inches by 3/4 inch – available in most craft stores or you can find them here.
  • small bamboo skewers – 1 or 2 depending on the length – I’m using these.
  • paint

Tools

  • wood glue
  • wax paper
  • scissors
  • wire cutter
  • ruler
  • exacto knife
  • paintbrushes
  • OPTIONAL – spackle, sandpaper

doll house bed diy - parts

Cut:

  • 8 – 3 and 3/4 inch craft sticks
  • 2 – 4 and 3/4 inch craft sticks
  • 2 – 4 and 1/2 inch bamboo skewers
  • 6 – split clip clothespins
  • And 1 whole craft stick

Separate the clothes pins by twisting. I used old but sturdy scissors to cut the craft sticks and wire cutters to snip the skewers.

cut parts for doll bed tutorial

Accurate measuring is very important to all of this fitting together.  And cut your craft sticks as straight as you can.

1. Make a mark on one side of 4 clothespin halves 1/8th inch from the notch on the flatside.

2. Apply wood glue to the end of one of the 3 and 3/4 inch craft stick pieces.

doll bed how to step 3

3

3. Working with wax paper underneath press the craft stick against the clothespin -as shown-  at the mark. The stick should be at a right angle to the clothespin.

doll bed diy

4

4. Repeat the previous step so you have two glued sets. Let these dry undisturbed on the wax paper until thoroughly set.

doll bed diy

5

5. Make 2 more sets and add a second stick to each. Add the second stick next to the first – closer to the tapered end of the clothespin. Let these dry as well. You should now have 4 glued sets of sticks and clothespin halves.

dollhouse bed tutorial

6.

6. You can use a ruler to check that your sticks are at a right angle to the clothespin.

7. When the glue is dry gently peel your pieces from the wax paper. Begin with the single stick pieces. They will be fragile so handle them gently. You will also need 2 more clothespin halves and one of your 4 and 1/2 inch skewers.

8. Flip one clothespin and stick set over so the flat side of the clothespin with the notch is facing you. Apply glue to one end of a the skewer.

 

9. Place the skewer in the notch.  If your skewer does not fit in the notch: Skewer thickness can vary a little – if it’s a bit big use your exacto knife (carefully) to make the notch a little bigger. My skewer fit perfectly.

10. Apply glue to the flat side of another clothespin half.

11.  Place it on top of the clothespin with the skewer.

12. Flip the piece you just glued over. Apply glue to the other set – the flat side of the pin should be facing up. Fit the pieces together. Place the skewer in the notch and line up the craft sticks.

13. Press them together.

14. Place the other clothespin half on.

15. Your piece – the footboard of the bed – should look like this.

16. Check your alignment and clamp. You can use clothespins on the craft sticks but they won’t fit around the clothespins. You could use tape, rubber bands  or your hands if you feel like relaxing for a few minutes (wood glue sets up pretty fast). I used plastic clamps I got as a gift about 20 years ago – they are awesome – you can find them here. Super handy – I use them all the time.

17. Repeat steps 7-16 with the double stick pieces. This is your headboard.

18. When the headboard and footboard are dry we are ready to create the bed frame. The frame will be made in 2 parts- one for the footboard and one for the headboard.

19. Take one of the remaining 3 and 3/4 inch craft sticks and place it between the feet of the footboard. It should fit easily and snuggly.

20. Remove it and place (do not glue) two clothespin halves as shown with the flat side facing up – right against the inside edges.

21. Apply glue to each end of the craft stick.

22. Remove the foot board and glue the stick to the clothespins. The edge of the craft stick should just cover in the clothespin notch.

doll bed diy

23. Before the glue sets completely double check that your pieces fit.

Repeat steps 19 through 23 for the headboard bed frame and let the glue dry completely.  

doll bed diy

24

24. Beginning again with the foot board apply glue to one bed frame piece as shown – at the top and sides above the craft stick.

doll bed tutorial

25

25. Insert the frame piece between the legs of the footboard.  I’ve show you a couple more views of the placement below.

Notice in view A the frame is at a right angle to the footboard.  Hold the glued frame and footboard long enough for the glue to begin to set. Make sure you maintain the right angle. When the glue has set  a little put the footboard and frame aside to dry completely.

Repeat steps 24 and 25 to join the other frame and the headboard. Allow them to dry completely.

clothespin bed tutorial

26.  Place the headboard and footboard so they are facing each other and glue one 4 and 3/4 inch craft stick to opposite sides of the frames.

27. Make sure the sticks are straight and clamp with clothespins.

28. Apply glue to the other bed frame clothespins, join the headboard and footboards and clamp to dry.

clothespin doll bed tutorial

All of a sudden it’s a bed!

clothespin doll bed tutorial

30

30. Finally add the last piece – flip the bed over and glue one whole craft stick  to the bottom.

Optional – When all the glue is thoroughly dry you can use a little spackle to fill the seams etc. and then sand.

Paint your bed with acrylic, craft or latex paint – whatever you’ve got.

clothespin doll bed tutorial

clothespin doll bed tutorial

make a doll bed from clothespins

pin it for later

Share your little beds on instagram with hashtags #annwoodpattern and #missthistlesociety – I’d love to see! And stay tuned for more Miss Thistle Society projects.

You need a mattress!  Click below for the instructions and sewing pattern.

part 2 : making the mattress

doll bed: free tutorial

17 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness. I love every part of the Miss Thistle project. I’ll be sure to share pics when we make these – thank you so much for your generosity in making and sharing this!

  2. I need one of these! When I was in junior school the caretaker used to make mini rocking chairs, and other things out of pegs and balsar wood, he always had a queue of kids wanting stuff, but eventually got my rocking chair. Unfortunately I don’t know where it is now, it’d go with my bed, when I make it, if I still had it.

  3. Very awesome! My little dolls never can have too many beds! And I love using craft sticks and spring pins to make things for them. Thank you!

    warmly,

    Beth

  4. You’re so amazing, Ann! You make a lot of little girls…and big girls very happy. Your generosity in sharing this pattern is uniquely special. Thank you!

  5. Celtic Cate

    Ann, you’ve really outdone yourself on this! It’s so Bohemian beautiful. When I get my little doll out of my head and onto paper and then to muslin, I’ll send you one for a sleepover. Thanks for always sharing your wonderful inspirations!!

  6. Kirstie Irving

    Oh my LIFE!! This is PERFECT! I haven’t enough words to express my joy at seeing this bed! Thank you, THANK you. X

  7. Bonnie Claire

    Oh this is wonderful!!! I made a doll chair out of clothespins back in the 70’s but never thought of a doll bed. You are a genius!

  8. koreakiwi

    Wow! Fantastic! Thanks so much for showing us how to make this fabulous bed ~ I love receiving your newsletter ~ you are so clever and such an inspiration ^^

  9. This is so cute, i will be making this. I have made a little bed already don’t know how to send a pick to you, love all the things you show❤
    Thanks

  10. Suzanne M

    I know I’ve said it before, but THIS TIME, Ann, you have double-outdone yourself. And you’re right — this lil bed is truly a gift to all humanity, and I am so making one of these.

    Thank you, as always, for being you & sharing with those of us similarly obsessed with wee wonderful things. Oh, and I love your paint color choices!

    Your loyal comrade in stitching & small things.

  11. Kathie Mack

    Thank you Ann Wood! You’re so talented & generous. The bed is adorable even if there is no doll on it. It can stand alone as a darling bed.

  12. so dear!!! Thanks for your very generous and thorough tutorial- I will be making a set of twin beds, for sure!!

  13. Judy Klem

    Thank you Ann for another fun tutorial! I am sure many Tiny Dolls will be resting more comfortably soon. I have a suggestion that may help with keeping the 90 degree angles. If the bed maker places a sheet of graph paper under the waxed paper the grid lines can help with aligning the pieces at the correct angle. Any flat surface with a grid would work.

  14. Eeeek! Such a cute bed! Thank you, Ann, for sharing your exploits, it really is so generous of you!
    A bed, and bedding, so exciting! I never thought I’d be making a bed for a doll!
    I have the pegs, now to see if I can find the wood anywhere.
    Hugs,
    Barbara xx

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