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.
*This post contains affiliate links – if you purchase supplies through some of these links The Miss Thistle Society gets a small commission.
- 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.
- wood glue
- wax paper
- wire cutter
- exacto knife
- OPTIONAL – spackle, sandpaper
- 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.
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.
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.
4. Repeat the previous step so you have two glued sets. Let these dry undisturbed on the wax paper until thoroughly set.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All of a sudden it’s a bed!
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.
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.