If you’ve been keeping track of my dollhouse flooring misadventures, you may have been asking yourself, “Why the heck don’t you use dollhouse carpet flooring?”
It’s a question I’ve asked myself several times recently. Let’s face it. Everything that’s happened with the wood floor and the tile floors has been, well, a lot. Like me, you might think that dollhouse carpet is the way to go. And, in some respects, I can see why. However, I’m not totally sure that using carpet in a dollhouse is the way to go.
The Problem With Dollhouse Carpet
The problems with using carpet as flooring for your dollhouse are, in some ways, the same problems you have with using carpet as flooring in your full-size house.
First, carpet traps dust, dirt, and debris. Depending on your circumstances, this might not be a bad thing. For example, it can do a lovely job of hiding and trapping dust bunnies (don’t ask me how I know!) However, in a real-life house, cleaning the carpet is easy. Whip out the vacuum and clean that stuff up. In a dollhouse… not so much. Sure, there are dollhouse-size vacuums, but, to my knowledge, they don’t actually work. They’re more decorative than anything.
Theoretically, you could take the carpet out and beat it (like in olden times), but you’ve likely attached the carpet to the dollhouse floor, so that’s neither a possible nor practical solution.
The second problem with using dollhouse carpet flooring is that it’s not really a thing. Sure, you can find it, but there’s not a lot out there, so you have to DIY and improvise. You can, for example, use felt, but that’s not carpet, per se.
And while you might think using real-life carpet remnants would work, you run into the issue of scale. The twists and loops of the carpet won’t look right against your dollhouse-sized furniture.
Lastly, believe it or not, dollhouse furniture is light, which means it could “float’ on the carpet. On the plus side, no annoying divots when you rearrange the furniture. On the minus side, your furniture isn’t very stable and falls down. A lot.
What to Use (and Not Use) as Dollhouse Carpet Flooring
For all those cons, though, you may still decide that carpeting your dollhouse is the way to go. Good for you. I totally get why. So, if you do decide to go that route, you need to start with selecting the right kind of carpet material. Fortunately (or unfortunately), there aren’t a lot of options.
Felt or Fleece
Felt as dollhouse carpet flooring is an interesting and somewhat safe choice. It’s fuzzyish (like Berber carpeting), comes in a vast array of colors (pink, anyone?), and is relatively flat. If you find that felt is too flat for your tastes, you can use fleece, too. It’s slightly fluffier than felt (in most cases) but not overly fluffy.
As it happens, I have tons of leftover fleece. Here’s a close-up:
As you can see, fluffyish. But I’d argue that’s mostly pilling.
Anyway, here’s what it looks like if you use fleece as dollhouse carpet flooring (kind of. I didn’t cut it to size. Also, so sorry about the brightness):
I guess, once you get furniture on it, it might be all right, but personally, not such a fan.
Here’s a side view.
I have this in here to make a point. As you can see, the fleece is just about the same height as the wood floorboards. It’s not perfect, but it’s close.
Like felt and fleece, upholstery fabrics come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles. You can find all sorts of fabrics to suit your needs. The advantage to these is that they tend to be a bit sturdier than other fabrics (since people use them for curtains, couches, and so on).
I have no leftover upholstery fabric that would fit in the dollhouse, but yes, I have it! By way of example, here’s some leftover fabric from a different project. It’s just plain fabric (100% cotton, I think):
As you can see, the scale is probably OK, but that’s a lot of pattern for a carpet. Again, it’s probably fine once you get furniture on it, but, wow.
Here’s a side view
The fabric is way flatter than the floorboards, so things would look uneven. Upholstery fabric is usually a bit thicker, so this may not be an issue.
You could use real carpet in your dollhouse. But, as mentioned above, it probably won’t be to scale. I’ll also say that unless you have the right tools, carpet remnants are really hard to cut.
This is a carpet remnant I have. I don’t know why I have it.
From a distance, I’d argue it’s not so bad. The scale in the pattern is a bit off, but if it were solid, I’d say not a big deal. Here’s a close-up:
I don’t know. This kind of works.
From the side, though, not so much:
The scale looks totally off here. Those fibers tower over everything. Plus, there’s the issue of the backing. You’d have to hide that against walls (like in real life). But, at the front of the dollhouse… how do you hide that? I don’t know.
Odds and Ends
Really, almost any kind of fabric will work. Leftover rags, sweatshirts, whatever you want! And, I’ll also say that if you do go the dollhouse carpet route, consider using remnants. It’s a great way to save money, and you’re far more likely to get smaller pieces that fit better in your dollhouse or, at least, are easier to cut to size.
How to Carpet a Dollhouse
Once you’ve settled on a fabric for your dollhouse carpet flooring, you’ll need to cut the fabric to size.
Step 1: Measure twice
Start by measuring the space you want to carpet. Depending on your fabric, you could use a template or just stick with a ruler. The choice is yours.
Step 2: Practice
Next up, cutting to size. However, I advise practicing on a paper template a few times first to see if you’ve got the measurements just right. Adjust as necessary. Once you’re sure you’ve got it right, practice again on scrap fabric to make sure the carpet fits the space without bunching in the middle or rolling up on the sides.
Step 3: The final cut
Once you’re satisfied with your practice cuts, do the real thing!
One word of caution, though. Be careful not to stretch your fabric when you cut it. If you pull too hard, you’ll end up with a just too small carpet.
Attaching the Dollhouse Carpet Flooring
So, now you’re probably thinking it’s time to glue the carpet to the dollhouse floor. And, you’d be right. But, consider not attaching the carpet directly to the dollhouse floor.
Hear me out. As I’ve learned, once almost any kind of glue dries, you’re kind of stuck. I’ve tried removing things that have cured and, well, no luck. Of course, that’s what you’re going for with carpet. You don’t want your dollhouse carpet curling up, shifting, and whatever else. But, what happens if you change your mind and you want to put down wood floors? Or, you decide you hate the pattern and color and want to switch it up?
So, (and this is something I wish I had thought about before I did the floors in my dollhouse), consider attaching the dollhouse carpet flooring to something other than the floor. Boxes, like cereal boxes, are a great suggestion. They’re lightweight, thin, and hold their shape. This way, when you want to, say, clean the carpet, all you have to do is remove the box with the carpet. Then you could beat it, dust it, or even vacuum it.
No matter what you decide to do, glue is your best bet when it comes to attaching the dollhouse carpeting.
Here’s how to do it.
H3 Step 1: Select a Glue
You’ve got a lot of options here, but I suggest tacky glue. It’s easy to work with, dries clear, and has a tack time that’s not too long and not too short, making it easy to correct mistakes.
I don’t suggest using fabric glue or wood glue since you’re only using fabric on one side or wood on one side, depending on your circumstances. You probably won’t get the best hold on the glue.
Step 2: Lay the bead lines
This is a case of “less is more.” No matter the glue, no matter the fabric, if you use too much glue, it’s going to seep through the fabric, and though the glue will dry clear, it will dry stiff and leave a funky-looking mark on your dollhouse carpet. You’ll have a stain the first day!
So, use a light touch as you lay the bead lines.
Stick to the outer edge of the room. That’s where you want the most glue. You won’t need much in the middle, but if you feel it’s necessary, use an X or star (like an asterisk) pattern to ensure maximum coverage without using too much glue.
Step 3: Install the carpet
Place the carpet on the glue and press in place. Again, make sure you don’t stretch out the fabric. Just lay it down gently and press it in place.
Step 4: Dry and Enjoy
Let the glue cure through, then decorate away.
Dollhouse Carpet Alternatives
Like I said, cleaning dollhouse carpet is a bit of a pain. So, instead of carpet, consider throw rugs. They are often to scale and can come out for a cleaning. Though I doubt they’re something you want to toss in the wash.
Floors Are Fun
Not really. I just like the way that sounds.
In the end, I think wood and tile flooring is the way to go in a dollhouse, not carpeting. But, what do you think? Have you ever tried to carpet a dollhouse? Let me know!