How to Make Shingles for a Doll House

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 packages of fine grade sandpaper sheets

  • Scissors

  • Ruler and pencil

  • Household glue

  • 2 or 3 bricks

  • Pencil & paper

  • Clean drop cloth

The doll house you're creating needs all the details of a full-size home to look its very best, but sometimes those details are complicated to make. Here's an easy solution to putting shingles on your doll house roof without having to invest in expensive supplies or special tools. With these simple instructions, you'll have that new roof on in no time.

Step 1

Choose either black or brown sandpaper depending on which matches the color of the outside of the doll house. Carefully lift off the roof of the doll house, and set it in a good light. If you need to remove any old roofing, get that done now.

Step 2

Measure the length and width of each side of the roof and write these measurements down. If it's a more complicated roof than just a simple peaked one, with a pair of dormer windows or some odd angles, measure them and write those figures down, labeling each set of numbers.

Step 3

Figuring real shingles are roughly 12 inches wide by 36 inches long, your shingles need to be 1 inch wide by 3 inches long for doll houses built to scale, which is 1 foot to 1 inch. The doll house you're working on may not be built exactly to scale, but the shingles should still look correct.

Step 4

Mark your 1-by-3-inch rows of shingles on the back of each piece of sand paper and cut them out. Use the measurements you wrote down to figure how many rows of shingles you need. For example, if one roof side is 1 foot wide by 2 feet long, each row will need eight shingles which are 1- inch-by-3-inches to go across the roof.

Step 5

Pick up a shingle and spread a thin line of household glue along its long edge. Turn the shingle over, and starting at the lower edge of the doll house roof, press it firmly against the roof. Continue until you have the first row of shingles glued onto the roof.

Step 6

Put glue on a shingle, and place it so its long edge overlaps the shingle on the first row slightly, and its end is at the middle of the shingle beneath it. Shingles on a roof have about the same staggered lineup as a brick wall, in that they're offset slightly. Continue until you have the first side of the roof covered with shingles.

Step 7

Carefully place the doll house roof on its side on top of a clean drop cloth, and put one or two bricks inside the roof to weigh down the new roof half. Leave overnight if you can, so the glue on the shingles gets firmly set. Repeat Steps 4, 5, and 6 for the other half of the roof.

Step 8

Cut shingles which are 2 inches wide and fold them gently along the 1-inch mark for the peak of the doll house roof. Put a line of glue on each side of the middle line, and press firmly to the row of shingles already glued in place on either side of the roof pitch. Remember to overlap this last row of shingles end-to-end, or like a telescope looks when it's opened out. Let this row dry, and your doll house roof is done.


If you can paint the eaves of the doll house the same color as the walls and let the paint dry overnight before starting on the roof, it’ll tie the new roof in better with the old paint job on the house.

If the sandpaper shingles start to curl slightly because of humidity in the air, put them in neat stacks and set a brick on top of them to keep them flat.


Letting each side of the roof dry overnight will make the glue adhere firmly.

Shingles for dormer roof tops may have to be cut slightly smaller for them to look like they’re correctly proportioned.