Putting your dolls in a doll display case will let you truly appreciate their beauty. To do this, you will want to make sure your dolls stand properly and are well lit to enhance the unique qualities of your collection. Building a display for your doll collection is a project that can be easily finished over the course of a weekend.
Step 1: Assembling the Frame
Measure and mark the shelf placement on the 1x8 boards to be used as the sides for your doll display. Remember to leave enough room for a 1x2 support piece at the bottom of the display unit, as well as a 1x2 support plus the 1x6 at the top. Equally space the positions for your other three shelves between your top and bottom marks.
You will want to pre-drill holes for the screws that will attach the supporting 1x2 pieces to the 1x8 sides. Keep these holes ¾-inch below your shelf marks (above for your top piece). For even support, drill the holes at ½-inch from each edge as well as at the 2, 4, and 6 inch marks.
Attach the 4 foot lengths of 1x2 to the 1x8 shelf sides. This will be easier with the unit lying face down. Remember to have the 2-inch side of your support pieces facing outwards. To stabilize and square off your doll display, attach the sheet of plywood to the back before standing up the unit. Using finishing nails, attach one side and then the other. Stand up the shelving unit to continue.
Cut pieces of 1x4 to fit into the sides of your shelves between the previously installed 1x4 supports. Attach these along the marked lines, making sure your display supports are even and level. You will be able to place your finished doll display shelves on these supports.
Step 2: Prepping Display Shelves
Select four 1x6 pine boards to be shelves (the fifth will be the top of your display case). Make sure the boards are all the same length to within ¼ inch. Measuring lengthwise on one board, mark off 1 foot, 2 foot and 3 foot measurements. Use your square to center these marks on the board’s width. Drill a ½-inch hole centered on each of these marks to half-depth. Use a piece of electrical tape on your drill bit to make sure you drill to the same depth each time. Repeat this process for the remaining three boards.
Step 3: Stain and Verathane
To fix any mistakes, it’s best to stain your doll display case from top to bottom. Pay special attention to staining where the shelves are attached to the frame, as access stain can drip when you are finished. Let the stain dry overnight before applying a coat of protective verathane. Applying a second and third coat of verathane will add to your display’s shine.
Step 4: Attach to Wall
Drill a hole through the plywood backing in each of the top corners. Move the display case to where you want it in the room and mark the position of these holes on the wall with a pencil. Move the display unit out of the way and drill on your marks. Use a hammer to insert drywall anchors in these holes. Move the display case back into position, lining up the holes in the display unit with those in the wall before attaching it to the wall with screws.