Repurposed Radio Cabinet turned Dollhouse

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When you are eyeing something at the store or garage sale, does it speak to you? Not like, “Hey, look at me!”, but more like you see the potential that it has. I have always been drawn to antique radios ever since my parents had one in their home that had original parts and still worked. If you know me, then you know I love to tinker with mechanical things and they always drawn me in. Much like this one I found. I’d like to show you this repurposed radio cabinet and the fun it holds inside.

Antique Radio Cabinet Before Repurposed Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Unlike my last post, this was a sight-unseen purchase that I was pleased with. The owner delivered me this cabinet and another dresser I made over in this post. Happy camper, am I!

When I finally got to lay hands on this cabinet, I was so excited to see it in such awesome shape. I instantly said to myself, “no paint needed here..this wood is gorgeous!” Though it did have some wear and was mostly dirty, that didn’t stop me from seeing the potential.

Inside Open Antique Radio Cabinet | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the stuff I love to use too! (see full discosure)

Open Antique Radio Top | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The previous owner has already added a wood piece to make a bottom for the top, so I’m stoked that I’m one step ahead of the game. If you look up Pooley Radios on Google, you’ll see some wonderful creations that are sure to take you down memory lane. Such beautiful craftsmanship!

Original Antique Pooley Radio Cabinet | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The last repurposed radio cabinet I did wasn’t in as great of shape, so I had fun with it and took it to a new level. You can read the full story and see what’s inside HERE (it’ll surprise you!).

Antique Stereo Repurposed Into Sewing Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Another repurposed radio cabinet I had the pleasure of finding has become secret storage in my boys’ bedroom makeover. They love it!

Repurposed Antique Radio Cabinet as Secret Storage in Teen Boys' Room | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

So, you maybe wondering what I have in store for this one. Well, I have always wanted to make one into a dollhouse, and today’s the day! That sweet bow on the top front is what decided it for me. I seriously believe that this was providential because just as I was about to get started on it, I thought I would check Craiglist for some doll furniture. Look what I found!

Vintage Dollhouse Furniture | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Instead of this just being a repurposed radio cabinet post, I get to do a mini furniture makeover too! I’m like a kid in a candy store because I have thing for dollhouses. hee hee hee. We have made our daughters their own dollhouses and treehouses for our boys (as seen here) from scratch. I get so lost in fine-tuning every detail. It is so fun!

I even make the furniture and the dolls. Yes, I am a nut, but I have a blast. It could be because I wanted one so badly as a kid that I would make my own out of cardboard boxes. I even made my own furniture using my dad’s tools and still have them to this very day.

That dollhouse furniture set I picked up had some damage and needed some pep, so I repaired and gave them new looks. Since the bunkbed set was missing mattresses and bedding, I had to make new.  I had leftover foam from our Pottery Barn style leather bench that would be perfect, but needed cut. Did you know you can use an electric carving knife to cut foam super fast? I nabbed one from the thrift store and love this thing! If you can’t find one thrifting, you can find one HERE.

Cut Upholstery Foam with an Electric Carving Knife | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Okay, so after a few hours of building up the inside of the radio and making repairs, as well as tweaking the furniture, it is done. I wanted to share that I only needed to clean the cabinet and then used my go-to product for refreshing wood. Have you ever used Old English Scratch Cover? I have had this bottle for about 17 years and it never fails me.

Old English Scratch Cover to Refresh Furniture | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Well, my friends, I put waaaay more time into this than I probably should have, but…ya know.

I hope you enjoy it.  🙂

Antique Pooley Radio Cabinet Turned Dollhouse by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Antique Radio Cabinet Upcycled into Dollhouse by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Let’s take the tour. The master bedroom has a king size bed, dresser and mirror. Mom and Dad are set!

Master Bedroom of Repurposed Dollhouse | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The kids room has a fun new bunkbed complete with reversible comforters, dresser, and nightstand. Oh, and a rocking chair for a reading nook.

Kids Room in Repurposed Radio Dollhouse | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Down below is the kitchen with food stuffs and plenty of places to prepare lovely mini meals. Just outside the kitchen is a baby grand piano that actually plays music. It is a music box! So cool.

Miniature Dollhouse Kitchen by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Every home has to have a fireplace for ambience and function for hanging stockings, of course.

Miniature Dollhouse Fireplace by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

However, no home is complete without a dining area for sure. You can see the accessories with hutch, bird cage, grandfather clock, and…

Dollhouse Dining Room by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

…yes, I made mini moss balls in a tiny wooden dough bowl. We must have the essentials, ya know.

Farmhouse Table in Repurposed Radio Dollhouse by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

One of the coolest parts is the top being used for all the extra furniture. That way, the rooms can be changed up and flipped around to the littlest imagination’s desire.

Refinished Inside Top of Repurposed Radio Cabinet | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com


If you think I went all out, this is nothing compared to the miniature beadboard I make from balsa wood, the stairs and balusters I usually add to our builds. Not to mention the hand-cut hardwood flooring and curtains – and the lighting! I just didn’t have it in me as I got this done in two days. I want to say a huge thank you to my husband, JC, who cut the pieces for me and got it ready for me to install. We make an awesome team.

I’m offering this sweet set in my shop, along with this brand new set of dolls (they are our favorite next to making my own!). I know some little girl is going to love this because the best part is that it grows with you. It can be placed in any part of the home, and as girl grows she can use it in her home for endless uses.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Dollhouse Family | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Antique Pooley Radio Cabinet Upcyled Dollhouse by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

We all know our children grow up too fast. I insist there be a pause button invented.

Vintage Doll Basket | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Truthfully, I had a blast sharing this repurposed radio cabinet with you and would love it if you would take a minute to pin and share to inspire others.

Repurposed Radio Cabinet Turned into Whimsical Dollhouse by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Later on this week I’ll have a new project for you, so stay tuned by signing up for my newsletter in the sidebar or at the bottom of this post. Join the family!

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More makeover like this repurposed radio cabinet:

Rustic Farmhouse Repurposed Candles Sconces by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comFarmhouse Style Repurposed Bread Box turned Charging Station by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

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23 Comments

  • Debrashoppeno5

    Oh this takes me back to playing with my own doll house as a child. What a wonderful makeover. Who ever gets this is so fortunate. I love all of the details that you thought of.

    December 6, 2016 at 6:23 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Those are sweet days for sure. It’s what made me hunger to be a designer and create. So fun!

      December 6, 2016 at 8:39 am Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    Larissa, you are so clever! And talented! This was a great idea for the perfect Christmas gift for some little girl! I know someone will snap it up quickly! How great that you seem to attract these music cabinets! Makes me wish I had bought the one I saw at the flea market.

    December 6, 2016 at 9:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Ooh…you should, Patty! They are just begging to find new life. I have a blast with me. Thanks for the love!

      December 6, 2016 at 9:21 am Reply
  • Bobye Bickel

    What a wonderful idea. A doll house does not need to be for a child, but for the child in all of us. You are very talented and I look forward to all your repurposed treasures. I wish you and your family a beautiful holiday season. Simple is ok! I’m going to remember that.

    December 6, 2016 at 9:17 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You nailed it, Bobye. Yes, simple is the way for me in all things. Now to get my home done and keep it simple! 😀 Thank you for your sweet words.

      December 6, 2016 at 9:22 am Reply
  • joelle

    Waw! this is amazing! This is absolutely exquisite. I would have love to have such a doll house when I was a kid.
    I am also absolutely fond of the radio cabinet in your boy’s room. It has so much character with all its modern style features. This is really beautiful!

    December 6, 2016 at 9:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! It’s so fun to read your comments as you appreciate all that I put into it. Thank you so much, Joelle. 🙂

      December 6, 2016 at 8:28 pm Reply
  • leisa gustafson

    Love this! It would also be a perfect piece of furniture in a grandma’s house. A beautiful table/plant stand/…then when granddaughters visit it has a special doll house! My mother in law had a chest she used for plants but it held toys for the grands.

    December 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, that’s exactly why I did it. So that the focus isn’t always on toys or clutter. I wish I thought of this before making my girls’ dollhouses. 🙂

      December 6, 2016 at 8:29 pm Reply
  • Tina Quinn

    I am so impressed! The detail–even wall art! Some little tyke is gonna love this! You have quite an imagination, and the will to see it materialize. The cabinet itself is beautiful, brings me back in time…..Kudos, Larissa!

    December 6, 2016 at 6:34 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It does for me too, Tina. I have such fun creating these little vignettes and could do it all over again. Thanks for stopping by!

      December 6, 2016 at 8:30 pm Reply
  • Linda Nelson

    What a really sweet transformation. I took a peak at the green cabinet redo post; I love that one, too.

    December 6, 2016 at 8:08 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That was my first love and still have ideas for future pieces. Time will tell. Thank you!

      December 6, 2016 at 8:31 pm Reply
  • Mary-the boondocks blog

    Larissa this is absolutely adorable. Makes me wish I had a little girl still. What a great gift for the girls. Merry Christmas!

    December 7, 2016 at 9:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They had a blast helping me, but since they already have their own, this one is going in my shop. What a fun project!

      December 8, 2016 at 1:28 pm Reply
  • Nikki Gwin

    What an awesome makeover! And guess what?? We OWN a radio cabinet that has been waiting for me to do something with!
    🙂 gwingal

    December 7, 2016 at 10:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Awesomeness!! I hope you have fun with it, Nikki.

      December 8, 2016 at 1:27 pm Reply
  • Bonnie

    What a wonderful idea. I know a little girl would enjoy that so much.

    December 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm Reply
  • Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    I loved the dollhouse my Dad built and the furniture and linens my Mom made to go with it for us girls one Christmas. Ever since I adore dollhouses and miniatures and on my DIY Wish List is to make one some day. I love your creative use of an old radio cabinet – so adorable. It is going to make one young girl very happy! Pinning and sharing 🙂

    December 8, 2016 at 8:31 am Reply
    • Larissa

      What a wonderful treat for your parents to gift you with. Do you still have it?

      December 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm Reply
  • Jane Windham

    Oh my gosh! As a child, I always dreamed of having a doll house like this! You have thought of every detail and it shows! As an adult, I’d like to find an old radio cabinet to restore or redo since my husband and a long career in radio! Pinned and shared your amazing project!

    December 8, 2016 at 9:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That would be a treasure for you both, Jane. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and showing love.

      December 8, 2016 at 1:27 pm Reply

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