How To Make A Doll-Sized Freezer

What have I been up to lately?  Just crafting a freezer for our doll grocery store, that’s all!

How to make a tall freezer (or refrigerator) for Barbie.

This project took a little longer to finish, not because it’s difficult, but because my time to craft has been hit and miss lately.  Even so, I’m thrilled with how it turned out and can’t wait to show you how to make one for your doll supermarket!

How to make a freezer for your doll grocery store!

Want to see how I built the store and made the shelves and counter?  Follow these links to read the posts:
Let’s Make A Doll Grocery Store
DIY Shelves And Counters For A Doll Grocery Store

Supplies needed:

  1. Grey foam board.
  2. White foam board.
  3. A sheet of thin plexiglass.
  4. A variety of glue (Hot glue, Tacky glue, plus a strong glue that adheres to plexiglass).
  5. A variety of cutting tools (X-Acto knife, scissors, and a plexiglass cutter).
  6. Small silver sewing pins.
Building The Freezer Frame:
When gluing foam board, I use a hot glue gun set on high.  I also lay a sheet of parchment paper over my work surface to protect it.

Start by cutting out the freezer door, back wall, sides, and top and bottom.

  • The door: 32 cm by 12 cm.
  • The back wall: 32 cm by 11 cm.
  • The sides: 32 cm by 6.5 cm.
  • The top: 12 cm by 7.5 cm.
  • The bottom: 12 cm by 7.5 cm.

Dimensions for Barbie doll freezer.

I’m using foam board that is grey on one side and white on the other, but you can use whatever color foam board you like or even cover the walls of your freezer with scrapbook paper.

  • Set aside the piece for the door.  We’ll come back to it later.
  • Glue the sides of the freezer to the back wall (make sure the colored side of the foam board is facing out, and the white side faces in).

DIY Doll Freezer: Glue side walls to the back wall.

  • Glue on the top and bottom pieces.  These need to be flush against the back wall but overhang in the front so the door will swing.

DIY Doll Freezer: Glue top and bottom sections.

  • If you’re using colored foam board, paint the cut edges to hide the seams.

DIY Doll Freezer: Paint over cut edges to hide them.

Once the paint is dry, we can start on the shelves.

Making The Shelves:

You can use almost any material to create shelves for your freezer.  I chose plexiglass because it’s transparent and stronger than plastic packaging.  However, there are other options if you’re not comfortable working with plexiglass, like foam board, cardboard, thin craft wood, or even layers of paper glued together.

  • Cut out small rectangles of white foam board.  Mine are about 4 cm tall, but you can make yours whatever height you like depending on how far apart you want your shelves.  You will need two pieces per shelf.
  • Glue the rectangles inside the freezer, making sure to leave a small gap between each piece.  The shelves will slide into these gaps.

DIY Doll Freezer: Making the brackets.

The thinnest sheet of plexiglass I could find is 0.05″, which, if my math is correct, translates to about 1.25 mm thick.

DIY Doll Freezer: Plexiglass used for shelves.

I’m giving this freezer five shelves plus a drawer (more on that later?), so we need to cut out five pieces of plexiglass that are the same width and depth as the freezer.  Mine are about 6 cm deep and 11 cm across.

Don’t remove the protective film covering the plexiglass until you’re done cutting it.  The film keeps the plexiglass free of fingerprints and smudges and also allows you to write on the glass without ruining it.

Infographic showing a simple technique for cutting thin plexiglass.

  • Draw lines marking where you need to cut the plexiglass.
  • While holding a ruler against the line, slowly score it using a plexiglass cutter or razor knife.  Repeat this step about ten times.
  • After cutting a deep groove in the plexiglass, flip it over.  You should be able to see the line you cut through the glass.
  • Now score the plexiglass on the opposite side about ten times.  Again, use a ruler to keep the line straight.
  • Once you’ve scored the plexiglass on both sides, you should be able to break it into two pieces.
Be careful when breaking the plexiglass.  The fragments are sharp, and shards may fly off when it snaps. I recommend wearing safety glasses during this step.
  • On a flat surface, place your ruler along the cut line and slowly pull up on one side of the plexiglass until it snaps apart.  If you have trouble snapping it, or if the plexiglass starts to crack, stop and re-score the line.

Cutting plexiglass can be tricky, so don’t feel bad if you mess up your first few cuts. I went through one and a half sheets before getting the hang of it!

Okay, time to put those shelves in place!

  • To make sure the shelves don’t slip out, use a toothpick to dab a tiny bit of glue between the sections of foam board.
  • Peel the protective plastic off the plexiglass and slide the pieces into the gaps.

DIY Doll Freezer: Adding the shelves.

Here is how the freezer looks with all its shelves.

DIY Doll Freezer with shelves.
These clothespins are supporting the last shelf while the glue dries.
Making the drawer:
  • Cut four thin pieces of foam board the same depth as your freezer.  Mine are 1 cm wide by 6 cm deep.
  • Glue the foam board strips directly under the last shelf.  Make sure to leave a gap between the top and bottom pieces.

DIY Doll Freezer: Making supports for the drawer.

Set the freezer aside to dry while we work on the drawer.

  • Using white foam board, cut two sides, a back, and a bottom for your drawer.  My drawer is 3.5 cm tall, about 9 cm wide, and a little less than 6 cm deep.

DIY Doll Freezer: Drawer dimensions.

  • Next, cut two thin strips of plexiglass that are the same length as the sides of your drawer.  These will be the drawer’s “sliders.”  My pieces are about 1/2 a cm wide by 6 cm long.

DIY Doll Freezer: Plexiglass sliders for the drawer.

To ensure my drawer slides in and out easily, I dry-fit all the pieces (including the plexiglass) before gluing them together.  If the drawer is too tight, I shave away the excess foam board until pieces fit comfortably inside the freezer.
  • Using strong glue, attach the plexiglass strips along the top edges of the drawer sides.  Allow the pieces to dry for several hours (I left mine overnight).

DIY Doll Freezer: Gluing the plexiglass to the top of the drawer's sides.

Notice how the plexiglass extends past the foam board.  This overhanging lip is important because it’s what slides between the foam board and makes opening the drawer possible.

  • After the plexiglass sets, you can attach the back of the drawer to sides and glue in the bottom.  When gluing the drawer together, make sure the overhanging edges of plexiglass are facing out.

DIY Doll Freezer: Building the drawer.

Before going any further, let’s double-check the drawer and make sure it still fits.

Perfect!  Now, we need to put something across the front; otherwise, our dolls’ groceries will spill out.

  • Cut a piece of plexiglass the same width and height as your drawer.
  • Glue the plexiglass across the front and allow it dry (again, I let mine dry overnight).

DIY Doll Freezer: Attaching the front of the drawer.

Tired of cutting plexiglass?  No problem!  Make a front for your drawer using plastic from toy packages instead.  Since this is a decorative piece and not supporting any weight, plastic packaging works fine.

Alright, everyone, the drawer is finished!  Let’s see how it looks!

DIY Doll Freezer: Sliding the drawer in place.

Hmmm, the drawer itself looks fantastic (I especially love the front), but I’m not crazy about those gaps between it and freezer?.

We worked hard on this freezer and want it to be pretty, but those openings scream “unfinished.”  They must go.  Let’s cover them with scraps of foam board.

  • Cut leftover pieces of grey foam board into rectangles.  I cut two small ones for the sides and a large one for the gap under the drawer.

  • Before gluing anything down, use tape to fasten the pieces to the sides and bottom of the freezer and make sure they don’t interfere with the drawer.  If they stop the drawer from sliding, just shave them down a bit.
  • Glue the large rectangle to the base of the freezer, then glue the thinner pieces to the sides.

  • Now, take a step back and admire your doll-sized freezer equipped with five sturdy shelves capable of holding lots of mini groceries plus a working drawer at the bottom.

I say we break out the Mini Brands and start stocking this thing!

Image of Tink: Wait, aren't you forgetting the door?

Whoops!  I guess I did kinda get ahead of myself there.  Yes, we need to make a door before calling it quits.

Making the freezer door:
  • Grab the piece foam board you set aside earlier–the one for the freezer door.  It should measure 32 cm tall and 12 cm wide.

DIy Doll Freezer: Making the door.

Since I want to see the products inside, I’m going to turn this into a glass door.

If you don’t want your freezer to have a glass door, you can skip down to hanging the freezer.
  • Cut out the center of the door, leaving a 1.5 cm border.

DIY Doll Freezer: Cut out center of door.

  • Paint the cut edges of the foam board to match your freezer.

  • Cut a piece of plexiglass large enough to fit over the space you cut out.
  • Using a strong adhesive, glue the plexiglass to the inside (white side) of the door.  Don’t forget to remove the protective plastic!

DIY Doll Freezer: Glue plexiglass over door center.

Set the door aside to dry for several hours.

  • To hide the uneven edges of my plexiglass, I cut strips of white computer paper the same width as the border around my door (1.5 cm) and glued them over the rough edges.

DIY Doll Freezer: Use white computer paper to hide the plexiglass edges.

And that, my friends, is a simple way to make a glass door for your dolls!  All we need to do now is hang it (which is super easy).

  • Hold the door even with the front of the freezer top and bottom.  There should be a gap between the door and side of the freezer.

  • Grab a small sewing pin, roll it in Tacky glue, then push it through the top of the freezer and into the top of the door.

DIY Doll Freezer: Hang the freezer door using small sewing pins.

  • Flip the freezer over and repeat on the bottom.

DIY Doll Freezer (no handle).

  • To make a handle, unfold a paperclip and cut it near the curves.
  • Dab a little glue on each end, then push them into the front of the door.

DIY Doll Freezer: Making the door handle.

  • Finally, clean up any exposed edges with paint then seal the painted areas with Mod Podge (this step is optional, but I like to do it).

DIY Doll Freezer: Paint and seal the edges.

That’s it!  Our doll freezer is done!

This craft turned out better than I ever imagined.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite creations so far!  Even though cutting the plexiglass was a bit of a pain, I’d do it again.  I love being able to see what’s inside.

Tink: Now we can put this freezer in our doll grocery store.  

I think our little grocery store is coming along nicely.  When it’s all said and done, we will have a fun space for our dolls to shop plus a cute display for our Mini Brands.

DIY Freezer for Barbie and other twelve-inch dolls.

Well, friends, I hope this tutorial inspired you to create a freezer (or even a refrigerator) for your dolls!  Now, I’d better sign off and go feed my hungry horses before they eat the flowers out of my window box?!


  1. I love it! I wonder if you could glue fairy lights to the inside of the door or the back wall and make it light up?

    1. Author

      Thank you?. Adding fairy lights is a great idea! You could hide the battery pack in the drawer, then, like you said, run the lights up the back wall. I might just have to do that?.

  2. Sooo awesome! You should do a photo story with the dolls going to the grocery store!

    1. Author

      Glad you like it! Yes, one of the reasons I decided to make this grocery store is so I could post short stories of the dolls shopping for random things. I have so many ideas for photo stories but not enough backgrounds (I definitely need more doll rooms?).

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