We have a nephew who is really into malls, so much that a couple years back he even asked for a mall for Christmas. But it’s not like you go pick up a toy mall at the toy store, so we decided to make one. We started with a 4″ wooden box from Joann’s. I think it’s meant to hold pens, but we turned it upside down and painted it with acrylic paint. We outlined things with a sharpie and gave it a clear coat to make it last. Here’s some of them:
Mark made a post office for our son using the same idea. We got lazy and used sharpie and colored pencil for his instead of paint, but it actually turned out even cleaner than the others so it might be our new approach. You could probably make most any store or building using this idea for hours of fun.