Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dress-Up Storage!

There is no shortage of lace, frills and "fancy" at our house. BP is all about the Disney princesses and pretty much anything girly. For her birthday I decided to get her some dress up items. I found several of the Disney Princess dresses on clearance at TJ Maxx for $7 a piece (whoo!) and I can't make them for that much so I ended up coming home with five of them. Then a friend from church gave me a bag of her daughters outgrown clothes and lo and behold in the bottom of the bag there were another 6 dresses (double whooo!)! I've been thinking about doing this since Christmas so over the last six months I've been keeping my eye out for clearance gloves, necklaces, rings, fairy wands, etc and have gathered quite a collection. I started thinking about ways I could store the dress up items. I wanted them to be kept out so she cold see what she had to play with making them more accessible and easier for her to keep tidy. I saw this last week and started hunting for drawers then remembered my old bookcase I have in my sewing room. Once again, I forgot to do a good before picture but it's one of those pre-fab bookcases you get from Wal Mart or Target - cheap.

 So here is the finished product...

 But you get the idea. Bookshelf, dowel rod, wrapping paper, paint and viola...

A place for everything and perhaps...everything in it's place (a girl can dream, right?)

Want to make one? Ok, here's what you need...
- An old bookshelf
- Spray paint in desired color
- Spray Primer in the desired color (or close to it)
- Dowel Rod (Around $4 at Lowes)
- Screws for Rod
- Funky wrapping paper ($4 from Hallmark)
- Spray Glue ($4 from Walmart)
- Pretty Baskets (optional)
- Mirror and hooks for side (optional)

Note: I had to remove the back of my shelf to detach the permanently fixed shelf. So I painted my bookshelf without the back on it. I actually liked this because I was able to cover the back with the gift wrap easier.

 Again, sorry about the bad before picture. But this is my bookshelf with the back taken off and the shelves out.

Roll out your gift wrap and cut it a bit larger than needed. Lay the backing of the bookshelf down on the floor and gave it a good coating of spray glue (Walmart in the paint section).  Lay the gift wrap on top the backing and smooth out starting from the middle and work outwards. Having a funky print like this helps to hide any creases (there were a couple - I got impatient!) and remember you'll be hanging dresses in front of it so it doesn't have to be perfect. Trim any overhang on the sides and top.
Take your bookshelf outside (spray paint is messy!) and attach the doweling rod now if you plan to keep it the same color as the shelf. If it's going to be a different color then save this step for later. I started out with the doweling rod attached first then someone who's name I won't mention (eh..hem..BK!) split my dowel rod and I had to get another. I used a couple of nails to attach this. In theory screws would seem like the better option but I couldn't keep the dowel rods from spinning as I tightened. So I used nails. To do this, mark the center point of your rod at each end. Drill a hole on both ends of out bookcase. Line up the mark on the dowel with the hole (use a flash light) and nail. To make this easier turn the bookcase on it's side for each end of the dowel rod. It's stable and works just fine.

Clean your bookshelf well and then prime it with a spray paint primer. Give it a couple of coats. Make sure you shake your can WELL before use. That can help prevent it from feeling gritting after the priming coat. If it does feel a bit gritty go ahead and give it a light sand before painting.

Now paint your bookshelf. Give it one light coat. It will look patchy. Let it dry (it dries FAST - I LOVE spray paint!). Now give it another coat.

Don't forget your shelf!

If you're doing a different color dowel rod paint it now and attach as above (look, it's turquoise again! Seriously, this can of paint is going to last forever!)

Now put it all together...
Attach back...put shelves back in...assemble pretty baskets...attach cool mirror to the side ($8 at Hobby Lobby)...attach stick on hooks ($0.99 at WM!)...add accessories and dresses and present to your little princess...(insert gasps and squeals here!)

Let me know if I wasn't clear on something! C


  1. That is so clever and cute!

  2. So cool! I totally have a book case that I can do that with! I just don't have much in the way of dress-up gear for my daughter. I'll have to remedy that and make this up soon! <3 Thank you so much!

  3. Thank you so much! A good time to start looking for dress up gear is post-halloween when everything is on clearance. Good luck with your project!

  4. I have been looking for a fun way to create a dress-up storage station and this is byfar the best one that I have found! LOVE IT!!! I think I can use fabric instead of wrapping paper on the back of the bookshelf though; it might last longer!

  5. Thanks! We've had it a year now and it really helps to keep the dress ups organized. The gift wrap has yet to budge but fabric would also look great. Good luck!

  6. What are the dimensions of your bookshelf? Was this originally a 4 or 5 shelf? And how did you attach the rod?


    1. Hi! I'm not sure of exact dimensions. I'm out of the country right now otherwise I'd measure it for you. I'm 5'8 and its about as tall I am. It had 4 shelves originally. I think it was purchased at Target originally. To attach the rod I turned it on its side and screwed it in from the outside of the bookshelf. Be sure to pre-drill your holes so your wood doesn't split.

    2. Thanks so much!! This is all very helpful :)

  7. This is so helpful!! Most of the dress-up storage centers I'd found online were quite expensive and seemed a bit short for my lanky 4-1/2-year old :) This is a perfect solution, thanks again for sharing!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! This is still pretty much my favorite thing in the playroom :)

  8. This a great post! I enjoyed reading it.

    I think this article could complement your post.

    Good luck with your future piece :)


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