Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pretty as a Princess - Dress Up Wardrobe

My kid just celebrated her 2nd birthday, I know, I don't want to talk about it.

I told a friend just this week: "I have to be sure that Adeline has a hell of a good time as a child because the rest of the journey is responsibilities and crap, lots and lots of crap."

I wanted to do something special for the big 2, and my little princess is rather fond of dressing up like a princess. I thought, what a better way to celebrate than to construct a wardrobe to hold everything whimsical and fun for her.

Here is the final product for those who just want to see it and move on:
Pretty cute huh? She was stoked about the whole ordeal. 

For those who want to know how I aimlessly roamed my way through this project, proceed. 

As per usual, I had no plan. I knew what I had in my mind, and just hoped to hell that it wound up being usable by the end of the project. I did get some help this time, from both of my parents. Who probably had a really hard time figuring out my make believe blueprints. 
So here is my fly by the seat of my pants tutorial for anyone interested in making one of these bad boys.

- Tools: paintbrushes, hammer, flathead screwdriver, staple gun, drill, uh uh uh that might be it. I think that was all we needed. If you are afraid of power tools then you will need your dad, and if you need creative inspiration and help you will need your mom. Unless your mom isn't crazy crafty like mine, then you need to find my mom. 
- An old entertainment center, we found this one at Goodwill for $30. And? It was made in America, which means it weighs a million pounds because it isn't the cheapo stuff. Aside from the fact that it was in a thrift store, that was the cheapo part. 

Here it was before any work started:

- Paint - I went with Valspar primer and paint in one. Color? ROYAL PURPLE. This paint is amazing, and it only required one solid coat. 

- Dainty hardware, we found ours for $2 per knob at Michael's craft store. Win. 

- 1 to 2 yards of fabric to cover the back of the cabinet. I found ours in the bargain bin at a local fabric warehouse, $2.50 per yard. This could also be painted, but I wanted to add a coordinating print. Inevitably it will get covered by clothing, but some will show at the bottom. 

- Tension rod for hanging clothes. 

* Directions 
Which as we all know, are the most hated part of these sorts of posts for me. But here it goes!

Here is an illustration of some of the things that got done first and foremost:

1) Prep the furniture for painting, depending on the finish it may need some good sanding. Take off any backing or boards that you may be covering with fabric. Or add any boards or backing that will also be needing to be painted. I removed all drawers and slide out thingies and painted them first/separately. 

2) Paint away! If using the paint I used just take it easy and do a really thorough first coat, because this stuff is so great I only needed the one coat. 

3) Watch your paint dry... or, rock out to some music. Even better - start working on another part! 
We took the large back panel and covered it with our fabric. The staple gun is your friend for this part. 

4) Once painting is complete and dried, you can re-attach any fabric covered boards. Hello again staple gun (or small nail tacks).

5) Carefully add hardware or whatever knobs you chose with a drill. Or pretend for about 5 seconds that you are going to do this part until your dad does it for you. 

6) We moved it in to it's spot in our little Diva's bedroom before the finishing touches were done. At that point we added a tension rod for hanging her dresses, and the baskets for the accessories. 

7) Load that sucker down with every frilly, dainty, lovely thing you can find. Every person who requested gift ideas for the little dear was told to go with anything dress up. She could easily supply every drag club in Key West with her current stash of frills. 

Ta da! 

The wardrobe was a huge hit, we can't keep her out of it (literally, she keeps crawling inside of it and camping out). 

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