DIY Kids Clothing Wardrobe
This post could also be called DIY Kids Clothing Armiore, Kids Clothes Closet, Small Space Kids Clothing Storage, Kids Dress-up Closet, and Kids Clothing Wardrobe. It’s really just a simple and accessible way to hold kids clothes. In our small home, my two girls share a room. For awhile we simply divided up the drawers of a big old dresser but they were difficult if not impossible at times for a toddler to open, and they allowed no room for dresses or coats.
Goals of DIY kids clothing wardrobe project
- Easily accessible to a 2 and 4 year old.
- Encourage their independent choices of getting dressed.
- Place to hang dresses.
- Place to store shoes.
- Year round storage of coats, sweatshirts, etc
- Separate compartments for tops, bottoms, underwear/socks, and pajamas
- Easy enough for a novice ‘ wood builder’ to make.
- Inexpensive to build.
- A 4’X8′ sheet of 1/2″ wood used to create the following: (*Note: We used “1/2 sande plywood” from Home Depot, cost $32.)
- Two 5’X12″ boards
- Four 23″X12″ boards
- Two 11 1/4″X12″ boards
- A 4’X8′ sheet of 1/4″ wood used to create the following: (*Note: We used “1/4 Birch plywood” from Home Depot, cost $25.)
- 23 3/4″X59 3/4″
- 1″ wooden dowel about 23″ long
- Scrap 1/2″ thick wood for dowel support
- Sand paper, 150 grit works well, also 220 grit
- Nail gun
- 1″ nails for nail gun
- Tape Measure
- Wood glue
- Damp rag and dry rag
- Wood stain or paint (we used Miniwax wood stain “Ipswich Pine” color).
- (Optional) Miniwax ‘fast-drying Polyurethane’ for sealing. We used ‘clear satin’.
- Two foam brushes for staining/painting/sealing. You can get these for about $0.75 near the paintbrushes.
- 2ft long Clamps (optional)
- 11″X11″ fabric bins for storing clothes (Biglots has these for $5 each)
- Kids size hangers (Can be found in baby aisle of Target or Walmart). **Note: If you want to use full size hangers you’ll need to change the depth of this project to greater than 12″.
Cutting Sheets of Wood to Size
Knowing that we would be doing a lot of wood-working projects, we invested in this Kobalt Table Saw. We love that when not in use it easily folds up and stores under the work bench. Perfect for those with small living/working space. If you don’t have a table saw, you can use a circular saw. When using a circular saw we’ll clamp down a long level or piece of wood that we know is straight, and use that as a guide for the cut line.
- FYI: Check the measurements of your 4X8 sheet of wood. Depending on the quality of wood you bought, you may find that your sheet is not quite 4X8. We found this often when buying lower quality wood from Lowes. Recently we checked out home depot and found that they had more options, better quality, and as was the case with the wood we purchased for this project, true to size.
- Start by cutting 3 strips of 12″X8′ from your 4’X8′ half inch sheet.
- For two of those strips measure 5ft and cut.
- Now cut four 23″X12″ boards. We cut two of these from the left over pieces of the 5ft cut, and the other two from the third 12″X8′ strip.
- Cut two 12″X11 1/4″ boards from the left over of the third strip.
- Use the 150 grit sand paper to smooth edges. You can also take a moment to sand all surfaces with 220 grit if you think it’s needed.
Putting It All Together
*Note: for putting this together we simply applied wood glue, then one of us held in place while the other nailed with nail gun. I’m assuming the more correct way to of done this would of been to apply wood glue, clamp until dry, and then use nail gun. Do what works for your and your level of patience/perfectionism.
*FYI-Use a damp rag immediately after gluing in place to wipe off excess glue. If you just use a dry rag and the visible glue is not completely removed, you will still see this glue after staining.
1. Glue and nail 23″X12″ boards to the inside of the two 5’X12″ boards, top and bottom.
2. Measure and mark the front and back center of the bottom of your wardrobe. Turn upside down and glue and nail 11 1/4″X12″ to center mark.
3. Measure center of a third 12″X23″ board, front and back. Glue and nail marked board to the top of step 2 at center. Nail also to the sides of the 5ft lengths, measuring for correct height first. Placing this piece will inevitably get glue on the sides. Quickly wipe up excess glue with damp rag.
4. On a flat surface measure and mark the center, front and back edge, of the last 12″X23″ board. Glue and nail remaining 11 1/4″X12″ board to the center mark.
5. Flip wardrobe over on to the bottom end. Taking what you made in step 4, glue and apply to center on top of step 3. Be sure to measure height at the sides before nailing. This part is a bit tricky/frustrating because you’ll have to hold and confirm measurements while nailing in place. A clamp would probably be useful here. Apply nails to sides and top. You won’t be able to nail where the middle divider touches the bottom shelf. The security of this will rely on the wood glue. We have not had any issues with this moving once dried. You want to work quickly here so that you can use that damp rag to wipe up excess glue from the sides.
6. Check measurement for your 1/4″ backing by measuring your wardrobe’s length and width at both top and bottom.. We chose to cut this slightly smaller than the size of the wardrobe so that you wouldn’t see any of the backing sticking out the edges. We factored for this by subtracting about 1/4″ from length and width. Cut 1/4″ board to measured size and glue and nail to wardrobe backing. (I actually don’t recall even using glue here).
7. We made two of these wardrobes and applied the dowel two different ways. For both, the center of the dowel measured 2″ from the top, and 6″ from the front and back. For one we cut an octagon shape and drilled a 1″ hole at center, then cut a section of the back to the octagon out to slide the dowel in place. For the other we first cut a larger circle with a hole saw, and then a 1″ circle at center and nailed into the wardrobe with the dowel already in place. With this one the dowel cannot be removed.
*For both we stained and sealed wardrobe and dowel separate before nailing dowel in place.
8. Stain or paint and seal if desired.
9. Nail dowel in place.
10. Lightly sand with 220 grit the inside of the cubbyholes to make bins easier to slide (optional)
Excluding tools, but including the fabric bins. We estimate this project to cost about $70. Much cheaper than dressers in our local stores and it has exactly the storage capacity and versatility we need.