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A Princess Also Needs a Wardrobe to Store Her Numerous Ball Gowns. Obviously.

A long time ago (as in 3 years) I found this cute pin for a DIY Dress Up Closet for little girls.  I pinned it for future reference, although at that point J was definitely not into dressing up.  Not even a little bit.  I figured I’d keep it just in case, and it’s a good thing.  The entire 2 weeks she was off from school for winter break she didn’t put on “real” clothes one time.  Only dress-up dresses and PJs.  Nothing else.

I think she started getting into it around age 2 1/2-3.  Although for the longest time she just wanted to wear her old Halloween costumes, which I found absolutely adorable.  She had cute original ones–a pig, a skunk and an elephant.  It was especially adorable because it wasn’t just her dressing up…all of her favorite stuffed animals needed to as well.  And then we would play Halloween.  In August.

J Dressing Up

And then she requested to be Cinderella for Halloween the year she was 3 and it all started to go down hill.  At least it was a slow decline, I suppose.  She liked to combine outfits and be Firefighter Cinderella or Witch Cinderella.

J Firefighter Cinderella

And then Grandma got her some of those plastic dress-up shoes for Christmas.  She slipped those high heels on and immediately started running all over the house in them.  Absolutely no problems at all walking in them.  And then I knew for sure we were going to be in trouble.

I decided a dress-up closet would be useful to store her birthday tutus, her couple of pairs of dress-up shoes, her Cinderella dress, her Halloween costumes from the last 3 years and her firefighter getup.  Although I really love Growing a Jeweled Rose’s changing-table-turned-dress-up-closet, we just weren’t ready to get rid of our changing table yet.  So I searched around and decided that a simple wardrobe would do perfectly, something like this.

I hit Value Village (Canadian thrift store…hands down best thing about being stationed there!) and found an old bookshelf/cabinet thing.  Since we made this project about a year and a half ago, long before starting a blog entered my mind, I once again have zero before pictures.  Or pictures of the process.  Although at least with this one it’s completely self-explanatory.  We actually did very little to change it so it should be pretty easy to tell what it looked like before.

I pulled all of the shelves out and got rid of them.  The “closet” was just white laminate so I wanted to do something to make it look nicer without spending hours on it.  I found this really cute yellow one and loved the looks of it.  Obviously I wasn’t going to redo it or use wallpaper or anything crazy like that.  Instead I simply bought a sample of bright yellow paint from Lowes (I LOVE how they offer those samples.  It’s so much better than buying an entire pint of paint that I will never use all of).  I painted the entire inside yellow and then drew large circles on each side and painted them.  Hubby bought a dowel rod from Lowes and screwed it inside.  I added some Dollar Tree hooks onto each side to hang stuff on, and voila, c’est fini!

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As with all of my DIY projects there are a few things I don’t like about it.

1.  I just painted right over the laminate, which isn’t holding up too well.  The outside is just fine, but the inside is chipping where the hangers and shoes are scraping.  Since her closet is bursting full you can’t really see it, but it does bother me.

2. Hubby hung the dowel rod about half an inch too high.  I have to angle the hanger in just right in order to get it to fit (hence why the paint is scraping off even faster than it should at the top).  And since have a difficult time hanging the clothes up, it’s impossible for J to do it.  Now let’s be honest–even if she could manage to hang her clothes up they’d still probably be strewn all about her room, but at least I can tell myself they’re never actually in the closet because she can’t hang them up herself.

3. I wish it had a drawer or shelves or something on the bottom like a lot of the DIY dress up closets you see on Pinterest.  Her dresses are so long that on the rare occasion when they’re actually hung up, you can’t see any of the shoes on the bottom.  Which means that J throws them all out and leaves them all over her floor until she finds the particular pair she’s looking for.  I was thinking about putting them in bins underneath there, but really that doesn’t solve the problem much.  However, looking at a lot of these dress-up closest I don’t understand how the child is able to reach their clothes!  I might have to hang up her stuff constantly but at least she can get it down by herself!  Definitely don’t want to fix one problem and end up with an even bigger one…

This one has definitely done its job for the first two years.  But now her hobby is a full-blown obsession.  We own Merida, Belle, Cinderella (#2…she outgrew the first one), Snow White, Aurora, a Snow White cape, Rapunzel and the generic princess dress from Melissa & Doug.  Plus a bunch of random dress/baton leotards I picked up at a yard sale for a buck each.  She’s begging for an Anna, Elsa and Ariel dress too.

J Belle

The minute she gets home from school and finishes lunch she changes into a princess dress and remains that way until it’s time for dinner.  Then she’ll take it off just long enough to eat, then right back into until bath time.  On the days when we have errands to run or somewhere to go, 9 times out of 10 I’ll let her wear her princess dress out.  I figure it makes her happy, so why not?  Now if she’s still begging to wear her Belle dress grocery shopping when she’s 15 we’ll have a conversation then 😉

On top of the dozen or so dresses she owns, she has a ton of tiaras, wands, shoes, dress-up accessories, tutus and fairy wings.  She recently got her ears pierced so at least I was able to throw all of her clip-on earrings away.

So something a bit more organized might be in order in the near future.  I’m very casually looking out for another dresser or bookshelf or something that I can redo.  I don’t want to spend more than $10 since we have a perfectly fine one that’s doing its job well enough.  And I have a feeling that the bigger it is, the bigger the dress-up collection will be…

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Did someone say “Princess”?

When I was pregnant with J I went with a simple gneder-neutral theme for the nursery:  ducks and frogs.  When we moved from Kansas to Ottawa J was almost 3.  We knew we were going to have another baby at some point while we were there, so she got a brand-new theme for her room.  Since she still really wasn’t “into” anything at that point I chose for her:  rainbows.  I adore rainbows.  The colors are so vibrant and they’re just so pretty!  I actually did a rainbow theme for her 3rd birthday party as well.

The landlord was nice enough to leave the walls in the house painted actual colors (it’s amazing how much different a house looks when all of the walls aren’t stark white.  If we ever rent out a house all of the walls will be painted a nice beige color).  J’s room was purple, which fit in nicely with a rainbow theme.  Plus I figured I could do a lot of the furniture in gender-neutral colors so it could transform easily into the next (and next) child’s room.

Since the rooms were all wood-laminate in our last house I knew we would need an area rug.  I bought a white rug from Big Lots and painted a rainbow on it.  I actually painted two rugs for our Ottawa home.  Once I get around to writing a post about it I’ll add the link in here in case you’re interested in doing one yourself!  It was actually pretty easy and I love the way they both turned out!  Here’s the link for more information!

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We bought this bed and these matching dressers from IKEA when she was ready to graduate into a “big girl bed”.  Since it was just a light pine I painted everything varying shades of blue.

ombre-dresser-2Ignore the strip of white along the bottom of this dresser.  Apparently I forgot to put a second coat on just that part and it looks absolutely horrible.  Every time I see that dresser my eyes go straight to it and it drives me insane.  Apparently not crazy enough to reopen the can of paint and slap another quick coat on though 😉 .

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I purchased my a-mazing Silhouette Cameo around the same time I was decorating her room and couldn’t wait to use it.  One of the first projects I did with it was to make canvases with quotes on them.  The first one has my favorite Dr. Seuss quote on it.  It’s hanging above her bookshelf.

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I simply painted the canvas with several coats of dark blue acrylic paint, cut the letters out of white vinyl with my Silhouette and stuck them on.  As you can see I didn’t estimate the size very well and had a difficult time fitting “you’ll GO” on there, which I didn’t realize until everything else was already stuck.  There was no way I was redoing all of that so it’s fine the way it is!

The second one I made is my favorite.  It hangs above her bed.

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I painted the canvas ROYGBIV in stripes from top to bottom.  Then I used my Silhouette to cut out the quote.  This time I peeled the letters off, threw them away and placed the entire white vinyl over my canvas.

To complete the rainbow theme I decided to do one of those melted crayon canvases you see everywhere.

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This one was SO much fun to make!  J and I did it together.  I bought a couple of boxes of the cheapest crayons I could find (Craz-E-Art from Big Lots).  I took out all of the rainbow-colored crayons, shaped them into a heart and hot glued them in place.  Then I took my hair dryer, put it on the hottest setting and pointed it at the crayons.  They started to melt after just a minute and I waved the hair dryer all around until I got an effect that I liked.  Hot wax will splatter all over the place and then dry, FYI.  I learned this the hard way after I spent an hour scrubbing melted crayon off of the floors and walls.  Definitely put a towel down.

When we moved from Ottawa to Virginia I kept the same theme in J’s room.  Well, sort of.  Our bedrooms are carpeted here so there’s no need for an area rug.  That’s now downstairs in the playroom.  I really like the 3 canvases so I hung them up again.  But now an obsession has entered our lives:  Disney Princesses.  Hooray.  Wanting to acknowledge that, I added a few more things to J’s room.  I found this awesome Disney Princess Wall Art from the CraftyMama on Pinterest.  She has the files uploaded onto her blog that you can use for FREE, all you need is a Silhouette!  Which I have, thankfully.  A trip to the Dollar Tree for 5 frames and 5 minutes on my computer later, princess decor.  Awesome.

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The last thing we moved over to J’s room was a Cinderella puzzle.  When I was pregnant with her I put together three 1000 piece Disney puzzles:  Cinderella’s castle, Winnie the Pooh and 101 Dalmations.  I modge podged them together, bought 3 gigantic frames at 50% off from Hobby Lobby and voila, easy nursery decor!  Unfortunately only 1 has made it through 3 moves unscathed.  The glass shattered in the Cinderella frame and we have yet to replace it.  One of these days!

cinderella-puzzle

I also have J’s initials hanging on the wall.  I bought the wood letters from Hobby Lobby when I was pregnant with her and added a bit of acrylic paint to embellish them.  J-Initals

She also has her magnet board (which she never uses and really I need to move into C’s room instead),

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her hair bow organizer, which has been taken over by tiaras,

diy-hair-and-accessory-organizerher dress-up closet, which never looks this organized and nice,

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and her animal jail!
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So that’s it!  J’s rainbow/princess/not-really-anything room!  She’ll get a new theme in about a year and if I had to bet money I’d say there will be a lot more princess stuff everywhere…

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