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You wanna hear a secret?
Sometimes I’m envious of my dolls.
They have the most stylish clothes, the most perfect hair, and thousands of people love them.
Some days I wish I could trade places with my dolls, if only for an hour.
A doll’s life seems so flawless . . . but there’s one area in my dolls’ life that’s coming up short.
And that’s storing their many outfits.
Whether your collection has 5 dolls or 2, I’m sure you have 10 pieces of clothes scattered throughout your house.
I know I do.
Currently I store my doll clothes in a big zip-lock bag, and it does the job well but it’s a disorganized mess.
When I’m looking for a particular item in the overstuffed zip-lock bag, it takes an eternity to find what I’m looking for.
It’s sooo frustrating.
Tired of rummaging through a zip-lock bag, I decided to do something about it.
So I set out to try my hands at making a dolly closet using a simple shadow box.
And I’m delighted at how well it turned out.
It’s a modern & simple doll closet.
And now I want to share my Dolly Organizing Tip (DOT) with you!
If you’re ready to tackle your army of doll clothes, then continue with me to make your very own dolly closet.
Making Your Dolly Closet
I’m so glad you’ve decided to make your own dolly closet.
It’s super easy to make.
With the right supplies, tools and a bit of patience you’ll have a closet for your dolls in no time.
Let’s get started!
Supplies You’ll Need
- Shadow Box any size will work (I used a Black Mini Shadow Box, 6″ x 6″ By Studio Décor purchased at Michaels)
- Screw Driver
- 1 Wooden Dowel (I selected 1/4“ diameter dowel. I bought a dowel value pack 50ct at Amazon)
- When choosing a wooden dowel be aware of the diameter (how thick it is). You want the hook of your hanger to fit the diameter of the dowel
- Drill (not pictured)
- Drill Bit (I used size 5/8 – not pictured)
- The drill bit you use will need to be a tad bigger than the thickness of the wooden dowel you selected
- Something to cut the wooden dowel to size (I used a small mitre box kit purchased at Amazon)
- 3M Sanding Sponge, Medium Grit, 6-Pack (found at Amazon)
- Elmer’s E842L Carpenter’s Wood Filler (found at Amazon)
- Putty Knife (not pictured)
- Spray Paint (I used Satin Seaside by RUST-OLEUM Painter’s Touch)
- Gorilla 4500104 Clear Glue (found at Amazon)
- Face Mask (not pictured)
- Foil to protect your wooden dowel (optional)
Great, you’ve gathered all the supplies. Now It’s Time To Get To Business!
Let’s Prep the Box
Step 1: Carefully remove the glass and all the screws attached to the shadow box
(My shadow box had wood frames along the inside that I removed. If your box has the same remove it too)
Step 2: Turn the box on its’ side
Use a ruler and pencil to measure how far down you want your wooden dowel to sit
Mark the spot with a dot
Take your ruler and draw a horizontal line through the dot.
Step 3: Next, measure the side width of the box and divide that number by 2 (this number is the center of the box’s side)
Take your ruler and place it horizontally on the side of the box.
Locate your center number on the ruler and mark a dot on the box at that spot
Then take your ruler and draw a vertical line through that dot
You should have a nice bullseye mark
Repeat Steps 2 -3 for the other side. Ensure the marks on both sides are straight and even.
X Marks The Spot
Step 4: Grab your drill and attach the bit
Dolly Building Tip: Use a drill bit that is larger than your wooden dowel.
A larger drill bit gives the dowel wiggle room to pass through the holes
If you use a drill bit that is the same size as the dowel the hole will be too tight for the wooden dowel to pass through.
Step 5: Drill directly on the bullseye mark you made in Step 3 for both sides of the box
Next insert the dowel through the holes you made.
You’re checking to see if the dowel can easily slide through the holes.
If it’s a tight squeeze then you’ll have to use a larger drill bit to make the hole bigger
Let’s Smooth The Box
Yay, looking good, your closet is taking shape!
Now it’s time to sand the shadow box
Things are about to get dusty so protect your lungs by putting on a face mask
Step 6: Sand the entire box. Pay special attention to the areas you drilled
You want the surface to be nice and smooth
Once the box and the area you drilled feel smooth, clean the box
Grab a damp lint free towel and gently wipe away any dust or dirt from the box
Let’s Beautify The Box
Now comes my favorite part . . . painting!!!
Be sure to paint in a well ventilated area
If you’re spray painting outdoors, make sure it isn’t too windy and wear a face mask to protect yourself from fumes & vapors
You’ll also want to protect the surface you’re painting on
You could use plastic, a trash bag or a drop cloth
I set up a nice painting area outdoors to spray my box
Step 7: Spray the outside and inside of the box
Allow the paint to dry before painting the bottom of the box
The instructions on the paint have the recommended time it takes to dry before handling
I painted as much of the box as I could & waited 1 hour before flipping the box over to paint the remaining area
Once you’ve sprayed the whole box, let it dry for 24 hrs or as directed, before moving on to the next step
Dolly Building Tip: While spray painting, use an even back and forth/up & down motion. This will help create a smooth finish
You’re getting closer to the finish line!
Let’s Cut & Hang The Rod
Before we insert the rod, we need to cut it to size
Step 8: Measure the width of the shadow box from end to end
My shadow box measured 7 1/16”
Step 9: Cut your rod to to the length you found in step 8
I used a small mitre box tool to cut the rod
Now that the rod is cut we need to insert and glue it to the closet
Step 10: Insert the rod half way through the 1st hole
Step 11: Apply glue along both edges of the rod
Step 12: Slowly push the rod until both ends are positioned into the holes
Once you’re happy with the location of the rod, set aside your box and let it dry for 24 hrs
Let’s Putty The Holes
After 24 hrs, it’s time to cover up the holes with wood filling putty
Step 13: Put wood filling onto your putty knife
Step 14: Apply the wood filling evenly and smoothly over 1 of the holes making sure that the hole and rod are completely covered
Step 15: Clean up any excess wood filling that may have landed on the box with a damp cloth
Step 16: Allow the wood filling to dry for the recommended time (Mine stated 15 mins)
Step 17: Repeat steps 13-16 for the other side
Step 18: After the putty is dry, sand both sides to make the area smooth
Dolly Building Tip: Sanding will remove some of the paint but don’t worry, you’ll fix it in the next step
Let’s Add The Final Touches
You’re almost done!
It’s time to repaint the sides
Step 19: Wrap and secure foil around the rod to protect it from paint
Step 20: Apply a light coat of spray paint to both sides
If you have any touch-ups you wanna fix, now’s the time to do so
Allow the paint to dry for 24hrs or as directed
Way To Go!!
You got yourself a dolly closet that you created with your own hands!
Give yourself a round of applause.
You can experiment with your closet by changing the height of the rod giving it a totally different look.
The 1st time I made the closet my rod was lower than I liked, so I made it again and raised the height of the rod.
Wrapping It Up
We hope you enjoyed this DOT (Dolly Organizing Tip) installment.
If you make a dolly closet using this tutorial please let us know or even better, send us a photo at tinyprojects[@]dollyinsider.com, we would love to see your results!
Have you ever bought an item intended for something else but transformed it into something for your dolls?
If so, share it in the comment section below!