Instructables

Dress-up Clothes Organizer

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Picture of Dress-up Clothes Organizer
This instructable will guide you through the steps to make the dress up organizer shown here.  If your kids like to play dress up, but you don't like to have the clothes and all of the accessories scattered around the house then you will want keep reading.

TOOLS:
Drill and Drill Bits
Wood Saw (Miter or Manual)
Jig Saw
Hammer (Brad nail gun will save some time)
Clamps
Framing square
Tape Measure
Sand paper

MATERIAL:
(3) 1/4" x  2' x 4' Sheets of Plywood - Or enough to make all of the pieces.  These worked good for me because I don't have a truck to haul full sheets of plywood.

(2) 1" x 2" x 6' Pine boards

(1) 7/8" x 4' Wooden Dowel - Mine was poplar wood

1-1/2" wood screws

3/4" x 18 gauge brad nails - Or similar finishing nails if you don't have a nail gun
 
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Step 1: Cut the Panels

Picture of Cut the Panels
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SETUP A CUTTING GUIDE
If you are using a jig saw like me you can setup a guide, using one of the 1" x 2" x 6' boards, to help you make a straight cut.  First, measure from the edge of the saw base that will be against the guide to the blade (see Picture 2).  Let's say this dimension is 1-1/2".  Then, clamp your guide board to the plywood and add or subtract the 1-1/2" dimension depending on what side of the guide you are cutting.

MAKING THE CUTS
You will need to cut the following size panels from the 1/4" plywood:
- (3) 1' x 3' Panels
- (2) 1' x 4' Panels

If you are using the same size materials from the material list 1/4" x 2' x 4' panels you can make the following cuts:
-- Cut 1' off of the 4' length on two of the 2' x 4' panels. This will leave you with two 2' x 3' panels.  Then cut each of the two panels in half so that you have four 1' x 3' panels, one of which will be extra.

-- Cut the third 2' x 4' panel in half to get the two 1' x 4' vertical panels.

Remember the old saying -- "Measure twice, cut once"

Step 2: Round-off the top of the Vertical Panels

Picture of Round-off the top of the Vertical Panels
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MARK IT - USING A CUSTOM COMPASS
Make a mark on the 1' x 4' boards for the center of the arc.  The mark is in the middle of the board and the same distance from the top.  So, if the board is exactly 12" the mark would be 6" from the top and 6" from the side.

On a scrap board mark out two locations that are the same distance apart as the radius of the arc measured above.

Find a bolt from your hardware jar that is long enough to fit through both the scrap board and the panel.  Drill a hole in the panel at the marked location and in one of the marked locations on the scrap board just large enough for the bolt to fit thru.  In the second location on the scrap board drill a hole just large enough for your pencil.  Attach your scrap board to the panel, insert your pencil and draw the arc at the top of the panel as seen in the second picture.

CUT IT
Cut out the arc with your jig saw.

Step 3: Build the Frame

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The frame is simply 4 pieces of 1" x 2" that will provide a surface to nail the panels to as well as some structure for the base.  Performing this step after you cut the panels will give you a chance to adjust the frame dimensions according to the actual dimensions of the panels so that the panels will fit together nice and tight.  Pay close attention to the first picture and how the joints are laid out.  Be sure to either follow this method or draw out how you want your joints to line up so that you have a reference throughout the cutting process.

Determine the length you will need for piece 1 and 3 as shown in the first picture - let's call this "c"
Measure the actual dimension of the panel along piece 1 on the left hand side - let's call this "a"
Measure the actual dimension of the 1" side of the 1" x  2" board - let's call this "b"

c = a - (2 x b) - 1/2"

The 1/2" is two panel thicknesses.

Determine the length of piece 2 and 4
This is easier.  Either measure the actual cut length of the 3' side of one of your 1' x 3' panels or simply lay the panel on the 1" x 2" board and mark it off.

Assemble the frame
Clamp the frame together as shown in the second picture.  Use your framing square to check the corners.  Drill pilot holes for the screws as shown in picture 3.  These are required so that the frame pieces don't spit when you're driving in the screws.  You'll also need to drill counterbores for the screw heads using a large drill bit so that the screw heads don't interfere with the panels.

Step 4: Attach the Panels to the Frame

Picture of Attach the Panels to the Frame
Start by lining up one of the 1' x 3' panels to the top of the frame.  Using your finishing nails secure the panel to the frame.  This is where the nail gun comes in handy.  If you don't have one I would recommend borrowing one.  Flip the frame over, the bottom is now attached.  Line up the next two 1' x 3' panels and nail them into place along the frame.  Finally, line up the two 1' x 4' vertical panels and nail them to the frame. 

Step 5: Add Some Corner Support

Picture of Add Some Corner Support
MEASURE AND CUT
Measure from the top of the frame to the top of the 1' x 3' panels.  Cut (4) 1" x  2" boards to this length.  I actually cut mine 1/4" shorter and at a 45 degree angle to get rid of the corner sticking into the box.

ATTACH TO THE PANELS
Line up the corner so that the panels are nice and flush.  Clamp down the bracket as shown.  Drive in the first nails as close as you can to the clamp because they are going to try and separate the the board from the panel.  After the first panel is nailed to the bracket switch the clamp to the other panel in that corner and nail that panel to the board.  There is no need to nail these corner brackets to the frame.  Repeat these steps for the other three corners.

Step 6: Attach the Dowel Rod

Picture of Attach the Dowel Rod
MEASURE
Measure the length needed for the dowel rod at the top of the 1' x 3' panels.  The 1' x 4' panels will probably be warped, so if you measure at the location that you want to attach the dowel rod, the size will be wrong.

CUT AND ATTACH
Cut the dowel rod to the measured length.  Drill pilot holes in the ends of the dowel rod.  Attach the dowel rod to the panels as shown in the picture.

If you look closely at the picture at the beginning of this instructable you can see an alternate method for attaching the dowel rod.  For the first dress up clothes caddie I made I cut an oversized dowel rod so that it passed through the panels and then attached it using some 1" x 2" blocks.  The choice is up to you.

Step 7: Decorate and Enjoy

Picture of Decorate and Enjoy
FINISHING TOUCHES
My wife added some great finishing touches as well as the paint job.  As you can see from the picture she added some small hooks on the inside of one panel and a little mirror on the outside of the other panel.  She also stenciled "DRESS UP" on both sides of the base, but it's hard to see from this picture.
Oh my! I wish I had had this (and all those awesome dresses!!!) when I was little :D You should enter this into the Holiday Gifts Contest!
Cute! What an awesome idea!
magifarm1 year ago
What a great idea! It could easily be decorated to suit any style, and has lots of other possibilities. It would be very useful as a winter outerwear organizer for young kids. You could put a boot tray and plastic bin in the bottom for boots and hats/gloves/scarves, and then little ones could quickly find their own stuff for those busy mornings getting ready for school!
melvinkat (author)  magifarm1 year ago
I like that idea. We have winter gear all over the place right now!
laxap1 year ago
Very nicely designed and finished!
sniffydogs1 year ago
BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!
What a great idea!
wonderful! Can't wait to make this with a small tweek, going to use a pre-existing boy box base