Do It Yourself: Doll Crate Closet

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Left, the curtains are pulled back so that our dolls may easily hang up their clothes and store
their shoes on the top shelf. Right, here you see the curtains pulled shut to keep
doll clothes dust free!


       This version of a doll’s clothing storage was built using a recycled wine crate that I found discarded by the side of the road. It looked clean and adaptable and was just the right size for the following doll closet craft. Alternatively, one could make the same craft using a sturdy cardboard box if there is no wooden variety available, of course…

 Supply List:

  • old recycled wood box (ours was formerly a wine crate)
  • handful of screws and nails
  • acrylic paints (whatever colors you like)
  • an old mirror
  • dowel rod
  • masking tape
  • wood glue
  • round wooden drawer knobs
  • extra scrap wood for shelf at top
  • decorative fabric for seat cushion
  • decorative fabric for curtains

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. The first step is to acquire an old wooden crate or box. Often these once were kept to store wine bottles or ship fruit in…
  2. Next, decide if your doll’s closet will be vertical or horizontal and shape. If you have a doll hanger on hand, it is best to see how this will fit inside the box. Is there enough room for the clothing on a hanger to dangle free from touching the sides of the box? 
  3. Sand the wooden box enough to smooth away edges with splintering wood.
  4. Paint the box with acrylics or spray paints, whichever you may have on hand. I chose to “white-wash” our doll’s closet using very little paint. I happen to prefer wooden furniture with a bit of patina. But, you will have your own preferences for this project that may look very different.
  5. I measured the interior of our wooden doll closet to fit it for a single shelf at the top. One this shelf I will store doll handbags, shoes and hats possibly.
  6. Insert the wooden shelf with a bit of glue and also firmly attach it with carpentry nails. I hammered these through the outside walls into the edges of my shelf on the inside. 
  7. Measure beneath the shelf enough room to insert a dowel rod for hanging your doll’s wardrobe. Attach the dowel with nails and glue both combined as you did the shelf. 
  8. Paint the entire interior a solid color; I chose a reddish wine color.
  9. Attach the dresser drawer knobs to the bottom of the doll closet if it needs to stand a bit taller. 
  10. I chose to glue on a mirror for our dolls to the back side of the closet. 
  11. After the glue dries, use masking tape to seal the edges of the mirror.
  12. Then use faux wood paper to decoupage around these same mirror edges again thereby firmly attaching the mirror and preventing the edges of it from cutting through skin during play.
  13. I then chose to make a cushion for the interior of our doll’s closet by cutting a piece of foam and upholstering over it with hot pink fabric.
  14. To make curtains for the closet door, simply measure from the top to the bottom of the opening. Add an additional inch all around to the panels for neatly finishing the edges. 
  15. Hot glue these two panels side by side around the top only and firmly press the edges with your fingertips as you go.
  16. Attach a decorative cord in a loop on either side of the closet for holding the fabric curtains open whenever your doll may prefer to look inside her wardrobe to plan her next outfit!
Left, I white-washed the old wine crate with acrylics to give the surface of the wood some patina. 
Center, you can still see the original stamp/carving on the surface of the wood through the white-
wash. Right, at the bottom I attached four drawer pulls to give the closet a bit more height.

Left, I painted the interior of the cabinet a burgundy color along with the shelf and dowel rod.
Right, here you can see that I attached a mirror with wood glue and masking tape. Later I will
decoupage around the mirror with faux wood paper.

Left, the details of a cushion insert, covered with hot pink brocade. shoes and bag are easy to 
access for a doll “on the go…” Center, the red cord holds back the printed curtains.
Right, our doll looks in the finished mirror to make sure her hair is neat and her dress is pretty.

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