Craftiness is Not Optional’s Dress Up Storage

Creating a dress up center for your little princess (or prince) is easy with these straight forward plans. Features a large open base area perfect for accessories and a hanging bar for outfits.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


When I first saw this dress up storage center from Craftiness is Not Optional, I really did not think I could provide a more simple, functional design for you.  There are just so many brilliant crafty people out there, and I'm always impressed with what a crafty person can come up with.  You must go visit Jess here for not just the details on the paint and cost of this dress up center, but for lots more amazing tutorials.

Isn't it adorable?  I love the idea of simple for a dress up center because the dresses are so ornate in contrast.  You could add a shelf above, or a mirror on the end (love Jess's hooks) or caster wheels.

Here is how I would build Jess's dress up center from pine or MDF boards.  If you have 3/4" Plywood Scraps, Jess gives details on how she built hers for $9 here.

Shopping List: 

1 – 10 foot 1×12 board
1 – 6 foot 1×10 board
36″ long 1″ diameter dowel
2″ screws

120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
36" x 36" x 12"
Cut List: 

2 – 1×12 @ 36″ (Sides, round top corners 3″ down with a jigsaw)
1 – 1×12 @ 34 1/2″ (Bottom)
2 – 1×10 @ 34 1/2″ (Sides of Storage Box)
1 – 1″ diameter dowel @ 34 1/2″ (Closet rod)

Step 1: 

Storage Box

Predrill holes along the long edges of the bottom with a countersink bit. Then apply glue to the bottom edge of the storage box sides and screw the bottom to the storage box sides with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 2 Instructions: 


Cut the arch shape from the sides as shown above. I’ve done this quite a bit, and it’s easier said than done to get two arches that match exactly with a jigsaw. What I do is create a pattern by folding a sheet of 12″ x 12″ scrapbooking paper in half and cutting out an arch shape. Then I trace this pattern on to the wood and carefully cut to the outside of the traced line with a jigsaw. Then I clamp the two boards together, and sand, sand sand with coarse sandpaper until the ends match. Another trick if you just can’t get the ends to match is to round the cut edges, so it’s not such a sharp line – then it’s more difficult for the human eye to see that the ends are not a perfect match.

Once you’ve cut the ends, predrill pilot holes along the bottom and side edges 10″ up (I center mine 3/8″ in) and screw the sides to the storage box. Oh, apply glue to the ends of the storage box first, and keep your outside edges flush.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Closet Rod

Now there are several different ways you could attach the closet rod, but I liked the idea of actually gluing and screwing it in place because the top would then have some support to keep the sides in place. So measure down 3″ and to the center of your tops and predrill pilot holes. My trick . . . thread your screws through so the end is just barely showing through. Then line the screw tip showing through to the center of the dowel. Apply glue and screw it together. Do the same on the other side.

Step 4 Instructions: 

And here is what we’ve got with 2″ caster wheels and 6″ letters. Is this just for princesses? Because I LOVE this, even for a big girl closet! Hmmmm . . . now you got me thinking.

Step 5 Instructions: 

And here is what the dress up center would look like with a top shelf. Really cute and more function! You could easily add ledges with 1x2s to keep the stuff from falling off the shelf too. Just cut two of the bottom pieces (another 1×12 @ 34 1/2″) and add it in place of the dowel and move the dowl down about 2″.

Thanks so much to Jess at Craftiness is Not Optional for sharing her beautiful project with us today. And have a blessed Holiday tomorrow, make sure you check back late tonight/early morning – I’m posting the best deals I can find on tools for Black Friday, and with the deals out there this Black Friday, everyone should have an opportunity to build next year. The deals are amazing, and for those of you who know about tools, tools NEVER go on sale! And please, if you know of a special deal, please stop by and comment because everyone deserves the ability to build for themselves.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


How awesome! It's so simple, and yet, I never thought of it! I wish I had this when my eldest was little. I suppose it's as good a time as any to get my two year old organized though! YAY! Thanks, Ana!

How awesome! It's so simple, and yet, I never thought of it! I wish I had this when my eldest was little. I suppose it's as good a time as any to get my two year old organized though! YAY! Thanks, Ana! Xenical

I'm thinking my kids wouldn't actually hang things on hangers. BUT they WOULD hang stuff on hooks. Could I not build up the back to the height of the unit and install hooks? Hmmmm. My boys are going to LOVE this.

OMG! This is the plan I NEED! My boys have two huge tubs in the playroom FULL of costume nonsense. They usually dump everything out to find anything! I am so excited and I have all the wood in my garage waiting already! Thank you ANA! This will be an awesome Christmas for little "Superheros"!

TOTALLY what Jessica said. :-) My daughters are "too old" for dress up, but my son is CRAZY about his costumes. This is going to be painted dark blue or red for my house with the words "LET'S PRETEND" on the side. Love love love this!!!!!

Ana, I don't know if this deal is everywhere or or just Houston, but Home Depot is going to have their 10" mitre saw with laser for just $79! That's my Christmas present, Yeah! I built the doll bed this week all by myself. I am so proud. Hopfully I will get pics up soon. Thanks so much for all you do. You are so inspiring.

As soon as I saw this I was thinking about converting it to a "big girl" closet for my spare bedroom. We live in a mobile home and the closet in our second bedroom is a wart that I have wanted to tear out for years but didn't want to have to spend a small fortune on an armoire to replace it with. This piece in an adult size would be perfect! I'm thinking that I'll make the front of the box out of a a 1"x3" so that shoes can be put in there without having them fall out on the floor and I'll put baskets on the top shelf to hold things like socks and undies. My house is soon going to be full of Ana creations!

This dress-up storage is just what we need at my house to hold all my granddaughter fairy dresses! I am so excited to make it for her. We have just begun the childs table and I am about to make the cushion on the chair my husband made me using your plans. I am a fan of yours and check every day for the plan of the day! Thank you so much.

LOVE THIS! I make a dress up play set for my daughter every year for christmas... this will really put her gift over the top this year! Thanks always for sharing your wonderful ideas! Your creativity makes me smile!

I actually built this!!! I still can't believe it - I have to put the dowel on, sand and paint, BUT I BUILT THIS!! First time i've ever tried anything like this. This was my first attemp at building ANYTHING! Ana, thank you so much for this site, you are amazing!

I am making this for my daughter for her birthday! I love it with the shelf on top. She can put her princess jewelry box up there and hopefully that will keep her brother out of it! I would make it for Christmas but I am already tackling the play table with rolling carts for that!

I have four girls and this is an absolute must have!!!! I have been admiring your work and you are inspiring me to really make space and do this. I need to just make it a goal and go from there. But I first need clean sweep to come and get rid of everything in my garage.........LOL! But soon I will be posting pictures of things I have made from your designs. Love what you do it totally rocks!!

My friend asked me to make one for her this week. Used my bradnailer for the bottom with glue, and countersinked some screws on the sides. I did add a decorative wooden piece to the sides. With the clothes hanging, I was thinking to eliminate the front board to accommodate her daughters shoes.
Tip: I always hate using my jigsaw; I'm not the best cutter. I cut before the line, and then clamped the sides together while I run the boards on the table sander, and sand down to the line.

My husband and father-in-law made this yesterday. I just have to paint it and then it will be done. For the arches, they basically made a big compass by taping thread to a pencil (they actually taped it to the lead of the pencil so that angle of the pencil didn't matter), attaching the other end to the centerpoint they chose (they measured to the middle of the width of the board and 4 inches down because we made ours a little bit taller than the plan) and then allowing the thread to create the arch. They used the same measurements on both boards to make sure the arches match. It looks great!

I built this last night! It is a quick and easy project! Of course I didn't read the instructions and screwed tall sides to the bottom first. Oops. Trying to rig it so it was stable while I drilled was comical. Next time I'll read first...

@ petrak28 : Adorable! We're making one too. I really like the shade of pink that you used. What paint brand and color # did you use? It's a really nice pink.

This is fabulous! I however have zero tools to create one myself. But I did send a link to this to my Uncle who has a wonderful wood shop. I'm really hoping he can create one for my two little princesses!
Thanks for sharing.

I would pay someone to make this for me! I do not have the tools to do this but if someone sold these, they could most certainly make a profit!

My husband just finished my daughter's Dress Up Station today - she loves it....we are using some tote boxes on the top shelf for jewelry, hats, etc. We also added more hooks on the sides....thanks for the help!
Pinterest Project - Dress Up Station

I was looking for something just like this for my daughters dress up clothes. Thank you for posting this! Now all I have to do is follow the directions! I can't wait to see what it looks like.

I LOVE this! Can't wait to get it finished!!! I have five kids and space is limited. This is exactly what we need to get organized before Christmas! Thank you!

Thank you so much for the plan! My husband made this over the weekend and added shelves, per my request. It turned out perfect!

this is a wonderful thing to know "Creating a dress up center for your little princess (or prince) is easy with these straight forward plans. Features a large open base area perfect for accessories and a hanging bar for outfits"... I would like to thank you for sharing this. Keep it up

My husband just built this!! Love it. I painted it, but how did you get the writing on front? The way i tried didnt work at al

There may be something like a maker works near you. These are cooperatives with a lot of expensive industrial machinery. For a small membership fee, they will teach you how to use the machinery and turn you loose on it. You're only responsible for buying your materials.

Most of them have CNC machines that can carve the letters directly into wood. Laser engravers are popular but slightly less common. A few have vinyl cutting machines than can cut out any shape you care to produce. Most of them will work with anything in sketchup.

I'm not sure where you're from, or for that matter how widespread these places are. There are three within an hour of my house, and one within five minutes of my work. But I live in a Detroit suburb, and manufacturing is kind of a big deal here. So the availability of machinery and people who want to use it may be different than where you live.

I made this for my daughter and she just loves it! I have been looking for what seems forever to find something like this for her and was beyond excited when I saw this! My boys even love it and want one for their rooms! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

My husband and I made this together last night; we made a few little changes, some that you suggested (like the shelf, and the lip on the shelf), made it a little bit taller too. SUCH a great idea. I had found a similar item for purchase at Costco online for the bargain of $160+ tax. So thank you! I think at the end this cost me about $30 to make. My kids will love it! (They're not getting it until Christmas)

Thank you for the easy to follow plans! I was pestering my dad to create something like this for me to give my girls, but it was so close to Christmas that he wasn't sure he'd have time to piece it all out. Found your plans (and the great theater idea on and he was able to get it all cut and ready for me to paint and assemble in no time. A few small changes and we have a reversible dress-up storage/puppet theater!

dress-up storage (hinged front for theater access)     


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