I had been begging the hubs to learn woodworking because I kept seeing all these amazing items and projects that I wanted to make, but they were always either 1) too expensive or 2) not quite the right dimensions I needed. So when quarantine happened this year, he decided that this was the time to do it!
So, one of the first projects I wanted to work on together was a dress up station for our daughter. She LOVES princess dresses and jewelry and makeup (basically, all things girly), and she had SO much stuff that I had nowhere to put. While scrolling through Pinterest, I found the perfect solution! A little dress up station for her to put all her princess things, separate from her closet.
- Circular Saw w/ Straight Edge
- Table Saw
- Measuring Tape
- Drill (and drill bits)
- Flush Cut Saw
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
- Kreg Shelf Pin Jig (optional)
- Orbital Sander (or hand sander)
- 1.5 Sheets of 4′ x 8′ Plywood
- Wood Glue
- 1 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
- 1 1/4″ Wood Screws
- Shelf Pins
- Pocket Hole Plugs (or dowel rod)
- Screw Plugs
- Wooden Closet Rod
- Drywall Spackle
First thing I wanted to do was design it in SketchUp so I could get it the exact size I wanted. Her room is not that big and I didn’t want a bulky thing to always be in the way, but I also wanted it big enough for her to put all her things. Since I had NEVER done any kind of furniture design before, much less worked in SketchUp, it was quite a learning curve, and it did take me a little while. But when I was finally done, I loved it!
Once I got all the dimensions figured out, I gave the plan to the hubby to look over. Once he got an idea of what it was, he started cutting.
Next, we drilled some pocket holes for us to screw the pieces together because we didn’t want the screws showing.
Once we had all the holes drilled, it was time to assemble! First, we screwed the two sides onto the bottom. Then, we screwed on the front and back for the bin. I loved seeing it all come together!
Clamping one of the sides and the bottom together to screw in Screwing in the back part of the bin Measuring All sides assembled
Once we had it all put together, it was time to fill in the pocket holes. (I wanted a smooth finish!) We used a dowel rod that hubby cut into small pieces to plug the holes. We put a little bit of glue on it, then hammered it in a little. After the glue dried, we (very carefully) shaved off the tops so it was flush with the dresser. Then, we used a wood filler to fill in the cracks to ensure a super smooth finish.
Cutting the dowel rod to size Dowel rod bits hammered into pocket holes Shaving the tips of the rod to be flush with the plywood Filling in the holes Holes all filled in (PS. The pocket holes on top here were a mistake)
I decided I wanted adjustable shelves too so the hubby drilled some shelf holes for me too.
I wanted adjustable shelves Kreg Shelf Pin Jig
To finish the edges of the plywood to make it easier to paint, I used drywall spackle because it was easy to spread and dried quickly and was easy to sand down. This is the part where my daughter wanted to help so it got a little messy, and there was a LOT of cleaning up behind her. It took a lot longer to do this part, but I let her help me because I wanted her to contribute to this project that was going to be hers–something she could be proud of.
Drywall smoothed over the edges of plywood You can see the raw edges of the plywood before the drywall spackle was applied
For the hanging rod, we got this wooden closet rod from Lowes and cut it to size. Then we measured about an inch and a quarter down from the top and screwed it right into the middle of the piece. We counter sunk the hole so that the screw wouldn’t be sticking out; then we also filled that in and sanded it down.
The project was simple to build, but the finishing took a little bit longer than I expected. (Partly because my daughter kept wanting to help and partly because I still work full time and had to do it in between shifts.) Sanding is my LEAST favorite thing to do in the world. I cannot stress how much I HATE it. But, it is *crucial* for a nice smooth finish. So I took my time sanding it, and I am so glad I did. It was definitely worth the extra time and elbow grease. (I used a circular sander for the large surfaces and the smaller hand sander that’s pictured for more of my detailed areas.)
We used a paint and primer combo to paint the piece. The paint was incredibly thick so I thinned it out with water so it would spread easier for that nice, smooth finish. It did take several more coats (with more sanding in between) to get the coverage I wanted, but this way, I was able to get it covered without the brush marks. For the bin under the rod, I taped up the sides too to help with getting a more even coat across all sides.
And, voila! All finished! I just love the way it turned out!
Our daughter just loves this so much! I would love to see how yours turns out!