- When little girls get to the doll-dressing stage, those tiny clothes start to pile up. Just like our clothes, doll clothes always stay nicer if there's somewhere nice to organize them. It is, however, surprisingly difficult to find doll closets at the toy store (whatever happened to those pink Barbie cases?) Fortunately, you can buy doll closets online or simply make them yourself.
- The simplest and quickest solution to getting a doll clothes closet is to buy one. A quick web search, however, will tell you that these tiny furnishings are often more expensive than you might think. You may be able to find some nice ones on auction sites.
Use a Shoebox
- A good quality shoebox or two can solve your problem. For the simplest version, perfect for Barbie dolls, take the lid off an adult's shoebox. Insert a dowel, a chopstick or a wooden skewer through the center of both long sides of the walls, about 1 or 2 inches from a short end. Cut the stick off so that the ends protrude about 1/4 inch past the holes, and cover both ends on the outside of the box with a heavy layer of duct tape. This becomes your clothes rod. You can leave your closet open, cover it with the lid, or attach a stiff piece of cloth to the open long side on the left, fastening it on the other long side with hook-and-loop fasteners to create a door.
A more elaborate version involves standing the shoebox on end, then cutting out nearly all of the top part of the lid, leaving about 3 inches at the bottom. Attach the lid to the shoebox with tape or glue, insert your dowel, and cover with a door if you wish. This gives you a contained space at the bottom of the doll closet for shoes and accessories so they don't fall out when you open your closet door. You can also fashion a shelf just above the dowel for hats, doll purses and similar items.
After you have your shoebox clothes closet in good shape, paint it or cover it with contact paper to make it pretty for your little girl.
Build a Wooden Doll Closet
- You can also make your own small wooden closet, if you are inclined toward woodworking. Make two identical shallow boxes about 12 inches tall and 4 to 6 inches deep (width depends on how many doll clothes you want to store). Insert dowels as in the shoebox example above, but fasten them with wood glue instead of duct tape. Sand off rough edges, then hinge the boxes together so that they open like a book. On the other side, install a latch or other closure. Decorate as you desire. You can even put a handle on the top so that your little girl can carry her closet like a trunk.
Modify Small Cabinets
- At most department stores, you can purchase small prefabricated stand-alone cupboards designed for uses such as holding televisions and microwaves or as part of a modular organizer set. You can spend about $20 on one of these, then modify it during assembly to have small shelves and a dowel for hanging clothes. You can even put together items such as a fabric shoe organizer to tack to the inside of the door.
Not only does this solution give you a place to organize doll clothes and accessories, it gives you a home for the dolls themselves. If you are collecting expensive American Girl or Madame Alexander dolls, they will fit nicely on cabinet shelves, especially if you can customize shelf height yourself.
- Don't limit yourself to these ideas; if you can put a dowel rod in it, you can probably use it to make a doll closet. If none of the above closet ideas is quite right for your doll needs, try browsing through the housewares section of your local discount retailer. Other containers you might use for closets include square storage bins, cardboard file storage boxes and under-bed storage boxes.