Kids Dress Up Clothes Storage: 3 ways to hack it

kids dress up storage closet

Kids love to play dress up and live it up as their favourite characters or superheroes. That’s the fun bit. Finding functional storage for these fabulous dress up costumes and accessories — not quite so fun.

Which usually leads to an IKEA hack.

Thankfully, making a dress up storage wardrobe is not that hard to do. We show you 3 ways to hack one — from a beautiful glass door closet to a theatre style dress up station. You pick!

#1 Children’s Dress Up Closet

If you’ve got young kids you know how much they like to dress up.

I’ve got 2 girls who think they’re royal princesses one day and doctors the next. Seeing them play dress up at preschool was always fun and we had a couple pieces at home but not much. I decided for the holidays we’d gift them a complete dress up closet.

dress up storage closet with glass door in a playroom with Pikler triangle

Looking online I was really disappointed in what was available — they were cute but not functional!

I knew whatever we got had to close up, when you’ve got kids, being able to contain a mess is important; that’s why bins, cubbies and storage boxes are so common with kid storage, but everything I saw was open.

The next issue was they were so small that there was no way the closet would hold more than a few dresses, let alone full length dresses for my tall kid.

Lastly only a handful had storage for accessories, and none had storage on top of the unit because most were A frame styles.

We don’t have a lot of play space and losing extra floor space wasn’t an option.

I sketched out what I wanted and began searching, eventually I came across the HAUGA bookcase and realized how perfect this would be. The bypass doors not only contain the mess but keep them from pulling EVERYTHING out at once. 

IKEA items used:

HAUGA glass door storage cabinet 

Other materials and tools:

Curtain rod
Curtain rod hanger  
Children’s hangers and clips (recommend velvet, since most dress up clothes are synthetic fabrics and the velvet makes them stay on the hangers better)

Optional items:

Peel ‘n’ stick wallpaper 
Coordinating cabinet knobs (consider size due to bypass doors)
Bin for storage
Mainstays Collapsible Fabric Cube Storage Bin (10.5″ x 10.5″) fit perfectly (we already had these)

Hacking an IKEA Dress Up Storage Closet

Assemble the HAUGA per IKEA directions

If using peel and stick wallpaper, I recommend placing it BEFORE you slide the backboard in. My peel n stick wallpaper was almost the perfect size for the half-panel, so I adhered it aligned down the centerline, then trimmed the excess off (this is important otherwise it will pull off when sliding in).

Other options would be to paint the backboard or Mod Podge character fabric or curtain to the back! 

wallpaper detail

Instead of installing the shelves on both sides, only install on one side, we used all the shelves except one. Our shelves hold hats, shoes, costume jewelry (thrift store!), headbands, a box of tutus and whatever else they shove in there! 

kids dress up closet hack using the IKEA HAUGA glass cabinet

On the other side grab a hanger and mark where the center of the curtain rod will go, make sure you have enough room for the doors to close. It’s a close fit but the Amazon hangers I used worked, even with the rear slider door being on the hanger side.

I’d recommend the curtain rod go on the side where the sliding door is in front of the other. (Not what I did, I do intend to eventually reverse the doors)

IKEA HAUGA hack

After marking the spot, install the curtain rod.

Replace knobs with your own.

Fill with dress up goodies and enjoy the dress up show! 

What do you like most about the dress up closet/ storage project?

I like how everything is contained when they’ve cleaned everything up. My daughter loves that we customized it with princess wallpaper and she just picked out some new rose shaped knobs for it.

dress up costumes and accessories storage

I had some concern about the glass doors but after a few months it has not been an issue.  

Eventually we will add a mirror to the side and we’re looking for cute hooks so they can have quicker access to their favorite items.

~ by Claire DeCamp

#2 Dresser dress up storage

I created a dress-up wardrobe closet for my 3 yr old daughter from what I think is a discontinued TROGEN chest of drawers. I bought it from the “As-Is” section of the IKEA store.

Materials: 

TROGEN dresser/ changing table

TROGEN dresser
Photo: IKEA.com

(Note: As the TROGEN is discontinued and you can’t score one pre-loved, you can replicated this hack with the SYVDE wardrobe. Its style is very similar to this dress up storage unit. The SYVDE has two compartments: One with a clothes rack and the other with 3 open shelves)

Brush & white semi-gloss paint
Sand paper
Decorative contact paper
Tension rod
Decorative baskets

Converting a dresser into a dress up storage wardrobe

From the original piece I removed the drawers and the sliders. 

Then, sanded the furniture and painted it with white semi-gloss. (Or you can leave it in its original blue.) 

After drying I lined the inside of the main wardrobe area and the back of the cubby area with decorative contact paper. 

I could’ve used wall paper too but wall paper cost more. Lastly, I attached the short tension rod (short shower curtain rod) I found from a dollar store, on the main part of the wardrobe.

Placed the decorative baskets on the cubby and voilà! A dress-up wardrobe closet.

TROGEN hacked into a dress up storage wardrobe

~ by Jule Brown, Torrance, CA

#3 Theatre Style dress up station

I googled and googled dress up stations for my 2 little girls but couldn’t find anything that was even remotely affordable. So I came up with a plan to do an IKEA hack.

It turned out super simple.

Theatre style dress up station with IKEA FABLER BARD curtains
Materials: 

LACK Shelf
FABLER Bard Curtain (or other curtain/ fabric of your choice)

How to make a kid’s dress up station

I bought one IKEA LACK shelf and we then turned it upside down. We mounted a simple curtain rod to the bottom of it. 

On an empty wall in the playroom we mounted a 2 x 4 on the wall for extra support. We used screws to secure the LACK hardware on the 2 x 4 and and slotted the LACK shelf on to the hardware.

Then mounted the LACK shelf to the wall, anchoring into studs. (You may not need to do this step, depending on your wall.)

The next part was the way I did it but it can be done several ways. I added a second small curtain rod from Home Depot, the kind that can easily be taken on and off. 

Then, I chopped up the FABLER BARD curtain from IKEA. I sewed up part of it to hang from the curtain rod and the other parts of it, I staple gunned to the outside to cover up the sides. I then used the tie backs to make it look more like a theatre/closet dress up station.

A little touch of some decorations, FABLER mirror, MINNEN trunk toy box, and some FABLER wall hooks and there you have it … an instant kid’s dress up station for my little girls’ princess dresses and outfits.

Theatre style dress up station with IKEA FABLER BARD curtains

I think the whole hack came in less than a $100. That includes some extra fabric for window treatments and a princess tent!

See more of Jodi’s dress up station.

~ by Jodi R.