Monday, 15 December 2008

Dress Up Closets - Part One (because this is a long one)

We have two 3 year old granddaughters, not twins, but cousins that were born 7 weeks apart. Both of them are "girly girls" and love to play dress up. So we, OK - I, decided to make them dress up closets for Christmas. But I think my dear sweet husband has had as much fun with this project as I have.


10 - 8' lengths of furring strips (framework)

2 - 4' x 8' sheets of 1/8" MDF for shell of closet

2 - 3' closet poles (dowels)

2 sets closet pole brackets

1 - 8' length of lumber approx. 3/4" thick and wide enough to hold
closet pole brackets

Glue - we used wood glue, but next time I'd use faster bonding glue.

Hammer and nails/nail gun/staple gun, your choice

Saw, measuring tape, pencil, screw driver, screws

A sturdy work surface

Paint in your choice of color - we chose white, I always seem to.

Uppercase Living lettering (DD's web-site) or paint and brushes for hand lettering.

Paint roller – I used one designed for trim work

Painter’s tray

We purchased our materials at our local home store and had them cut the MDF to the size we needed. This allowed us to carry the materials home in our car rather than having to bring a truck. The size of the sheets of MDF was one of the determining factors in deciding the size we made the closets. You know, a better use of our resources!

Remember, we are NOT carpenters. You may have more experience in such things and find a better/easier way to do this. This is how we did it.

For closets 4' tall, 3' wide and 18" deep.

STEP ONE - Cutting out the “skin” of the closet
Cut the following from each sheet of MDF:
For the Back, cut 1 piece 4' x 3'
For the 2 sides cut 2 pieces 18" x 4'
For the top cut 1 piece 18" x 3’
For the front panel (where we placed the lettering) cut one piece 6" x 3'.

STEP TWO - Adding the frame work.
Place the piece that will be the back on your work surface, with the shiny side, which will be the outside of the closet, face down.

Cut your frame work from the furring strips:
Cut 1 - 8' piece of furring strip in half to make two 4' pieces. These will be attached to the 4’ sides of the back by running a bead of glue down the 4' sides

of the back piece and laying the 4’ lengths of furring so they are even with the edges of the MDF.

The instructions on our glue said to apply glue to both surfaces, so we put glue on the MDF and on the wood frame.

On the first closet we placed the furring strip laying on its side, on the second, we laid it down flat. It worked both ways. But we preferred laying it down flat. It looked better and it seemed a little sturdier as well.

If you've used quick bond glue you can flip the back over to the right side again without too much trouble, but if you use wood glue it will take 2 people to turn it over and hold the framing in place. So, flip it over and place it on a sturdy surface, right side (shiny side) side up.

Make sure your framework is aligned with the edges and ends of the MDF and staple or nail the MDF to the frame.

Flip it back over so that you are again looking at the wrong side with the 2 pieces of framework on your left and right and the 3’ side nearest you.

Measure the space between the pieces of framework that you have already stapled into place.

Cut your second 8' piece of wood framing to fit this space. I would suggest cutting only one piece at a time. It will measure 3’, minus the width of the 2 furring strips and should be the same for both ends, but measure each side before cutting to be sure. There always seems to be a difference.

Apply glue as before. Be sure that you apply glue to the ends where furring strip meets furring strip. Flip the back over once again and staple into place.

Repeat on the other 3’ side.

You should end up with something that looks like this.

The back is now complete.

Pat yourself on the back and take a break.

End of Part One.

No comments: