Monday, 22 December 2008

Dress Up Closets - Part Two

You have completed the back panel of your dress up closet.
The next step is to make and attach the the 2 side panels to the back panel.

STEP ONE - Side Panels
Place one of your 18" x 4' side panel pieces face down (shiny side down) on your work surface.

Cut one of your 8' furring strips in half to make 2-4' lengths.

Run a bead of glue down one of the 4' sides (and on the furring strip if using wood glue) and place the furring strip down the side with the edges and ends aligned with the edges of the MDF.
You will only do this on one of the 4' sides of each side panel as the other 4' side will attach to the framework of the back panel that is already in place.

Flip the side panel over the the right side and staple/nail through the MDF into the furring strip, all the way down the side.

Place the side panel with the 4' piece of furring against the 4' edge of the back panel, making sure that you place the MDF over the furring strip and the corners of the back panel and side panel meet. Measure the distance from the inside edge of the furring strip on the side panel to the edge of the furring strip on the back. It will probably take two people to do this.

This is the length that you will cut your furring strip for the top and bottom (18" sides) of the side panels.

Cut your furring strips to fit and attach with glue and staples/nails as before.
Prepare your second side panel as above. Now you are ready to attach the sides to the back.
STEP TWO - Attaching Side Panels to Back Panel

Apply a bead of glue down the 4' side of your side panel where it will attach to the back panel.
Have your helper stand the back panel up so that one 3' side is on the floor or the top of your work surface and one 4' side is convenient to you.

Stand one side panel up against one 4' side of the back panel, with the edge of the MDF on the back and the edge of the MDF on the side panel making a 90 degree angle and staple/nail the side panel to the framework of the back panel, all the way down the side. You have now attached one side panel.

Repeat for the other side panel.
STEP THREE - Closet Pole Support
On the inside of the side panels that are now attached, measure the space between the furring strips and approximately 5" down from the top furring strip. This is where you will place the supports for the closet bar (going from front to back).

Cut a piece of your 3/4" board to this length and attach it to the inside of the side panels by applying glue to the back and ends of the 3/4" board and placing it between the front and back furring strips so that the top of the board is approximately 5" from the top and level. You may also want to staple/nail the support bar to the framework for extra strength, from the outside of the closet into the support. This will be painted so will not be noticeable.

Once you have the supports in place on both side panels, attach one piece (with screws) of the closet pole bracket on each support, approximately in the center of the supports. Make sure that the bracket with the opening is placed with the opening up. This will allow you to insert the closet pole into position and will support it once it is in place. I'm sorry, I did not take a picture of this step.

Measure the space between the closet pole brackets and cut your closet pole to this length. Please be sure that you measure to the inside of the bracket so that the closet pole fits securely into the brackets.

STEP FOUR - Corner Braces & Top

This is where you check to see if the closet is square.

You will need to place a square in each of the bottom corners of the closet to make sure that the sides are at 90 degree angles to the back.
If you've never used one of these handy items, simply place one of the outside, straight edges up against the inside edge of the back framework, on the bottom, with the corner of the tool in the corner of the closet. Then gently pull the side panel in until the sides of the closet are squared with the tool.

At this point you will need to cut 2 corner braces from the furring strips. These will be nailed into place as shown below and will hold the closet square. They will also keep the sides from being easily pulled away from the rest of the closet.
Have someone hold the corner of the closet in square as noted above and measure the length of the brace that you need. There is not correct distance out from the corner. Anywhere will work, but we put ours close to the inside to prevent stepping on it when hanging up the clothes.
Cut the ends off at 45 degree angles as shown and staple/nail them into the corners.

TOP: Run a bead of glue around the framework at the top of the closet and place the 3' x 18" piece of MDF that was cut for the top on the framework with all edges lined up with the outside edges of the closet. Staple/nail into place.


Attach the 6" x 3' front panel to the front of the closet by applying glue and then staple/nail it into place as in the picture below.

Now paint your closet in the color/colors you have chosen and apply your lettering to the front panel. As I stated in part one, I ordered my lettering from my daughter's Upper Case Living site. Feel free to order from her or find a representative close to you.

After painting we decided to add hooks to the outside of both side panels so that our girls would have a place to hang their beads and other accessories.
Those of you who have more carpentry skills that we do may want to add some finishing touches such as corner molding, etc. Fix it up any way you like and enjoy the process.
Here is the finished product with dress-up clothes hanging and ready to go. Our grandpunkins loved them.
I hope you enjoyed this, my second tutorial. Please let me know if you did and what I can do to improve my instructions. Also, please send me pictures of your finished product.
Have a Happy New Year.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

awww that is adorable!

I'm going to print this off and put it up. One day when my teens have moved out I want to make a playroom for my grandbabies and this would be a perfect addition, for boys or girls :)

Thanks for your prayers this week,