Looking for easy DIY dress up storage build plans? I put together a simple unit for my daughter’s birthday and am sharing the free plans today–perfect for beginners!
Easy DIY dress up storage build plans—great for beginners!
Super excited to finally be sharing this pretty little DIY dress up storage unit I made for my daughter’s birthday! I went on a bit of a shopping bender just before Halloween, stopping into our local Goodwill several times to see what cheap costumes they had.
My daughter is very into princesses, so I was super excited to snag some Disney-branded costumes that were in really nice shape. All for a few bucks! But that meant that she was now accumulating an impressive collection of dress up clothes.
The previous owner of our home left a cute little storage bench behind when she left, and we’d be stuffing all of the dress up stuff into that. But with all of the dresses, I decided to build some easy DIY dress up storage for her for her birthday.
It’s perfect because it has plenty of room for hanging dresses and three cubbies for storage. The cubbies are sized specifically for 9″ fabric storage bins from Target, making this an easy project to replicate. I sized it to fit in a specific area under her loft bed, but it’s a great size for any space.
So here’s what I used:
- Pine lumber; cut list in step 1 below
- Mitre saw
- Kregjig 720
- (40) 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- (2) 1 1/2″ wood screws
- Wood filler
- Speed square
- Orbital sander
- Medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
- Primer and paint
And here’s how I put the dress up storage rack together!
Step 1: Obtain lumber & cut all pieces
First buy your lumber and cut it according to the cut list. The majority of this build uses 1×12 pine. Cut it according to the following cut list:
- (3) A pieces—1 x 12 x 37.5″ (actual: .75 x 11.25 x 37.5″)
- (2) B pieces—1 x 12 x 36″ (actual: .75 x 11.25 x 36″)
- (2) C pieces—1 x 12 x 11.5″ (actual: .75 x 11.25 x 11.5″)
- (1) D piece—1″ wooden dowel cut to 22″
Step 2: Drill pocket holes
Next drill pocket holes according to the instructions below. I used my KregJig 720 for this, but you can use another pocket hole system if you prefer. No biggie—I just like pocket hole joints for strong joinery.
- (3) A pieces—(4) pocket holes one one side, top and bottom of each
- (2) B pieces—No pocket holes
- (2) C pieces—(4) pocket holes on the left and right sides of each
- (1) D piece—No pocket holes
Step 3: Attach both side pieces to the top
For this step, you’ll be working with (2) of the A pieces—the sides—and one of the B pieces—the top. Position one of the A pieces with the pocket holes facing in on the end of the B piece. Attach by driving pocket hole screws down through the pocket holes.
Repeat this step on the other side of the B piece using the second A piece. This will create a box missing one side—the bottom. (Remember, you are working with the piece upside down at this point.)
Step 4: Add the middle vertical piece
Now grab the third A piece, the vertical divider. Measure and mark where it will go, ensuring that the opening you are left with is 22 inches on the left side (the length of the D piece—the dowel). So, you’ll measure 22 inches from the inside of the side piece. This is designed to fit the 9″ fabric storage cubes perfectly.
Step 5: Add the two cubby support pieces
For this step, you’re working with the (2) C pieces—the horizontal dividers. Measure and mark where they will go. For the top divider, measure 12 inches down from the bottom of the top piece. Use pocket hole screws to screw the first divider in place, using a level to ensure it remains level on all sides.
Next measure from the bottom of that divider 12 inches. This is where the second C piece will go. After screwing that in place, your piece is almost done.
Step 6: Attach the entire unit to the base piece
Next flip the entire unit you’ve built so far right-side up. Grab your second B piece, the bottom. Line the unit up on the B piece and use pocket hole screws to attach it to the bottom of the side pieces and the vertical divider.
Step 7: Add the rod for hanging storage
Next add in the final piece—the D piece, or the dowel for the hangers! To place this, I centered it and attached it 1.5 inches down (to the center of the dowel). I didn’t use pocket holes for this step—just two wood screws. Pre-dill the holes before driving the screws in to avoid splintering.
Step 8: Patch, sand, & finish as desired
Next I used wood filler to patch knots and cracks. I also patched the two screws used to attach the dowel. After that had dried, I sanded the entire piece using a medium-grit sandpaper followed up by a fine-grit sandpaper to polish things up.
I primed the entire piece using Zinsser primer and then finish it off with two coats of the same latex paint we had leftover from painting the house: Behr Silky White in an eggshell finish. For extra protection, you can add a few coats of polycrylic, which I do for most kid projects.
For more kids projects, check out my DIY Modern Wooden Dollhouse Plans, my DIY Toddler House Bed Frame Project, and my DIY Kids Workbench.
And here is my finished DIY dress up storage unit!
It is the perfect size for our space and fits lots of dresses. Each of the bins fits tons of stuff, too—shoes, wigs, hats, and other dress up clothes that don’t hang. I’m super happy with how it turned out!