As I mentioned in my last post, Gemma has a well-stocked dress-up collection. On any given day she can transform from a precocious baby girl into a fireman, cowgirl, pirate, princess, doctor, chef, Red Riding Hood, ballerina, mailman, fairy or train conductor.
All of these character changes require some serious playroom organization. Initially, we let these costumes live in a basket when not in use, however the stash outgrew the basket, and I knew we needed a space to keep things clean. The key was creating an area where all or most of the storage was at Gemma’s level, so cleaning up her playroom could be a realistic chore. Hence, I made my thrice yearly trek to IKEA (Charlotte is our closest store, a little over 2 hours away). I had an idea in mind but wasn’t quite sure if it would work.
It took a few hours of wandering the store to soak up all my options but I finally settled on a few pieces of the TROFAST bin storage solution from the children’s department. This system is great because there are several frames from which to choose (finishes, sizes) and the bins are interchangeable and can be configured in a variety of ways.
Here are some pics of the end result.
Now I’ll walk you through how we organized the space.
Dress Up “Closet”
This was the first TROFAST frame I purchased ($50). Instead of filling it with bins, I opted to make it a pseudo-hanging closet for the less bulky dress up clothing. First, I painted it (using some leftover paint from a previous project; not Annie Sloan, btw), then I simply installed the smallest tension rod I could find ($3). On the left side of the closet you can see a three-pocket organizer, the PYSSLINGAR wall pocket ($5), which stores beads, necklaces and other dress-up accessories.
IKEA also sells these cute, colorful hangers ($1.49/8 pack).
Princess Corner: I painted a simple peg coat rack (like this one, $9) with a thin coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Old White) and hung it to store the bulky princess dresses and fairy wings. The dress-up mirror is from IKEA (though it appears they no longer sell this version), and I made the tuffet at a “Tuffet in a Day” class a few years ago at a local fabric store (Thimble Pleasures, Chapel Hill).
White Dress Up and Toy Bins: This is the second TROFAST storage solution I purchased ($90/frame plus cost of desired bins, $3-5/each). I gave the pine frame a whitewash using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Old White and then organized Gemma’s dress up accessories and other toys inside each bin. The bins easily store her small musical instruments, Legos, Play-doh, smaller dolls and cars, purses and other bags, etc. On the top of the unit, there is a set of three white/tassel PYSSLINGAR small fabric storage bins ($8/set of three) to catch CDs, feather boas and other small toys.
Ideally, we’d have built-in storage (something I’ve put on my wish list should we ever build a house) but for the mean time, this solution works great for us. It’s easily accessible for Gemma, we can rearrange the pieces as her play interests change, and it can grow with us (thankfully IKEA offers several pieces in this line). I hope you enjoyed this tour of the little dress-up nook in Gemma’s play space and are inspired to create an affordable space for your own kiddos!
- IKEA Hackers is fabulous site to find creative ways to repurpose IKEA products. I can get lost for hours just looking at the hundreds of ways people have transformed simple products into amazing solutions. It’s a must see!!