My daughter loves dolls. Actually… That’s an understatement. She’s borderline obsessed. She walks around the house with her babies. She wraps up whatever she can find in towels and rocks them, while singing, “baaaaaby… baaaaaaby…” In the middle of the night we’ll hear her over the monitor and say, “Bayboo? Bayboo!!” (The name of her favourite doll). Dolls have always been special to myself and my mom, and I was very excited to have found my old doll clothes from when I was young. I decided I would do something special for Ellie when our second baby comes, so that she knows she’s still important. Because of her love of dolls I thought it was the perfect opportunity; she would get new (to her) baby things so she could learn to take care of her dolls while I take care of the new baby.
Along with finding these clothes I had a dilemma… Where to store them! We don’t have a very big house, and what would be the nursery is going to stay the play room for the first few months while the baby is in our room. There isn’t a lot of space in the room, so I had to get creative. While there aren’t a ton of clothes there are enough that they can’t just be scattered everywhere. I started searching ideas for ideas on something that would store the clothes, while still being useful for other things, and not taking up too much room. I found a crate bench and thought it was a great idea! So I set to work.
I found a wooden crate at Michaels. It was $21.99 original price, on sale for $14.99. If you wait for coupons sometimes you can still get discounts on sale prices, however it was the last one so I knew I should grab it. I knew I had paint at home I could use, as well as most of the other items I needed for the project. Here’s a rundown of what I bought and what it cost:
•Wooden crate: $21.99 on sale for $14.99 (Michaels)
•Wheels: $4.99 (Home Centre)
•Screws: $.99/pack (2 packs = $1.98)
•Paint brush: $4.99 (Home Centre)
•Paint: already had
•Wood board: already had
•Padding: cut down pillow
•Material: already had
•Extra wood: already had
I needed extra help for this, as I was doing it all in my parents garage and I didn’t know how to use the table saw. Luckily my brother was around and he helped me out a lot with this project. My first step was painting the crate. My mom had some paint leftover from painting their house, so she allowed me to use that. I used a semi-gloss white paint and the crate needed 2 coats.
Next we realized we needed to reinforce the back board, as it would be holding majority of the weight from the lid and the crate itself wasn’t strong enough. My brother found a piece of double thick plywood and cut it down to size to fit inside the crate. I painted the piece and we pre-drilled holes in the side and put screws in each side of the piece of wood to hold it in.
We found a piece of the double thick plywood and my brother cut it to size to fit the top of the crate. He sanded down both sides and I painted the side that would face the inside, that wouldn’t be completely covered in fabric. While the paint dried I found an old pillow (you can buy foam, I just couldn’t seem to find it anywhere) that wasn’t being used and I cut it down to size. It was trial and error and I cut it down too small at first, so I ended up having 2 pieces. When the paint was dry on the board I had my mom help me staple the fabric to the painted side of the board. It was crooked and we didn’t lay it out perfectly, but I don’t mind too much.
The next step was adding hinges to the top so it would attach to the crate. Again, my brother did this. He pre-drilled holes and placed the hinge plates an even distance apart on the back of the board. Once they were on he pre-drilled holes into the crate and the supporting piece of wood and screwed the hinges into place on the crate.
The last step was the wheels. Again we realized that the bottom wasn’t sturdy enough to hold the wheels in place so we needed to cut more wood down to size to be placed on the bottom, and then the wheels placed on. I should have painted the boards before the wheels were placed on but it was getting late and we wanted it finished. Once the boards were cut to size the wheels were screwed on (there were 2 boards, one for each side of the crate). Then he pre-drilled holes from the inside of the crate to secure the pieces of wood to the crate. Once each board was secure I painted them and left them to dry over night.
There you have it! It was a bit more work that I had expected, just because we needed those 2 extra steps. All in all it didn’t make it much more difficult and I was very grateful for my brothers help (as well as my mom’s while she watched Ellie!). Let me know what you think in the comments!