Published on November 6th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Make a Princess Wardrobe

Materials: Hensvik Wardrobe

Description: Probably not a true ‘hack’ because the piece wasn’t re-purposed, but it’s a great example of how you can turn something mediocre into something fantastic.

Our 6-yr old daughter needed a wardrobe to house her dress-up clothes, and the Hensvik seemed to be a good starting point because it was inexpensive and offered a lot of storage. I’m pretty handy with wood moulding and a nail gun, so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to create something that was really cool looking.

Before assembly I painted everything with an oil based primer because the latex primer I tried was having trouble sticking to whatever the pieces of this cabinet are made of. I did not use the trim piece that attaches to the top of the cabinet because I planned to install crown moulding instead.

After sanding the primer, I rolled on a royal blue semi gloss paint to which I added gold glitter, and then assembled all of the pieces. I used a white oil-based paint for the surface of the shelves, since they would be subject to more abuse than the rest of the cabinet.

After assembly, I added a three-piece crown moulding to the top of the cabinet, panel moulding to the doors and sides, and moulding along the bottom. I also added a strip of moulding to the leading edge of each shelf. All of the moulding was painted with gold spray paint prior to assembly. The moulding was cut on a miter saw and secured to the cabinet using a nail gun that uses 23 gauge nails (they look like headless straight pins).

I replaced the cheap cabinet knobs that came with the cabinet with some 11″ brushed gold handles.

To add a bit of personalization, I purchased two wood letters, painted the sides silver, coated the top with clear spray paint, sprinkled on purple glitter, then added more clear spray. I secured the letters to each door with glue.

I wanted the cabinet to have a royal quality, so I used a hot glue gun to attach a row of fake plastic gems to each side of the cabinet doors, above and below the handles, and added some to the corners of the crown moulding too.

I’m a big believer in accent lighting, so I added an LED light strip inside the cabinet, and it’s wired to a small micro-switch that turns the light on when the right door is opened.

I also added two brushed aluminum clothing hooks to the inside of each door, and then added some princess themed removable decals to complete the princess theme.

~ D. Hale, Alexandria, VA

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

5 Responses to Make a Princess Wardrobe

  1. Unknown says:

    Thanks for posting this! I picked up one of the As-Is Wood Carts a while back, and it had all but the hardware and knobs for the Mammut Wardrobe… in pink. Now, I love bright colors as well as any but 1) it’s a bit too much pink, and pepto pink at that and 2) my new grandchild, who this would be perfect for… is a boy, and 3)his mother, my daughter, -hates- pink, and 4)it would not really work with the whole Winnie-the-Pooh thing that is going on in the nursery.

    Now I will just have to remember to pick oil-based primer and paint, and a Pooh themed wardrobe will be ready to go!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your positive comments!

  3. Laurel says:

    Well, I am no kid, but I would love one of these in my home!

  4. Janine Fowler - Alternative Housewife says:

    I’m not a princess person, but this is stunning! So much better than just buying some piece of plastic. Lucky princess!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Your princess is a very lucky girl. Love this. Thanks for posting.

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