Make a Princess Wardrobe
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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