DIY: Old Bookshelf Bippity-Boppity-Booed into a Magical Princess Wardrobe

Hello all!

Today I am going to be sharing a project that Joe completed for little S a few weeks ago. Again, no Martha Stewart/Pottery Barn grade level here – but I thought it would be fun to share some quick & easy projects we have done around the house with items that I probably would have otherwise just tossed!

We’ve had this old tiny dark brown bookshelf since before we were married – it was nothing special. It had moved with us from Hawaii-Arizona-North Carolina-Virginia, and was with Joe for even longer before that. It has moved around from room to room + has carried many heavy books and thus has served its time as a trusty ole bookshelf. On to bigger and better things, I always say! I probably would have just tossed it myself, but Joe being the more creative one of this partnership, took a gander around the internets and came out with a cool idea of how to refurbish the shelf into something awesome for S’s room.


A tiny Princess wardrobe, you say?


We wanted the left side to have a wardrobe feel – with a bar at the top so S could hang up all her princess dresses & costumes. On the right side, we wanted smaller shelves so that she could put up books, play shoes & whatever else she wanted up there.


(You could also place those square cloth boxes in there to keep toys or whatever. Your choice!)

So he started out by taking out the old shelves from the bookshelf (duh) & tossed em. Joe didn’t sand this particular shelf down because it wasn’t made from regular wood – it was made from the cheap stuff. (Only the best! πŸ˜‰ ) If you are working with a real legit thick wood shelf – obviously you will have to sand it before painting.

Since this shelf was made from a non-porous surface, Joe was able to spray-paint the entire thing with white spray paint. (You can choose any color you like though, you won’t hurt my feelings. Promise.) Again though, if you are working with nicer wood then spray paint may not cut it and you will have to paint with semi-gloss/matte indoor paint.

Next, he measured from top to bottom of the shelf in order to get a measurement to cut out the ply-wood for the (long, top to bottom) middle divider piece.

Then, he measured where he wanted to put up the divider piece & smaller shelf pieces (on the right side) – and pre-drilled starter holes where he wanted them.

He then took the middle divider ply-wood piece (after painting it pink with semi-gloss indoor paint) and bolted it in using wood screws & L-shaped brackets.


[Note: Make sure that your wood screws aren’t too long. This will depend on the size of your particular shelf. You don’t want them so long that you accidentally drill out through the back wall of the shelf – just enough to secure the wood being placed in.]

Next, Joe measured inside on the side that we wanted the smaller shelves to go on – making them whatever size you wish/need. We chose to go with 2 larger shelves on top (so we could place a storage box or large books on those if we wanted) and then 2 smaller shelves for S to place her shoes on, at the bottom. He then cut out the pieces of ply-wood for those shelves – to fit the measurements taken – and painted them pink.

In order for those shelves to stay up, Joe then used 2×2 inch blocks of wood to create “runners” for the shelf pieces to sit on. (Don’t forget to paint those pink too!) He then screwed those runners into the sides of the main shelf unit with more wood screws – and then placed the pieces of ply-wood onto the runners to create the shelves.

For the “hanging” side of the wardrobe, we purchased 2 inch PVC piping (cut to size) + basic closet hardware to mount the PVC pipe. Place the PVC pipe in the rack mounts and there you go! Ready to hang ALL OF THE PRINCESS DRESSES.


Finally, we placed decorative princess stickers along the sides and back of the wardrobe, just for fun. You can choose to add stickers of princesses or whatever else you may want; or add no stickers at all. Again, your choice. Won’t hurt my feelings either way. πŸ˜‰



It’s basically a fairly inexpensive, easy & quick project that will make any girly-girl in your life super excited + happy.


(Endnote: Am not responsible for the future purchasing of more princess dresses + shoes. πŸ˜‰ )


2 thoughts on “DIY: Old Bookshelf Bippity-Boppity-Booed into a Magical Princess Wardrobe

  1. This is such a clever idea! Great job! Love how it turned out! Thanks for the tips and I love your blog! Can’t wait to see what you have in store next!πŸ‘


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