Last week, the diamond edition of Sleeping Beauty was released on DVD. I hadn’t seen Sleeping Beauty in, oh, a million years. And Claire? She had never seen it, although she was familiar with Princess Aurora, because, PINK.
Claire loves playing princesses. In fact, when I recently asked her what her favorite toy in the whole world was, she responded with, “Princesses!”
“Princesses aren’t a toy,” I explained. “Which *one* toy do you love the most?”
“Ummmm….” she debated, her little head tilted to the side in deep concentration. “Ummmm…princess DRESSES. And shoes and dolls.” It’s true. With older cousins and neighbors, we are the recipient of pretty much all the princess costumes that have ever been outgrown, ever. EVER. And one of the lessons I am trying to teach Claire is that it’s totally and completely AWESOME to be a princess…but a princess isn’t just someone who wears pretty clothes and twirls around the house with a magic wand.
Oh, no. A princess does chores. Cleans her room. Works hard. Doesn’t hit her brother. Takes care of her princess dresses.
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And as I walked into her room a couple of weeks ago and impaled myself in the foot with the heel of Aurora’s shoe, hidden beneath Cinderella’s gown, I realized that the princess costumes had overtaken her room. We needed a place for all of these dress-up clothes. STAT.
So, I made one.
All I really knew when I got the idea for this project was that I needed *one* place that would store ALL of the princess costumes and accoutrements that come with being a princess (wands! tiaras! clip-on earrings!). I also wanted it to have a Sleeping Beauty vibe, so I could give it to Claire when she saw the movie for the first time.
So in my head, I knew that it would be the color of Sleeping Beauty’s dress and have lots of storage. That was about it.
But then? I thought to myself, “Let’s just see if there are any nightstands on Craigslist that I could maybe repaint.” For the record – I never, ever, ever intentionally paint anything. My painting skills are probably the equivalent of a third grader’s, and I’m not kidding.
But then I saw this dresser, and it was like fireworks went off overhead and I felt myself get a little weak in the knees because it was *perfect*. So basically, I fell in love with a dresser and convinced myself that I could turn this into the perfect DIY Dress-Up Station. Before I could give this to her, though, I wanted to be sure that she’d seen the movie. And even though I knew the woodwork on this dresser were completely perfect for a Sleeping Beauty-inspired princess costume storage area, I wanted to see the movie and make sure I really got the colors and the feeling right on this little dresser.
I took Claire to Walmart and we bought the Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition Gift Set DVD. And while we were there, I let Claire pick up a few extra princess toys (that I knew we’d be putting away neatly in her new dresser!).
Not at all to my surprise, she chose a dress (Rapunzel!), a couple pairs of shoes, some jewelry, and a purse. I was as excited as she was, because I couldn’t wait to get this dress-up station put together and filled with her new goodies!
And then, because Sleeping Beauty was the inspiration for this, I decided I wanted to photograph it in the forest. This was the first time Claire was allowed to play with her dresser and see all of her stuff all nice and organized inside.
SHE LOVED IT.
And here is the awesome part – you don’t need a fancy nightstand to recreate this project. Any little dresser or old nightstand will do, and you can just as easily make this for little boys. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Dress-Up Station:
- Nightstand (check Craigslist!)
- Paint – I used Glidden paints in Very Berry and Cotton Candy. I also used Rustoleum Metallic Gold spray paint.
- 4 cabinet knobs (for hanging purses and jewelry)
- 2 drawer pulls (for magic wands, of course!)
- Cardboard (if you want drawer dividers)
- Scrapbook paper or fabric and glue to cover the cardboard (or, you could just paint it while you’re painting)
Before painting, measure out the drawer dividers. I cut out two pieces of cardboard, just a teensy bit longer than the depth of the drawer. I covered them in scrapbook paper I had around the house.
Paint your nightstand (I used two coats of paint).
Once dry, just shove in the drawer dividers (you could also add a bit of glue to each end to make them stick, but these are surprisingly stable and I like that I can easily remove them).
Before replacing the drawers, drill holes in the sides for your knobs and drawer pulls. Put the knobs and pulls on the nightstand, put the drawers in the dresser, and…ta-da!
I left the bottom drawer open (no dividers) so she could easily stuff her things in there.
I loved watching Sleeping Beauty with Claire. I loved giving her this dress-up station. But most of all, I love that *she* loves it…and that she’s been playing with it in her room, all on her own – even putting her own dresses away, and asking if she can have friends over to play with her new dresser.
And that, my friends, is what being a princess is all about.
So tell me – have you seen Sleeping Beauty recently? Am I the only one who feels kind of teary-eyed when Aurora starts singing Once Upon a Dream?