Wednesday, April 14, 2010

18" Doll: Armoire

Project 4 of 5 is this doll armoire for 18" dolls:

Remember that PILE OF CUT WOOD???

There are LITERALLY no FREE plans on "how to build a doll armoire" on the internet! I've LOOKED! I was also shocked to discover that most "start" around $150 and can even sell for as much as $350 at major manufacturers!! WOW!

I first started with an "idea" of how I wanted the piece to look and function. I knew I wanted doll clothes hanging space, a space tall enough to stand my daughters' doll, and a space underneath for 2 storage bins. I then drew up a "REALLY rough sketch" to get an idea of how much wood I would need and what cuts I would have to make.
1.  After cutting the wood sides (1x12 pine) to 36" tall, and the bottom horizontal 1x2 and the bottom and middle horizontal shelves (1x12 pine) to 24" wide, I began to nail the unit together. 

2.  I measured the space the 1x2 took up on the bottom, and that is where I placed my bottom shelf, and nailed into place. 

3.  I then measured up from the bottom of the piece (not the bottom shelf or 1x2!) 14.25", and marked both sides.

4.   I nailed the middle horizontal shelf here, making sure that the BOTTOM of the shelf was on the marked line. (This allows 12" clearance underneath the shelf for two standard fabric bins, which measure about 11.25") 

5.  I then cut the Top at 25.5" (to allow it to sit on top of the two sides) and nailed into place. 

6.  Next I cut a piece of 1x12 to 12" and nailed vertically between the bottom and middle horizontal shelves, creating two cubbies for bins.

7.  I then used a 1x10 board (so that the "shelves" would be recessed into the armoire for future doors) and cut 2 pieces: 1@9" (horizontal shelf) and 1@21" (vertical support). I nailed the two pieces together FIRST, centering the shelf at 10" from the bottom of the vertical piece. 

8.  I then nailed the entire piece into the armoire, securing from the top, side, and bottom. I checked to make sure the doll would fit! (18" doll/about 21" inside armoire right side)

9.  I then added an MDF backing to the armoire. (I had the place the MDF "long ways" to make sure it fit!) Next, I primed and painted the entire piece, and let dry overnight between coats.

10.  Finally, I added closet rod holders from Depot and cut small round dowels to use as rods. (Dowels are necessary because doll hangers are SO SMALL!)

11.  Doors could be added, however I decided not to add doors at this moment in time - DOORS and TINY FINGERS don't mix!

12.  Fill all holes with wood putty, let dry, and sand well.

13.  Paint or stain as desired.

14.  When dry, accessorize!!
Please feel free to use these plans to build furniture, for sale or for pleasure, but please do not sell the PLANS as your "own".  Please also give credit to me and link back here!  I hope you enjoy them!!
***I am NOT LIABLE for any plans featured here. Please take every precaution and use your own discretion to make sure these toys are safe for children to play with them.


  1. Kristi I love your blog. The American Girl Doll patterns are going to be this years presents for my three granddaughters. Thank you so much. I can hardly wait to get home and have more time to browse your site.

  2. Thank you so much for linking me to this on Facebook! Now I have to make an Armoire and bunk beds :) Great blog!

  3. where did you get your doll hangers? Thanks for your patterns they are amazing!

  4. Jennie - I got my doll hangers online from American Girl.
    They are a set of 12 hangers for $8.
    I'm so excited that you enjoy the posts! Stay tuned for more upcoming ideas...
    Thanks for your comment! Kristi

  5. We are making this tonight! Thanks for putting up the plans for free. I looked forever also trying to find plans online. I was about to break down and figure out the measurements myself when I found your blog. Just so you know, they do sell the doll hangers just like that at Michaels. They have a section at ours just for doll things.

  6. I'm SO GLAD that you like the doll armoire! We get a lot of use out of ours, and the bins on the bottom are great for extra "large item" storage. I posted the plans because I could never find free plans online (frustrating!!), so I wanted to prevent other people from going through the same frustration! Also, thanks for letting me know about the doll hangers! I had seen them at Michaels months ago, but then our Michaels had discontinued their ENTIRE DOLL LINE!!! Therefore I had to order the hangers from AG. Thanks to you, I have been back to Michaels and they have gotten SO MANY COMPLAINTS about the discontinued dolls, they are now carrying them again! Thank you!! I hope you enjoy building, and try to include your kids where you are able....they will LOVE IT!! Kristi

  7. Thanks so much! I've been looking forever for a cheap doll armoire and could not find any! I plan to make this with my dad sometime soon :)Thanks again!

  8. My husband found your plan for the doll armoire this morning while at work. He purchased the supplies on his lunch break, and by the time I got home this evening from doing some Christmas shopping, it was built! Love it! Love it! My girls are going to love it even more than I do. Time for me to get to staining. Thank you so much for sharing your plan with us!

  9. familyofgrace -
    I'm SO PLEASED that the plans were able to help you! WOW! AWESOME hubby!
    My daughter STILL plays with her doll armoire, and we use it to store her doll clothes and shoes (on the top) and larger doll items in the bottom (we use bins). It makes clean-up really easy! You can have your husband add some doors (he seems savvy!), or a tension rod with a curtain, or just leave it "open" (which is how we still have ours).
    Thanks for the comment...I'm so excited for your girls! :)
    Merry Christmas!

  10. I made this for my daughter for Christmas and it came out beautifully!! I put two cute Martha Stewart storage bins in the bottom and used wall art stickers to decorate the sides and inside back. I have a pic but don't know how to put it in the comments but let me know if you'd like to see it! My daughter and I both love it and can't thank you enough.


    1. Alice:

      I'm so happy to hear that you were able to build the armoire! Your daughter must be excited!! I would love to see a pic! Just send it to me at piecesforreese(at)
      Thank you for the positive feedback!


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