DIY Dress Up Armoire


I posted here about some updates I did to my daughter’s room for her 5th Birthday.  One of the projects was converting an old computer armoire into a dress up armoire for my daughter’s ever-growing collection of dress up dresses.

Below is the computer armoire before.  It seriously dates me.  We used to house our giant computer complete with huge hard drive and keyboard.  It was very useful back in the day and is very well-built and has some nice detail work on it.  Now that we use a laptop, this bad boy has been collecting dust in our garage for about 5 years.  I was about to get rid of it when I had an idea for re-purposing it.


photo (3)

The first thing we did was tear out the shelving.  We made sure to save the keyboard shelf as we intended to use it on the bottom of the armoire for my daughter’s shoes.  The goal was to put it on the track so she could pull it forward and see all of the shoes including those hidden in the back.  Here is a photo of the armoire with the shelving removed.  Sorry for the poor photo quality, but my garage does not get the best light!


Next, we took some MDF board from the Home Depot and cut it to fit the inside walls of the armoire.  Ripping out the shelving had left some marks on the sides that we wanted to cover.  Plus, I wanted to cover the inside with decorative paper, so using the MDF board would make it very easy to apply.


Next, I painted the armoire using American brand chalk paint by Art Deco from the Home Depot.  I used a color called Everlasting which is between a true white and an off white.  It was very similar to Annie Sloan’s Old White.

I did not sand or prime this piece before painting because it is not required when using chalk paint.  I needed three coats of paint to cover the entire armoire.  Here is a photo of what it looked like after one coat.



I would say the coverage of the Americana brand is similar to that of Annie Sloan.  I think I had to do three coats because I was doing such a light color over a dark wood.  I applied a coat of wax when I was finished and then distressed some of the edges for a weathered look.

I wanted to cover the inside of the armoire with a print.  I envisioned something floral because her room has a botanical theme.  I really wanted to use wallpaper and figured that it would be relatively cheap since I was covering such a small surface.  Not the case.  Most of the wallpaper I fell in love with was over $100 and you had to buy it by the roll.

As an alternative, I found this adorable floral wrapping paper called “Garden Roses” from Paper Source.  It was only $3.50 a sheet to boot!  I applied it directly to the MDF board using wallpaper paste.  I used a ruler to work out any wrinkles.  If you don’t have wallpaper paste, Mod Podge that is specially formulated for paper would probably work too.  It turned out beautifully!  I think the key to wallpapering with wrapping paper is to use thick, quality wrapping paper.



Finally, I installed a rod inside the armiore at a level where my daughter could easily reach the dress up dresses all by herself.


Here is the final product with some of her dresses lined up.  I am so pleased with how it turned out and am so glad I decided not to get rid of this beautiful piece of furniture.  My daughter loves it and feels so special!

Birthday Girl 4


Birthday Girl 3

Have you ever tried Americana brand chalk paint?  How do you feel it held up to Annie Sloan?

Linking up at Made by You Monday, Much Ado About Monday,  The Creative CollectionDIY ShowoffTutorials and Tips,  Sparkle , Makers, The 36th Avenue, and Show and Share Wednesday,Thrifty ThursdayBest of the Nest and Thrifty Decor Chick!


  1. What a beautiful armoire makeover Jennifer – the wrapping paper lining is so pretty with this piece. So glad it caught my eye at the Monday Funday Party!

    • Thank you so much Marie! This has been a perfect solution for us as the bar is just at the height were she can reach the clothing herself! I also have two girls, so I can pass it down. So glad I re-purposed it! Thanks for stopping by and I am so glad you found me at the Monday Funday link party! I truly appreciate your comment.

  2. Stopping by from Made by you Monday link party. I have been meaning to do this for my daughter, and this was the inspiration I needed, thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Melinda! It has been the perfect solution for us. No more dresses shoved in baskets! I am also thinking about adding a small mirror to the inside. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. What a lovely armoire, fit for a princess! I love your wrapping paper choice, surprised to read it is not a wallpaper!

  4. Thanks so much for linking up! You did such an incredible job and I loved the wrapping paper as wallpaper tip! We spent a small fortune papering our powder room because the builder pasted the previous paper directly to the dry wall and removing it would damage the walls so much that we would have had to replace the drywall… so wallpapering it was! I have only boys, but we are fostering an infant girl and if we get to adopt her or any other little girl that comes to us, I am so doing this for her! Such a special gift!
    -S.L. Payne,

    • Thank you so much Sara. It is such a nice treat for a little girl and I am fortunate enough to have two. I am sure that one will be in your future. I just checked out your blog and it is so inspiring! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. It’s like a dream come true for any little girl, beautiful job! Thanks for stopping by The Creative Collection and sharing it, hope to see you back again soon!

    • Thank you so much Mariah! I am really pleased with how it turned out. I will definitely be sharing more with the Creative Collection! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  6. This is a good idea, I’ve seen these armoires at yard sales. Thanks for sharing. Hello from Made By You Monday.

    • Hi Melissa! A yard sale would be the perfect place to find one of these armoires! This one is the perfect height for my daughter who is 5. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. Such a sweet armoire! I love how you lined the inside with that beautiful paper!

  8. Jennifer, this is so fabulous! My daughters would have thought they had died and gone to heaven to have this dress up armoire when they were in their younger princess dress up phase! I repurposed an old armoire too but have yet to tackle the inside of it and I love your idea for using the thick wrapping paper. So glad you linked up to Best of the Nest!

    • Thanks Kris! I am really trying to enjoy this phase with my girls and they are definitely girly girls. My favorite parts are the lined inside panels and the fact that they can both reach the dresses all by themselves! Thanks so much for hosting Best of the Nest. So much inspiration!! xo

  9. Oh my goodness, truly a closet for a princess! And, what a perfect size for a dress up cabinet. Love all of the details! Thanks for linking up with us at Best of the Nest!

    • Thank you Jennifer! It has been so much fun to watch my girls play. No more digging to the bottom of a basket to find their favorite dresses. So glad I decide to re-purpose the armoire! Thanks for stopping by and for hosting Best of the Nest 🙂

  10. Jennifer, this is the sweetest dress up closet!! What a great piece to created for your daughter, I bet she was beyond excited to have her own custom dress up cabinet!! Thanks so much for sharing at Best of the Nest!

    • I am so happy with how it turned out Pam! We used to store these dresses in a basket and every time they needed one they became rumpled on the floor. This new cabinet is a dream come true. Thanks so much for stopping by and for hosting Best of the Nest! xo

  11. I absolutely adore this! I’ve been wanting to make a wardrobe for my daughter as well and now I’m feeling inspired!

    • Thank you so much Emily! It was really very easy to transform the piece. I am so glad we decided to re-purpose it and my daughter feels like a princess! Thanks for stopping by.


  1. […] You can see the other updates I did to my daughter’s room here. […]

  2. […] 5-year old was spoiled with a custom dress-up armoire that we converted from a computer […]

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