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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dressed for Success

Just incase you missed me over at Making The World Cuter, here is my guest posting project... 

I have had this project swimming around the murky waters of my brain for quite some time.  I wanted a fun way for my 2 year old to get dressed and thought this idea would work.  Do you have a sweet child that can't seem to get ready and out the door for the school bus?  They can't find socks...shoes...underwear...You name It!  I am thinking this cute little clothing stand will solve all of our problems on those rushed mornings, while adding a little bit of fun.

I actually made two versions.  A (literally) stripped down version, then my dolled up girly-girl version

We will start with the stripped down version.  I began with some strips of 1x2 (only $0.89 at our local Home Depot), 10 painted clothespins, two wooden cutouts of my son's hands (you can use chipboard if you don't have a saw), a head (printed on cardstock and modge podged to wood or chipboard-you could even use foam core if you have some handy), and lastly but not in my picture, a base-mine was made from 1x12" pine.
Now, when I got the thing all put together I discovered a couple things that needed to be slightly bigger/smaller.  The measurements in this post are updated to the measurements I would use if I were to make this project again.  You can use my crazy figuring, or measure your own child.  Whatever works for you.

Your cut list:
1x2- body-40", arms- 1@24", hips-1@12"
1x12- for base-15"
Cut out hands and head
I started out by attaching the 40" board to the base.  My husband recommends a block nailed to the back of the board and into the base to make the thing more sturdy and durable.  Also, you don't want the "body" board right in the middle of the base.  Make sure when attaching the "body", to attach it about 3-4" from the back of the base.  That will ensure the whole thing will stay standing when the center of gravity is changed with the addition of clothing. 

Next, I laid the board down on the table and placed the arm and hip boards where they go, 24" for the arms and 12" for the hips, and nailed into place.  I used my nail gun, but regular nails would work just fine.
Now, the clothespins were not my best friend.  I took them apart for painting...would not recommend it.  They are very hard to get back together.  When nailing on the boards, I twisted them so they were still together, but I could nail once in front of and once behind the hinge like in this picture.  That seemed to work and I didn't have to go through putting them back together all over again :0) 

Once all of the clothespins are in place, you can start loading your clothes.
Ummm, disregard the dirty socks.  They were the only ones I could find in his disheveled room in the middle of the dark night.  You can rest assured, however, that the briefs are clean!
Load your undies, socks, undershirt, then add your over clothes.  Or, you could load in reverse order so that the clothes are in the order you put them on. Whatever you prefer!
Whew!  That is much less embarrassing!

Now for my "Dolled Up" model.

You can add dimension to the hair by simply sewing lines in it before sewing the pieces together.  The piggies I was going to turn inside out, but decided I liked them with that sewn border.  Go ahead and stuff the piggies.
Your supplies for our little lady:
1x2- arms-1@24",  Hips-1@10", legs-2@20", head stick- 1@16"
1 body-I made a pattern and cut out of 1/8" wood
(you could also use chipboard or foam core)
10 clothespins
a base-1x12" pine 15" long
one felt head
various ribbons and bows
Lay your little lady out on a table and position everything where you want it.  Again, I used my nail gun, but good old hammer and nails work great.  I attached everything to the underwear, then turned the whole thing over and nailed from the backside as well.
This is what she looked like from behind. 
Attach the clothespins in the same twisty fashion as shown up above.  I went with as many clothespins as I did in order to accommodate cold weather layering or, like here in Arizona, the much smaller skimpy clothes we must wear to survive the heat.  The one thing I would tell you when placing your clothespins is to measure with some of your child's own clothing.  My kids were sleeping and rather than risking a tragic wake-up, I just guessed.  Not recommended!  The clothespins ended up just a little too close - All avoidable by having an actual outfit on hand :0)
Now for decorating the face!  I use REAL BLUSH!  It works wonders!  I even use real blush on my wood crafts.  It turns out so much more natural than paint.  Blush those cheeks, dab some paint on the end of a paintbrush for eyes, hot glue on a piece of ribbon or yarn for the mouth. 
Finally, I added ribbons on all of the clothespins and tied some ribbon onto the pigtails to give my hairbows a resting place too.  You know you don't have a complete outfit without hairbows :0)
Once she is all together, it's time to play dress-up!

There you go!  A home for your outfits the night before you wear them.  What else can you use this for?  They work great as a project holder for all of those precious paper creations.
  Leave off the clothes pins and use the arms to hold headbands and necklaces.  Hang ribbon down the arms and keep your hairbows on the ribbon.  Put velcro on the body and make huge paper doll clothes :0) Oh!  You could put it in the front seat of your car, in a booster seat of course, and drive in the carpool lane!  See, you NEED to make one!

Thanks again for letting me show off my project. 


The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker
at http://sewcakemake.blogspot.com

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