Bob’s House – Closets & Wardrobes

So your dollhouse or roombox is built and wired and you’ve finished the ceiling, walls and floors. You have a few pieces of furniture and some nice accessories in hand too. What’s next?


Before you start furnishing the room consider the realism and character a closet, or pantry adds to the room. Instead of a plain, square box, your room can look like a real thing with the addition of this one simple feature! In this next photo you can see how plain the bed looks in a square box of a room. It looked far more real after the closet was installed!

Building my closet was so easy and quick that I did not think to take photos, so I’ll just describe what I did.

I chose to build my closet into a corner, therefore I only needed to make two closet walls and put a door into one of them. I used two 4″ wide planks of basswood purchased at Hobby Lobby for my closet walls but you can use foamboard or MDF or whatever you have on hand. Simply measure the height of your room and cut your walls to that length.

Next, decide how wide and deep you want your closet to be. I had a basic six panel door measuring 3-3/8″W so I needed my front panel to be wider than the width of my door. I cut my front panel to 1/2″ wider than my door and then cut my side panel to 3-1/8″W. My closet is quite generous but you can easily make yours smaller or larger simply by cutting your front and side panels to suit your needs.

With my front and side panels cut to the right height, I cut out the opening for the door into the front panel. I then wallpapered the insides of both closet walls, painted the door (inside and out) and added door knobs. Lastly I glued the door into the opening of my front panel. I now had a front panel, wallpapered inside with a painted door glued into place and a side panel, wallpapered inside. At this point you will want to resist the urge to glue the front and side panels together because you will not be able to install them as an assembled unit (Google “Pythagorean theorem” to learn why).

Next, simply glue the side panel into place and then glue a small dowel, left to right, to hang your mini clothes and add a stripwood board above the dowel for a shelf. It’s starting to look like a closet! Glue the front panel with door to the wall and to the cut edge of the side panel. Voila! The easiest closet ever.

If you want a light inside, simply install lighting before installing the two closet walls.

The inside of my closet was so spacious I decided to use it as a small hall instead! I installed a false door on the back wall, mounted a hurricane lamp on the wall for realism and added baseboard molding. The abandoned vacuum cleaner inside adds to the realism. Mother left it there in haste as she raced off to take the bread out of the oven!

I will add a closet to this room too (in the opposite corner on the back wall) but at this stage family were visiting and I wanted to share Bob’s House with them so I chose to table the project. Everyone asks where the second door leads to. The answer? You decide, it’s up to your imagination!

When making the pantry below stairs in Bob’s House, I used strip wood to line the walls and it looks like real lumber! To make a realistic closet interior simply line the inside walls with stripwood. It’s easy!

Little Bob’s closet was an entirely different installation thanks to an idea I had to transform a wardrobe into a closet!

The wardrobe provided space to hang clothes and had drawers but Dad had said there were built-in shelves above his closet. To achieve this, I decided to frame the wardrobe on three sides and build shelves above it to make it appear as one unit. I grabbed a few sheets of the same grooved wood flooring I had leftover from the floors and got to work framing the wardrobe. I used scored sheeting by Midwest Products found in most craft stores.

At first I couldn’t decide which corner to place it in so I put the furniture into the room and dry fit the pieces of my closet into both corners. That helped me decide where the closet should go. I then wallpapered the room (and installed crown molding – oh no!).

For the back, I cut the flooring to the same width of the wardrobe and the same height as the room (minus the crown molding, ugh!). Once again, in my grief, I had made a mistake. I installed the crown molding in the room before installing the closet! Undaunted, I carved the crown molding around the closet to butt up flush against the existing crown molding. It wasn’t easy but I persevered! I’m intentionally pointing out my faux pas on this project to encourage those of you in the same situation. Expect these types of errors and don’t let grief stop you from pushing forth!

For the sides I cut the flooring the same depth as the wardrobe and the same height as the room (minus the crown molding). With the flooring cut, I framed the wardrobe on three sides, (left, right and back) with the grooves in the sheet flooring facing into the room.

I glued the back panel directly onto the wall in the corner of the room. I then glued the left side panel to the left wall of the room. Next I glued the wardrobe flush against both sides and lastly I glued the right side panel flush against the side of the wardrobe. After the assembly was dry, I cut strip wood to size for the shelves and painted the assembly the same color as the shiplap would be. I chose not to paint the inside of the wardrobe and drawers and left them natural. Lastly, I installed the carved-out crown molding and then added thin quarter-round molding to both sides of the closet.

The unmarked wardrobe was beautifully handcrafted making this closet a OOAK. My father loved books and soon the shelves will be filled with the books he enjoyed, a few games and other items he was interested in. For now, a loon and moose occupy the shelves in homage to his affinity with Maine and the many outdoor sports he pursued there.

Next up, painting wicker and creating chicken wire for a farmhouse cabinet!

♥ Robin

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IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell

About - IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell

Crown Jewel Miniatures by IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell. Fine 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures in ultimate realism! My blog is a compendium of new art, announcements, and advice on creating miniature food for the dollhouse and 1:12th scale shops, stores and scenes.
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