July 1, 2013

Dress-Up Closet (Or How I've Decided to Accept the Princess Phase)

Like most mothers, I want my daughters to be unique, to defy stereotypes, to be happy with their individual interests. I wanted to be like this mom who showed her daughter real life role models. I wanted Ivy to continue loving innocent non-handsome creatures, like Yoda and Count von Count. This dream of mine seemed to work nicely for the first couple of years, but recently, Ivy has been bitten by the princess bug.

I know it's not a big deal, I know, really. But I have to admit, I hoped we could skip over this interest, that maybe she'd never notice all the over-hyped, over-saturated , over-marketed Disney princess world.  Well . . . she noticed. Suddenly, she's Belle 24/7, Jared's the Beast, Maren is Chip, and me--well--I'm Mrs. Potts (seriously, Mrs. Potts! Why can't I be the sexy French feather duster?). She wants to wear a princess gown more often than not. Bedtime stories must always involve a prince and a princess. I can't kiss my husband in front of Ivy because "he's the prince!" and I'm demoted to the role of a servant instead of a mother. Actually. . . I guess that part's the same.

Of course, once your child has a passion, you can't ignore it. Because it's better to be passionate about something than nothing. I tell myself that all the time when I get carried away with seemingly silly interests. So, when your child gets so excited over something she loves that much, you've just got to go with it, right? I'm sure all the wiser mothers already know this, but I'm the slow type.

However, I still am claiming the right to embrace the princess passion in my own way.

Before Ivy's birthday, I went to D.I. (our local consignment store) and picked up three cheap fancy dresses for about $5 each (NOT the $50 Disney brand ones). I got some princess accessories from Amazon. Then I saw these Princess decals. They certainly didn't fit into the look I'm going for my girls' room, but I knew Ivy would love them.

So, I decided to turn her closet into a princess dressing room. That way, it's all there for her enjoyment, but we can hide it away for my enjoyment. I didn't want to get carried away and spend money on the closet, so I decided to only work with what I already had (which is very limited because I don't keep much extra stuff around). 

I took all the scrap wood I had . . .

. . .  and put it together (very imperfectly) and painted it to make a little shoe shelf.

I put some mirrors on the wall and hung a curtain.

I had a piece of leftover moulding from when I hacked our Ikea bookcase that was just the right size for the wall of the closet. I glued wooden knobs to it that I also already had and painted it the same color as the wall. I knew that if I made it too complicated, Ivy would never hang up her clothes, so the pegs are super easy for her to reach and use.

I also made a couple of child-sized stools from wooden barstools, but I'll do a separate post on them. Grandma was a sweetheart and got Ivy an Ariel dress with shoes and a Rapunzel hairpiece. Ivy got to help place the wall decals and she was very proud of her work.

Ivy told me she wished she had a treasure chest, so I used this mini wooden box that my brother brought home from Chile 15 years ago as a jewelry box.

The gift was well-received, inexpensive, but time consuming and of course, princess-y. It only left me the time and energy to give Ivy a simple party with cake and ice cream and a trip to the farm with Grandma and Grandpa. But she loved it all and was ridiculously excited. So, I've decided that as long as my child's grateful, sweet, and not a spoiled brat, I guess I'm okay with her being a princess. *crossing my fingers*


  1. Seriously amazing! You are so talented. I really love it and I guess you might as well (sort of) embrace her princess stage. It's temporary. Bella is no longer completely consumed by princess stuff like she once was. She enjoys wearing princess night gowns to bed but she rarely dresses up during the day anymore. And I'm pretty sure she's just as happy with her Wizard of Oz t-shirt/nightgown as she is her very fancy and expensive princess nightgowns (provided by her Mimi of course).

  2. Oh wow!! What a lucky girl! How fun.


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