The eight- and five year-old girls living next door love to play make believe. True to their art, they make several costume changes during each “show.” From princess dresses to butterfly wings, their theatrical wardrobe is extensive. So much so, that their Mommy asked me to build something to organize their apparel. Considering the number of times our household has benefited from Mommies’ cake-baking skills—mmmmm, yummy Mommy birthday cake—I was only too happy to return the favor.
Here’s what Mommy was dealing with:
When it came to materials, my watch words were “inexpensive,” “functional” and “attractive.” So I picked up two (one for each girl) pine 1” x 4” x 6’s along with a length of ¾ oak doweling to serve as pegs for duds.
Square boards are boring, so I created some edge profile options and had Mommy choose the one she liked best.
With the panels shaped, I turned my attention to cutting ¾” holes to accommodate the pegs. My prototype used a ¾” Forstner bit to cut the hole clean through. That approach, however, meant that seating the peg left a portion that protruded beyond the back face. So rather than sawing and chiseling 12 pegs flush—that’s just too much, no-fun work—I chose to drill stopped holes instead. Problem solved.
I cut the 12 pegs to 3” lengths using a piece of pine as a stop.
Now before finishing the panels, I dropped by Mommies’ place to mark the placement of the wall studs. As for height, I was looking for a Goldilocks placement—not too low (the kiddies are still growing) and not too high (both the munchkins need to reach the pegs.)
After transferring the markings to the panels, I took them to the drill press to make holes for the screws. Then countersunk them to accommodate the 3/8” plugs to cover the screw heads.
A quick sanding and two coats of wipe-on poly later the panels were ready to mount.
That done, they were ready for service.
A free-standing mirror fits between the two panels so that the girls can check themselves before going out to play.
So far, the kiddies are using it faithfully. And Mommy is happy to have a bit less clutter in a kid-cluttered house. But is she happy enough to bake a cake? Well. Shakespeare said it best. “To bake, or not to bake? That is the question.”
© 2014, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.