Make Believe Play Dress Up Boxes

I have decided to create Make Believe Play Dress Up boxes for our 2 grand-nieces. I did this for the (now) older girls years ago and thought it would be perfect for the little girls this Christmas.

My sister and I had dress up boxes at our grandmother’s house. We made a beeline to those boxes every time we were over there. They were full of old prom dresses, jewelry, eyeglasses, shoes, and all sorts of great stuff. My sister and I pretended we were ballerinas and danced around while our mom played the piano. We pretended to be all sorts of things. We played with those boxes up until I was close to 10 years old. There are tons of photos of the 2 of us playing dress up. I know there are home movies of our “ballet productions” as well.

I am not a fan of the commercialized dress up boxes you can buy nowadays.  It is incredibly easy to create a simple pretend play dress up box for very little money and a tiny bit of work. Best of all, it is fun!

(the emptied out dress up boxes – 1 pink & 1 blue)

The first thing you do is make a list of all the type of dress up clothes and accessories you want to include in your box.  I include a wedding veil, jewelery box or bag with play jewelry, some plastic dress up shoes, scrub tops, old fashioned lacy nightgowns, a feather boa, some hats, a tutu, scarves, skirts, etc. Whatever you think a little girl would want goes!

Next you get a container to put all the clothes and things in. I use The Container’s Store Our Bold Box but any type of large container that closes would work. 

Then the real fun begins. I hit up the local dollar stores for fun accessories like plastic jewelry and dress up shoes. You can get feather boas also at a dollar store or a craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.  Left over beads from any parade work well.  I also look for a wand and a tiara to add into the box.

I also make the rounds of local thrift stores. I pick up old fashioned fancy lacy nightgowns and robes. I also pick up slips and camisoles. I’ve bought some old fashioned cocktail/prom gowns too. I’ve found scrubs, hats, scarves, and all sorts of things at thrift shops.

Most of what I pick up I then modify. I add lace, ribbons, pearls, glue on sequins, etc. to slips to turn them into wedding gowns. I shorten most of the gowns but still leave them long for little girls. I have turned pillowcases into dresses or skirts. This is a great way to use up scraps of lace and other trimmings.

All this week I will be showing what kind of items I’ve found and modified. I’ll try to remember to take photos so you can see what steps I’ve taken to change a polyester pillowcase into a dress with sequins and lace on it.

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