I am a former healthcare & human resources administrator. I am also a mother, social worker, dream interpreter, and writer.
Searching for baby shower decorations and gift ideas? A baby shower closet or a baby shower clothesline are both decorative and a practical way to present many baby clothes as a gift to the mom-to-be.
Presenting baby clothes on a clothesline at a baby shower is more common. It displays the clothes and acts as a wall decoration. Not all party locations allow you to hang decorations and some are not configured well for display of a clothesline. A baby shower closet is a cute alternative to the clothesline that allows you to place it anywhere in the room and select more practical or plain clothes, since each outfit is not on display as a decoration.
The closet can even be something the is re-used later on. Perhaps when that little one is a toddler he or she would want to use it for toys, dolls, or dress-up costumes!
- large sturdy box (note: This is a computer supplies box. Boxes can be all sizes but the width needs to feed your hangers and the height needs to fit the length of the clothes you will be hanging)
- wooden closet rod
- saw (to cut wooden closet rod to size) and measuring tape
- packing tape
- wooden or decorative knobs
- plastic sheets (to protect floors)
- paint (must be acceptable for use on paper. Choose either spray paint or a small can of paint with a 2- 2.5 inch brush)
- extra screws (optional but recommended)
- power drive (optional but recommended)
- baby hangers (optional if clothing already has a hanger)
- baby closet dividers (optional)
- baby clothes and accessories
Step 1: Cover Holes With Packing Tape
The box you chose may not look perfect. Keep in mind you will be painting over anything ugly. Use packing tape on ripped parts of the box, holes, and other areas in which paint would not be able to adhere to or areas that are not very secure.
This box, for example, needed tape around the flaps since they were ripped when the box was originally opened.
Step 2: Install Hardware
Install all the hardware you would like to be painted. If you have purchased decorative hardware, install this last. It is recommended you still make your necessary holes, etc. do avoid any marks when making holes after the closet is painted.
How to Install a Wooden Closet Rod Video
Step 2a: Install Closet Rod
When installing the closet rod, keep in mind this is a decorative project. You can follow the instructions that come with the cheapest kit you can find. On this baby shower closet, I used a kit that came with plastic end caps. This is normally not recommended for a closet in your home but it is certainly acceptable on a cardboard closet!
Tip: once the closet rod is installed to your satisfaction, drill a screw from the outside of the box directly into the wooden rod for extra security during travel.
Step 2b: Installing Knobs
Follow the instructions included with your knobs. Here, I purchased wooden knobs I wanted painted with the rest of the closet. If you purchased decorative knobs you want to keep clean, I recommend installing them last.
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Since the cardboard is thinner than a cabinet door, the screw may not lay flush. You can either find a screw that is shorter than the knob or, if using the screws that came with the knob and you realize it is loose, you can use a twistee or rubberband to make it tighter. Since I later paint over it and it is inside the closet, it will not show once finished.
Tips for Selecting Paint Colors
For a baby shower, it is best to use very light pastels. Keep in mind paint dries darker. The paint used here was called ballet slipper. When wet, it looked white. When dry, it was very much pinker. Any darker would have looked like bubble gum.
Suggested Paint Colors:
- very light pink (usually called ballet slipper)
- very light blue (blue can be tricky, look at sky blue, baby blue, light blue, peekaboo blue)
- very light green
- very light yellow
Step 3: Paint
Paint closet in a well-ventilated area and protect all surfaces with plastic coverings. Here, I used spray paint acceptable for use on paper. This required many coats and I used 4 cans of spray paint. I would suggest either using a primer for use on paper (read labels!) then spray paint or buy a small can of paint and use a 2" or 2.5" brush.
If using spray paint: keep coats thin to prevent drip marks. The first couple of coats may not look good. It is better to have many thin coats then one thick coat of color.
If using paint and brush: keep coats thin and even. use brush to catch any drips.
Ensure drying time in between coats.
Pay close attention to areas that will be showing the most- doors, top, bottom back. The inside will be covered with clothes and does not need to be perfect.
Step 4: Fill the Closet With Clothes and Accessories
Fill your closet with clothes and accessories. I recommend buying a few different sizes and including pajamas, playwear, outerwear, hats, socks, booties and bibs. Here are my suggestions:
- Newborn: Most babies only fit in this size for a couple of weeks. If you want to buy anything newborn, you may want to consider separates that can be worn before the umbilical cord stump falls off. Most new moms could tell you their baby outgrew newborn onesies before they were able to wear them.
- 0-3 months: I would recommend comfortable clothes for this size made of cotton. The clothes should be appropriate for the season when the baby will reach at about 1-2 months. Hats and socks are good for this age. Having clothes that can be layered is best. NOTE: This size is the same as 3 months.
- 3-6 months: The clothes should be appropriate for the season when the baby will reach at about 4 months. NOTE: 6 months is 3-6 months.
- 6-9 months: The baby may start to wear jackets instead of using blankets around this age. The clothes should be appropriate for the season when the baby will reach at about 7 months. NOTE: 9 months is 6-9 months.
- 9-12 (or 6-12) months: Shoes (maybe size 4) are good for this age. The clothes should be appropriate for the season when the baby will reach at about 10 months. NOTE: 12 months is 9-12 months or 6-12 months. 6-12 months and 9-12 months are usually the same size. Sometimes 6-12 months may be a little smaller.
Other Uses: Bridal Shower Lingerie Closet
This project could also be used as a bridal shower lingerie closet. I would recommend painting the closet either white, pearl, or the same color of the bridesmaid dresses.
The box size will limit the length of nighties you could choose for this project. You could hang a variety of lingerie and cover the bottom with fancy slippers and sandals.
- Gently secure closet closed with a decorative bow or baby headband. Even if you do not need this while transporting, the mom-to-be may appreciate it.
- Did this project not come out right? Consider wrapping the box with wrapping paper or even wallpaper.
- The closet can either stand on its own on the floor or be placed on a shelf or table.
- Consider practicing on a box you will not use for this project.
- Accessories can either be taped to the bottom of the closet or placed in a bag prior to display.
- Have more crafty energy? Use glue, double-sided tape or a glue-gun and adhere scrapbooking details and other decorations of your choice! If you a really handy, strips of ribbon on the seams will finish the closet nicely.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Sue B. (author) on April 14, 2013:
Thank you so much for the comments! I hope it was useful for you both.
Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on April 14, 2013:
That is an adorable and clever idea! I'm sharing it. I have never seen anything like this!
Christine Miranda from My office. on September 14, 2012:
Cute idea! Hub is laid out well and is easy to follow. Voted up & more.