Peter’s Montessori-inspired, IKEA hack toddler wardrobe

We originally bought Peter a standard chest of drawers from IKEA. Most nursery furniture is really adult-sized with rounded edges to make bumps a little less painful but we figured he’d be around adult furniture in the rest of the house so there wasn’t much point in forking out the extra cash. However, as I started learning about Montessori, I fell in love with the idea of putting together his room in a way that is truly geared towards fostering his independence and him being able to make full use of the furniture as he grows. When we moved house, we adopted Peter’s chest of drawers and made him this Montessori-inspired, IKEA hack toddler wardrobe.

It was really simple and quite inexpensive when compared to traditional nursery items or ready-built Montessori furniture. In all, we spent about £80 making the wardrobe.

We used this tutorial as our guide and added a few decorative details

The base of the wardrobe is a 2×2 Kallax unit from IKEA, but when constructing it you leave off the shelf on one side. Then fit in two sets of the double drawers.

The handles on the drawers are quite small and fiddly, not great for little hands to try and grab. Instead we bought a bucket of small toy dinosaurs, spray painted them mint green, and used this tutorial to create adorable, custom drawer pulls.

The clothes rail is made from a small, spring-loaded curtain rail. The hangers are the children’s sized ones from IKEA, again spray painted green.

Originally I’d planned to cover a piece of board with fun wallpaper and attach it to the back of the wardrobe so that it would be visible behind Peter’s hanging clothing. However, we had some of the decals we’d used in his room leftover, so I attached those to the wall instead.

The drawers are small so I’ve being try to fold his clothes Marie Kondo style (ish – I’ve never read the book) to get things to fit. This will also make it easier to see what’s in each drawer when he’s big enough to choose his own clothing (for now I give him the choice between two outfits). Having a smaller selection of clothing also makes it easier for toddlers to pick out their own outfits independently. There’s a drawer for vests/onesies, one for shirts, one for trousers, and one for pyjamas. And on top, a basket  for socks and one for nappy changing supplies.

I absolutely love how it turned out. It fits the fun, colourful vibe we’ve been going for in Peter’s room and the fact that it’s designed with his needs in mind feels really good.

Montessori-inspired, IKEA hack toddler wardrobe

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