I've wanted dressing frames for a while. I thought about buying some, but they were surprisingly hard to find and not particularly cheap. Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years presented them like it would be easy to make your own by sewing buttons and such on left-over material, but that seemed way too ambitious for me. I can sew a button on just fine, but I didn't want the hassle of making button holes! I hadn't decided what to do when I happened across this post. I was inspired to make my own because she made it seem pretty simple just using old clothes.
I already had a bunch of old frames at home and I pulled a few baby clothes out. Then, while my mom was in town, we hit Goodwill. I picked up a few belts, some larger frames, and a shirt with big buttons. A few days later, we had these:
It was easy enough to remove the glass and backs from the frames. It was a little more complicated to attach them than I had anticipated. I started with a staple gun, but the staples weren't going into the frames. Kansas Dad bought some brads for the gun, but those didn't go all the way in, either. (You may be able to see where we hammered them down a bit.) The best way I found to attach the clothes to the frames: Aleene's Tacky Glue, which you should be able to find at any superstore or crafts store.
Did you notice the great fish one in the corner?
I bought some hooks at the craft store and my mom sewed them on to scraps from an old pair of jeans. (Thanks, Kansas Dad, for giving up a work pair!) Then she cut the fish from some material we had bought to make mystery bags (worth a post all their own) to make a fun surprise for the kids when they finishing unhooking.
My mom contributed quite a bit since she had brought some frames, paid at Goodwill, and sewed the hooks and eyes for me. I would not have tackled so many without her help. I think we would have been fine with one set of buttons and one set of snaps, but I'm happy to have all the variety. First Daughter loves them, or at least the big button one she can do easily.
Not counting the stuff we already had at home, I think we spent around $7 for all the materials. Once I decided to use the glue, each one took only minutes to put together and a bit of time for the glue to dry. Now, if only I could get First Son to take a crack at those buttons and zipper!