Clara’s Princess Dress-Up Closet PLUS $150 Old Navy Giveaway!

With a small budget, some fun costumes and accessories from Old Navy and a little paint, I turned a boring white closet into a pretty pink dress-up nook for my little girl.

WE HAVE A WINNER! Go to the bottom of the post for more.

Okay, so before you get all “Ugh, pink princess, haven’t you read any Peggy Orenstein lately?” let me explain: I have four boys, followed by a girl. The girl was born 12 years after the oldest boy. That’s a lot of years of pent-up longing for pink, tulle, and sparkles.

I’m reigning it in as much as I can. For example, I’ve decided to paint her bedroom yellow, not pink. And when we recently went shopping for a quilt for her bed, I passed up this fluffy pastel Pottery Barn wonder, despite the fact that it is on sale AND called the Clara, for goodness’ sake.

I do have some self-control.

But even as we plan a remarkably pink-free bedroom makeover for our only little girl, a small part of me longed to create a truly girly-girl nook somewhere.

So when Babble asked if I’d like to be part of Old Navy’s Kids & Baby Sale promotion, I had an inspiration:

Old Navy = fun accessories, sparkly skirts, fairy costumes and tutus

Fun accessories, sparkly skirts, fairy costumes and tutus + largely under-used closet + pink paint = Clara’s Princess Dress-Up Closet.

A perfect solution to my lust for tulle and sparkles and girly stuff! Clara’s closet hadn’t been filling any real purpose: it was full of luggage, a vacuum cleaner, and a few of our dress clothes. She doesn’t have many hang-up clothes, so I had never been sure how to use the space.

Now I had a plan. I headed out to Old Navy to see what fun stuff I could get to turn Clara’s boring closet into a fun, girly little hideaway. Answer: plenty. And they aren’t kidding about this “baby sale” stuff. Everything, from socks to boots to dresses to sweaters to outerwear is on sale; lots of it ridiculously cheap.

Oh, and Halloween costumes, too. 25% off!

So I came home with this:

and this…

and this backpack, just because it was too cute to pass up.

Okay, and a few more tights and socks ($5 and $1)…can never have too many of those.

And maybe a pair of boots or two and a couple of dresses and a silver sparkle skirt. Hey, with a sale like this, it took a lot of shopping to spend my $150 budget!

After swinging through Lowe’s for a can of pink paint (yes, the color is called “princess”, whaddyawannamakeofit?) and a wall mirror, it was time for the closet transformation to begin. And what a transformation! We started with this:

And in just a few hours, it was completely different.

When Clara saw it for the first time, she said “Ohhh, my! My pretty tloset!”

She made a beeline for the butterfly costume.

I’m not sure I should have gotten such a big mirror. She spent an awfully long time looking at herself in it.

dress and boots also, adorably, from Old Navy

Clara was a big fan of the Christmas lights we used to brighten up the closet. It has no light, and the LED tap lights we tried just didn’t work in the space – their light was too dim, plus their blue-ish glow is harsh and kind of eerie. The Christmas lights were perfect – they give the closet a warm, fairyland feeling.

When big brother Owen asked for a turn, she happily changed into a bumblebee. Of course, ten seconds later she wanted to be the butterfly again. And see what she’s doing in this picture? That’s basically what she’s been doing all.day.long.

Yes, honey. You look very pretty. But smart, too. Really, really smart.

Does your child like to play dress-up – at Halloween or any old time of the year?

I’ve got a $150 Old Navy gift card to give away to one reader. Just leave a comment – with an email address so I can contact you if you win! – letting me know what you’d use your gift certificate for. Or feel free to tell me how cute my kid is; that works, too. The winner will be chosen randomly, so it won’t count as bribery. Promise.

Contest will close on Thursday, September 23 at 5 PM EST and I’ll announce a winner in this post by noon Friday. Contest open to residents of the United States and Canada. Good luck!

The winner of the $150 Old Navy Gift Card has been chosen randomly using Random.org. Here’s the winning comment:

Congrats Leisa! I’ll be in touch soon. Thanks to everyone who entered!

This post is brought to you by Old Navy. Check out the Kids & Baby Sale in store with great deals starting at $5. I was compensated for participating in this promotion, but nobody could pay Clara enough to take off her butterfly costume.


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