Doll Trunk / Travel Case -2

With the back and doors assembled, now we can start on the “dresser drawers”. The drawer fronts are solid stock. I chose maple as it can be finished clear and provides a pleasant contrast to the planned light grey / off white color of the paint.

Check your actual dimensions vs the drawings. The 3 drawers when stacked should have 1/16-1/8″ gaps on each side and between the drawers. Rip the drawer fronts to width. Then cross cut them apart for height. The goal is to have the grain flowing across all 3 drawers if possible. In my case I had some long narrow pieces of maple left over form the cabinet project and used them. Cut the rabbet for the bottom panel in the lower edge of each drawer front. Then cut the side panel rabbets. These rabbets will cover the ends of the plywood when the drawers are closed and provide ample glue surface as well as a self-squaring reference edge during assembly.

Rip the sides from 1/4″ plywood and the back form 1/2″ plywood or solid stock. The sides are 1/2″ shorter than the drawer front minus the 1/4″ bottom panel. This is to allow space for the drawer runners/kickers which will be glued to the cabinet sides.

Lay out the parts for the glue up. I use thick super glue / cyanoacrylate. Having an assistant spray the accelerator once you have the pieces in position is a huge help. This avoids all but finger pressure clamping.. I attach the sides to the front as the first step (use accelerator). Then the back, and finally the bottom and once the back and bottom are in place and the drawer is square, then hit it with accelerator.

Drawer parts ready for assembly
I built 4 at once (12 drawers) and it was not until the second to last drawer that I got stuck

The next step is to place the runners (1/4″x 1/2″) in the case. This is a little bit fiddly to get the spacing just right. Since I was doing mulitples, I made spacers to aid in gluing in the runners (more super glue). For a single cabinet, marking the lines with a square would be sufficient.

If using spacer blacks, do the top drawer runners first
Spacer for the middle drawer runner. Note the top kicker is also in place which is just butted up to the top. This prevents the drawer from tipping when it is pulled forward.
Test fitting the drawers

Drawers installed in all 4 cabinets.

Prior to painting, break all of the corners with sandpaper or preferably a 1/16″ radius router bit. Softening the edges gives better dent / ding resistance and just feels nice. Any gaps or edge voids should be filled with Bondo. Make small batches as it cures fast. Sand everything to 120 grit.

Cut the 1/2″ dowel for the closet rod to length. Make the closet rod support blocks from scraps (~1.75″ tall x 1″ wide x 1/2″ thick ). For the hangers we have, a 1″ space above the rod seems ideal. Drill the hold for the rod in the support blocks a bit oversize (e.g. 9/16) to ease assembly after painting.

Paint should be a water based enamel. We used Benjamin Moore INSL-X Cabinet Kote which is very durable. I do NOT recommend the BEHR enamel / trim paint as it is too soft.

Once painted the finishing touches can be applied. The closet rod is installed with CA or hot melt glue. You want the blocks to slide easily so that you can get the glue on both blocks and everything slid into place prior to the glue setting up. Similarly, the mirror is held on with hot melt glue as well. It is centered in the opening.

Now it is time to install the hardware. Start with the outside corners. Next add the hinges and latches. Then the handle and the bottom feet. All screw holes should be pre-drilled. The tiny screws easily strip or snap off.

The feet were 3D printed using TPU filament. The Sketchup and STL source files are available at: Note that for TPU you need a direct drive extruder.

Materials and suppliers

Lee Valley

00D4470(4) 25mm x 9mm BP Filigree Corners        
00D8221Pr 1-1/8″ x 1-3/16″ Snap Clasps        
00D8170Pr Brass Case Handles


1/2″ diameter knob for top and middle drawers

3/4″ diameter knob for bottom drawer #36459

Stick Fast Thick CA glue #32660

Stick Fast CA accelerator / activator #67713

House of Antique Hardware

Pair of Small Victorian Butterfly Cabinet Hinges – 1 3/8 H x 1 7/8″ W (R-08BM-1562X)


4″ beveled edge 3mm thick mirrors

Hot melt glue


Small brass colored screw assortment

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