A few year ago, my mom gave these beautiful, delicate little wooden German dolls from Käthe Wohlfahrt to my daughter for Christmas. She was 3. Needless to say, I had to watch her like a hawk with them. When the holidays ended that year, I opted to store them away with the Christmas decorations. Ever since then, the flower children have only come out in December with the the Christmas decorations. This year I decided to try to find a way to display them year-round and keep them safe.
I thought I would probably find something at IKEA, and they did not disappoint. Their Kasseby display case has a hinged front with a magnetic latch for easy access, and happens to be just large enough to fit my daughter's doll collection stacked three high. It doesn't come with shelves, though, so it was time for a little hack.
Initially I thought I would use some balsa wood from the craft store, but that would have involved priming and painting. Then, as I was unpacking the Kasseby from it's box, I realized that the white cardboard it came in was in very good shape, and the ends of the box had a nice, crisp edge to them. Good enough for me! I cut them off with scissors, then measured the inside width and depth of the display case, and cut them with a carpet knife. I tried to be precise as possible, and I wound up with a very snug fit.
Next, I put some white glue on the insides of the cardboard pieces, and plopped the heaviest book I could find on top while it dried. For some reason, the glue worked well on one piece, but not the other. I wound up digging out some double-sided tape that was left over from one of those plastic window insulation kits (sometimes it pays to be a pack rat). That worked like a charm.
If you do go with glue, be sure not to use too much. If you over-saturate the cardboard, you could wind up ruining it.
Since the cardboard pieces fit so snugly in the case, they actually stayed up on their own, but I knew I needed to brace the shelves with something to keep them from slipping over time. You can buy white or clear plastic tiny shelf brackets at any home improvement store, but I didn't feel like getting the drill out. Since the dolls are pretty lightweight, I dug through my stash and found these little self-sticking rubber pads that came with my IKEA Betydlig curtain rod brackets.
I cut one of the thinner pieces into quarters with my carpet knife (I recommend not being lazy like me and putting a nice, sharp blade in your knife).
I fitted the shelves into the case and double checked the placement with a measuring tape. When everything was in place I just stuck the rubber pieces right under the edge of each shelf. I do reserve the right to go back and use a more permanent, cosmetically pleasing solution in the future.
And here we are! Free shelves for our IKEA Kasseby, now a lovely little display case for my daughter's Käthe Wohlfahrt collection.