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Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

I love giving my boys creative freedom on projects. Frequently I let them have access to my scrap pile. Inevitably they build little houses for their stuffed animals. This little house was designed and painted by my 8 year old for Ollie (his little stuffed octopus.) I helped him build it. If you want to build a little playhouse for your child to paint, follow along.

Before we begin, I need to back up and tell you that this project is part of The Mystery Thrift Off.

#TheMysteryThriftOff is the brainchild of Lindsey from Better After. She chose a handful of people to take part in this challenge. After scouring her local thrift shops for ugly and hopeless items, she shipped off the chosen items to those of us in the challenge. I signed up—because frankly—I love a challenge. And, I love saving ugly items from the landfill. Be sure to see some of the other Mystery Thrift Off transformations at Better After and vote for your favorite.

But, when the box arrived from Lindsey, I was terrified to open it up! I mean what if she had sent me a ceramic scabies bear!  Yikes. You can imagine my relief when I opened the box to reveal this dated Christmas village.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

Not too bad looking is it.? Truth be told, it was falling apart and the colors were hunter green, colonial blue, mauve and fleshy tan.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

I quickly pulled the three houses apart and began to transform them into A Chalkboard Arrow Sign, a Housewarming Gift Caddy and the Little Playhouse I’m going to show you today.

I began by removing some of the embellishments.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

I saved them for a future project.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

Next I sanded off the glue.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s where you can pick up the tutorial. Start by cutting a house shape into a piece of plywood or scrap wood. Cut out a doorway (the Dremel Multi-Max worked perfect for this task.)

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the house shape over and attach hinges to one side of the door and the house.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut two pieces for the sides of the house (1″ x 4″ lumber) and a back piece the same height as the house front.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Clamp the back of the house to a solid surface and attach the sides of the house with glue and finish nails.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Add a line of glue to the sides and secure the front of the house with finish nails.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Trace the outline of the house base onto a piece of thin plywood. Cut out the shape. Add a line of glue to the bottom of the house. Place the bottom on and attach it with finish nails.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach two lattice pieces to the top to support the fabric roof.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Ollie’s finished playhouse structure looked like this.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray the playhouse with spray primer. When the primer dries give your child some craft paint and brushes. A quick note about brushes: the biggest mistake people make is using cheap plastic paint brushes. If you invest in some good artist brushes (a few small round and some flat square ones), you and your child will be able to paint straighter and cleaner lines.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

After the house paint dries, cut fabric for the roof. My son chose the star fabric so Ollie would think he was looking at the sky at night ;-). Hem the fabric and staple it onto the lattice pieces.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

My son was eager to get Ollie moved in.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

He made a little bed and nightstand out of the plywood scraps.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Some little books and a welcome mat made Ollie feel right at home.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Ollie seems happy…

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

…and my son has had a lot of fun playing with his new playhouse that he designed and painted.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have any wood scraps or recycled boxes? Let your child use his or her imagination to create anything they want. Creativity is something you can never over encourage.

PHGFancySign

2 replies
  1. Lindsey@BetterAfter
    [email protected] says:

    I adore this! I’m so glad to have had you as part of the Mystery Thrift-Off! I admire your creativity so much. Your son did such a great job with his little house, this inspires me to let my kids be a lot more hands-on with my projects and scraps. The welcome mat and all the little details are so darn cute!

    Reply

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