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Sunday, May 30, 2010

How I Made the Playhouse

One day last winter when I was blog-reading, I came across this idea for a felt playhouse. It’s essentially a slipcover that fits over a table (I used a card table), with an opening to go inside. The one I saw in this blog was really cute and I started following links to see what other creative ideas were out there. I loved it so much and wondered who I knew who was the right age for one of these? Immediately my niece Taylor came to mind – there were several months before her third birthday so I’d have plenty of time to create.

A few Sunday afternoons were spent cutting, sewing, and stuffing the little things. Then everything was tucked away as other projects came along with a shorter deadline. A couple of weeks before the birthday party, I got things out again and prepared to finish up.

Large sheets of posterboard were used to make a pattern the exact size of what the finished side panels would be, then the felt was cut one inch larger on top and the sides for seam allowances. Before the panels were sewn together, each was embellished with whatever scene was going on it.

There is the front door (a panel that flips up over the top to stay open) with a mailbox and flowers in the grass. A small bluebird sits atop the mailbox, but he can go anywhere on any of the panels. There are some felt pieces of “mail”, too (no photos of those) – the flap opens to reveal an opening for mail delivery.

front door

One side has a garden scene with a stalk of sweet corn (peaches and cream variety), a head of cabbage, some carrots, and a couple of radishes.


The next side has an apple tree that houses an owl. The apples can be picked and then put back on the tree.

apple tree

The fourth side has a clothesline for Taylor to hang her doll clothes. I included real clothespins. The sun is shining in the corner.


My favorite little detail is the butterflies. I used my Cricut to cut out a couple of templates. Then the templates were cut apart with one part being the wings and the other the body. I cut two wings pieces from bright colored felt for each butterfly, then sewed them together in the middle with the black body.


I also love the owl. For his eyes, I used old black buttons, but did decide to ask Angela to take those off so there’s no chance that Reese will bite one off and choke.


The playhouse fit their card table perfectly (I’d emailed Angela for the dimensions, and it was the same as mine) and the kids dove right in to playing. Taylor loved it and Angela reports that the two girls have spent lots of time in it since the party.

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Okay, so she’s cheesin’ pretty hard because I told her to smile big! :o)

Jess helped me fit the finished playhouse on the card table the night before the party, and said to me, “You know you’re making one for Bradley.” I already had plans to make one, but wasn’t sure about a theme. We’ve decided on a starry night/space/alien theme and have been planning the construction. Brad’s will hopefully be ready in time for Christmas, since it apparently takes me months to get one done. :o)


1 comment:

Kay said...

I love it! I think the only design change I would do, is some velcro loops to keep the side of the doorway attached to the table.

Going to those blogs and saving your blog post for inspiration!