Yesterday, I shared the pictures of Baby’s new playhouse and fairy garden. The idea is that as she grows up, she can add things she likes to it and use her imagination to make it her own space. For now, we have tried to make it as magical as possible for her. As I explained, we have two little dogs and while they are lovely dogs I want Baby to have a place, which I know is 100% safe to play. She is into everything, a real live wire and so her play area needs to be secure, safe and fun!
After the lovely comments about her new space, I wanted to share how we created this Baby friendly area.
How to personalise your Playhouse & Garden!
1. Paint – As well as to protect the wood, painting the playhouse is a great way to add character. Chose either an all over colour with a contrasting trim or two different colours on alternate slats for a cute candy cane effect. Think about painting the inside to give it a more homely feel. If your children are older get them involved in picking the colours. Maybe paint one inside wall with blackboard paint. We used pink and white for the inside and the outside. The best wood paint we found was from Wilkinsons, much better than the big brands, after LOTS of testing!
2. Think about the function – If space is limited, then use items which can be multifunctional. A toy chest with some cushions on top can double as seating. Maybe a folding table is a better idea, so it can be cleared away to allow more space for play. We found a fabulous solid wood table and two chairs for £13 from a car boot sale, which is perfect for our playhouse. We want Baby to be able to play safely, so picked up this gazebo from B&Q for £19 and it covers most of the garden.
3. Flowers/Greenery – Add window boxes or pretty pots outside to add instant colour/interest. The pastel pots I have used in the window boxes were £1 for 6 from Poundland. I have a silhouette cameo cutting machine and used vinyl on the window boxes, but it would be easy enough to use a paint tester and a stencil.
4. Soft furnishings – Curtains at the windows, a pile of cushions and some bunting all make for a perfect comfy space. Our curtains were made by my mum from a single duvet cover (£7.50 Tesco). The Pelican cushion was £4 (Tesco sale). The voile on the other window was in my stock and I staple gunned it to the wall. I don’t like the idea of curtain wires in a playhouse, so the other curtains are put up with telescopic poles (Dunelm Mill £2.99 each). The bunting I have used inside was £1 from Poundland and I staple gunned it onto the wall. I have used a section of old mattress which makes the platform area extra comfy (just needs to be covered).
5. Name it! – A great way to personalise is to make or purchase a name plaque. Your child will love to see their name on the door. I haven’t photographed our name plate for obvious reasons, but it is a little wooden plaque with Baby’s name and a hedgehog on it (purchased from an agricultural show for £5)
6. Add a postbox – I think this is a lovely idea and I am yet to find one which will go with Baby’s house.
7. Picket fence – A picket fence, painted white of course, is a must have for a girly play house. We have a small picket fence attached to the house, which came with it. Our brother in law made the other fence from old pallets. My hubby and I made the gate out of a shelving unit we no longer used.
8. Curb appeal – Adding a little bench outside and a hanging basket or lantern hanging next to the door for extra cuteness. We have a bird house (£3), a box ball (£1 car boot sale) outside, together with plants in the window boxes, some glittery butterflies and fairy lights. The wooden heart bunting was £2 from Sainsbury’s Valentine sale.
9. Ladybirds – I saw a tutorial for these ladybirds on Pinterest and knew I HAD to make them. The stones found their way into my car whilst we were at the beach. After a few coats of acrylic spray paint and some hand painting (then a lacquer), our Ladybird family were ready to be released into the garden.
10. Herb Wheelbarrow – Our little white wooden wheelbarrow was £1 from a car boot and I planted some herbs in there for two reasons; for Daddy to cook with them and also as a mini sensory garden for Baby.
11. Gnomes, Snails,Butterflies, Fairies – I think children’s garden should have these little fun additions. The gnome, butterflies and snail came from the pound shop and the fairies were at my mums house (until
Baby stole them she donated them!).
12. Windsocks – These were a couple of pound each from the beach, but add colour and interest when hung in the garden.
13. Magic Fairy Toadstool – This is one of my favourite things in the garden and it was given to us to review. Baby loves looking at the little door to see if she can see the fairies.
14. Giant Pencils – I saw these on a fellow bloggers site and thought they were a fabulous idea. The fence posts were under £3 each and again they were sprayed with acrylic paint and varnish.
15. Gate Signs – Our welcome to my garden sign was a couple of pound from Tesco and the wire Welcome nailed to the gate was from Poundstretcher.
16. Play equipment – We have a sand/water table, trampoline, slide in Baby’s garden, all bought in sales, 2nd hand or were presents. She also has a swing, which is on the other side of the garden.
17. Interior extras – I have put some old mats in the corner of the house and Baby loves to sit on them. We used the old wooden floor from our living room as an additional floor. I purchased a lovely plaque from Sainsburys sale (£2.40). I added a colour owl mat to the front door and a slate heart (which I tippexed ‘HOME’ onto) tied to the door handle.
18. Windmills – We LOVE windmills and I think they look great nailed to the side of the playhouse.
So that’s how we created our Baby’s house and garden. It took lots of hours work, but apart from the house itself, nothing cost too much money and most things were found in sales or the pound shop (which is a great place to get bits and bobs).
Do your children have a playhouse? Do you have any child friendly extra’s in your garden?
I am linking up to Karen’s