Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One More Present! Felt Playhouse

If you read craft blogs, you've seen these before and you will know just how pathetic my attempt at it is. I lost steam at 11 pm on Christmas Eve, but Talya loves her playhouse. If you google felt playhouse or card table play house, you'll find some really talented people out there make some really great things. The idea is to make a sort of slip cover for a card table that will turn it into a house.

However, we don't have a card table, and Taly's a tall girl and I didn't think she'd have a lot of fun in a 3-foot high box. Instead, I (yes I, not Ben, miracle I didn't cut a finger off) sawed some PVC pipe to size and built my own house frame. There was no way to hide it for a month, so the kids played with PVC pipe for weeks, having no idea what the final product would be.

I used this no-sew method to make the slip cover. It's kind of like making those tie blankets that seemed so clever several years ago. Then I started gluing. And gluing. I think I used a bajillion glue sticks. I made an apple tree with removable apples, windows, a door, a mailbox....

...and a garden. I was inspired by Lier at ikat bag over a year ago to make this garden but when we got our referral for Charlie, I put all crafty thoughts aside. At the time I began a furious search for pool noodles since high density foam is so expensive. I finally found some (it was winter) and kept them in our garage for months while Ben asked me every other minute if he could throw them away. Finally, summer came and there seemed to be no plans to make a garden so I let Ben take them to Lake George and store them in the shed full of pool noodles.

After a few months went by, the weather turned cold, pool noodles disappeared from the shelves of every store, and I decided to make a garden. I sent my dad on a mission into the Pool Noodle shed and he rescued them for me and kept them in Philadelphia until I could come them. You can imagine his annoyance when I left Philly without the pool noodles and he had to mail them to me (along with 60 other things I forgot).

But it was all worth it! I love the garden. Lier has a much cuter version, but if you want to do it quick and dirty like I did, here's a quick run-down:

  1. Cut the pool noodles so you can jam them tightly into a box. Cover them in brown felt.
  2. Realize the box is ugly and cover that in brown felt too.
  3. Make flowers. Tutorials abound - here's a good summary.
  4. Double up pipe cleaners and glue them to the flowers for stems.
  5. Plant your flowers.

I vow to decorate the inside... someday.

Oh, and I'm not going to do another whole post for this, but don't think I didn't make Charlie something too.... I raided my friends' recycling bins of tin cans of all sizes. Then washed them, removed sharp edges, primed and painted and sealed, and he got these adorable blocks. He likes to throw them at people. Which, really, it's better to be hit with an empty tin can than a traditional wooden block. Everybody wins.



Mom said...

So glad to see pictures of it up close. You did an amazing job!

Meaghan said...

susie!! i had no idea you had a blog! thanks for the comment! it'll be fun keeping up with you guys through blog world ;)

The Lembright Family said...

Okay seriously Susie...who needs Family Fun Magazine when I can just chekc your blog for amazing ideas (that will probably never quite materialize on my end!) I miss you and love keeping up with your crew (and your crafty creations) through this! Hoping we will see you guys this summer!

DrMommy said...

Lady, you need to stop apologizing -- you're amazing! I am so inspired by your ingenuity and craftiness!