Thursday, 26 June 2014

Pallet Play House

I'm afraid I've been missing from around here for a few days again. Everything has been far too busy. Little bits of making have been squeezed in here and there, but I just haven't managed to squeeze in time for writing here.

All of the making has been for Maria's birthday (yesterday!), but for this particular birthday a very important part of the making hasn't been mine. Back in May Soulemama wrote about this gorgeous little playhouse that her children made as a present for her littlest one. I showed the post to Theo, who, over the past year or so, has discovered a love of creating all sorts of things from the scraps of wood we have piled up in the garden. It fired up his imagination just as I'd hoped it would, and he decided to make a house for Maria for her birthday.

Theo's building techniques don't involve spirit levels or measuring or anything like that (can't think where he might get this from!), they usually involve whatever wood is to hand, a huge number of large nails and a hammer. His biggest creation has been his 'tree house'. It's very difficult to take a good photo of this, it really has to be seen to be truly appreciated!

It has one main 'room', but also a smaller downstairs area and a secret 'basement' (sort of tunnelled down into the hedge) and a hatch up on to a 'sun roof'.

Maria's house followed the same basic principles, but on a much simpler level (and thankfully on the ground!). He decided to make the house out of some old pallets.

 Initially he went for a flat roof, but then realised Maria wouldn't be able to stand up in it, so changed to a pitched roof.

He cut out sections for windows, and added shelves and a little storage compartment with a hinged lid. It was sort of impossible to keep it hidden from Maria, but she's so used to Theo banging nails into wood that she happily accepted his explanation that it was an 'extension' to his tree house. When it was finished, Theo decided that it would look good painted so we went off to buy some, taking Maria with us. We took her advice on which colours would look good, and Theo let her help him paint it - which she loved!

 At the start of the week, there was a flurry of finishing touches, especially sign painting, and then varnishing.

The building site was tidied up and it was all ready for her birthday.

You might notice the splatters of red paint all over the cream coloured wall behind - never mind! I'm half tempted to let them splatter it with all sorts of other colours too so it looks deliberate!

Theo's sign hangs permanently on the roof.

Venetia's signs can be hung up as and when required:

Maria can flip this one over if she's in the mood for running a cafe instead (she frequently is!)...

And Venetia painted a reversible 'Open/Closed' sign too.

Theo had included a 'blackboard' for Maria (we added tile grout to the paint we were using - as per instructions here at A beautiful mess). So far this has been used as a menu board.

And Maria is keeping her chalk in the little hinged compartment you can just see here...

Maria was incredibly excited to find out that the house was actually for her, and she loved all the finishing touches.

Theo had even made her a little window box with some strawberry plants in it.

The little 'screen' is a tiny solar panel! But we've now decided it might be safer up on the roof instead. It powers some little fairy lights that are strung around the house - but it's been getting dark too late for Maria to see these in action yet.

And there are a few finishing touches that we've left for Maria to do. We gave her 3 pieces of wood, with holes drilled in them for hanging, so that she can paint some 'pictures' for the walls inside her house.

It was such a special birthday present for everyone involved, and I'm very grateful for Soulemama's amazing children starting us off in the first place. Blogs really can be wonderful things!



  1. I think I "gasped with delight" about 7 times, while I was reading your post. This is delightful, adorable and wonderful, all rolled up in one.

  2. Cute! Maria looks to be a happy little homemaker! Theo is a very special big brother! I love the painted colors and the strawberries in the windowbox!

  3. I won't lie, my heart stopped a little during those first pictures. LOL! But how ingenious! To be so young and have so much vision... and Maria's space is GORGEOUS!

  4. Love it, as soon as I saw the house for Annabel I thought of Maria. Now feeling inspired for our garden!

  5. Just WOW!!!! Love Michelexxxxx

  6. Oh that's such a gorgeous present - and so very very pink and purple - I bet she's barely ever out of it!

  7. Oh, what a priceless gift!!!! Maria's little house is adorable...the color, the window box, the little solar fed lights...I love it all! So sweet that Theo let Maria help him then later surprised her with it.

  8. Oh my, how wonderful. It is adorable, all of it. Happy birthday Maria, and great work Theo :)


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