Friday, April 13, 2012

the playhouse I never had

Let me take you back about four years ago, if you don't mind, when we decided to build a playhouse.  I'll begin by confessing that this is one of those cases where the Mother wants to give her daughter the one thing she never had (but always wished she did) as a little girl and is simply convinced that her daughter will absolutely adore it.  I suspect that we all do this, on various levels.  Mine manifested itself in a playhouse.  After convincing Hank that he could have it for a shoot shack after the kids had outgrown it, we were on our way. 

The playhouse is roughly eight feet by eight feet, set on pavers.

Construction went along smoothly, and the kids had a good time getting in Dad's way.

Hank cut down an old interior door to approximately four feet in height and salvaged some leftover shingles from the woodshop.  He added a touch of whimsy with the crooked chimney.  And I promptly planted daisies.

And as with most projects around here, Hank does the building and the girls do the painting.

Once the outside was finished, complete with clothesline, it was time to do the interior!

Now this was where I really fulfilled my childhood wish of having a playhouse.  I scrounged old mismatched parts and asked Hank to build a table and armchair which, of course, I painted.  The brown ladder back chair was mine as a little girl.  I sewed a tablecloth and lace curtains for the three windows.

We were given a small cupboard from our neighbor.  The metal dishes were mine as a child, and every time I empty a salt box or can of baking powder, it is regulated to the playhouse grocery supply.  This kitchen is complete with hotpads and aprons!  And the wooden swing that Hank had built when the kids were babies was perfectly retro-fitted with legs and a drop down tray for a dolly high chair.
Homemade wooden baby cradles were a must for Bluebell, Heidi and Boy Baby. The bed was made by my dad; bedding sewn by my mom.  And the cradle was made by a cousin.
And of course 'Playing House' would not be the same without a few cleaning supplies and ironing board.  My daughter asked for the Dirt Devil vac at Christmas when she was three.  What a hoot seeing her all done up in pink princess dress-up clothes, vacuuming the kitchen!
It has been so much fun decorating this little house, and every mother that comes over just gushes that she would have loved one as a child, too.  Unfortunately, my daughter isn't so much the pink princess these days, but turning into more of a tomboy.  Dresses are only for church now, she says.  Both my children are still small enough to fit in this house, and we have snack time here in the summer.  They do like to pick a pot full of thyme and mint from the herb garden and 'make soup.'  But as every child will do, they are growing up.  These carefree summer days go so fast.  That four foot high door shrinks before your eyes and knees bump the tabletop. But while I can, I plan to eat lots of fruit snacks out here!


  1. That is just amazing. You guys make wonderful things together! What lucky children you have- they are obviously so loved. The time you put into the details on this little house is just awe inspiring.

  2. You are such a good mama! What an adorable play house. What wonderful memories. True, those summer days go by fast. We too built a play house for our girls - I say we but mean my husband. Our girls spent many a day out there and even had slumber parties and slept out there. My girls are 20 & will be 18 (4/23) - now I use it for garden storage - but, I have plans to use it this year for a "cold" storage for my started plants. Enjoy yours as long as you can and your kids will let you.... :) Blessings from Ringle.

  3. Oh my! That looks like a magazine feature! You are so talented and your kiddos are blessed.

  4. I did have a playhouse as a kid, but yours is SO much sweeter!

  5. How lovely. I always wanted one too. I had a friend with rich grandparents who bought her one and we would spend hours in it and beg to sleep in it at night. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Your gals sure are lucky!

  6. I LOVE it! It is really lovely.

    When I was a kid, I had a "clubhouse". Basically it was a box on stilts with a hole cut out for a door and window. No furnishings, just bare walls. I loved that house. I would make mudpies and pretend rocks were food.

    Your girls have definitely got it better. I'd never leave!

  7. I wanted a playhouse when I was a kid and my dad wired together some pallets he was going to use for firewood. It was not very enjoyable. Yours looks enjoyable!!!! Very nice.

  8. This has to be the best playhouse. Ever.
    It's the attention to detail that's so so fabulous - the dresser and the wooden baby cradles, even down to planting the daisies.
    I would have loved to have played Calamity Jane in this house :-)
    Just. Wow.

  9. What lucky, lucky kids but you'd just better watch out, they may decide to never grow up. I really enjoyed seeing all the love and care you put into this play house. What magical memories you are building.

  10. Absolutely adorable! The memories that will be made there will last a lifetime...for all of you.

  11. You all have done a wonderful job! I think you should start a side business!

  12. Oh my what a lovely playhouse~I know the feeling.. I have been down this road before too. Now that my children are older, the wendyhouse is used for our farmyard chickens to sleep in. I can just imagine the lovely warm Summer days you'll be spending there.

    Warm regards

  13. Oh my gosh! I love this! I think my daughter would be absolutely in love with a place to call her own outside! Unfortunately, we have to build a house for the chickens first...maybe there will still be time to do this as well.

  14. WOW! Absolutely beautiful, well done. Childhood-me is gazing on with envy! Lucky kids. :)

  15. That looks AWESOME! Your kids are going to love it!


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