Sunday, June 22, 2008

Card Table Playhouse Tips

I used our piano bench and made a home for puppies and dolls that match the girls new playhouse. This playhouse was much, much easier and much quicker to make because I didn't add any windows. I opted to make a tent style door with two panels instead of the door flap like in the playhouse. It was a breeze to make while Gwen napped.

I thought I would post a How To Make A Card Table Playhouse with tips and hints for those curious minds out there. I tried to find some for myself when I was making mine, but didn't come up with any. So I didn't use a pattern or a tutorial for my English Cottage Playhouse. I would love to include a tutorial, but I don't have a plan to make one again any time soon, so I'll just share with you the basics from what I learned from doing mine. Hopefully with these simple guidelines you'll be on your way to creating a fabulous playhouse for your little ones.

- Your table playhouse can be made for any table size you want. Square or rectangle. I don't think a bigger table will result in a more difficult experience, it just may take longer to sew. Especially if you will be adding more than 1 window per side.

- First measure the table top length and width. Add two inches to each measurement when cutting fabric-I say fabric, but sheets work great and is much cheaper.

-Measure each side of your table lengths. Measure from the table top to the ground. Add one inch to each measurement and cut fabric.

-Label each piece that is cut so you remember what it is and where it goes. This is especially important if you are cutting coordinating fabric to line the tent with.

-Cut and sew your windows. Just a tip about the windows...don't make your window too big or too close to the bottom of your playhouse. If you do it starts to sag and doesn't hold it's rectangular shape. For the windows I simply cut a rectangle in the fabric, then cut slits in the corners, folded them in and sewed.

-Cut and sew your door. For the playhouse door, I cut slits in the fabric and made as small a seam allowance as I could and sewed so there wouldn't be a gap. For the puppy house, I measured the front of the piano bench and added 2 inches. I cut that piece in half, then sewed in the raw edges.

-Cut and add any borders to each individual piece.

-Start sewing the front door to the side walls and then to the back wall.

-Finally, sew the roof to the entire structure.

* It's important that you don't sew the walls and roof together before you sew in windows and the door. Trying to sew in the window and doors with that much fabric sewn together is hard work. So complete each panel fully before sewing it all together.

* I also lined the entire playhouse which is nice to give it a little bit of a stiffer structure, but not necessary. It also makes it a little darker inside which may be something you would or wouldn't like.

I hope that with these beginning tips, you can come up with the rest. I love the idea of these playhouses, because you can cater them to your child's personality...boy or girl. You can make one that looks like a pirate ship, or a barn. Or you can have a castle looking one or a ladybug house. If your child is obsessed with Cars or Dora, buy those sheets. Whatever it is your child loves, you can probably translate into a great little playhouse for them. Please share any that you make...I'd love to see them!


Kari said...

Jamie- Ok, I have never seen this blog. You are officially killing me!! I went back through every post you have done. You are seriously amazing. The spool people - now these playhouse tents - you are beyond talented. I'll keep checking out your ideas. Very cute. Your house is probably clean it is a good thing I like you...
Take care!

LiEr said...

Hi Jamie,

I'm new to this whole craft blog thing- chanced upon a few, yours included, while feeding my newborn in the unearthly morning hours. I am so inspired by not just the stuff you make but the photos you take! Thanks for the tips and the pics - I'm aiming to make a playhouse for my girls but it could be months from now. Will post pictures when that elusive day finally comes!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tips. I'm kind of handy capped with the sewing machine. I'm going to buy fabric with my sister this weekend to sew one of these playhouse, and these tips help. You totally inspire me!

Tasha said...

Thanks for the instructions! I haven't read them all the way through yet, but this is something I think would be fun to make. Too big of a project for me right now though. I love that you made the small one for her little puppy! So cute!!

Mom said...

I finished a house for my niece! She's turning 1 and I thought it would be a great joint gift for her and her big sister. I'm not sure how to attach a picture so I'll email one to you! :) Thanks so much. I'm so glad I found your blog. Jenn

mommyof2tuties said...

What a GREAT addition! I love this idea.

KT said...

I am completely in love with the card table play houses, and my kids will definitely be getting one (or two!) for Christmas!! I've also included this on my website today. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Cheep Ideas Website