Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ Makeover: Thistlewood Farm Edition

by KariAnne WoodMarch 26, 2019

I love a challenge. Especially if the challenge involves imagination, transformation, giggles, apples and a grocery store. asked me to participate in a special challenge for their Crafting for Charity initiative.  Here’s the basic concept: they sent a tan Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™  to myself and two other bloggers and asked us all to use our imagination to transform it however we wanted.

Stay tunedyou all will have the opportunity to vote on your favorite, and the winner gets to donate a cottage (and an additional $750) to their favorite children’s charity. Plus, one random voter will be selected to win a $250 gift card!

Sound like fun?

Are you ready for the transformation?

Are you sitting down?

Oh, good. Me, too.



Here’s where we started. It arrived in a big box with instructions on how to put it together. The roof was red. The shutters were brown. The base of the playhouse was tan. And now?

That same playhouse?  It looks like this. It’s black, white and striped and….. it’s a grocery store!

When I was little I had a grocery store just like this that my uncle built it for me. It was black and white with a giant sign that said GROCERY. I’d raid my mother’s pantry to stock the shelves and all my aunts and uncles would stop by and give me 10 cents for a can of green beans. Then, I’d take my money and shop for candy at the little store down the street while my aunts and uncles quietly gave the cans of soup back to my mother.  I’d eat my candy, congratulate myself on being an amazing business person, then restock the store so the entire process could start all over again.

Every young entrepreneur needs a grocery store; this one comes with a fruit stand, order pad, grocery baskets and a chalkboard “For Sale” sign. Oh, yeahand it’s own tiny grocery door!

We started by spray painting the entire playhouse using paint specifically designed for plastic. The base was spray painted with white spray paint, along with the doors and roof. We used the same spray paint in black for the shutters.

Next, we built a piece that fits onto the front of the playhouse. It’s constructed from 1″x 2″s and has a place for produce on either side. The top was constructed with a frame on top to add a black and white awning.

We added window boxes on each side and filled them with flowers. The little black shutters open up and make the perfect place for additional grocery orders. The playhouse was styled with a wreath, an order pad, a welcome mat for customers, a chalkboard sign, and tons of fresh produce ready to order.

After it was finished, I invited my sweet nieces over to see how the grocery store worked. I wish you could have heard the giggles and seen all the apple purchases. I’m so happy with how it turned out and how much my nieces love it.

Let’s take one more look at the transformation. From this before…

…to this after. From my little store to this one, another generation of general managers has entered the building and I’d say it’s a good day to be in the grocery business.

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About The Author
KariAnne Wood
KariAnne writes the lifestyle blog, Thistlewood Farm, from the back porch of her turn-of-the-century farmhouse in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky. Thistlewood Farm was awarded Country Living Decorating blog of the year as well as named one of the top 10 decorating blogs by Better Homes and Gardens. KariAnne loves to paint mismatched chairs, listen to the crickets singing in the back pasture, walk hand-in-hand with her knight-in-shining armor as the sun sets over the river and drink sweet tea with lime during a thunderstorm. And she has never met a decorating project she didn't like.
  • March 28, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Okay… well, this is my fave. Love what KariAnne did, but the other two were hard to choose from, as well!

  • Dee Turk
    March 28, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Above and beyond! What a creative and amazing transformation!

  • Sylvia Miranda
    March 28, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Number TWO The farm house is beyond the best she took it beyond the house . She decorated the outside to by adding the path and pillows. OUTSTANDING AND A AWESOME JOB

  • Cindy coffman
    March 28, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Love this look, farm house style very cute

  • Charles Bowen
    March 28, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    This is way too cool! Love it!

  • Diane
    March 28, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    i love this one

  • Denise Johnson
    March 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    I totally love this design, so cute !

  • Karen D
    March 28, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Very pretty and nicely accessorized, but not my first place. All that white will be difficult to keep white under use and weather

  • Tina Lopez
    March 28, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Love all the darling makeovers but this one is my favorite. It allows kids to write and imagine.

  • Tina Matteson
    March 28, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Wow, this is beautiful!

  • Carrie Rausch
    March 28, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    This is the best “out of the box” and “outside the box” creativity. Incorporating an additional idea for the kids to explore and role play is essential to growth. This could be many things to a child with a wild imagination. Ice cream truck/parlor, coffee shop, flower shop, hospital, you name it. Extending the area is brilliant! Excellent idea and end result!

  • March 29, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Now that’s a competition right up my alley, and I love how your grocery turned out. I’d be there right beside you keeping shop if we were little girls!

  • Kathy Wood
    March 29, 2019 at 5:49 am

    My favorite – she is so incredibly creative. She always takes everything to the next level. Great job!

  • Karen Hilliard
    March 29, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Love love love this one!! KariAnne is so creative and talented!! Amazing job on this!!

  • Leah P
    March 29, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Thistlewood Playhouse is my favorite

  • March 29, 2019 at 9:23 am

    #2 gets my vote. Love it.

  • Mary
    March 29, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I vote for the THISLEWOOD PLAYHOUSE…

  • Deby
    March 29, 2019 at 9:30 am

    I pick the Farm to table , black and white. So much fun. I loved playing store as a child.

  • Wendy Grose
    March 29, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Love this. So cute.

  • Mary
    March 29, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Farm to table all the way. Absolutely presh!

  • Kaye
    March 29, 2019 at 10:20 am

    So cute and clever and chic all at the same time!

  • Laurin Magill
    March 29, 2019 at 10:53 am

    So creative!! I just love these. I had a playhouse when I was little that was so over the top. My grandfather was a carpenter and built it for my sister and I. We have so many fun memories of that playhouse.

    • Audrey Somero
      March 29, 2019 at 10:55 am

      We’re glad you like them, Laurin! If you’d like to cast your vote for your favorite, head on over to our official contest page and leave your pick in the comments. We’ll be selecting the winner from there 🙂

  • Desiree
    March 29, 2019 at 11:44 am

    #2 – The Grocery Store is just precious! My children would have loved this. I can just imagine all of the entrepreneurial endeavors that would have occurred in my front yard with this adorable little store – so creative!!!

  • March 29, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Absoutely Adorable! What a great way for children to use their imaginations!! Whomever is lucky enough to receive this beautiful gift will be blessed with countless hours of joy and laughter! Job Well Done!!

  • Marti
    March 29, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Love this playhouse….can I come over and play?

  • Toby Morris
    March 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I love the awning and the addition to front door, the bins for fruit display for the store. Just very pleasing to the eye. The other two look great also. Hard to choose.

  • March 29, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    They are all adorable- such amazing detail went into each tiny house. Hard to choose, but I went with Thistlewood’s home because I had that entrepreneurial spirit when I was young and would have loved a little store to sell my stuff!

  • March 30, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    All three ladies did an outstanding job and they are all adorable, but this takes the cake – or even the apples, as the case may be! This is delightful. I imagine your precious nieces had a grand time playing in it.

  • Cindy
    April 2, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    #2 is my fav!

  • Asia Gilbert
    April 3, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Ughhh, This is so hard! but I’ll have to go with #3. The teal roof and stones are such great details. Really different. #2 would be the runner up because it has a canopy even though the presentation of the veggies/pillows/ rugs are nice the challenge was to recreate the house. Without the other decor it’s just a black and white house.

  • Tina rae
    April 4, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Wow!! This is so dang cute!! I would shop this fruit stand!

  • Denise
    April 4, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    They’re all beautiful but this is my favorite. You can tell a lot of love went into creating this. Great job!

    • Audrey Somero
      April 4, 2019 at 3:32 pm

      We totally agree, Denise! She did an outstanding job! If you haven’t already done so, please cast your vote on our official contest page. That’s where we’ll be drawing the winner from 🙂

  • staci
    April 9, 2019 at 3:10 am

    Oh, no…I missed seeing this contest – today is the first I’ve heard about it.

    THIS one should have won! By far the most creative and it’s so fresh and fabulous! Truly sweet to turn it into a Farm to Table stand and very well done. 😀

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