DIY, Holidays

Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ Holiday Makeover: At Charlotte’s House Edition

Charlotte Smith, creator of At Charlotte’s House is taking us on her journey “flipping” a Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ into the ultimate holiday dream.

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good craft challenge. If there’s another thing I love, it’s a MAKEOVER! So when asked me to reimagine this basic plastic Little Tikes house for charity? The answer came real fast: YES PLEASE! 

charlotte's house

Here’s the deal: I received one of these Little Tikes plastic houses from and I was challenged to give it a Christmas glow up. Two other bloggers received the same house with the same task. Starting November 15, you guys vote for your favorite “flipped” cottage right here on’s blog and the winner gets to donate $750 and a Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ to charity. Really exciting, right?!

So, let’s talk inspiration. For this challenge, I wanted to transform my house into a Winter Wonderland Gingerbread House inspired by Hansel and Gretel’s fairytale. A lot of color, a lot of whimsical accents, and a lot of sparkle with some added holiday cheer. I am thrilled that JOANN agreed to partner with me on this as there are lots of really fun materials throughout the playhouse.

charlotte's house

Obviously, the entire house had to get painted, so I started by giving the whole house a coat of spray primer. Then, I went over the bigger portions of the house with spray paint and even doubled up with primer and a brush in some areas. Note: I wish I had lightly sanded the doors and window sills of the house before painting. These spots seemed to scrape off pretty easily despite the primer and I’m confident it was because I was quick with my prep, which, as you know, is on brand for me.


For the smaller parts, I used regular old craft paint right on top of the primed surface. It all kind of depended on the colors! Every wall, every brick, every grout line… it all got a different color paint (and if you’re wondering, yes, my driveway shed IS rainbow)!

I kept seeing gingerbread houses with Necco™ wafers as the roof, so I brought in these inexpensive tin discs for the roof shingles. They make me very happy with the way they turned out; I love them! A word of caution, however, in order to cover the entire roof I had to cut some of the tin circles in half which led to sharp corners so it might not be appropriate if small children are actually using the playhouse as intended.


Tell me those ornaments aren’t adorable under the eaves of the tiny house? They’re non breakable and come in all my favorite pastel candy house colors.

You know those glass gems that come in lots of colors and are so pretty but I can never find quite the right thing to do with them? Well I found the right thing. They now flank the front door and are such a fun bit of shiny sparkly texture. I tilted the house on its side, glued the gems in place with Gorilla Glue™, and then poured some of my favorite epoxy resin on top. If you breath ever so slightly on the resin surface after you pour it, all those annoying little bubbles rise to the surface and you’ll get a smooth finish!

charlottes house

When I saw that wooden picture ledge at JOANN, I thought it could be a super cute little letter board for the front door. I cut out some paper letters and used Mod Podge™ to keep them in place on those wooden boards. C-A-N-D-Y coming right up! 

Window boxes with sparkly mini Christmas trees? Always. Spray painted striped doormat? Totes. Miniature wreath with candy charms? Obviously!

 I already had all those colorful Christmas trees in my holiday stash (for real) but I loved the idea of bringing in a few giant candy canes. I used foam pool noodles and colorful duct tape to add a sweet detail to the exterior. Pun intended.

charlottes house

Finally, the inside. What Christmas house would be complete without a ceiling filled with twinkly fairy lights and a disco ball? None.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and see this colorful candy Christmas fairy house surrounded by snow on Christmas morning, but alas I cannot. But I’ll always have my memories of transforming a beige and red Tiny House into a colorful holiday dream. Thanks to for including me in this fun and crafty challenge!

charlotte smith at charlotte's house
Charlotte Smith
Creator of At Charlotte's House Blog | See more posts by this author

Charlotte Smith shares her chaotic and color-loving adventures in DIY and design on her blog, At Charlotte’s House. Charlotte writes about moving and adjusting into a new rental, her five small children, and bringing personality and style into a family home. Her aesthetic is fun, creative, and… sturdy!  Charlotte has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV Magazine, Rachael Ray, Flea Market Flip, and the Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family show. She is a Baked Cheetos taste tester, a Dawson’s Creek lover and a top-knot expert.

78 Replies to Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ Holiday Makeover: At Charlotte’s House Edition

  1. This is fantastic Charlotte! Thank you for always using color and stepping away from the typical!!! You are so inspiring!!

  2. Candyland and Narnia dreams coming true. I love the unique take on colors that will engage and appeal to children.

  3. Charlotte’s colorful and fun Christmas house ! A happy place for kids. She is so talented and I LOVE her kiddos.

  4. Charlotte’s house is full of inspiration for imaginative play. I think I want to go back to childhood and spend my days in this playhouse!

  5. At Charlotte’s House gets my vote! The word “happy” springs to mind every time I look at her creations.

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