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DIY, Holidays

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

It’s that time of year again– time for another Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ charity makeover with Homes.com! It’s like a house makeover that I can execute all by myself in just a couple of short days! Come with me as I completely change this Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™.

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It’s that time of year again– time for another Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ charity makeover with Homes.com! One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I adore this challenge. It’s like a house makeover that I can execute all by myself in just a couple of short days.

At Charlottes HouseLittle Tikes English Cottage Makeover Full-22

Our challenge this time around was to turn our boring ol’ plastic house into something for spring. We were given a few directives:

  1. It had to be practical. (I had to ditch my plan of covering the whole house in Peeps…)
  2. It had to have window boxes or planters.
  3. We had to create a piece of art or yard decor.
  4. We had to hide something fun.

I can’t wait to show you my Spring Cottage!

Step 1. Always paint

Paint is one of the ways I love customizing these play houses. After my last makeover, I learned a little something about what might work best. There’s too much texture on the house to sand the whole thing, but this time I cleaned it well with rubbing alcohol to remove any sheen or factory finish. De-glosser would have worked even better but I couldn’t find mine and was on a time crunch!

 

At Charlottes HouseLittle Tikes English Cottage Makeover Full-22

Once the surface was dry, I went over it with a few light coats of spray primer and, following the directions on the can, let the primer cure for 24 hours. The next day I went back and painted all four walls with exterior paint by Behr.

Step 2. Assemble the Walls

After the paint is drying, assemble the playhouse according to the packaged instructions.

Step 3. Add Thatching to the Roof

When I decided to recreate an English cottage, I knew I wanted a mossy thatched roof. In order to attach the thatching to the plastic, I needed to build a wooden frame. I’m using 1x2s and laid them on top of the Little Tikes roof to figure out the layout and the two angled pieces in the middle. I used pocket holes to attach the boards of the framework.

To attach the frame to the plastic roof, I drilled holes through the wood and through the plastic roof and then used machine screws and nuts.  

With the wooden frame attached, the next step was relatively easy. I was unbelievably lucky and found these pre-dyed coconut husk planter inserts as a doorbuster at JOANN. I cut them into half and used a staple gun to attach them to the wooden frame working from the bottom of the frame towards the peak.

At Charlottes HouseLittle Tikes English Cottage Makeover Full-22

Step 4. Window Boxes

I knew from my holiday Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ last year that these wooden CD holders fit the windows perfectly. To change the look a little bit, I used plaster strips to wrap the front of the window boxes. It adds a little bit of texture and, once painted, conceals the fact that these are simple wooden CD crates.

To attach the window boxes I drilled a hole through the play house and window boxes and then used the same machine screws. To give the window boxes a bit more security, I added a washer on the inside of the playhouse.

Step 5. Greenery

Any good English cottage is covered in flowering vines. Lucky for me, it’s spring so all sorts of lovely faux vines were available at the craft store. To attach the vines, I drilled two holes through the playhouse wall and used a zip tie to hold them in place. I filled out the vines with some individual branches of ferns and white wisteria.

Step 6. Benches

I built a pair of rustic wooden benches to flank the playhouse. They can either be extra seating or act as a place to display spring plants.

At Charlottes HouseLittle Tikes English Cottage Makeover Full-22

Step 7. Yard Art

Honestly, I had a tough time figuring out what would be fun yard art. Looking around my garage, I noticed a pair of pink plastic flamingos and figured I’d give them an update! I used reactive paint to make them look like oxidized bronze.

At Charlottes HouseLittle Tikes English Cottage Makeover Full-22

Step 8. Extras

I used a paint pen to turn a white subway tile into a door number (#7 for the 7 members of our family). Finally… did you spot my little “Easter egg”? Not a literal Easter egg, but my fun surprise for you! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll recognize one of my favorite things.

At Charlottes HouseLittle Tikes English Cottage Makeover Full-22

I’m hoping to raise money for the Amos House Women’s and Family Shelter in Providence, RI. I helped design some of their apartments for women transitioning from homelessness and the work they do for the community is remarkable. With every Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse™ I makeover, I want to try something new and this one is just as I envisioned. It makes me think of that movie, “The Holiday”! I’d LOVE you to vote for my makeover and help support the mission of the Amos House!

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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.

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

  1. Well, the ladies certainly stepped up again! Such great creative talent and thoughtfulness that has been given to each Little Tykes house – congratulations to all three creative geniuses- my Easter Bonnet is off to all of you! Love them all but most of all – I love your charity choices and that is truly what’s it all about. Thank you to Homes.com for for making this opportunity happen and giving us more inspiration from three very talented ladies.

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