Monday 15 August 2011

Monday Makery - tablecloth play house

We are constantly making dens in our house. Using sheets, tablecloths and blankets thrown over drying racks, tables and chairs. Each den becomes the perfect hideaway for the girls. A place where they invite their favourite bears and dolls to tea. Its territory for the under four foot and a cozy refuge from the day. Despite there being numerous beautiful 'wendy houses' on the market we've never had one at home, i'm not sure where one would go now, however, we do have three tables in the house! So, here we turn an old double duvet cover into a tablecloth 'wendy house'.  The best thing about it is that there is no need for it to get put away or moved to a corner. We can lay the table as usual. Though I think from now on the girls will want to eat their meals inside their house rather than on top!

here's what you'll need:

  • large piece of fabric - enough to cover your table and touch the ground on all sides. I used an old duvet cover and opened it up by cutting along the seams to create double the fabric. There wasn't quite enough fabric to reach the floor at the back of the 'house' but I trimmed the excess from one of the sides and joined it to the back. 
  • scissors
  • velcro
  • scraps of fabric - enough to create your curtains and your door.
  • ribbons for tiebacks
  • paper and pen - to create your number stencil or name for the front door
  • bamboo pole to give the top and bottom of the window frames their shape and prevent them from sagging

here's how:

  1. Once you've got your base for the house and all the sides touch the floor, measure the doorway and window frames and mark them onto the sheet/base fabric. 
  2. Cut the holes for the doorway and windows using pinking shears to prevent the fabric from fraying.
  3. Cut the fabric for the doorway to fit with an extra inch either side and and extra inch above the top of the frame. Do the same with a rectangle of fabric for the windows making sure you add an extra inch either side and extra inch for the top. 
  4. Cut up the middle of your window fabric with pinking shears to create a 'pair'of curtains leaving an extra 2 inches at the top where the curtains will hang.
  5. Now cut a length of velcro to fit the top of the door and another two pieces to fit above the windows.
  6. sew the velcro in place with one side onto the fabric house and the other onto the fabric door and curtains.
  7. Cut 4 lengths of ribbon for your tiebacks and stitch to the sides of the window frames.
  8. To prevent the bottom and the top of each window frame from sagging it will need some framework added. You can do this with cotton covered boning or as I did, use bamboo pole. I hemmed the top and bottom of the frames by folding over 1 1/2 inches of the fabric frame and sewed along the edge. This created a long pocket for the bamboo poles (cut to size) to slide into.
  9. The girls wanted to add numbers to the door so I drew a '6' and '4' - as requested, onto paper and cut out. I then pinned them onto their chosen fabric, cut out and stitched onto the door.
  10. Finally attach the curtains to the window frames along your velcro strip, hang the door from the central frame, open the curtains with your tiebacks and your home is ready!

As all the coloured pieces are attached using velcro the whole thing can be machine washed without the colours running. It's bound to get grubby with all the tea parties both on top of the house and inside. Though I've kept the house quite simple with its decoration I know over time I'll end up adding fabric window boxes and elaborate with fabric flowers growing up the side. The reverse side I may add a shop sign and make a larger door and fabric shelving for fabric fruit and veg. The table cloth works well because its so versatile so the more it can be the better!

Happy house making fun!

We have more Monday Makery craft & recipe ideas here.

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  1. I absolutely adore this - think I'd happily make one to play in myself! What a lovely idea. Thank you x

  2. I loved this idea so much I copied it! Thank you :)

    I found your site recently and absolutely love it... so many fab ideas and stories, thank you x