Now I make tiny houses for ridiculously good looking little people.
So I know it's taken me ages to write this down and Christmas is almost on its way all over again (not really #buteasteryo), but I thought that before I forget all of the steps and components I would capture in writing the details of Remy's first cubby house.
I originally saw the Kmart cubby hack on fellow #perthian @hudsonandharlow's instagram and she was super helpful in giving her advice. My colours and details differ somewhat and I've had a lot of questions so thought I'd pop them all in one place.
The cubby itself was from Kmart ($199), I believe they are out of stock but usually have something similar each Summer season. I hear Bunnings also have something similar. It was a raw dull red paint with black trim (see here for original).
On the advice of @hudsonandharlow I did invest in a Wagner W610 fine spray gun (Bunnings $149) to make the painting quicker and I was so glad I did. It would have taken me so long to complete this otherwise. The spraying in total I did over two days in order to let each coat dry properly.
If I had my time again I would have given the wooden trim components a little sanding to smooth them out and the finish would have been much nicer #liveandlearn. Probably for longevity I might have also removed the two plastic window frames and left them white because I can see over time the paint is going to peel off them and I'll have to spruce them up either by repainting or (more likely) taking the rest of the paint off with nailpolish remover and going back to white. But for now they look sweet.
For the first coat of all parts I used an exterior white primer that was left over from when we moved into our house - this was approx 1.5L. I don't think it would matter what type of undercoat you use a great deal - it just helped cover the dark wood without using the expensive stuff. Using the spray gun took a little getting used to - watering down the paint by 5-10% helped and with practice I was able to get a really nice finish. Much better than brush painting. The Bunnings website has some good how to clips that I checked out as well.
I did two further coats in the below colours:
To the main body of the house, inside and out, I used the Solver Vitesse (approx 2L) in an exterior paint. I had this paint left over from painting our letterbox - which means it blends in with the house really well.
The white trim to the roof and the lettering for "Remy's Place" I used a left over waterbased enamel I had in Taubmans Berkshire White (around 500ml) - the enamel gives the trim a nice glossy look.
The front door I used Dulux Marais (500ml with lots to spare) - this gave the cubby a more masculine feel and let me live out some of my Hamptons styling fantasies - even if it is in miniature.
The decking is Ikea RUNNEN Floor Decking in dark grey and I used 5 packs ($24.95 each). It was surprisingly very easy to click together and has given the area an easy to clean surface that's not too hot, but also has a bit of 'give' for those little falls and bumps as Remy learns to walk on different surfaces.
Speaking of little hazard minimisation strategies I've used to ensure I get a warm (luke-warm) cuppa coffee in the morning while Remy plays - I used some left over carpet that had been left by our builders. I cut it to size with some scissors and laid it inside the cubby with a couple of tiny cushions from Kmart. A tad indulgent (no really?) when I first put it together and went a little cubby cray cray - but it turns out to be incredibly useful! #mumwins
Ship's bell (brass) Bunnings $28
Door Knob (drawer handle), hooks, locks and door chains (all in brass) - various from Bunnings
Inside the 'ceiling' are a heap of little eyelet hooks that came in a pack of 20 and were super easy to twist into place and made it easy to hang lights and shelves.
Metal Cage Light - solar from Kmart $5
Interior bulb lights - solar from Kmart $10
Wall Ivy creeper FEJKA - from Ikea $4.99 per sheet (I used 4 sheets but 6 would have been better to cover the whole wall. I just attached with super glue and heavy duty double sided tape - wont last forever but its done the job for now - maybe ill paint a mural or something on it later and live out my street artist fantasies too #livingvicariously.)
Remy's Place lettering - Kmart MDF letters kit
Something that I already had but has been oh so useful are the big outdoor cushions (from Freedom) you can see in some of the pics nestling up aside the ivy wall. I have spent many a morning handing toy cars and trucks through the window of the ivy wall to Remy while he plays. I spend far more time sitting on the floor than on our beautiful outdoor sofa and these big comfy cushions have come in so darn handy that I feel completely vindicated in my impulse buying of them. Even if you don't have a cubby - but you have a baby - get some of these outdoor cushions and you'll love your alfresco again.
Assembly I was able to assemble the cubby mostly myself with a drill (except for the roof). I'd strongly recommend assembling the parts where you intend to leave the cubby in the long term. It was wider than it appeared and needed some dismantling to get through our gate #rookiemistake #christmaseve #parentshenanigans.
Locks and Chains
I put a heap of locks, door chains, switches and hooks on the back wall of the cubby for Remy to tinker with. He seems to love trying to figure things out so if you're making something similar for a little boy this is something that's quite cheap and keeps them busy for ages! It would even work on the back of a blackboard easel to keep them busy for a while.
I was able to assemble the cubby mostly myself with a drill (except for the roof). I'd strongly recommend assembling the parts where you intend to leave the cubby in the long term. It was wider than it appeared and needed some dismantling to get through our gate #rookiemistake.
Feel free to leave your questions below if there's anything I've missed! Happy building mummas (and daddas).
PS how cute is my little niece <-