So, we (Nathan, my husband + I) decided that we would surprise the kids for Christmas with one of the sought-after Kmart cubby houses.
We couldn't leave it "as is" (orange look timber and black detailing), as we wanted it to look pretty in the back yard - well I did, anyway. I don't think Nathan would have minded either way.
I shared a few stories and posts about the cubby and our makeover process on my Instagram account. If you go to the main profile page (on the app, not the website), you can see a series of saved stories just below the website link on our profile page.
I thought I would type up this basic blog post with some before/after images, costs/pricing + some DIY ideas for decorating the cubby.
What we used:
Kmart Cubby House $199 (no longer available from Kmart online, try your local store)
Outdoor Paint (we used a primer, all over colour and feature colour. Along with a few brushes it cost about $250).
Assorted accessories (more details below).
What we did:
So, we started with the cubby itself. Nathan assembled it entirely, leaving the roof detached from the house. In hindsight, it would be easier to hire a spray gun and just spray it, but we painted it with brushes and it took FOREVER.
We did one coat all over with a primer to seal in the stain that was on the timber. You don't want it leaching out over time. We used one for exterior projects. We bought it all from our local inspirations paint and asked the guys there for some advice.
Next, we (mainly Nathan actually, with a token gesture from me) painted the cubby the chosen colour (Dulux "Surfmist") twice, as well as two coats of the yellow colour as a feature on the door (Dulux "Happy").
Once this was done and dried, Nathan and I assembled it (I drilled from inside the cubby as he couldn't fit in! ha!) and he directed me.
This is when the fun started!
We added a brass handle to the door ($8 from Bunnings) as well as a hook to the eve of the roof (again, a few $ for a pack from Bunnings) and the $5 hanging planter pot from Kmart.
I filled this pot, and the front planter boxes with some $2 colourful pot plants from Bunnings (I got 2 for each planter box and 1 for the hanging basket). They add a pop of colour and are fun for the kids to water. Our cubby is in full sun most of the day, and the little daisy in the hanging pot has died. The succulent style flowers are still going strong and look cute. I don't know what they are called as the pot said "colour pot" and was $2 and there were assorted ones there. If you know, feel free to leave a comment. I want to go and get another to replace the dead daisy type plant in the hanger!
I also added some of the $4 Kmart wall shelves inside on the door side. I attached these with some of the hooks we had left from the planter. They can be removed too if they are at the wrong head height. I used them to display some toys.
I found a timber hook/rack thing from the op shop for $1 and screwed this under the back window part. Its perfect for the Kmart Marley storage bucket (rope basket type things) to hang on. I got two of these.
I also bought a little chalkboard sign thing from Kmart and wrote "William and Poppy's cafe" on it.
I made my own curtains, and it was super easy.
You'll need the basics; fabric, sewing machine/thread/scissors/iron, a curtain wire kit (ours was from Bunnings) and a couple of extra hooks/eyes for it.
To make the curtains, measure your window sizes width by length. Add 2 inches to the width and 4 inches to the length. Cut 4 x pieces of fabric with this dimension.
Hem each of the 4 pieces down each length (sides) and across the bottom. If you have an overlocker, you can use that then just fold up one inch. If you don't, hem by folding 1/2 an inch, ironing it flat, then folding another 1/2 inch then sewing along.
When you've hemmed the sides and bottom, hem all the top sections as a casing, for the curtain wire to run through. I did mine 1.5 inches.
Once you've done this, cut 4 x pieces of fabric approx 17inch by 2 inch for the curtain ties. To sew these, fold each of the long edges to the middle and press, fold it in half and sew closed. cut the ends on an angle to avoid them fraying. Find the centre of the tie and sew it to the centre of each of the curtains on the inside (wrong side of fabric).
Once you've done this, you can hang the curtains. Find the spot best to attach the hooks for the curtain wire, and do so as the packet suggests. It'll need to be fairly tensioned so your curtains hang straight. Its fairly easy but can be fiddly so take your time getting it right.
Once we'd done all of this, I added a few other bits I'd found along the way, including some gorgeous wooden food toys from Make me Iconic. We used the Aussie ice creams, candy jar, tea set and magnetic puzzle toys (ice cream, donut and watermelon). Super cute!
I found some cute vintage coasters with cane style border around them and cute butterflies pressed inside under a plastic cover. I added these to one of the walls. I also got this wooden box from the craft section of Kmart for $6 and this fake succulent for $3. I think they look cute and the box stores the wooden tea set nicely.
I think that's it! If you have any questions, feel free to ask below, email us or DM us on Instagram!
Hope you like this DIY post - I know theres a LOT of them out there!