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Summer DIY Challenge: Make Believe Station

by - Friday, August 16, 2013

A few weeks ago, The Home Depot asked four bloggers to participate in a summer DIY challenge. The rules were simple: come up with a creative and unique project that was portable and made using Home Depot products. Janice, Brittany, Shannon and I have been working away ever since and today we get to reveal those projects to all of you!
If you've been reading here a while, you might know two things about me: (1) my favourite projects are kid-related, and (2) I live in a small house. Put those two together and you could have a recipe for disaster - kid things have a tendency to overrun your house!

DIY Plywood Toy for Kids

Chloe has been using her cardboard lemonade stand a lot this summer (it has the dings and puncture holes to prove it) but lately, she has asked for a puppet theatre as well. Seeing as I don't have the room to store many toys, I was inspired to make something fun and multi-functional and compact. I came up with the Make Believe Station.

Made from a single sheet of 4'x8' plywood, the Make Believe Station can be transformed into almost any structure your little one can imagine.

DIY Kids Grocery Store

Isn't this the cutest neighbourhood grocery store? Now you can see where the hand-painted signs ended up! This setup has everything you need for your little shopkeeper.

We had most of these accessories handy since Chloe uses them for her play kitchen. I picked up a few additional baskets at the dollar store along with some of the cleaning brushes. I used chalk ink markers for the chalkboard. They're awesome!

This was the 'hot counter' of prepared foods. Does your grocery have that too? The table also provides a spot for neighbourhood friends to sit and enjoy spending time outside.

DIY Kids Bakery

What else do little girls like to play with? A bakery and cafe of course. This one has the sweetest details and the cutest baked goods.

Chloe's favourite colour is "rainbow" so naturally she picked this colourful fabric from my stash and I sewed it into curtains and tablecloth. I bought it two years ago with the intention of using it somewhere in the basement so I'm glad it didn't go to waste! I personally would have went with classic ticking stripe curtains for the cafe but, hey, it's not my name on the sign ;)

The pegboard was a great solution for functional and easy storage. It looks stylish and keeps things neat and organized. Who knew the dollar store had such cute dish towels? The flower and butterfly cookie cutters were from there too.

DIY Kids Hardware Store

Bakeries are fun, but this little girl also has some DIY skills of her own. It only makes sense that she have a hardware store too. This might be my favourite store yet!

We scoured our home for leftover materials to line the shelves. Paint chips, empty paint tester pots, wallpaper samples - they all make great play things.

We moved Chloe's workbench beside the play station. This is one of our favourite wooden toys. It was a gift from Santa and he made a great choice!

I still have a few accessories I want to add to make this more fun like a change of curtains for a puppet theatre, and more signs (Library? Doctor's office? The possibilities are endless!).

The best thing is that once playtime is done, the Make Believe Station folds up and can be easily tucked away. Okay, maybe that's not the best thing - the best thing was watching Chloe and six of her friends ages 5 to 11 play with this for three days straight! Now that's a toy :)

Now head on over to Shannon, Brittany and Janice's places to see what they've been up to! Details on how we built this using only simple off the shelf materials from Home Depot can be found here.

Find the instructions on how to build the Make Believe Station HERE.

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