So when my sister-in-law showed me a website where a very talented American lady had posted pictures of a felt playhouse she had made her son, I knew I had to give it a go. The one she had made was most impressive. It slotted over her dining room table and had a vegetable patch running along one side with felt carrots and corn on the cob he could harvest, a cute dog sat next to his own little house and an American-style post box where her son could pop his felt letters - see for yourself here. You can get her to make one for you but it is fairly pricey (and knowing the work that goes into it I can see why) but I had done GCSE textiles and had my own sewing machine so why not make one myself?
I knew I couldn't compete with her fine example but I did take a few ideas and put my own spin on them. I appliqued an apple tree on the back of the house, and made fine plump rosy apples with small pieces of Velcro attached so the little man could pull them off when he was feeling peckish. I made a butterfly and a cat - two of his most favourite things - and added grass along the bottom. I put in three windows to give lots of light and added window boxes, with three felt flowers to slot inside each one. The door lifts and fastens up for easy access and I added a letter box (more British than a post box) although I am yet to make the letters to go through it.
After several weeks of sewing into the long evenings and the occasional stolen hour or two during his afternoon naps (when I should really have been tidying up and getting the dinner ready), the finished product was ready for its unveiling. I admit it is a little rough around the edges but I am so proud of my little felt playhouse. To my delight, he showed quite a bit of interest when I ceremoniously pulled it over our dining room table, and he enjoyed pulling off the apples and stroking the butterfly and the cat. I have to admit I spend more time inside it than he does at the moment but I am sure that will change as he grows - I hope so or it will get lonely in there.
|The little man checking out his new home|
|My favourite felt flower|
|The most complicated bit of the house (besides putting all the pieces together)|
|I knew he'd love that butterfly|
|Picking apples from his orchard|