Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Special: Felt Play House (Convertible Play Mat)

Finally, the Christmas present for my little boy is completed! After squeezing some times here and some times there, I finally able to have some peaceful time to sit at my workstation and quietly finish up the play house, uninterrupted.

Let me introduce to you, Ethan's Clubhouse.

From the outside, it's a playhouse with printed heart walls and dark brown roof, completed with a matching handles. Embroidered with his name, "Ethan", and a "Made by PH" label.

For durability, I used thick cottons for the exteriors, that's why it takes me extra time to complete this project as fabric requires hemming and sewing. Unlike felt, just have to glue on, but will not be as long-lasting.

The 4 walls.. Each has a special meaning, refer here to have close up of the walls.

When opens up, it reveals a whole new world inside...

A miniature town on a play mat, with complete road planning to connect everyone in town :)

This yellow cottage symbolizes our home, it has a Christmas tree, a kennel and 2 beautiful sunflowers.

The door and window function as pockets for holding his pencils and small items :)

A school with a hopscotching field, and a play tent in black (as requested by Ethan, he insisted he needs a black tent which I had no idea why).

The town has a church, a cupcake shop and a cafe, right next to the parking lots. I love these mini shops, spent a lot of time designing the shops, matching the colors, and added line patterns to the roof, aren't they looking cute? :)

It has a pond surrounded by fruit trees. Can you spot the odd one in the pond?:)

A mini zoo with some safari animals. Didn't realize I can make quite a good cutting job until now... *satisfied grin* it looks a bit empty so I'm planning to add a monkey or a tree later.

The train track that leads towards the forest.. So Ethan can plays his train sets. He loves all the tiny trees, was placing them all over the mat until I glue them on.

A winding river and some sail boats, with a giant coconut inspired by his Peter Pan comforter that I made for him. now he can sails his toy boats here while singing "row, row, row your boat", *yay*

All the different road signs, they certainly add some twist to the road system, and Ethan recognizes all these signs from our Travel Bingo fun time.. What's travel bingo? Check out my previous post here on what I do with my little ones when traveling on the road.

I finished sewing the exterior and preparing all the felt cut-outs before getting Ethan to help me glue them on, he held pride in doing this important task. See how serious and focused he was! :)

In fact, all his elder cousins were attracted to the mat and gathered around to help to stick them on. Ethan was really excited and it was a good team work.

That's all about my town... It felt like building Sim City, just that this is a "play-able" town, not virtual. :)

How it all started? From this simple sketch..

Now we have a portable playhouse that can bring to anywhere, it also double up as a toy car carrier when folded up, can hold up to 6-8 cars.

In total, I spent nearly 8 hours (accumulative over 2 weeks) on this play house / play mat. It was slow but fun as it gave me an avenue to pull my mind off work issues and have some peaceful creative moments all by myself. It is satisfying to see my end product and even more worth it to see the happy smile on my little boy's face. Hope he will have hours of fun time on this mommy designed's Christmas gift, for him only.

Merry Christmas to all my readers... Hope you get some inspiration from my postings and perhaps find something useful from the tutorials.

Till the next post, adios!

If you are interested to make one, here is the relevant tutorials. I refer to all 3 to create this play mat/house.
Felt play mat by Cook Clean Craft
Fabric dollhouse tutorial by UK Lass in US
A full size felt play house (why not? :)

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