Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Fairy House

There are three little words that are guaranteed to put the fear of the universe into me.  No it's not the obvious three little words.  For me, the scariest words you can utter in my direction are.....

Arts and Crafts!

Even the typing of the words is almost sufficient to break me out in hives.  I can feel my stomach churning just thinking about it. 

If I'm honest I think it's because I'm not particularly creative or imaginative. I certainly don't get much time these days to let my imagination take over.  I can write, and even sew and bake but if you give me a blank piece of paper and some paint and some of those bobbly things that generally require glue, I'm running for cover.

So baring all that in mind I was excited to be contacted by Ocean Finance to ask if we wanted to take part in a competition they were running called Cardboard Dream Houses.  The children would be sent a cardboard house from Cardboard Toys for them to design their dream house.  So, being a good parent who doesn't want her children to grow up with palpitations at the thought of anything crafty and thinking about all the decorating we've been doing as part of our house build, I jumped on board and said "YES" and then found a brown paper bag to hyperventilate into,

A few days later the cardboard play house arrived looking very white and full of expectation promise. We quickly put the house together (Lack of creative powers aside, I am the Queen of Flat Pack!) and the children dived inside excitedly.  I asked Katie how she would like to decorate the house and she beamed at me and said "A fairy house please Mummy. With lots of glitter".

"Oh crikey......" I gulped inwardly...... (or words to that effect......) with a hopefully convincing brave smile on my face.

Day 1

We consulted our friend Google and gazed at images of toadstool houses in a mix of fascination and terror and hatched a plan that involved lots and lots of paint...... and glitter! Katie is all about the glitter!

First the roof....All toadstools have a spotty roof we decided so Katie and I drew lots of circles and painted the roof red.
Katie painting around the circles 
to edge them ready for 
painting the roof.
All edged and ready for painting
Then we painted the roof and painted the front door
and a little fairy (please forgive me for the quality of the fairy!)
So far so good.  The sun was shining, the day was warm and we had loads of fun (even me!).  Katie beamed from ear to ear the whole time and skipped about dripping paint everywhere.  Pip generally got in the way and just wanted to paint everything we didn't want him to paint.

Next we set to work on the walls.  The walls were originally going to be white but let's just say that Pip found the black paint so a change of plan was required.  We decided to create little window surrounds and paint three of the house walls green and the front of the house blue.

Katie painting the green side walls of the house.
The back of the house all painted.
We stopped once we'd painted three walls, the roof and the doors due to failing light (and tempers) and a tremendous desire to decontaminate Pip in the bath before he turned anything else on the decking green and red.

 Day 2

We were blessed with another gloriously sunny day so we moved the house back out into the garden and started painting the window frames.  Nana had come to visit for the afternoon and I thought helping with some decorating might be a good way for her to interact with the children.  Since she's developed Alzheimer's Disease these interactions have been very challenging because Nana finds the noise and chaotic nature of children quite difficult these days.  Nana thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team and did a sterling job with the glue and glitter.

 Then Katie, Nana, Pip and myself brushed glue all over the roof and Katie and Nana poured glitter all over the roof. I can't find a more eloquent way of describing this part of the process to be honest.  It was very hit and miss and lots of fun as the glitter swooshed up into the air covering us all with "fairy dust".
Nana and Pip gluing and scattering.
We tried to use as much of the cardboard box as possible.  We turned one section into a "grass carpet" for the inside of the house.  Points for excessive use of glitter for Katie!

Enough glitter?
A fairy glitter grass carpet!
We then had a moment of inspiration and had a great idea for the fireplace.....
Our Rainbow Inspired Fireplace!
Day 3

On our third day of creating our Fairy House we focused on decorating the outside of the house and adding blinds.  We got creative making cardboard flowers and leaves and found some unused wrapping paper to make the blinds. Unfortunately we were so busy being creative I forgot to photograph the work in hand...... was I enjoying myself too much?  No that can't be the case at all...... could it?
The wrapping paper we found in the cupboard and used for the blinds
The flowers.....
The blinds that Katie put up.
The flowers gabled around the front door!
Every house needs a name so Katie and I created a little house sign....

Day 4

Time to take the house outside again for some final pictures and let the fairies have a look.

Fairies enjoying the soft sofa!
Here you can see the rainbow fire and the blinds!
Pip exploring the house with his Ipad!
Both children inside the house playing!
We have lots more plans to complete the internal decorations but time is limited for this blog post because the competition closes soon.  I think we'll come back to this project time and time again though and continue to tweak the internals.

All in all this has been a great project.  We've had enormous fun painting the house and considering we're not the most artistic family in the world I think we did a pretty good job.  I will say this house is a lot more colourful than the rather more contemporary one we are building but I think this house will make a wonderful addition to the playroom once we're home again.

So did I need a brown paper bag to complete this project? Actually no I didn't! I did need a lot of poster paint and then bubble bath to wash off all the paint from the children but no palpitations were had in the making of this project after my initial panic.  It was lovely to involve Nana in the creation of the house and some lovely memories were made for the children in the process.  We might even feel a little bit more confident about school projects in the future (but don't expect too much!).

Thank you to Ocean Finance and Cardboard Toys for giving us the chance to join in the competition. We had a lot of fun and can definitely recommend the cardboard play houses for lots of fun!

As always all the words are my own and it's fairly clear we received a cardboard house for participating in this competition.


  1. That is fantastic, well done to you all. I really hope you win the competition. I'm do impressed with Katie and Pips staying power on the project.

    1. Oh bless you. Katie would love that but as I've said to her, we've had fun and made lots of good memories so that's a win in itself 😃😃