DIY Play shop.

A couple of months ago, my list of possible Christmas gifts to the girls in hand, I came across the cutest Play shop for sale, it was basically a small uinit, with a shop sign attached. and they wanted £120 for it. Now don’t get me wrong, if something is quality craftsmanship, by all means you charge your worth. But this, was just so…. So flimsy. And so I did what I always do. I planned to make my own.

I sketched a fairly simple design that looked  a little like this…


Measurement wise, it had to fit in a quite small corner of their room, so I just worked with that to decide how big I wanted it. It ended being 120cm High x 70cm wide x 80cm length. So altogether not a massive build.

First up I needed to gather my supplies. For this I used MDF from Savoy timber, 2 cans of Novasol pinty plus chalk paint in broken white and one can in Rose petal. I also got to try a new product, the Blackboard spray (amazingly easy to use by the way!).


Once everything had arrived, it was all about getting it put together. I started it out by spray painting the backing and the shop sign. No real reason to start there, I just wanted to see how those colours looked.


Then I moved onto the important stuff, the actually build. I’m not going to start rambling on about specifics (although if you would like to know more details, you can always pop me an email.) But I started by putting the main front unit together, then adding the side worktop and giving it all a good paint. I decided on keeping it simple with white.


Next up was building that large frame to go round the top – and ultimately to hold the roof fabric. These where obviously all pre-cut but the tricky part came with the painting. I have only had 2 hours childfree each weekday morning to work on this (it is after all a secret Christmas present for the girls.) So I needed paint to be dried fast, so it could all be packed away before Izzy came home from nursery. To avoid having to paint each side, leave it to dry and then turn to do the rest, Sam came up with this. it took me three whole minutes to spray everything, I gave a quick re-coat of Pinty plus (Broken White) after half an hour and it was all good to be packed up in time.


So, the next day, when work could start again, the frame went up. Fairly easily actually. I wanted it to be higher at the back, than it was at the front. This was so the fabric could slope down.. it’ll make sense when you see it.


Once the main frame was done, it was time to get excited and do all the fun bits. Like adding the fabric roof – I decided on this gorgeous traditional-esque canvas cotton


And most fun of all, the writing the shop sign on the chalk board – I used this fail safe method for perfect handwriting.


All of a sudden, the project was nearly finished!


All, that was left was to add all those little bits I had collected over the past month, wooden food for the shelves, mini baskets, a sweetie shop container and of course a till!


The final result, is pretty fab! The girls have just entered that make believe play land, everything is pretend at the minute and I want to encourage that completely. The great thing about this build, is it can become anything they want. A restaurant, a bakery, a sweetie shop. The creative possibilities are endless!


So, price wise. I mentioned earlier about the shop I say that inspired this entire build, the one that cost a fortune for next to nothing in .. here’s a breakdown of cost for this project.

MDF – £21

Roof fabric – £22

Chalk paint – £0

Till – £13

wooden food -£19.98

mini baskets – £3.97

Sweetie holder – £3.99

White chalk pen – £2.50

Total cost- 82.47


Its not “cheap” but its not £120 for something that won’t last a month. I’m totally in love in the new addition to their room, Now I’ve just got to keep it hidden from them until the big day!!

Handmade really is best! I’ll be sure to put a picture up once they’ve seen it on Christmas Day. How on earth is that only two day away?!

I’m going to try and hop back on to the blog before Christmas, but if I’m too busy with festiveness I hope you all have a happy Christmas, and I’ll definitely be back next week with some New Years posts – one of which is a NYE dessert recipe involving a whole lot of caramel and some edible glitter. YUM.

Merry Christmas!


The little woman pretends.



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