Camper Playhouse

For years we’ve been wanting to build a playhouse for our kids.  We spent months researching all the different types out there from treehouse to prefab.  But a tree house wasn’t really feasible in our yard, and we thought the kids would outgrow the prefab ones in only a couple of years.  Have I mentioned that we have a relatively small home for six people and we wanted a place for the kids to escape when being in the house was too cramped.  So, with these factors in mind, we kept searching.  One day, we came across a picture of a vintage camper that had been transformed into a playhouse.  After seeing that picture, my mind was set on this idea.  It was so unique and wonderful; I thought we had to have this for our home.  I then began an online search for people selling old campers.  This is what I found.

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Once we purchased this awesome camper and towed it into our backyard, our plan was to simply paint and add cute decorations.  But true to any remodel project, there was a problem…MOLD!

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So, a complete tear out was what happened.

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And what comes out, must be rebuilt.  And again, like any true do-it-yourself, remodel project, it took a little longer than expected.  Not only was Matt working on this playhouse on nights and weekends, but we also welcomed our third baby to the family.  Seven months later we brought in another little boy; the same age as our own son, who needed a home.  Our lives became super busy all of the sudden, but, Matt, and few family members, kept on completing each piece of the puzzle every time they had a free moment.

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I decided to paint the camper a kelly green. The inspiration camper was also bright green, and I thought the color blended nicely in the backyard in the spring and summer.

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The solid green was a little much, so we added a nice metallic stripe through the middle.

While I finished up the exterior, Matt continued working on the interior by adding walls.

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He likes this picture of himself because it shows off his bicep. I’m glad he still has a sense of humor.

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Our backyard can get a little muddy throughout the year, and the camper was placed in the middle of that muddy area. We knew we needed a porch in front of the camper door to help keep that mud from getting into the play house. Thankfully we were able to sucker my dad and brother into helping dig some holes for the footers of our porch.

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Then I painfully watched Matt and my dad fill all those holes with concrete. I say painful, because they were lifting 80lb bags shoulder height into a concrete mixer. They rocked it out; no pun intended, but I knew they would be unable to move their arms the next day. You can see the look on Matt’s exhausted face.

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But twenty-four hours later they were back at it.

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Oh, did I mention that Matt wanted to add a cover over the camper so that limbs wouldn’t destroy it. Then of course it had to have swings.

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The outside was complete, and I have to admit, they did a fabulous job.

Now to finish the interior.

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We decided tiles would be the best solution for a playhouse. It was durable and easy to clean. I will admit that after these tiles went in, I thought about keeping this space for myself. They were that pretty.

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But I didn’t, and after a year and a half of literal blood, sweat, and tears, the playhouse was complete.  Oh, what a beautiful sight.

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We added a few vintage finds and souvenirs from our travels.

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and what playhouse is complete without an art station and desk for all their crafting projects?

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Complete with a loft bed and a table and chairs that folds into another bed.

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All the fabric I used in the camper was repurposed from our home or found in my mother’s basement.  For instance, the bench seats were covered with old curtains, and the loft bed cover was an old bedspread.  The adorable curtains and pillows were all scraps of fabric that my mother had stored away for years.

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Now, I’m not a seamstress by any means, but I decided it was time to learn.  I really wanted to add my own homemade items to the camper.  I made the pillow forms with scrap fabric and added the felt designs on the fronts with fabric glue.  I thought these really make the playhouse whimsical and colorful.

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Now the babies were too young to appreciate this masterpiece, but the girls LOVED it.

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They immediately asked if they could have a spend the night party. I told them if they could convince their dad to stay with them. I think for now, they will have to be happy simply playing in the camper.

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