So last summer I redecorated the playroom (see previous post) but after many play dates and parties and much messy play it was starting to look a bit worse for wear. The Ikea boxes in particular were broken, dirty and misshapen by a year of tots leaning on them trying to retrieve toys. Rather sadly i discovered that the colours that perfectly matched my wallpaper were no longer available. Also, it was starting to show some damage so i decided to search for a replacement.
I found nothing appropriate that i liked. It had to have an impact and after the wonderful stripes nothing seemed to be an improvement. I was seeking something that would work with the red flooring and the two key items i knew would be visible – the toy shop and the play kitchen (both red). However, i did discover a wonderful black and white paper with images of hearts and toadstools that immediately reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. It wasnt the right colours, certainly was aimed at the 3 year old child market and definetly did not scream “i belong in a playroom”. But…it was the last 4 rolls, i knew i loved it and would regret not getting it so i bought it. I then spent a full month trying to figure out how to make it work and a further 2 months putting it all together.
So here it is, our new Wonderland play room:-
The Ikea boxes were changed to black and red. I purchased Alice in Wonderland digital images and font from Etsy and my new best crafting friend, Gillian, spent a lot of time printing the stickers for all 24 boxes.
In the past i had used the Ikea units to cover the empty fireplace that is now our doorway to Wonderland. I knew straight away though that a 2 year old and a 3 year old would not be at all happy with a door that did not open. And what is the point of a door that opens with nothing on the other side? So…i built Wonderland from an old bathroom cabinet my Hubbie discovered in a charity shop for £10. My friends husband cut down the sides using a table saw and then the rest was up to me.
The three levels feature the tree Alice falls asleep under (which i made from clay) complete with the rabbit hole drilled through so that the Alice figure can be posted through. I cant tell you how much the kids love this. She falls into the next level which is the Mad Hatters tea party complete with tiny tea set. And lastly we have the Queen of Hearts garden. The door was painted with the Disney door knob and an architrave was added. I have to say that i’m very pleased with how it has turned out and also thrilled with how much its being played with.
One problem was that despite having 3 kids tablets and 13 chairs, none of them were going to work. After many hours spent on Pinterest i had fallen in love with the whimsical furniture i saw and especially the black and white harlequin pattern which fitted perfectly with my wallpaper. I had never upcycled a piece of furniture before and thought that something so challenging was likely to only end in disaster. However, my £5 coffee table has turned out rather well (as long as you dont look too closely!)
Ive covered it with a clear varnish and it is standing up to being climbed on and having many toy cars driven over the top of it. I have two white ikea stools that sit neatly underneath it and its a lovely height for Kealan and Elyse.
While painting the coffee table i simultaneously worked on a little side table i also purchased for £5. I realised that the ‘Drink Me’ bottle and ‘Eat me’ cake scene would be the most fun for the kids so i sourced the table and set it up with a gold key, little glass bottle, a little wooden box i painted and labelled and a framed image from the book. (Today i found a little batman figure in the box so it gets played with in many different ways.)
I spent a good few weeks trawling shops (mostly charity shops) sourcing trinkets to display and i put them together on top of the toy units.
The Cheshire Cat tree was used to hold our puppets but was regularly moved around the house because it was bright pink and didnt go any where. So i painted it red and perched a Cheshire cat toy in it.
The picture wall was created from a set of beautiful postcards i found in Waterstones, some gold keys and a most perfect quote painted by Gillian. The mirror also features a quote and imagery purchased from Etsy and printed by Gillian.
So, that’s our new room, i hope you like it. I was very worried about changing it because i loved it before but im glad i have. Kealan and Elyse have thoroughly enjoyed learning the basics of the story and the magic that i feel is the central theme.