Pretty Playroom Makeover for Playful Young Minds

It’s finally here – the playroom we’ve been tweaking over this past month. Thanks to Builders Warehouse we made a couple of handy additions to the playroom all by ourselves! We absolutely love going to Builders Warehouse, the BIGGER, the BETTER! They have everything from paint and hardware, to home-ware, gardening goodies and even décor.


playroom overall view

We started off with the most prominent part of the playroom: the media console. The TV-stand took one full day to complete, and it was a bit of a challenge due to nearly-defeating flu-season. Unfortunately, no one I know proved immune this year (holding thumbs for next year). The full tutorial will follow next week, so keep an eye out for it!

The cute little denim storage baskets were the perfect thing to complete the TV stand. You can honestly never have too much storage in a playroom. Or any room for that matter!

With the TV-stand all set-up, our belt-shelf could finally take its place with pride. This is one of the most cost-effective storage solutions we’ve created to date. It’s perfect to store items out of reach from curious little fingertips. See the hanging shelf tutorial here.



Two of our favourite items on the hanging shelves are the Anthropologie-inspired Boho baskets. I love how the pompoms add a soft touch to the boys’ playroom, and it was so easy to make! If you feel like updating your own tired baskets, see the Boho Basket How-To here.

wallpapered wall with hanging shelving

We thought the wallpaper was a bit much when we saw it in Builders Warehouse, but as soon as we started with the installation, we realised that it was perfect! We know: lucky us, right? Doing your own wallpaper installation can be tricky, which is why you need a little guidance. It was my first installation, but fortunately, Germarie has quite a bit of wallpapering experience. Get expert tips and wallpaper installation advice here, – we even made a video!

We love the result! The wallpaper looks so impressive next to the kids’ teal lockers!




An absolute must-have in any home is a fluffy carpet! Red is the perfect colour with a vibrancy that will launch the kids into play heaven. Plush fibers are so inviting that everyone just ends up spending time on the ruby rug instead of the sofa. Which is a sofa bed, by the way. You can also never have too many beds for sleep-overs! I put a denim cover on the seat of this one to protect the fabric from little monsters 😉


Tassels and pompoms are what dreams are made of! Well, mine are. Home Fabrics was kind enough to give us this pretty pompom fabric (Bambino Chouchou in Sky) for an Ideas project we did recently (soon to be published in Ideas Junior!). Luckily, we had some left over for cushions for the playroom. I love the brightness these scatter cushions add to the room like little clouds of delight!

Germarie recently received a cute little cushion from Mary Interior Decorator and, by sheer serendipity, it matched our colour scheme! Lucky again! So, naturally, it had to form part of the playful space. We love it!


The playroom is nearly complete, with only an enormous world map and photo gallery still missing. We’ll be sure to post those as soon as they arrive! For now, the canvas (made from a shower curtain!) is hanging on the world map’s place. It’s enormous and has a colourful geometric print – perfect for this huge wall! To make your own oversized wall art, just follow the canvas DIY here.

Kids Study Corner

Speaking about art, kids should have an area where they can explore their creative side. Often a floor will suffice, but with eager little artists, organising is key. The study corner doubles as a young artist’s refuge. A small polka-dot mat makes the corner feel special and a touch unique. See the quick tutorial here.

industrial tap hold-backs


Oh, and of course these darling little curtains hold-backs are the easiest thing! Made by fixing an industrial tap to a u-bracket, they look great in this fun room!

That’s it! We are super happy with the playroom – but of course, more importantly, so are the kids. The ample storage makes it easier for them to keep their things off the floor and mom happy. Bonus!

Happy Playing!

All materials for this project were generously sponsored by Builders Warehouse.

Make Your Own Designer Paper Maché Lampshade

I love well-designed, beautiful, and unique products. So, when my friend sent me an image of a gorgeous lampshade and asked me if I could make one for her, I happily agreed! The lampshade was for her nursery, but it took me a few months to collect enough egg cartons, so I totally missed the deadline. Nonetheless, the lampshade was made and my new Thomas Shade, in honour of gorgeous baby Thomas, is proudly hanging in the playroom.

How to make your own designer half-dome paper maché lamp shade

You will need:

  • Egg Cartons – lots and lots of them. I used about 30 large trays, but it all depends on the size of your lampshade.
  • A packet of wallpaper glue powder
  • 1 cup cold glue
  • Yoga Ball
  • Spray paint: I used matt black for the outside and dayglow yellow for the inside.
  • Light cord and bulb


papier mache lamp shade

Tear the egg cartons into smaller pieces and throw them in a bucket. Then cover them with water and let it soak for 24 hours.


papier mache lamp shade

Use an electric mixer to beat the mixture to a pulp, roughly the consistency of sloppy oatmeal.


papier mache lamp shade

This is where it gets awesome! Add the packet of wallpaper glue powder, and use your hands to mix it up. It feels wonderfully gooey! Or you can use a wooden spoon, but hands are much better 😉


papier mache lamp shade

Let it rest for a while according to the instructions on the wallpaper glue manufacturer’s packaging. In the meantime, blow up the yoga ball and prepare your work surface: it’s going to get messy! I placed my yoga ball inside a flat bowl to prevent it from rolling around.


papier mache lamp shade

When the mixture is ready, add the cold glue and mix well. Then start creating the lampshade by applying handfuls of the paper maché to the yoga ball. It sticks remarkably easy and really goes quick. You are only going to create 1 layer* so make sure that you are happy with the thickness.



papier mache lamp shade

Allow to dry. This could take anything from 24 hours to 5 days, depending on your atmospheric moisture. My shade took 3 days, and when I took it off it was still wet on the inside and therefore very fragile. I placed it upside down inside a large bowl and left it for another 2 days.


papier mache lamp shade

Once everything is thoroughly dry, deflate the ball just a little and use your hand to loosen the edges of the lampshade.

Then slowly deflate the ball, ensuring that the lampshade doesn’t stick to it.


paper mache lamp shade

Use the electrical fitting as a template to ensure that the hole left at the top is large enough.


Spray the inside and outside in the colours of your choice.

STEP 10:

Attach the electrical light cord, get an electrician to install, and switch on!

Happy Lighting!

* I had to make this lampshade 3 TIMES before it worked. VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: you can’t add a second layer when the first one is dry. The moisture from the pulp makes the first layer soggy and then the whole thing falls apart.

** Explain to your kids that they cannot play with the yoga ball while mommy is busy with the project. You’d think this is obvious, but in my experience, it isn’t 😉


DIY Teepee Play Tent

This post was first published in March 2014.

I have done so many posts about the virtues of a tent, and I have even made a tent for my nephews before we had kids. But one morning I woke up and decided that today is the day that my kids will have a tent. And we’ll call it The Library {a quiet place for reading – which by now has also doubled as a hiding place, a nap-space and a space-ship}.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial for my DIY Teepee Play Tent.

little play tent

A traditional 5 sided teepee with a bamboo wigwam frame is more difficult to construct {and maintain constructed!} than a 4 sided suspended version, so I opted for the latter.


I used 2.5m of striped fabric, folded in half, to cut the triangles out of. You will end up with 2 big triangles and 4 smaller ones. I used 35cm strips of a different fabric that will make up the lower part of the tent with a 2cm denim trim between the 2.


The big triangles will form the sides. 2 of the small triangles are stitched together along the straight edges to form the back. The remaining 2 will remain separated to create the entrance {pulled back in the drawing above to show the back panel}.


I double-stitched all the seams, both because it makes the seam stronger and also because it creates a nice detail on the outside of the tent.


Just stitch the seam as you normally would, press the seam flat on the right side of the fabric and then make another stitch about 5-10mm from the edge on the right side of the fabric.


I sewed a strip of denim along the vertical straight edges of the “door”. It ties in beautifully with the trim between the 2 main fabrics.


todlers play tent

The lower part of the tent is perfect to tuck under some floor cushions or a mattress.

teepee play tent

I threw in a couple of soft pillows just to make it extra comfortable.


I opted for a pulley-system, secured to a beam through the ceiling board. That way, we can comfortably adjust it for washing or maintenance.

diy teepee

The other end of the rope is secured to the door frame with a brass hook. It’ just high enough so that little hands cannot reach it!

teepee kids play tent

I little blackboard announces it’s intended function – in case it was missed! And of course, very few things in my house happens without bunting!

teepee tent

The kids love it – both their dad and I were invited to the library last night for story-time. It was a bit crowded, but we managed!

Happy playing!

Germarie Signature Featherly