city plan, part 2: playscape

Can you imagine how fun this is to mow?  And it’s not even grass; it’s weeds and pokey things.  Of course, this ridiculous section of our lawn had to go.  But first.  I wanted to build something.  With these.

Because they were free.  And building is fun.  So I added a little playhouse section onto the playscape.  Now, the whole Pinterest pallet craze mostly involves pulling apart pallets and reusing the pieces of wood.  I totally didn’t do that. They never tell you that most pallets are made of incredibly dense hardwood that bends nails and is heavy as cement.  I certainly wasn’t going to spend all that time on a project that had about a 50% chance of actually being used by the kids.  So I took the fun route: power tools and eyeballing measurements.  Really, my engineer father and father-in-law are probably inwardly cringing, but the structure is sound, I promise.  Vaguely crooked, but not dangerous.  Hey, I wasn’t going to pour a slab or unwarp boards to make sure everything was square.  My clients aren’t hard to please.

The plan was simple; attach pallets to the already existing play structure, leave room for a door, cut out windows, attach a ridge pole and roof.  There was a lot of nail removal, cutting, and sanding before I could do that, though.  The window walls are 1 pallet each, with a 1/2 pallet stacked on top.  The door wall was one pallet cut in half lengthwise and attached to each window wall.  They were all put together with a random assortment of hardware from my supply in the garage.  After that, I was ready to prime.  I used an old can of interior beige for this.  Will using interior paint backfire?   Hopefully the kids will outgrow the house before I pay the price of peeling paint for my frugality.

But what about the roof?  My original plan was to use our old green-apple oilcloth tablecloth, but we had thrown it away in a rage after the fingerprinter dumped half her ink powder on it.  So I decided to shell out $40 for two shower curtains.  These came while I was painting, and I got overexcited and attached them to the ridge poll before the final coat.  Four 2x1s, leftover from the failed chicken run,  made “eaves” and kept the fabric secure.

What I didn’t realize, because I ordered the shower curtains off the internet, was that the material was way too flimsy.  I had to attach it using 10 billion industrial staples and caulk.

Still, when it falls apart, (soon, I think) I have a plan.  Never fear.

The final paint was leftover from the chicken coop, so it is actually exterior grade.  Next I made the window trim and door from the remaining 2x1s.  The teal paint was leftover from my mom.  I used remnants from the shower curtain roof to make curtains for the windows.  The curtain rods are wire from old hangers.  And, of course, we needed a window box planter.  I painted a salvaged wooden box and Graham planted Blackfoot Daisies to grow in it.

While all of this was going on, I was also enclosing the whole play area with landscape timbers.  These I had to buy, but did salvage them from the 1/2 price bin.  I got what I paid for, though, and spent way too much time trying to match the extremely warped wood so that they would at least bend in the same direction when stacked.  (Yes, there was a reason they were 50% off).  I also spent a lot of time drilling and cursing and rebar pounding.  Thankfully my Dad came to visit halfway through this project and informed me that I needed a new bit.  (Woohoo!) So off to Lowes we went.  Again.

And, as my Dad always needs projects when he visits, we ordered pea gravel.

The fact that it was New Year’s Eve made no difference.  There we were, laying landscape cloth,

shoveling gravel, hauling it around the house,

dumping it,

raking it out,

repeat, repeat, wake up on New Year’s Day and do it again.  That’s how we party.

Not bad, eh?  Better than mowing.  And the kids may even play in it.


4 responses to “city plan, part 2: playscape”

  1. Amber

    You are amazing. It looks awesome!

  2. Cecil

    …and someone a few posts ago actually had the audacity to ask you about “free time”????
    Ha, ha…chuckle…smirk…guffaw!

  3. Mom

    You rock!! It’s beautiful!

  4. To-Do Tuesday: Corner of Shame

    […] I moved the sandbox to the play area, this empty corner became a magnet for the detritus of all my other projects.  It was beyond my […]

Leave a Reply