Mum transforms £65 secondhand wendy house into dream playhouse with two slides

If you had dreams of an incredible playhouse in your back garden when you were a kid, prepare to be jealous.

Three-year-old Demi has a brightly coloured playhouse of dreams – complete with two slides, a sandpit, a climbing wall, and a ladder – thanks to her mum’s DIY skills.

Mum Zoe, 41, booked two holidays to Haven for her family, but when both trips were cancelled due to coronavirus, she used the time to give the dull, grey secondhand wendy house she bought for £65 a proper makeover.

The end result made the perfected belated gift for Demi’s third birthday and soothed the sadness of a cancelled holiday.

Zoe, from North Tuddenham in Norfolk, said: ‘Demi loves it, but we’ve all tried it out and I’m so happy with it – especially as it only cost a small amount of money.

‘We were gutted because we had lost out on two holidays to Haven and hadn’t been away in a while.

‘We couldn’t go away anyway because of lockdown, so instead of being stuck indoors we decided to do a lockdown project for Demi.’

Zoe and husband Paul had been looking at playhouses for Demi online but were put off by the high prices, so were ecstatic when they found a used one on Facebook Marketplace for just £65.

Zoe knew doing up the playhouse would be a great lockdown project, so looked up designs and inspiration online and drew up a plan.

‘It was pretty rundown when we first saw it,’ said the stay-at-home mum. ‘A lot of the wooden panels needed replacing and all the colours were really faded and dull – but that’s what made it the perfect project to take on.

‘The second we got it home I covered it in magnolia anti-mould paint and let it sink in.

‘Everyone’s chipped in – Layla is really good at art so painted the Minnie Mouse on the door freehand.

‘Demi has been running around with a cup of paint and a paintbrush wanting to help and Bradley has been helping his dad with the construction and assembly of the house.’

The family sometimes worked for up to 12 hours a day to transform the Wendy house – which took a month to complete.

Paul, a train driver, often worked seven days a week, but spent every free minute doing up the house for his youngest daughter.

The family had most of the materials handy already, but spent £18 on six stilts to raise the house, £10 on the two slides from Facebook Marketplace, and more on paint.

The entire project cost the family just under £300.

Now, Demi has her very own pink and green Minnie Mouse themed wendy house with two slides, a climbing wall, and a sandpit, but has plans for further improvements.

‘We’re going to attach a rope on the climbing wall as well as a fireman’s pole going down the side,’ says Zoe.

‘Demi loves playing with her kitchen set so we’re going to put one inside the house with some fairy lights, a mirror and really make it into a cosy nook for her to sit in.’

Zoe hopes the project will inspire other parents to give budget DIY transformations a go.

‘People spend thousands of pounds on Wendy houses and play areas just like ours – I wanted to show everyone that it can be done on the cheap,’ she says.

‘We have another holiday to Haven booked in September and hopefully it will go ahead. But even if it doesn’t, Demi will have her wendy house to keep her occupied.’

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