If you’re a mum with little ones and living in Australia then you would’ve have heard or seen the latest Kmart craze to sweep the country! I’m talking, of course about the ‘Kmart Cubby House Hack’.
Now if you are anything like me, you probably wouldn’t class yourself as someone who is a “do-it-yourselfer” or maybe a person who notoriously finds her ideas to end up as “Pinterest fails”. So, when deciding to tackle this latest craze as a birthday present for my daughter Isla, I was naturally a little nervous about how and where to start! But alas, don’t stress Mumma this blog is going to help you out!
I’m going to talk you through the details and the step-by-step process that allowed me to create this plain cubby house to this (picture of Isla’s cubby). All the details of what I used and where I got it from will be listed at the bottom of the post.
Step 1 – Research and Plan
If you do a quick Pinterest search of “Kmart Cubby House Hack” you’ll quickly be inundated with thousands of pictures of beautiful cubby’s that have been beautifully transformed. Don’t be overwhelmed – I found that Pinterest really helped with me deciding colour schemes, different accents/ accessories for the cubby and of course what type of cubby I wanted to create. I quickly found in the sea of ‘cafés, restaurants, firehouses and normal cubby houses’ that I wanted to create Isla something different and that’s how I decided on the idea of a bookstore.
Once you have a direction of what you’d like your cubby house to look like start planning.
Have a budget!
Trust me when I say it doesn’t take long to get over excited about how cute everything is and go over your budget.
Source a cubby house
Obviously we’re talking about a Kmart hack so there is great cubby available at Kmart for $199 but depending on your budget you can also look at Bunnings, Big W, Hide and Seek Kids or Facebook Marketplace and buy a second hand one (after all it’s getting a facelift anyway).
- Kmart Wooden Cubby House
- Lifespan Kids Cottage Cubby Houses
- BigW Cubby Houses
- Hide & Seek Kids Cubby Houses
Decide on a colour scheme and pick your paints
I went with a basic all white cubby house with an accent door and there were a few reasons for this. I mainly went with all white exterior paint because I didn’t want to have to buy and use a primer (as I said I’m not a DIY-er lol) and so when Isla was older, I could move it outside to save me painting it again in the future.
Paint colours used where;
- Cubby – Taubmans All Weather Exterior Matte in ‘Crisp White’
- Door – British Paints in ‘Retro Peach’.
Decide on a focal point for your cubby house
A feature wall, an add-on front verandah or a café-style window; you don’t want to shove 15 different things into the cubby house and completely overwhelm the space. With my direction of a ‘bookstore’ I quickly decided I wanted the main focal point of the cubby house to be an entire wall of book shelves.
This made me start to plan on how I would cover up the back window and house the books.
With the help from my stepdad (Ladies, don’t be afraid to outsource your ideas with help from partners or family members), we figured out that a piece of MDF/plywood screwed in to the wall provided us with the perfect flat surface and space to house multiple book shelves.
I also quickly realised that bookshelves aren’t cheap (Ikea Bookshelf – $22 each) and in keeping within my budget I had to think outside the box a little. Enter in the Ikea BEKVAM spice rack (at a much more affordable price of $5 each), these were a little smaller but still housed about 3-4 books in each and allowed me to space multiple shelves across the back wall
Step 2 – Paint and Build
The next step in the process once you have planned out your direction and bought your materials is to start painting. The cubby house will need about 2-3 coats to get a good coverage over it so make sure you allow yourself enough time to achieve this.
Tip: paint the cubby house before you assemble
Once we had painted all the parts of Isla’s cubby, we then created our back MDF wall and then screwed in the spice racks to complete the feature wall. Once that was all completed it was time to assemble (also, take it from me – don’t assemble first then move it into position).
Step 3 – Let the fun begin!
Now we all know the best part of doing a Kmart hack is all the decorating and little touches. So, think of a couple of decorative touches and slowly build or add from there. I also recommend to decorate the inside and outside as two separate spaces so you don’t “overdecorate and fill” the spaces.
For the inside of the cubby; once we had the back wall done, I knew I wanted to added a bit more of a feature to it so I decided on a wall decal to go along the top of the wall to really make it a feature. Removable wall decals are definitely a great use of sprucing up your cubby house and providing it with the “wow factor”. The bonus is that being removable when your child/ren get older and you want to possibly change up the look of your cubby you can simply remove and start afresh.
Some great places to purchase removable wall decals are listed below varying in price, make sure to shop around and research for the best price to ensure you don’t go over your budget.
Once I added in the decal and hung the “book shelves” I had a better idea of what to add/create for those final touches.
I had my mum assist me in making a “chandelier” made from tassels (in a similar colour to the door) to make for a centerpiece. The process was quite simple and just needed a few items from your trusty Spotlight/$2 store.
Some other final touches were battery operated fairy lights for some extra “magic” for the roof, a few soft pillows to make the space cozy and finally this adorable wooden wall script with wall decal from Timber Tinkers. The wall script/decal are handmade from a local business who specialise in handmade baby gifts/nursery & playroom décor. They were extremely easy to install, only a bit of bluetack on the back of both the script and wall decal was needed and stuck it up inside and it really finished off the space.
For the outside of the cubby house, I knew that I wanted to make the main focus point a personalised sign to really finish off the “bookstore” vibe. I ordered the sign through Timber Tinkers; I knew I wanted the sign in a contrasting colour to the front door so it really popped and stood out and that was made really easy through their website. They had various colour options and sizes and overall, I think it really completed the look.
And Viola!! That was it! So, there you have it Mumma’s, you too can complete your own ‘cubby house’ makeover with only a few simple steps, some research, an idea and some decorative touches.