1001 Peeps Playhouse

Yay! It’s finally my turn!  I feel like I’ve been waiting all summer for this.  If you aren’t aware, the wonderful Lizzy House asked me to be a 1001 Peeps Summer Camp Counselor this year. The second that Lizzy House asked me to be a part of it, I got so excited about what was possible with her amazing fabric.  Lizzy’s fabric communicates wondrous stories that capture the imagination.
The 1001 Peeps fabric plunged me immediately into the magical world of Arabian Nights with jeweled princesses, powerful stallions and imposing genies . . . How great is fabric that sparks your imagination in such a way?!
For my project, I wanted to turn these characters into something three-dimensional.  I wanted to create something that would allow my kids to play and dive into their own stories of magical Arabian Nights.  Puppets and a playhouse seemed a natural progression.

And, believe me, my kids haven’t stopped telling stories since I gave them the go ahead to start playing with it at their will.  The Peeps Playhouse has seriously engaged their attention and imaginations in a way I couldn’t have anticipated. Trust me, it is SO worth making!  Campers, you really must do it.

The tutorial for the 1001 Peeps Playhouse is below, but before you get on with your making, check out some of Lizzy’s own stunning creations and patterns with her beautiful fabric.  I love this quilt.

Her current book, 1001 Peeps: Five Magical Projects Book ($24), is a great value with four full quilt patterns, amazing instructions and a gorgeous crewel embroidery project, “As You Wish,” that I SO want to make.  In fact, I have an illustration of this magical lamp that I give a little rub to everytime I go in to my studio – “as you wish” “as you wish”  I love this idea of my dreams being granted.  Love Lizzy House!

 
Okay, campers, here are the full instructions for the Peeps Playhouse – don’t forget that it doesn’t need to be perfect and the point is to have fun!
 
1001 Peeps Playhouse Tutorial
Materials
Cardboard box with edges to allow it to stand on its side (apprx 15 ¾ x 10 ¾ – I used a produce box from the grocery store.  This size was perfect for a fat quarter to cover it)
Selected 1001 Peeps fabric (Peeps and Tower fat quarters are a must)
Popsicle sticks
Paperboard (cracker box or cereal box)
18# wire or wire from hanger
Sewing machine
Craft knife
Craft glue
Glue gun
Ruler
Coordinating 3/8” ribbon
Sparkly jewels (from local craft store)
Making The Puppets
Cover the popsicle sticks by wrapping them with 3/8″ ribbon.  This is optional–plain popsicle sticks certainly work–but I couldn’t resist.  Begin with a dab of glue at the bottom of the glue stick.  Wrap the ribbon approximately 5 – 7 times.  Add another dab of glue and continue. Repeat until the end of the stick and trim ribbon.  I added a jewel at the bottom of each stick for a little extra flash.
Now for the people–sandwich 2 layers of medium weight batting between a fat quarter of Peeps fabric and another coordinating 1001 Peeps fat quarter.  Pin the layers together.
Sew outline around desired characters. Insert popsicle stick in appropriate location.
Sew up to popsicle stick and down the side for a minimum of 1” to secure.
Cut puppet out with approximately 1/8″ seam allowance.
 Making the Towers
Cut out a stretch of towers from a Towers fat quarter. Place fabric on top of a piece of paperboard.
Sew an outline around towers.
Cut towers out with 1/8″ seam allowance.
I made two of these, one for each side of the playhouse.  Set these aside to add at the very end.
Making the Playhouse
With a ruler, draw a rectangle the same proportions as the box, approximately three inches in from all the edges and cut it out with a craft knife.
 Draw outline of box opening on wrong side of a fat quarter of another 1001 peeps fabric (this is Jewels) with a fabric pen.  Add another rectangle one inch in from the first rectangle.
 Cut out inside rectangle and snip the corners all the way to the edge of the outside rectangle.
 Place box upside down over rectangle.  Fold tabs around opening in box and glue to inside.
Glue fabric to box on each side of the window opening.
It should look like this:
 
Do the same thing to the sides, leaving the corner fabric as pictured. Glue triangle to the box.
You should end up with this kind of fold at each corner.
Your box should now be ready to be curtained.
Make Curtains
Measure two curtains long and wide enough to cover playhouse opening (mine were 8 1/2 x 10″–leave enough length for the rod-pocket at the top).
 Fold over 1″ of fabric at the top of curtain and sew a 5/8″ rod pocket.
 Cut a piece of 18 lb. wire long enough to wrap around the front of the box and to twist into a loop and secure on the inside of the box.  (Mine was 24″.)
 Secure one end of the wire with a thumbtack into the cardboard box through the wire loop.
Cover the tack and wire with glue gun glue.  Hold in place.
 Slide the curtains on the wire.
Pull the wire as tightly as possible across the front of the box and repeat the wire-securing process with the other end of the wire.
 Yay – you are almost done.  Hold the kids at bay. Apply glue to the bottom of the tower pieces.
 Attach towers at approximately one inch below the top of the bus.
Make Curtain Tiebacks
With the glue gun, glue three jewels on top of one another in a stack.  This is to make the tiebacks stick out far enough to hold the curtains. (This could be rigged many ways, but this is the easiest way I could think of with materials I had on hand.)
Glue three more jewels to the end of two popsicle sticks.
Cut off jeweled portion of popsicle sticks with a craft knife and glue this piece to stack of jewels.
 Glue tiebacks mid-way up playhouse opening.
Curtain holdbacks are complete.
Now, let your kiddos at it.
If you want to buy some 1001 Peeps fabric of your own, check out this list of great shops at the end of this post. Okay campers, that’s that.  Hope you have fun!
  1. Amy

    Holy cow!! This is so insanely awesome!! I’m bookmarking this for the little kids in my life when they get a wee bit older!!

  2. Chiska

    My 5 year old is sitting here with me and said, “Do you think you should make that? It’s awesome.” Thanks!

  3. karyn

    this is AMAZING!!! perfect use of this incredible fabric. i just love it, anne!

  4. Kim

    Awesome! I love it! Now to get my hand on some peeps! : )

  5. Oh I love this week at camp. My son would truly play with this!

  6. That’s a whole lot of AWESOME to be sure! Great tutorial, and so much fun for the little ones. I am going to add this on my list of “handmade things for Christmas” for the kiddos. THANKS!

  7. I think I’m going to have to make this for my two. They’ll love it!

  8. Beth

    Seeing this makes me wish I were 6 years old again. I would have adored this.

  9. Awww, it is adorable !!! What a great idea for these hot days !!! … ^___^

  10. Melanie

    I love it! We are going to make one today – in the orange I think. I made it a quick kit for the store too!

  11. This is the most adorable beautiful thing ever! I really wish I had children! It could be a present idea for my nieces though. It’s beautiful!

  12. Amanda

    This is the cutest thing I have seen all week! Makes me with I was a little girl again!

    I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it’s a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I would love it if you’d stop by and submit this to be featured! (I link to you, I don’t post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like! http://funfamilycrafts.com/

  13. That is so great! I’m going to make the puppets for my daughter’s birthday party favors. :)

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