Our Kmart cubby hack
I knew even when I was pregnant that Tilly’s first birthday present was going to be a cubby house. I’d been seeing the incredible hacks of the Kmart cubby house for ages, and I knew it was a creative project that was going to have so much meaning for me. And it did! I loved putting it all together, and I’m so excited to (finally) share it with you. I have listed and linked to all the products I used, as well.
The hardest part for me was choosing the colours! You can ask my best girlfriend- I drove her nuts umming and ahhing over colour choices. Soft grey with a pink door, baby blue with white accents, pastels? And then finally, after basically draining Bunnings of all their paint colour cards, I realised mustard yellow was the way to go. Bright sunshine yellow for our sunshine girl.
It took me quite a few days to paint it all- I was doing it in the time Tilly slept each day, so it took me forever- but thankfully the actual putting it together didn’t take too long. Some people have opted for spraying their cubbies, but as we already had paint equipment from when we painted our last home, I decided to just go with what we had, and used a good ol’ paintbrush.
I went with Taubmans All Weather Exterior paint, to give it that extra protection from the elements, as the cubby does not sit undercover. The body of the cubby was supposed to be an almondy/beige colour, with the trims and flower boxes distinctly white against it, but I think I went a little too safe with my main colour choice, because it actually came out too light, and just looks white! The next time it needs a new coat of paint, I’ll opt for a darker tint. Anyway, I painted all the pieces before the cubby was put together- if you are opting for a single colour and/or using a spray gun, you could just as easily construct it and then just douse it in paint, whichever way works for you! And while I didn’t use an undercoat, on reflection, if I had given myself enough time to get it done without rushing, I probably would have done just a single undercoat for everything, to give that top colour a more neutral base to build on.
In total, I used just under 4 litres of paint- 2 coats for the main panels, 3 for the trims (that green stain on the timber is hard to cover with light paint), and 4 for the door (like, reeeeeally hard to cover- I can still see the green even through 4 coats of paint! Should have done an undercoat!).
I replaced the original door handle with a handle from Bunnings, as well as a bell and ‘house’ number (18, for her birthday date). I also added a small ‘picket fence’ to the garden bed behind where the cubby sits, which is just two pre-made lattice garden edging panels I picked up from Bunnings, and gave a quick coat of paint!
Since then, I’ve added a few custom additions to the inside, to give it a little more structure for active imaginative play. My dad helped me build shelves along one side, plus a couple of corner shelves for knick knacks, and I built two book racks which are attached next to the door. We also built an extended deck which elevates the cubby off the ground, and gives her extra play space that is dedicated for her and her cubby.
I also added some marine carpet as a floor surface. It is the carpet used on boats and wet areas, so is perfect for use outside in the cubby, when it can get wet! One day I might look to create shutters or blinds for the windows, but I’ll see if I get bored enough to undertake that sort of thing!
For styling, I added faux flowers in the flower boxes, a hanging plant inside, and then I style with her wooden foods and picnic sets etc. As she grows, it can become a shop, or a house, or anything she dreams of!
Here are the links to everything I used. Hopefully, these items will still exist if you ever come across this blog and want to get your hands on them, but at the time of posting, all of these links do indeed work!
Cubby house: Kmart
Paint: Taubmans (walls- ‘Almond Milk’, trims- ‘Cottonball’, roof- ‘Wizard Grey’, door- ‘Brass Mesh’)
Door handle: Bunnings
Door numbers: Bunnings
Ship’s Bell: Bunnings
Flower box flowers: Kmart
Door mat: Kmart
Hanging plant: Adairs
Shelving materials and decking materials: Bunnings
Picket fence: Bunnings
Weave basket: Koch & Co
Name sign: Zilvi
Pull-along luggy: Olli Ella
Booster seat: The Upsy Store
Felt fish & chips: Chook Shed Designs