The wonderful and dangerous thing about moving house is that without warning you become drawn to homewares catalogues like a moth to a flame. John Lewis suddenly makes a stealth entry into your ‘most visited’ sites lists and ne’er a day goes by without an interestingly large package arriving on the doorstep… or so my husband complains. Still, a happy upside of this retail incontinence is that I find myself with a wealth of large empty boxes, just waiting to be recycled into fetching play equipment. ’Think how much we’ve saved!’ I cry, to an unconvinced marital audience. In this case, a large box (formerly housing a vacuum cleaner, since you ask) has been painted and appended with some mouth-watering clip art to make a simple play shop, through which much money has changed hands in the last 24 hours in exchange for a variety of dented plastic vegetables.
As you can see from the pictures below, the actual cardboard box with just a door and a serving hatch cut into it were just as exciting to the 2yr old in question – the paint and decor just makes it a slightly more attractive addition to the playroom…
- Large cardboard box; small box for displaying items for sale
- Paint (leftover wall paint is perfect for this as the colour comes from the decorations)
- Clip art; I used standard royalty-free images of fruit and veg, plus a googled ‘awning’ graphic blown up to 200%
- Craft knife for cutting out a door at the rear and a serving hatch to the front – leave the door intact by cutting on 3 sides and folding back the cardboard; kids love to shut themselves in
- Thick masking tape, for securing the box and adding the display box to the front; stick everything in place then just paint over it.