Crafty Mum Who Loved £85 Haunted Playhouse Makes Her Own For Just £27
- Sarah Searby, 29, wanted to buy her son a haunted Scooby Doo playhouse
- However, shop-bought versions cost £85, so she decided to make her own
- She found an old house on Facebook Marketplace and transformed it with B&Q and ebay supplies
If your child has their eyes on an expensive toy this Christmas, don’t despair: you might be able to make your own for a fraction of the price.
Sarah Searby, 29, a mum of one and sales order and operations specialist from Sheffield, wanted to buy her son a haunted house for Christmas.
However, she didn’t want to spend a fortune on a brand new one, with shop-bought versions costing up to £85, so decided to make her own.
Using supplies from Facebook Marketplace, B&Q and ebay, Sarah managed to create her son his very own Scooby Doo playhouse for just £27.
Sarah told the money-saving Black Friday app: "My son is two next month and he's gotten so into Scooby Doo.
"I wanted to surprise him with a haunted mansion and do something really special this year.
“He was a lockdown baby and last Christmas didn't go to plan due to Covid.
"He loves playing with the dollhouses at childcare and I knew he'd love to have his own playhouse.
"My husband is studying to be a teacher so we're on one wage which has put us on quite a tight budget and his birthday is right before Christmas too!
"We just couldn't really afford to buy the sets new as they're quite costly and my son is quite boisterous so I thought they'd probably get broken pretty quickly.
“The shop-bought ones often don't come with a lot of furniture or figures and the plastic seems quite flimsy so I just didn't think they would last as long as a wooden house.
"I've seen people turning old dollhouses into Halloween houses online and when I saw this one pop up on Facebook Marketplace for £15, I figured it was worth a shot!
"I looked at loads of pictures of haunted mansion toys online for some inspiration.
“I picked up a few purple tester pots and a can of textured spray paint for the roof and used paint from when we decorated our house.
"The flooring was offcuts from the lino when we got that fitted at home too.
"Then I cut up some old Halloween decorations to decorate the walls inside and added some fake moss I got off ebay.
“The house cost £15 which came with furniture off Facebook Marketplace.
“I spent £9 on tester pots and spray paint from B&Q and used old Halloween decorations I already owned to decorate the outside and inside walls.
“I painted lolly sticks to board up the damaged window and spent £2.99 on the fake moss.
“All in all it cost £27 for the whole thing.”
Sarah is delighted with how her haunted house has come out and says she can’t wait to show her son his one-of-a-kind playhouse.
"To be honest I never thought it would come out as well as it has.
"I worked on it every night after work for a week right from my son's bedtime to going to bed myself and I'm really happy with it.
“I just hope my son loves it as much as I loved making it for him!
“Making my own playhouse for my son felt a lot more personal.
“It felt like I was making something really special for my little boy that I knew he'd love rather than buying something something would most likely end up in a landfill.
“Plus, it felt great repurposing something that had already been loved for a long time to give it a new lease of life.
"If I were going to give any tips I'd say trust the process because I really doubted it was going to come together at some stages.
“Also, I’d say just use what you've got at home and go with your own creative ideas.
"If something doesn't work or look right it's so easy to just repaint over and start again and to try have fun with creating something.
"I really just can't wait to see my little boy playing with something I put so much love and time into for him!”
Tom Church, co-founder of the money-saving Black Friday app, comments: “Christmas is a really expensive time for families, and with more toys than ever to choose from, kids will no doubt have their eyes on some seriously pricey goodies.
“However, Sarah has proven that you don’t need to splash out on shop-bought presents which only end up in landfill.
“She’s saved a significant amount of cash by making her very own Scooby Doo playhouse, and is setting a fantastic example to her son by recycling and reusing.
“Best of all, her son has his very own haunted house, made with love and designed just for him, that no other kid in the world will have!"
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