Mary-ed Life

Thoughts on love, marriage, children, and random trivia.


How to Sew a Card Table Play House: A Free Tutorial


Recently, on Pinterest, I saw a picture of a card table play house. Essentially, the house was an embellished table cloth supported by a foldable card table. “What a great idea!” I said and immediately searched the internet for one to give to my two-year-old daughter. Sadly, the play houses for sale on Etsy were too expensive and there were no patterns available that I liked. Then, I stumbled on a blog written by a crafty mom. She took it upon herself to sew her own play house and took lots of pictures to share it with the world. (If you are interested, here is the link to her post: This crafty mom inspired me to sew my own play house. Inspired by her design, I created my own.

And I am giving it to all of you.

This post includes step by step directions and pictures. You are welcome! Now let’s get sewing!


4 yds fabric for outside

4 yds fabric for inside

1 yd fabric for door

1 yd fabric for roof

colored felt (amount depends on what you make)

craft glue (I prefer Tacky Glue.)

wax paper (for making patterns)

Note: The amount of fabric is based on a standard 28 inch by 34 inch by 34 inch card table. You will probably find it easier to have the card table set up while you sew. It makes checking for appropriate sizing quick and easy. It also gives you an additional work surface.


1. Iron all fabric. I used broad cloth for the walls and roof because it is light and inexpensive, but any cotton or cotton blend will do. For a little flair, I used blue flannel for the door. I just wanted it to look different.

2. Cut the four yards of outside fabric into four separate yards. The rectangular pieces will be longer and higher than the sides of the table, but we will trim them later.

3. Cut a door pattern out of wax paper. It should be 24 by 14 inches.

4. Center on your first panel and pin. Allow a one inch seam allowance at the bottom.

5. Cut the height of the door on either side, but do not cut the top (width).


6. Pin back the edges of the door and door frame on the wrong side of the fabric and zig zag stitch.


7. Use your wax paper pattern to cut a piece of the door fabric and sew that fabric to the door (right side of fabric).



8. Decorate the front panel. I made a flower pot and a mail box.


IMG_03259. Cut a window pattern out of wax paper 14 inches square.

10. Mark the center of the first side panel and cut out the window. Zig zag stitch down the edges on the wrong side of the fabric.

11. Cut strips of felt for the window panes and pin and sew them to the wrong side of the fabric.

12. Decorate the panel however you like. I made a climbing rose on this side. I made the roses myself by hand. Here is the tutorial for the roses if you are as crazy as me:



13. Repeat steps 10-12 for the other side. I chose not to embellish the other side because the roses took so long.

IMG_036814. Hem the base of all four outside panels. I used a one inch seam.

15. Decorate the back panel. I made an apple tree. The apples can be picked and put into a basket pocket.




16. Cut out the basket and sew it on.

17. Cut out and glue on the tree.

18. Glue on the basket handle.

19. Sew felt apples.

20. Sew velcro to the apples and the tree.

That is all the work for the outside. Now we begin the inside. I made the inside a different color, but it is up to you.

21. Cut the inside fabric into four separate yards and hem the bottom edge of all inside panels.

22. Line up the bottom hems of each inside panel to an outside panel and sew across the top wrong sides together. Do not sew the bottom hems together. (They remain separated so that you can repair the play house if it is damaged during play.) Now that the hems are lined up, you can easily cut the door and windows out and be sure they will line up.

23. Cut out a space for the interior door and zig zag sew down the edges.

24. Cut out spaces for the interior windows and zig zag sew down the edges.

Now it is time to decorate the interior of the play house. I made a kitchen, a book shelf, and a dresser. The book shelf and dresser are just sewn pockets. I also made little “clothes” for the dresser.

The kitchen is more complex so I took the time to take lots of pictures of it.

25. Piece together and sew the refridgerator to the back interior panel. Sew the back of the fridge and the bowls, then the velcro, then the fridge doors.




26. Piece together the oven, lay it out and mark where you want the pots to go. Sew on the pots. Then, glue on the rest of the oven pieces.




27. Decorate the side interior panels if you wish.



Now this is the tricky part.

28. Sew the walls of the house together. I did this by laying them on the floor and lining up the hems. As you get two walls together, then three, then four, the house will get heavy and harder to manage while sewing. I suggest having a helper to support the weight of the fabric.

29. Sew on the roof. I sewed two opposite walls to the roof before the other two opposite walls. This worked well for me. Trim excess fabric if desired.

30. Show off your creation!


Leave a comment

A Tale of Five Dozen Prefolds

Last night, while getting Ariana ready for bed, my husband realized that she had left her sippy cup on the lower shelf of her changing table. Milk had climbed up the straw of the cup and a small puddle formed.

“I’ll go get a paper towel,” he said dutifully and headed toward the kitchen, but I stopped him.

“We don’t need a paper towel. We have these.” And I pulled out one of the prefolds sitting on the very same shelf. With one swipe, I soaked up the mess and tossed the prefold into the diaper pail.

As Ariana would say, “All done!”

There are few things as useful and versatile as a prefold cloth diaper. I’ve used them as diapers, burp cloths, changing pads, and rags. They are great for any cleaning task because they are so soft and absorbant. Best of all, they are extremely durable, and wash up fresh every time.

Recently, I’ve discovered other uses for prefolds. I love to sew and a few months ago I decided to make my own pocket diapers. I had no pattern and my goal was to make the pocket diapers as cheaply as possible, just to see if I could do it. I bought a yard of solid PUL fabric and a yard of fleece, plus a spool of thread, two packages of ¼ inch braided elastic, and two packages of sew-on velcro. Total cost: thirty dollars. If my calculations were correct, I could sew six medium size pocket diapers.

So what were the prefolds for? Inserts, of course! I took six toddler prefolds and trimmed the length and width to fit my new pocket diapers. Success!

But wait! There’s more! Recently, the sewing bug bit me again. I came across a tutorial for converting prefold diapers into fitted diapers. (Thanks Malia!) The result: all the absorbancy of a prefold diaper minus a lot of extra bulk, creating a great fit. Oh, and I got to add printed fabric to the diapers to make them pretty. How much for this new and improved diaper? One package of elastic (makes about three diapers) for $1.50 and old receiving blankets (free).

I’m still thinking of new and exciting things to do with my prefolds. I currently have two dozen small (infant) size cotton prefolds and three dozen large (toddler) size cotton prefolds. About ten of the toddler prefolds have been sewn into other things so far. I have entertained the idea of converting a couple into All-In-One diapers, but my daughter is a little too close to potty training for the expense of the PUL. I suspect I will be making more fitted diapers simply because they are just so cute.

We will have to wait and see!

1 Comment

Cloth Baby Wipes: The Final Frontier

I wrote the following post as a note on Facebook in February 2011. My daughter was ten months old at the time.

Cloth Baby Wipes: The Final Frontier

“Cloth wipes? What? Are you nuts?”

I said that a few months ago. I was researching cloth diapers online and found more than one source that insisted cloth baby wipes are a must for cloth diapering. I refused to accept it. “I will not use cloth wipes. That is definately too much trouble.” I tried my hardest to resist! Yet, I found myself reading about them and researching. I watched youtube videos and read blogs. “Ok. I might consider cloth wipes if I can find a cheap way to use them” You see, buying presewn cloth wipes and premixed wipe solution would cost at least fifty dollars to get started. True to my stingy nature, I refused to spend that.

…..more research…more youtube videos….more blogs……

“Aha! I found a way to get us set with plenty of cloth wipes and solution for five dollars!”

Here’s how I did it. First, I sewed my own cloth wipes. I cut up old receiving blankets that my child has not used since she was a month old and sewed them into two-ply wipes. Then, I mixed my own wipe solution using baby wash, baby oil, and water. Put the solution into a cheap plastic spray bottle and Voila! The only things I had to buy were the baby wash ($1.50 for the Walmart brand), baby oil ($2.50), and the spray bottle ($1.00).

Want to make your own cloth wipes? Here are the steps:

1. Cut two 27 inch by 27 inch receiving blankets into nine inch squares. Each set of two blankets makes nine two ply wipes. (If you have any other soft scrap fabric or old soft t-shirt, that will work too.)

2. Machine sew two squares together. Straight stitches are okay, but more complex stitches work best. Trim away the excess fabric outside the stitching.

3. Repeat until you have the desired number of wipes. You will need at least 24. I made 36.

How to make wipe solution:


1 cup water

1 tbs baby wash/shampoo

1tbs baby oil

1 tbs baby lotion (optional)

Pour into spray bottle (for the “dry method) or wipes container (for the “wet method”).

The Dry Method:

Take a dry baby wipe and spray with a spray bottle filled with wipe solution or spray baby’s bottom directly with wipe solution. Wipe clean.

The Wet Method:

Place baby wipes into a wipes container or wipes warmer. Pour premade solution over wipes and allow the wipes to absorb the solution.

Either way, the used wipes go directly into the diaper pail with the cloth diapers and get laundered the same way. There is no need to separate before washing. When you baby is no longer in diapers, use them again as rags.