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Mum, 38, reveals how she turned the $199 Kmart cubby and an IKEA bed into a retreat for her son

A talented mother has revealed exactly how she turned a Kmart cubby house and a reversible bed from IKEA into a stylish retreat for her two-year-old son.

Trina Gale, from Timaru in New Zealand, wanted to create something special for her son, Ollie, and got the idea after browsing around online and thinking how great it would be if she could make Kmart’s $199 cubby into a bed.

‘It was a lot easier to do than you might think and cost me around $620 all up,’ Trina told FEMAIL.

To make the bed for yourself, you’ll need Kmart’s cubby house, one Kura IKEA bed frame ($299 new), some paint, wood filler, sandpaper, lights and a bell.

‘I filled all the staple holes in the cubby house frame, sanded it and painted it,’ Trina explained.

‘Then, using some screws, I attached the front and back frame to the bed, adding the roof back on to make a bedroom retreat.’ 

To make the cubby look pretty inside, Trina said she added some fairy lights for $16 from Kmart to the inside of the roof, using three metre decorating strips and ‘a couple of nik naks’.

‘I also included a bell, which was $20 and spray painted gold, a wooden monkey and a few fake plants,’ she said.

‘I only paid $50 for the bed frame second-hand, and then spent $250 on a new mattress.’ 

When it comes to Trina’s tips for others who wish to do similar, the mum-of-three said the most important thing to think about is the painting.

‘Try painting the cubby in sections to make the job easier, and paint it on top of the box it is sold in,’ the 38-year-old said.

‘This saves any potential mess and means you can paint inside in the evenings.’

Trina said it took her 10 days to do the entire bedroom makeover, but she didn’t spend hours each day doing it.

‘I reckon you could get it done in two days, it’s a really simple easy project,’ Trina said. 

She added that she has even made the retreat so that she can unscrew the house from the bed frame and turn the frame over:

‘That way, I can re-attach the house to make a cabin bed with a loft underneath when Ollie is a little older,’ she said.

When Trina shared the results of her handiwork online, more than six thousands people were impressed and said it was a ‘game-changing’ idea.

‘Oh wow! That is awesome, I really want to try this,’ one woman posted.

‘I am 27 years old and would like one of these,’ another added.

This isn’t the first time the Kmart cubby house has been converted into something else, either.

Earlier this year, doting ‘dog mum’ Jessica Breen treated her ‘fur babies’, golden retriever Dorothy and border collie Martha, to a warm, dry place to sleep outside.

The animal lover from Brisbane, Queensland, decorated two Kmart cubby houses typically used as children’s play areas with accessories from brands like Bunnings and Spotlight to give the pups the space they deserve. 

Jessica shared photos of the doghouse online, showing people every step of the project which was completed with help from her husband, Sinclair.  

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