The best thing we've done this summer

You know how our boys like carwashes, right?  Well . . .
This is an idea that has many roots.  I guess it started with this:
and also drew inspiration from this:

And then Beth sent me this picture, and I immediately knew we had to make a life-sized "carwash" for the kids.  (First I was planning to make it for Sebby for his birthday, but then it started turning into such a good idea that I didn't have the heart to give it to ONLY Sebby.  We never would have been able to match it with presents for the others' birthdays.)  I asked Sam if he thought we could figure it out, and he said he thought so.

And then I found these plans, so we didn't even have to figure out as much as I thought.  I just had to come up with the finishing touches, which is probably one of my favorite things to do in the whole world.  In fact,  I was telling Sam how much I love it: I love thinking of just the right thing to give (of course it helps if the receiver has an obsession with something) and then I love making things that are just pretend but they sort of actually work, and I love thinking of all the tiny details I can, and I love figuring out things that you can use as other things (I guess they call that "re-purposing," right?).  SO FUN.  I got excited about working on it every night, and when we were done I was sad.  Sam said I should have a job as an "imagineer" working on theme parks, because that's exactly what they get to do.  Sounds good to me.

Anyway, here it is in all its glory.  Everyone who goes by our house turns to look, and then smiles, and then I know they are wishing they could run through it too.  And who can blame them?
Sponge ball tutorial here
Card reader (made of craft foam)
Moveable stop and go lights (also made of craft foam)
The other lights say "Wheel shine," "Spot-free rinse," "Tri-colored foam," and "Pre-soak"

I knew I had to get all the details right because my boys are basically the world's leading experts on carwashes.  (I forgot the air dryers, though.  Abe pointed it out kindly.  "Where are the air dryers?  Oh---it's okay, Mommy.  There are lots of other things.  It's still fun.")
I got most of this stuff from the dollar store.  Pom-poms (or is it pom-pons?) and sponges.  The red brush on top is the cover of a duster from IKEA.
Those beige things are paint rollers and the blue ones are dusters, also from the dollar store.
The rainbow-colored flaps are made of various vinyl remnants, except orange and purple are fleece remnants (did you know fleece is waterproof? It dries really fast).  I got them all on the clearance table at the fabric store.  I just folded them in half (so they'd be colorful on both sides) and sewed a seam on top so they could slide onto the PVC pipe.  Then I cut them into strips.
And here it is in action (there are tiny holes drilled in the PVC pipe to let the water out):
Waiting in the queue
Seb gasps
Brave Daisy
Not sure what Seb is doing here


  1. Wow. You're my hero. And I thought the muffins were cool.

  2. THIS IS WORTHY OF ALL CAPS AND AN EXCLAMATION MARK! That is simply terrific. I'm going to drive by just in case it's still up. My favorite part was the wash marked "penultimate."

  3. You are a genius. I don't care that you found the instructions online, the fact that you actually made it (and so darling) makes you a genius

  4. I love it. Maybe I'll make one for my kids for next summer.
    But does it come apart? And if so, could you put it back together?

  5. Beth: We didn't glue anything together yet, just pounded the pipes together with a mallet to make them secure. I think we'll glue some of the pieces together and leave some unglued, so we can store it flat for the winter. Maybe we'll glue each horizontal side together and then leave the vertical crosspieces unglued. If you did it that way you could put it back together pretty easily. I bet Joel The PVC Pipe Guru could make one of these easily! I have some leftover vinyl if you want it.

  6. GLorious. Just glorious. And now bookmarked. Funny - we were at the doctor's yesterday and they had an exceptionally wonderful selection of magazines. One of them was Family Fun - I have about 40 archived Family Fun magazines - loved looking through them, but rarely actually DID anything. And now it's DISNEY Family Fun. The second I began to leaf through it, I wanted a subscription. So I could look at it and feel motivated and then guilty, probably.

    I just think this would be FAB to build with grandkids, though = summer magic. Maybe next year.

  7. Oh my GOODNESS!! This is so amazing! I have to show Max, but at the same time I don't want to because then he'll realize that I'm not a truly cool mom after all. :)
    It's mindblowingly cool really. Nice work, awesomely cool mom!


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