Magazine:

For this second custom generic playset / playset extension, we'll be making the schoolyard from the Springfield Elementary playset.

In addition to the set we'll need:

Supplies:

1 square foot "grass paper" - $5-6 / large roll (mine is made by Life-Like products -- it is used primarily by model train builders, and available where model trains are sold)

Tools:

Hot glue gun or other gluing method
Hobby saw or something else which will do the same job
Small phillips head screwdriver
Pen/marker
Pushpin, needle, other thin pointy thing
Scissors
Sander/file

Directions:

1. Remove School from the packaging and detach from the cardboard.
2. Remove all the screws from the bottom of the playset, except the one holding the batteries in.
3. Detach the bottom plate from the playset's base.
4. Unscrew and remove all of the electronics from the base, leaving them attached to the bottom plate. Be careful with the sensor-pegs... I lost part of one this time (still works but doesn't look as good)
5. Set those aside, and now remove the screws holding the school's walls to the base.
6. Unscrew the screws holding the desk to the playset. The screws go up inside of nubs that stick out of the base, and screw into pieces extending from the top of the desk.
7. Set the desk pieces aside, you may want to use them on another set or as an accesory later.

8. Use your hobby saw or other cutting device to remove the nubs. Also cut away the outcroppings which helped hold the desk at the right angle (low plastic Ls).

OPTIONAL: If you plan on adding any extras to the schoolyard, you may wish to leave on the nubs and attach your extras with them.

9. Sand/file the remnants of the nubs and bits.

10. Cut your grass paper to a size just about an inch or inch-and-a-half bigger than the playset.
11. Place the playset on top of the non-grass side of the
grass paper.

12. Trace the outline of the playset on the paper with your pen/marker.
13. Fill in or at least mark the placement of the buttons and sensors on the grass paper. I just marked the middles and guesstimated the full size.
14. Cut out areas for the buttons and sensor to "peek" through.
15. Use the top of the base to check to make sure that your holes will work. This need not be very precise, as the gluing stage isn't particularly precise, either.
16. Once you have the holes aligned, weight down the grass paper and apply glue as quick as you can around the sensors and buttons and then place the top of the base on top. Make sure that it aligns.
17. Keep gluing, now doing the edges, along the top. Just let the extra grass paper hang off the edge, we'll be folding it down later.
18. Now, start on one edge and fold down the excess paper onto the side of the playset.
19. Glue along the side of the set, and then press the paper into the glue.
20. Clip your paper wherever the playset's edges bend, so that you can keep the grass paper flat on the playset.
21. Now glue on to the next edge. Clip the excess paper off so that your corner looks good. Glue if necessary.
22. Repeat with each edge of the playset.
23. Trim along the bottom of the base-top, removing the excess grass paper and trying to get as nice a line as you can.
24. Poke through the speaker holes with your pointy thing, so that sound goes through more clearly, but that there aren't very large holes.
25. Apply a clear coat, if desired.
26. Redo the electronics, again, be careful with the sensor-pegs.
27. Screw the bottom of the base back on.

Now you are all set with your Schoolyard generic playset custom!

There are many cool additions that you can add to this to give it more character. I plan on picking up some form of fake plastic bushes to add to the set. Other ideas which I don't have time to make happen right now are playground items like swings, teeter-totter, monkey bars, etc.

You could also leave on the wall with the chalkboard and customize the exterior of the school with a window!

Please share your ideas with me about how to make this set shine! I may well modify mine to improve it... but the point of me sharing these is to show ideas about using existing sets as generic playsets that can extend the amount of pegs available for characters; I also want/need them to sit in front of and between current sets without blocking the view too much (see the VR of my collection).

Enjoy!

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