How to Build the Coolest Playhouse
It took us 2 months of working part-time on the weekends (10 days total) and about $1500 in supplies, but we built the coolest playhouse:
My kids loved it and played in it every day for at least 2 weeks (it does still get a lot of play when friends come over). Today they had a water balloon fight from it.
Here’s how it started…my sister-in-law is a super-crafty mom (the kind that makes you feel wholly inadequate but she’s so nice you can’t hate her for it). She found this playhouse from The Handmade Home and they built it in a couple of weekends:
Of course when my kids saw it, they had to have it! Here’s the problem though: my husband LOVES to build stuff but refuses to read directions! So, we loosely followed the directions for the Handmade Hideaway and modified them as we went along.
I put all the tools we used up on Loanables to rent for $50 a month for anyone that lives in Austin. You can find that listing here.
There are 5 parts to this project:
- The Deck: here are the directions. We put the stairs on the inside of the house instead of the outside. Also, to make it a little easier on us, we decided to use Plywood for the floors instead of decking. Here was our deck cut list:
- 10 – 2 x 8 x 10 (double what Handmade Hideaway calls for)
- 4 – 2 x 8 x 8 (double what Handmade Hideaway calls for)
- 2 – 4 x 4 x 12 corner posts cut 6′ (instead of the 3 – 4 x 4 x 8 that the Handmade Hideaway calls for)
- 6 – 4 x 8 x 3/4 thick plywood (instead of the 22- 5/4 x 6 x 8 that the Handmade Hideaway calls for)
- The Walls: here are the directions. We have 2 floors of walls. Here was our cut list for the walls:
- 27 – 2 x 4 x 12 (11 at 5′ and 16 at 5.5′)
- 4 – 2 x 4 x 8 (cut to 7′)
- 1 – 2 x 4 x 10 (cut at 4′)
- 90 cedar fence boards with the rounded tops cut off.
- The railings and shutters: here are the directions. This is only for 2 windows, but we have a total of 5 windows. Two on the top level (just like the Handmade Hideaway), and 3 on the bottom level (2 just like the top, but we added one to the front). Change up the Supply List based on how many windows you decide to make.
- The Roof: here are the directions for the roof. Note: we brought our roof over the entire top level. The Handmade Hideaway only covers the back half. Therefore, you need 2 more rafters and 8 sheets of tin instead of 4.
- Painting and/or Staining (this was the least fun part). I stained the outside with Behr semi-transparent Cape Cod Gray. The trim on top is just a basic exterior white. The floor and other trim I painted the same color as the trim on our house. It is an Exterior Behr flat paint that it is brown with a gray hue in it. Like an idiot I got rid of the empty can so I can’t tell you the exact color (nor will it be easy for me to do touchups in the future). For the inside, I wanted the wall color to pop when looking in so I chose a turquoise.
The last thing to do was finish it out – by far my favorite part. I bought outdoor, striped curtains on Overstock.com. I chose the color “spa”, but there are several fun colors. The “Admiral” blue would be really cute, too. You should be able to find one that goes with whatever color theme you already have going on outside. (The Handmade Home also gives some good tips for how to make the curtains hang correctly on their blog.)
I really wanted something cute for the porch and found these not-too-expensive kid’s Adirondack chairs.
I put plastic table and chairs on the inside where my daughter likes to play school or do art. Upstairs, I put some kids folding chairs and a table that we already had. Mostly, though they like to play and yell down at whoever isn’t up there. Here are some items I finished it out with:
This really was a fun project for our family, even though there were times during the project that I thought we would never finish and regretted starting it. Now that it is done, I’m really glad we did it. My kids are so proud of it, and they have a playhouse that they will use for a few short years and the memories that will last forever.
P.S. Tim (my husband) and I are happy to answer any questions if you decide to take on this project.