A Handmade Playhouse for the Backyard

Posted by: Kelli

I don’t remember my dad helping us, but I am sure we couldn’t have stacked all the logs on our own. My sisters and I had a log cabin of sorts growing up. We had to climb up to the top of the stacked logs to get in because we didn’t have a door way. Inside was a short stump for a chair, and another stump was turned sideways for a couch. Sometimes a mouse would scurry out from underneath the ‘couch’ when we moved it. Leaves were always scattered around, and the tree trunk right outside our hideaway was shaved clean by my tedious scraping with another twig. Sometimes I ‘fished’ in the over sized puddle right outside the tree line.

My sisters and I had this brilliant makeshift log cabin at the end of our driveway. It sat among the trees and shrubs and unruly brush in the woods. We played for hours out there. This log cabin was nothing special. We stacked the logs just like you would see in Little House on the Prairie, and our dad loosely nailed them together to prevent them from shifting and falling.

We had lots of imagination.

The Handmade Hideaway. A Homemade Playhouse. Kendall Charcoal gray.


Well. We don’t have the woods and acreage and endless amounts of nature to explore where we live, but we have learned we have all kinds of possibilities plopped right in the middle of a subdivision. My husband and I intentionally bought our home right where we wanted. We thought through the pros and cons of buying with acreage and living in the middle of no where surrounded by peace and quiet and nature. While we still dream and talk about a home of sorts, we know we belong right where we are, and we know this is what is best for us right now.

We will make the most of our small back yard.

We cannot take any credit whatsoever for the adorable playhouse Peter built this summer. All thanks goes to the Handmade Home team for putting out some great plans for a crazy creative Handmade Hideaway. This project coupled with the sand box underneath the play house has already turned into a great investment of time and money. Our two year old loves it. Our seven month old loves it too…although I wish he would stay out of the sand box.

Here are a few pictures from along the way and a few changes we made to the original plans. Once again, be sure to check out the original Handmade Hideaway by Jamin & Ashley from the Handmade Home.

We had such a crazy rainy start to our summer that we built the frames for the playhouse inside and then painted them inside. Once the weather dried up, we moved everything outside and finished it there.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.
The paint we chose for the exterior of the playhouse was Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal gray. We didn’t want to match the exterior of our house, but we wanted the playhouse to coordinate. We went with a color a couple shades darker than our home.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.

Fun story. We had picked out the slide on Amazon for the playhouse. We had decided to go with the green. Peter was getting ready to order this green Cool Wave Slide when I saw a used one run across my Facebook feed on a garage sale site. $5 people. That yellow slide you see under there cost us $5.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.
We followed the Handmade Home’s plans fairly close, but we did make a few engineering changes. You can see in the below picture one of the changes we made. We added some additional horizontal beans for extra reinforcement.  Peter explained to me that a lot of snow sitting on the roof adds up to a lot of weight.  He kept the rafter high enough so that adults can still easily walk into the house.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.

In the picture below, you can see the back side of the bracing for the front rafter – two treated 2×4’s helped keep the truss from separating if a big heap of snow comes our way.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.
We also pre-drilled holes before screwing on the fence boards – only at the ends.  Otherwise, they would split at the ends.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.
The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.
We added a table and chairs that I bought for $5 two years ago at a garage sale. Case loves sitting up there with his dad.

Another change you may see that we made were the porch rails. Since I have a crawler, we decided to use posts on the front porch instead of the big Xs. I told Peter I was going to be chasing my seven month old everywhere trying to keep him from falling off every ledge if we didn’t change the plans a little. For us, these worked better.

The ladder is also hinged on our playhouse.  This way we could easily lift it up and mow under it.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.3

I enjoyed adding the potted flowers to the front porch of the playhouse. I am keeping my eye out for a child’s wooden rocking chair that I want to spray paint white. I think it would be adorable up there.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.

You can also see in the below picture that we added a sand box under the playhouse. At this point, our two year old probably spends more time in the sand box than he does in the playhouse. He likes the sand a lot.

The Handmade Hideaway by the HandmadeHome. A homemade playhouse.
This project went quite a bit faster than I anticipated. It took about two and a half months to complete, a few hours each weekend. It was a high priority item on our to do list for the summer. We eventually want to add shutters that open and close, and I am still considering landscaping around the playhouse. Next summer, we also plan on building an arm off the side of the playhouse to add some swings. For now, though, we are completely happy and grateful for our little playhouse!

The Handmade Hideaway. A Homemade playhouse.

2 thoughts on “A Handmade Playhouse for the Backyard

    1. Hi Jen! Good to ‘meet you.’ Kristi has mentioned you in conversation a few times recently. 🙂 The playhouse is way fun for the boys. They love it, and so do we. It has been completely worth the time and money.

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