Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY.

Bob's Bloggers

A community of bloggers who live and die to DIY

diy, deck patio & porch, kids

DIY Backyard Playhouse

By Tidy Brown Wren, bringing order to your nest on Jul 10, 2013

Our little playhouse is finally finished.

It's been a real labor of love and a challenge to keep the budget low and use what we already had on hand.

Click on A Playhouse Story if you want to read about our little house.

This was how it started out (minus all of the junk we hauled out of it).

And now I'm proud to show off our little playhouse all gussied up and ready for some visitors.

After all of the demo and painting, we only had a few more projects to finish up. One of the projects was adding a new (old) window to brighten the interior a bit more.

Then the fabulous duo known as Son & Hubs put in a remnant of carpet that our oldest daughter was getting rid of. She donated it to the cause.

A coat of paint on the outside made the two non-matching windows look like they were meant to be together. By the way, all of the old windows we use in our projects have either been found on the curb or were donated by friends who like to watch us upcycle things - thanks Chris and Sheri!

Flooring and 2x4s left over from our kitchen remodel were used to make storage shelves in one corner. Notice the little chair on the top shelf? It belonged to Hubs when he was a little boy. We'll pull it down to use when we need it.

The bins hold Duplos/Legos, a wooden train track and trains, and a ton of matchbox cars. A bag with the car track sits on top of the bins.

My favorite part of the whole playhouse is the little kitchen spot. I had a great time putting it together. I bought the wooden kitchen 29 years ago in a thrift store. It was a big splurge then - $10.00 was a big chunk of my budget but my baby girl needed a kitchen set.

Hubs nailed some 2x4 pieces between the studs and I added some leftover trim and wood wedges for supports, and cup hooks for hanging things.

The sink part of the kitchen was missing so I bought a small stainless bowl at the thrift store and Son cut some scrap plywood for the bowl to sit in. I painted the wood with leftover paint.

Because the playhouse has no electricity, I added a wind-up emergency lantern. The kids can wind up the lantern with the crank and get 15 minutes of light from it. It's all plastic and not too heavy. I hung it from a leftover plant hanger. I hung a curtain (an old place mat) with Velcro across the bottom shelf. A piece of alphabet art from my staging stash completes the look.

The finishing touch was the kitchen table and chairs. I bought the table and two ice cream parlor chairs at a thrift store 25 years ago for $3.00 and that set has seen many tea parties. The vintage folding chairs were purchased at a thrift store last summer.

After a few coats of spray paint (called Fern) the table and chairs look great. The ice cream parlor chairs are still being worked on (they had to be reupholstered). I'll set them around the table and keep the folded chairs to the side until needed. The matching place mat from the curtain works as a table runner. I added a coat of poly to the top of the table to make it more durable just in case play dough or crayons make an appearance.

I look forward to hearing lots of giggles and conversations while children play here. I might just put in a reading chair and make myself at home! One of the best things about this makeover was that it cost us around $7.00 to do it. All we bought was 2 cans of spray paint and a stainless bowl. Everything else was upcycled, recycled, or reused.

Let the playing begin.

Visit Tidy Brown Wren, bringing order to your nest »

blog comments powered by Disqus