Homemade Wooden Playhouses

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A playhouse can provide hours of fun for a child. A playhouse serves as a safe haven, a clubhouse and a place to meet with friends. Playhouses are made from many materials, including plastic. Some are as elaborate as a real house with shingled roofs, doors, and real windows. Playhouses are even built in different styles, such as Victorian or ranch with a porch in front. A simple wooden playhouse can be a weekend project and an opportunity to share time with a child.

Things You'll Need

  • two 2 inch by 4 inch boards, six feet long
  • eight 2 inch by 4 inch boards, four feet long
  • five 4 foot by 8 foot sheets of half-inch plywood
  • 16 penny nails
  • one inch wood screws
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • seven 12 inch cinder blocks
  • seven wooden fence posts
  • Builder's square
  • Decorative hinges
  • Jig saw
  • Skil saw
  • Paint

Preparing the Foundation and Building the Frame

  • Form a box with the four feet long 2 inch by 4 inch boards, using the two six feet long pieces on one side. Nail the boards together so that each side is four feet long. Use the square to align the corners. When the box is completed, it should look similar to the frame of a lean-to.

  • Install four fence posts two feet deep and four feet apart.

  • Place the cinder blocks over the fence posts, forming the corners. Place one cinder block between the corner blocks, forming a block foundation. Place two more blocks in the center, spaced evenly between the blocks on the side.

Installing the Front, Back and Sides

  • Cut one sheet of plywood to six feet by four feet for the back. Cut two pieces of plywood to allow for a 20 degree slant on one end to fit the sides. Cut another piece of plywood to four feet by four feet for the front.

  • Using wood screws, fasten the six feet by four feet piece of plywood to the six feet long 2 inch by 4 inch boards, forming the back of the playhouse.

  • With wood screws, fasten the slanted pieces of plywood to the box, forming the sides of the playhouse.

  • For the front, fasten the four foot by fpir foot piece of plywood to the box. Use the jig saw to cut out a window and a door, taking care to cut in straight, clean lines so the pieces cut out can be used to fill in the window and door.

Finishing

  • For the roof, fasten a full sheet of plywood, leaving a 12 inch overhang on both front and back of the playhouse.

  • Place the playhouse on top of the cinder blocks, lining the corners up with the fence posts so that each post is on the outside of the playhouse. Use metal brackets around each post and screw the brackets into the plywood.

  • Sand all surfaces until smooth. Paint the playhouse a bright color. Use at least 2 coats of exterior paint to protect the surfaces.

  • Use the piece that was cut for the door and reinstall it in the door area, using decorative hinges. Use hinges to attach the window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place the cinder blocks with the holes facing up for better support.
  • Fill the cinder blocks at each corner post with dirt to stabilize the corners.
  • To provide extra protection for the roof and help drain rain water, install corrugated metal or plastic over the plywood, making sure the metal or plastic does not leak over the plywood, causing it to rot.
  • For a more open, summer design, use lattice for the sides, front and back instead of plywood.
  • If building this project with a child, extra care should be taken with power tools. Unplug all tools when not in use. Wear safety glasses and provide them for the child. Wear a mask when sanding.

References

  • Photo Credit childrens slide image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com Alaskan Shack image by Brandon Wagner from Fotolia.com
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