I will admit, this was a tough project, especially since I did all of it on my own (with the help of my 3 year old twins!); however, it was definitely worth it after watching my kids have the best time in it! The fun thing about making a custom playhouse is you can create any look you want! (I reallllly wanted to make this pink and gold and all kinds of girly; however since I have boy/girl twins, I decided to keep it pretty neutral.)
My Tips For Creating Your Own Playhouse
CHOOSING A PLAYHOUSE
- First things first, you have to choose a playhouse. After weeks of research, I decided on THIS one because of its size since I have two kids using it, and they are very tall for their age. It is very spacious, and even I’m able to stand up inside in the center! However, if it’s out of your price range, you can go with a smaller one and save some money! I linked all my favorites below.
SELECTING A LOCATION
2. You want to use a level area in your yard and keep the sun in mind if you live in a really hot area. I put ours under the two biggest trees in our yard where it is in the shade all day.
CREATING A FLOOR
This part isn’t 100% necessary; however, it’ll definitely make a big difference! I built a floating deck for our, and while it was definitely a lot more work, I’m SO glad I did it. (Check out my saved stories on Instagram under “floating deck” for a step by step tutorial of how I made mine). You could also use concrete pavers. (Our playhouse actually sits square to the floating deck to give them more space to run around on the deck; I turned it to the side just for the lighting in the pictures.)
BUILDING THE PLAYHOUSE
I built the playhouse 100% on my own, so just know it is possible if you have to do it solo. However, it’s not fun, and I recommend having a second person to make it go faster. Huge tip: there is an app called BILT that has video instructions for a lot of items that require assembly, including playhouses. It was AWESOME. I hate paper instructions, and the app was much more thorough and easy to follow!
Before you get started, sort all the pieces into piles and have small bowls ready for all the sets of screws. (It took me an hour just to get ready to build the playhouse. Another 5-6 to build it, but keep in mind it was just me. If you have a second set of hands, it can go faster.)
PAINTING THE PLAYHOUSE
All the research I did said to not paint cedar with normal exterior paint and most everyone who messaged me over on Instagram agreed as so many of you said you painted yours with exterior and it cracked/chipped and looked terrible just a year or so later. Your best bet is to use a solid stain which will look just like paint but will adhere better and last longer. (Think about it, you’d never paint your cedar fence with an exterior paint, you would use stain – a cedar playhouse is no different.)
After checking out all the top brands of stain, I went with THIS one as the reviews were awesome – you can find it at Home Depot. I used a gallon of Pinto White for the house and a quart of Drift Gray for the deck. I REALLY like this product and see why the reviews were so great! I did three coats – the key is to do light coats. DO NOT GO HEAVY as it’ll affect the overall look and quality of the paint long term!
I put the whole house together (minus door + windows) and then painted; however, you could paint the roof separately before putting it on as well. (I just wore a shower cap to prevent it from getting in my hair.)
In between coats of paint, I spray painted all the windows. I’m keeping my fingers crossed they hold up as spray paint typically doesn’t do well with plastic. However, I used a spray paint primer, color, and then sealer on top – all three of which say they are great for plastic (Rust-Oleum brand). I stained the door with Behr’s Semi-transparent stain in October Brown.
DECORATING THE PLAYHOUSE
I found the two metal wall storage tins at Hobby Lobby as well as the “Be Kind” sign, which is our playhouse (and life) rule. I purchased this set of play food on Amazon and keep it in a storage container inside the house when not in use to prevent them from getting lost or dirty. My kids absolutely LOVE this and pretend the playhouse is a restaurant.
We chose the number 24 for our house as both numbers are special to us. 2 – because, being twins, they think of everything in twos. If there is only one of anything (I mean anything. Food, a tree, a picnic blanket), they sadly say “Oh no. Only one. Where’s the second one?” as they think everyone and everything should have a partner as it’s all they’ve ever known since the womb! And 4 – because we are a family of 4. I used THESE numbers.
I added THIS door mat for the front, and built the planter out of a scrap piece of cedar wood and put in faux plants from Hobby Lobby. (The tutorial for how I made the planter is in my saved highlights over on Instagram!)
I just love the custom watercolor of our little playhouse by Kate Mulder Creative! She offers custom home watercolors which you can find more info for here: https://www.katiemuldercreative.com/homeillustrations Be sure to use code KatieLamb10 for 10% off your custom order!