Here's An Easy Wooden Playhouse - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 12-30-2001, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's an easy wooden playhouse design for all of ya'

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Author Topic: Here's an easy wooden playhouse design for all of ya'
Member posted 07-15-2001 09:29 PM
Smilemammas post in another thread made me want to post this for everyone here who doesn't want a plastic playhouse for their kids but can't afford the wooden one's in catalogues. We made this up two years ago and it wowed my then 3 year old and all of our guests since. My carpentry skills until this consisted of nailing up a picture on the wall, and not very well at that.
Anyone can figure this out. I won't give too many specifics as you don't need them once you have the basic idea.

Imagine those old fashioned tri fold dressing screens people used to stand up and dress behind. Imagine standing in the corner of a room holding one of those. Unfold it not quite all the way (think Wide open U shape) and let each outer panel touch opposite walls.

If you were now standing on the other side of that screen, you would be *in* a 5 sided room, right? The tri fold forms 3 walls in front of you and the two walls which formed the corner of the real bedroom are now the back walls inside your playhouse. Can you see it?

If so, then you can see how easy it is to make this house for your kids.

Decide ahead of time on the size and go get three panels of wood (or have them cut a large panel into 3 for you--all house hardware stores do that for free if you buy it from them).

This could really be as big as you want or as small, depending mainly on the width of these pieces. Hang out in the corner you want this in with a tapemeasureer and get an idea how big each piece should be (it will look better if they are the same size. The center one can be wider or narrower however and it will still look balanced). You can have someone at the store help you decide from those measurments what wood sheet you will need and they will figure out how to cut it. You don't need to mark it for them at all, just tell them how big you want each piece.

When you hinge THESE three panels together, and put THEM in the corner, it will form the neatest playarea inside. Of course, you will need to cut out a door and a window, and we cut out a large open space in the center panel to be a puppet theater. This is the only part that you will need to get real help with. If you can use a jigsaw, draw these shapes and cut them out. If not, lots of people own and use jigsaws, and for a few bucks would do this for you if you ask. Also, woodworkers would do this if you beg for a small fee if you go to their workshop. It takes all of 5 minutes.

You can hinge those shutters back in place once someone cuts them out, and the door too.
Easy to do with little hinges and a battery screwdriver (about ten bucks and they last forever).

Paint it however you like. Be as creative or plain as you want. When you are done,
stand it in place in the corner where you want it, and use little L brackets to bolt the outer panels too their respective walls.

No roof needed but if you like, tack a large gauzy fabric on the wall over the playhouse and drape it down over the sides. Makes a nice circus tent kind of roof from the inside!

Hope some of you have as much fun designing this tri fold play house as we did!


Member posted 07-16-2001 06:13 AM
thank you so much for posting this! Dh and I were trying to figure out how we would justify spending an arm and a leg on a playhouse, and never did it occur to us to build it ourselves. It seems so easy too! I want to get dd playstands, but really don't have $350.00 for everything involved in that. I think I will make this my project and shock the heck out of dh!
Thanx Heartmama-

Member posted 07-16-2001 09:14 AM
You just gave me the idea for my boys x-mas. We usually get them one big gift to share and a couple smaller gifts- thanks so much!

Moderator posted 07-16-2001 10:05 PM
Thank you, Heartmama! How wonderful of you to post this neat idea! And easy, too; it might actually get done, unlike the very complicated gingerbread house I haven't built for 3 years now.
I can't wait to get started! DD will love it.

Member posted 07-17-2001 10:37 AM
I have an idea for a doll house for you all...I haven't made one yet, but would love to pass on the idea... read it in my extensive reading, of course.
Use a regular shelf with one middle shelf - just a small one like you'd use for books. Then use bright paint, carpet scraps, wall paper scraps etc to decorate appropriately for different rooms. Put up tiny mirrors with tin foil with painted borders. Paint landscapes in the living room, and paint in windows etc. Then add furniture and dolls (I'm thinking Barbie size dolls etc) - presto, a cheapo solid dollhouse that isn't plastic and could be converted BACK into a bookshelf when the child is done playing with dolls in a few years. You could even put a drape/curtain at the top to fold down at night or when not in use or when you have company I might make one for my nephew one of these years once he is old enough for more imaginative play!

Member posted 07-17-2001 05:38 PM
ok, i'm inspired! thanks heartmama -- you've got my creative juices flowing -- good for me and my lil' rascal!

Member posted 07-17-2001 08:48 PM
This is great! Thanks so much for posting this! I can't wait to try it out!

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