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Are you thinking about putting up a playhouse for kids in your yard or garden?
Before you head off to a big box store like Walmart or Home Depot to buy a playhouse kit or jump online to order one from Amazon, consider whether or not a DIY playhouse may be a better option for you and your loved ones.
Sure, a pre-made playhouse is often easier to install, but building a DIY playhouse brings a greater level of joy to everyone who participated in the project and gives the kids who use it a unique play area that no one else has.
Read on below and explore these 22 DIY playhouse design ideas to find the perfect one for you and your kids, grandkids, daycare center, or backyard playground!
1. DIY Playhouse With Ladder, Porch, and Sandbox
An Iconic DIY playhouse if ever there was one, this design idea works well for both little boys and little girls.
Further, your kids won’t outgrow this playhouse until they are teenagers or “too cool” for “playing”.
2. Three-Sided Open-Face DIY Playhouse With Porch
It isn’t much to look at without the paint and other finishing touches, but you get the gist of the idea.
This three-sided open-face design with a roof and fenced-in porch is perfect for even the youngest of kids.
3. Miniature DIY A-Frame Playhouse With Open-Face
A great option for kids of all ages, the DIY A-frame playhouse with open-face is hard to beat.
Truly, even pre-teens and teenagers find this design appealing and worthy of playing in or hanging out in with friends.
4. DIY Backyard Playhouse with Twisty Slide, Stairs, and Porch
If it’s a backyard play area you’re determined to build or expand, there are few better options than a DIY backyard playhouse like this one.
This DIY idea includes a twisty slide, which is the only component you’ll need to buy rather than build, as well as stairs, a deck, a full roof, real doors and windows, and more.
5. DIY A-Frame Playhouse With Double Open-Face Design
The second DIY A-frame style playhouse on our list is the double open-face design.
This playhouse idea is simple to build, taking almost no time to erect. It can be made from old doors and a few pieces of lumber.
One of the most appealing parts of this playhouse is that you can stick it almost anywhere and keep an eye on the kids inside easier than with other playhouses with 3 or 4 walls.
6. Lean-To Style DIY Playhouse on Rocks and Slabs
Another of the most simple yet cost-effective DIY playhouse design ideas on our list is this slant-roofed lean-to-playhouse.
The playhouse is fashioned on a wooden deck, or even pallets (and the roof is made of the same), and requires very little lumber, including 4 solid posts, to complete.
This idea is great for toddlers and kids up to around 7 or 8 years old.
7. DIY Playhouse Covered Deck on Stilts With Wide Stairs
One of the greatest DIY playhouse design ideas on our list is this raised and roofed three-sided play area on stilts.
The playhouse is made from fresh lumber and stained so it can stand the weather.
The design sees it raised over a sand pit and play area, with a broad wooden staircase leading to the raised platform (which is covered by a solid roof).
8. Crooked DIY Playhouse From Lumber and OSB
One of the most unique appearing DIY playhouse design ideas on our entire list is this crooked kid’s playhouse.
Honestly? It couldn’t get more doctor suess if you wanted it to!
All you need to do is add a few coats of paint and you’re good to go!
9. DIY Playhouse Over Sandbox With Wood Shake and Slide
A cabin-like looking DIY playhouse design idea that we adored the moment we laid eyes on it is this one with wood shake siding.
The house itself isn’t that impressive, but the siding looks great, and the deck covers a sandbox below as well as supports a slide.
10. Basic DIY Playhouse With Door, Windows, Roof, and Porch
A playhouse like the one above may be purchased pre-built and delivered to your property.
All of the various finishing touches you can do, like installing doors, windows, and paint makes it a full DIY project.
Even more, if you really wanted to, you could jack the playhouse up and put it on beams or stilts and position it over a preexisting sandbox or outside play area.
11. Finished DIY Playhouse With Real Windows and Door
An adorable DIY playhouse design idea is this little but fully finished “real” tiny house.
The playhouse has a working front door, lanterns mounted on the outside, flowerboxes, and a small front porch.
There is also room along the side or back of it to grow herbs or flower beds.
The version in the picture above also includes a stepping stone path right up to the front door.
12. Two-Story DIY Playhouse With Climbing Wall and Slide
One of the few true two-story DIY playhouse design ideas that we came across is this one from Elle&Cru on Pinterest.
The “playhouse” is more like a small playground disguised as a tall playhouse.
The idea includes real doors on the first story and second stories, real windows, and a fenced-in deck upstairs.
There are benches built into the frame, a climbing wall and rope, and even a slide from the second story.
13. Log Cabin Style DIY Playhouse From Pallets
DIY pallet playhouses like this one are some of the cheapest and easiest to make.
They cost absolutely nothing but a box of nails or screws if you already have old pallets.
This design idea resembles a log cabin, which young kids tend to adore just as much as their parents or grandparents do.
14. Simple DIY Pallet Playhouse With Open Roof
Perhaps the most simple design idea on our whole list of DIY playhouses is this pallet play area.
As you can see from the picture, it’s not much more than a dolled-up pile of pallets slapped together and polished up a bit with landscaping plants strategically placed around.
15. DIY Playhouse Fort From Pallets and Recycled Lumber
Our personal favorite DIY playhouse design idea from pallets is this “fort” from recycled planks and pallets.
It’s one of the easiest to build that includes two stories, and you can finish it with siding, stain, wood shakes, or leave it natural (like in the picture above).
There is a playhouse inside the bottom, as well as a ladder leading up to the second story (which is fenced in like a fort from the old wild west days.
16. Sophisticated “Modern” DIY Playhouse Fully Finished
If you happen to be a home builder or have one in the family, perhaps you’d be more impressed with a DIY playhouse design idea that’s a bit more sophisticated.
One thing is for sure, if you have the time, skills, and money to build your kids such a fabulous playhouse, they’ll likely never grow tired of it.
Quite the opposite; they’ll likely beg you to let them live in it full-time (which may be a tempting option!).
17. Three-Sided Open-Face DIY Pallet Playhouse
The most colorful DIY playhouse design idea from pallets on our list is by far this three-sided open-faced playhouse.
All you need is five large pallets, or several smaller ones, a box of nails, and some paint.
If you want to get fancy, you can add some weatherproofing paper or a tarp along the sides and roof to make it wind and waterproof.
Further, you can make this playhouse any color you want, leave it with a natural wood finish, or even split it multi-colored.
18. Colorful DIY Playhouse with Climbing Ladder/Wall and Slide
When it comes to giving the kids the best DIY playhouse that you possibly can, with a limited skill level, this could be the one.
It looks far more impressive than the skill that’s actually required to build it (which is very little, if you follow instructions).
You will need to make a purchase or two if you want the playhouse to include things like a slide, rope, swing, or climbing wall as well.
19. Creative DIY Playhouse with Siding, Deck, and Attached Swing
Another DIY playhouse design idea we really love is this cool and creative unit by Paul’s Playhouses on Pinterest.
The playhouse in the image includes a side beam with a swing, a raised front pork, and ladder-style stairs to a fenced-in walk-around deck to a back deck with a slide.
The house itself has a working door and windows as well as plenty of room for furniture, toys, and equipment.
20. Sophisticated DIY Playhouse with Landscaping
This sophisticated little DIY playhouse design idea includes full landscaping with mulch, shrubs, herbs, and flowers in addition to the amazing playhouse.
This playhouse is a tiny home, with shutters, working windows and doors, an awning to protect from the rain, a galvanized roof, and a fenced-in front porch and stairs.
You can even take an old garden tool shed and repurposes it into one of these little units.
You can even tile the front porch and stairs for an even more polished look and feel to this playhouse (like in the picture above).
21. DIY Crib-Like Playhouse with Sandbox
What can we say about the last DIY playhouse on our list of designs and ideas for you to try?
It looks like a baby crib, but much larger, and with only 3 sides instead of 4.
In addition, this giant baby crib has a covered roof and is attached to a sandbox and play area.
If you have small kids, this playhouse is safe and secure to keep them busy while you spend a few minutes gardening or tending the yard.
Which DIY Playhouse Design Ideas Will You Build?
Building one of the DIY playhouse design ideas listed above will bring you and your kids far more joy than simply buying a box with a pre-made playhouse inside.
With a DIY playhouse, the kids get to be involved with everyone from planning and building to adding the final touches.
That’s why the DIY playhouse design idea you decide to build will be that much more enjoyable for everyone!
So, which DIY playhouse design ideas do you like the most? Even more, which one will you build?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below! Thanks for reading, and good luck with your playhouse!
Suggested Reading: 16 Clever DIY Rock Garden Ideas
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