As the weather is finally improving, everyone will want to get back out in the garden and make the most of the sunny days. This guide will take you through how to easily build a beautiful playhouse for kids, complete with a living roof to attract plenty of bees and butterflies to the garden.
What you will need:
- vidaXL Outdoor Playhouse 123x120x146 cm Pinewood – Brown
- Combi drill, drill bit for wood and extra screws for the roof planter
- Outdoor wood paint
- Hand saw / jigsaw to cut wood for planter
- Staple gun and staples
- Elevated garden bed
- Fire pit
- Solar powered fairy lights
DIY playhouse guide
Step 1. Preparation station
Familiarise yourself with the instructions that come with the playhouse and check all the components are included. With a pencil, mark each length of wood with its corresponding letter/number reference and organise all your components.
Step 2. The construction begins!
Following the instruction guide, start constructing the playhouse. We made pilot holes wherever a screw was required first, using a 3mm wood drill bit. We made sure the cladding was attached, using the screws provided, at right angles using a square.
Step 3. Sides first and foremost
Put together all the sides, following the instruction guide first.
Step 4. Assembly time
Next, the playhouse needs to be assembled – you will need two people for this bit. Make pilot holes first and then screw together.
Step 5. Roof it
Attach the roof cladding. If you are not adding a roof planter, simply follow the guide and overlap each length. This will help avoid water coming into the playhouse when it rains. As we decided to add a planter to our roof, the cladding was screwed flat to the roof as illustrated below.
Step 6. Planter it up
The roof planter was made using the spare lengths of wood that would otherwise have been used for the roof, had the cladding overlapped. The planter is simply a frame, screwed to the edges of the roof. The bottom and top of the frame will not need to be cut down – you can just use a spare roof panel. The sides of the planter can be cut to the correct length from the remaining spare panels.
We made our planter about 1cm longer than the roof. This overhanging gap allows for drainage.
Screw the planter frame together. It can then be attached to the roof by screwing up through the roof panels and into the frame along the sides.
Step 7. Line the planter
The planter needs to be lined. We used a thick plastic wrap that had been used as packaging, however old compost bags or a pond liner will also work well. Position the liner over the planter and secure in place with a staple gun.
Pierce some holes in the liner where the planter frame overhangs the roof, to ensure water can drain freely.
Step 8. Let’s paint!
Paint or stain the playhouse in whatever design you choose! There’s various outdoor timber paints available on the ManoMano website. We went for a beach hut style playhouse with blue and white stripes and purple window and door frames.
Step 9. A spot of roof gardening
Now it’s time to fill up the planter. As the planter itself is on an incline, we covered it with mesh to help secure the compost and plants in place. Use a staple gun to attach the mesh to the planter and then fill with compost.
The planter can then be filled with plants of your choice. Choose shallow rooted bedding, creeping or trailing plants; we used violas, trailing lobelia and petunias. Sedums also work really well and can be purchased on a roll like turf – this is a really low maintenance option.
Step 10. The final touches
Finally, we added solar festoon lights around the edge of the roof to light the playhouse up in the evening. These are easily attached to a length of garden twine or wire, secured to the roof planter with small nails. Be sure to place the solar charger somewhere it’ll receive plenty of sun!
Whatever colour you decide to go for, your little ones are sure to love the new addition to the garden. We can’t wait to see our roof planter fill out over summer and enjoy all the pollinators it will attract to the garden.
Did you enjoy this article from Little Terraced House on how to build and design a DIY playhouse for kids? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY solar lamp made from pallets or even our tips on what plants to grow for maximum privacy.