DIY Playhouse


It started with a hole in the wall. Actually, there were two. We had a small storage area under the stairs that we weren’t using, and a daughter who needed a spot to play, so we grabbed our hammer and went to work.

After framing out the doorway, we installed two lights; a porch light ($8 at and a small chandelier ($15 on craigslist). Then, my amazing husband replaced and repaired the drywall. While I don’t think he should quit his day job, I do think it looks fantastic! I framed the window with hardboard, which is super cheap and smooth, so it’s easy to wipe clean. We then added trim and decorative detail to the door and window, painted everything using leftover paint from other rooms and projects, and laid down some carpeting from when the previous owners had finished part of the basement. Overall, this was a fairly inexpensive project, and we’re really happy with the results. More importantly, our daughter loves it!IMG_2966 (Small)IMG_2967 (Small)IMG_2968 (Small)

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The best thing about this project is that we did it all ourselves instead of paying hundreds to have it completed. We also didn’t have to buy any decorations or furniture for this DIY playhouse. The doll bed, rug, and chair were all gifts. The picture of our dog was something my daughter had requested, and we happened to have the frame. The other artwork was made by my adorable tiny artist.  The exterior paint was a color I had leftover from another room in the house, and the trim color is the same as the built-ins that I’d recently refinished. We did purchase the flower pot (also a find), and the flowers and “mulch” were about $8 at Michaels. I almost bought one of those foam flower molds, but they were way more expensive than I thought. I used a regular household sponge that was only $2 and covered it with the faux mulch. Of course my daughter picked out the pretty flowers.

Originally, we planned to drywall over the opening that just went to the ugly water heater and furnace. However, I’m really glad we decided against that. We positioned the kitchen so that it partially blocks off the utilities, and hung a cute curtain to hide the rest. It’s not perfect, but it was less expensive and will definitely make it easier for us to transition the space back to a storage room in the future if necessary. Another plan we changed mid project was the front door. Although a small dutch door would undoubtedly be adorable, it could also be a safety concern. Little fingers have a tendency to get pinched in doorways and they’re also a lot more difficult for moms and dads to crawl through. We’ve even thought so far ahead to realize that there will likely be times that we have to grab a little girl, kicking and screaming, and drag her through said doorway. We instead opted for curtains. These curtains were completely FREE…kind of. I had bought these panels on clearance at for my kitchen window, cut them down to size, and then had enough fabric to make two smaller valances for our breakfast room windows. That’s right; two curtain panels covered THREE windows, one playhouse doorway, and I’ve still got two very small pieces that I could even make tiny draperies for the playhouse window if I really wanted to be a kook. (I might some day. I’m tired today.)

This morning, I took care of another little girl the same age as my daughter, and they played in the playhouse the entire time. I’m proud to say that my daughter was an excellent hostess to her friend, offering her refreshments and the only best seat in the playhouse! I can see her enjoying this space for years to come, and I hope she does.

I’m giving 5 bonus points for anyone who can figure out the meaning of the address. 😉



  1. 1


    MIchelle, that is SO cute!!! I’m totally impressed, especially with the frugality of it all! It looks like it cost MUCH more than what you guys actually spent. Is the address the date in which you completed the project? 🙂

    • 2

      chellerae says

      Thanks, Laurie! Yeah, we didn’t spend much on it at all! The address is something my dad thought of. My daughter’s name is Ella and she’ll soon be 3, so we were throwing around ideas for an address like “apt E” or “3E” when my dad said “How about spelling her name with numbers?” It’s kind of a throwback to my childhood! Remember putting upside down and backwards words into your calculator for your friends at school? Way before everyone in the world had a cell phone obviously! Great, now I feel old. Anyway, I thought his idea was so cute, I just had to do it! The numbers are just stick-on from the hardware store for less than 2 bucks total!

  2. 3


    Great idea, kids LOVE having their own space. When my son was young he was constantly looking for nooks and crannies to make into “forts.” I also applaud the decision not to put the door on……if experience has taught me anything, it’s that invariably a finger would have gotten caught, and then the playhouse would be ruined and sit unused because of that memory. 🙂

    • 4

      chellerae says

      Kids need their own space! When we had some friends and family over for a birthday party recently, our daughter went into her playhouse to get away from the crowd for a bit. Sure, she was being kind of antisocial when she sat in there and just read a book for a bit, but she needed some down, alone time. I love that she feels comfortable enough to do that. She’s “redecorated” the art on the wall a few times, but that’s exactly why I didn’t put anything of value on the walls! I want her to feel free to play and be silly…and rip the paintings off the wall…why not? 🙂

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