Playhouse with sandpit DIY
I finally got round to editing the play house I build Kiki at the end of June! I love this little play hub so much so don’t know why I took so long getting the tutorial online.
I love being outside and so does little Kiki so I really wanted to build her a little play area but unfortunately my garden isn’t very big. It isn’t tiny either but had to be thoughtful with the size of the build I was making her. I knew for sure I wanted to give Kiki a sandpit as the little lady loved her sand but just a sandpit was a bit too boring for me. I started drawing and came up with this playhouse instead, what do you think?
I love it!! This spot in my garden is in shade most of the day but the roof of the little house means she can stay out of the sun when it does come in. The vinyl wallpaper gives a great pop of colour and really makes the playhouse stand out. The lid that protects the sand from getting wet and being peed on by cats and foxes also act as a blackboard when the lid is up, lots of area’s for Kiki to play!
Just have a look at the before and after of this corner of my deck, it quite the difference!!
I build the house from 18 mm thick plywood (makes sure you buy one that is good for outdoor projects) I had the plywood cut to size at the timber yard as it saves me SO much work and they only charge you a little for the cuts made. I used left over decking board planks for the sandpit and for the decking frame. The mini deck is made from old pallet wood planks.
I also used a 15 mm dowel as a flag pole, some left over artificial grass, 2 cup hooks, 2 D-ring picture hangers, two 6 inch (15 cm) tee hinges and a 100 mm cabin hook.
The grey paint is Urban Slate by Cuprinol and the blackboard paint is by Rust-Oleum. Have a look at the tutorial video to see how I build my playhouse.
It’s not to difficult to build at all, is it! My house is build on a small corner of my deck and wedges in between my workshop and an old bbq turned compost heap. It also covers a weird rocky spot so the measurements and the way are build it are unique to my build but to help you along here are the sizes of timber I used.
The back wall piece is 110 cm wide and 140 cm high
The sides are 110 cm heigh and 40 cm wide
The lid is 60 x 100 cm
The roof is 40 cm wide and 65 cm long
Start drawing out the pitched shaped roof on the back board. At 110 cm heigh you draw a line to the top middle of the board, do the same for the other side and cut these triangles out. Sand the edges smooth
Glue the side panels to the back, make sure the back sits inside the side panels. (As you may have spotted I messed up here and attached mine to the back resulting in the roof panels being the thickness of the wood too narrow! I noticed this to late and just went with it, lets call it a design feature shall we ;) Nail the panels in place with hammer and nails or a glue gun, one nail every 10 cm will do
Paint your house, you probably need to do 2 coats of paint, maybe even 3
Build the sandpit frame, my decking planks are 10 cm high and I made my frame 60 x 100 cm. so cut two lengths of 100 cm and two lengths of 60-2x thickness of your wood. Screw the frame together.
Make your decking frame in a similar way. Measure how long your decking boards on top need to be, I used pallet wood for this, saw to size and screw to the frame.
Make sure there is a plank behind your sandpit. screw this in the frame so you can attach the lid to this plank with 2 tee hinges (6 inch in length) Have a look at the video as writing this down it all sounds a bit confusing but when you see it in the video it totally makes sense
Paint the sandpit and the mini deck in the same colour as your house
Apply a layer of tarp to the inside the sandpit frame to stop the sand from falling out. Cut the tarp to size and staple it in place on the inside of the sandpit frame just 1 cm under the top edge. As you see in the video I used root cloth/weed control fabric first but later found out that rain rolls in under the sandpit as my deck/garden is not level making the sand very wet. Tarp keeps the water out but a downside is that if water comes in from the top it can’t drain, root cloth will let the water through. Use whatever works best in your garden.
Hang your peel and stick wallpaper by peeling the backing paper of little by little and by pushing the air bubbles away with a piece of hard plastic like a credit card. (Unfortunately my wallpaper didn’t arrive in time so I build the roof first to make my house water tight as rain was in the forecast. It is a lot easier to first wallpaper and then do the roof though)
Measure the length your roof panels need to be, cut your planks and paint. When the paint is dry glue and nail in place. For a bit of extra support I screw in a corner bracket that I bend open slightly to make a correct angle.
Apply glue in between the roof planks and attach your dowel or as we now call it, the flag pole! Paint the flag pole.
I attached a piece of artificial grass to the roof with some nails but this is completely optional, I like the look of this faux living roof though.
Two D ring heavy duty picture hangers with two cup hooks will keep the lid open and stops it from falling closed when in use. A cabin hook will keep the lid secure when closed
Fill the sandpit with play sand, I bought mine at Argos but any good DIY store will sell it.
As you can see I gave my deck a coat of grey paint too, the timber just looked to grubby against the beautiful new house! I also turned the old bbq that we never used ,as it’s so close to the hedge, into a compost heap. You can see the grey wooden planks covering the front, the top is a hinged lid.
I added a little plank to the back wall, just for a bit of fun, it holds a faux plant and the chalk for the chalk board. The flag is made from some scrap pieces of fabric, let me know if you would like a tutorial for this.
What do you think of the little playhouse come sand pit come black board? I think it’s a great use of space, Kiki absolutely adores it and the wallpaper gives a great pop of colour to a previously unused part of my deck.
I will let you know how the wallpaper will hold up outdoors. It’s a vinyl paper but not made to be used outdoors, I think it will be fine under the little roof though.
Have you build a playhouse before? Is your child obsessed with sand pits too? I would love to know!