You guys. I can’t even tell you how insanely excited I am to share my latest build with you today. I mean, just look:
Is that not the most adorable thing you ever did see?
The tongue-and-groove planks!
The transom window!
The flower box!
Seriously. I can’t even. I am dying over here.
Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. I can feel you judging me with your judgy eyeballs.
“But Jen, you said ‘INDOOR’ playhouse and we are CLEARLY OUTDOORS.”
I know, I knowww.
But trust me, if you saw my house right now, you would be thanking me for sparing your precious peepers. They would literally burn out of your head if you saw what a train wreck my house is right now.
We’re about to move (again! Army life) and we are buried in cardboard boxes and crap ev-er-y-where. I have no idea how we move so often and still manage to collect SO.MUCH.STUFF. We had a yard sale right before we moved out of our house in Kentucky and when we got to our new house, we had another yard sale because we were unpacking boxes, asking ourselves, “why the heck did we move this crap across state lines?!”
I blame my husband – I am a devoted de-clutterer. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. #pinkyswear
So that’s why we had to move the INDOOR Kids’ Playhouse outside. Kinda like when it rains on your wedding day and you have to move the ceremony indoors. It’s totally like that, only the opposite. Isn’t it ironic? (see what I did there) #punny #alanis4ever!
Speaking of Alanis, have you heard her recent remake of “Ironic”? It.Is.EPIC.
Okay, enough shenanigans. Are you ready to learn how to build this stinkin’ adorable DIY kids indoor playhouse? I’ve got you covered with the free building plans!
Basically, it goes like this: build the frame out of 2x4s. Nail the tongue-and-groove planks on and you’ve got a DIY kids playhouse. The Strong-Tie connectors make it so easy and super quick and you don’t need any fancy tools to do it – just a drill, a saw, hammer, and brad nailer and you’re good to go.
You’ll see from the building plans that I chose to use Simpson Strong-Tie® MP24 mending plates on the exterior sides of the frames so that the tongue-and-groove boards would sit flush to the frame and I used Simpson Strong-Tie® TP15 tie plates on the interior sides of the frames to add extra stability and strength.
As soon as the frame was built, I used my brad nailer to nail the tongue-and-groove planks on. Start at the bottom, with the tongue facing up, then stack the next board above it, interlocking the tongue into the groove. Shoot a few nails at a 45º angle into the tongue (as shown in the photo below) to secure the board to the frame. By nailing at the tongue, you’re able to hide the nail holes a little easier.
The reasons I chose tongue-and-groove boards over regular lumber is because 1) I love the charming look of it and 2) they’re so much cheaper! At my local Home Depot, one 1x6x8′ tongue-and-groove board costs $5.32 and one 1x6x8′ common board is $11.72. I just saved you half your money. You’re welcome.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll have seen a sneak peek of this project. My kiddos were too excited, I pretty much had to build around them. It’s a good thing they’re cute little monkeys.
Because the roof is angled, the top boards will have to be cut to fit. Hold the top board in place (don’t attach it just yet), mark the line, and cut off the excess with a jigsaw or circular saw. You’ll only have to do this for the two sides. The front and back panels are all straight cuts. Hallelu!
Once the four separate panels were built, I used Simpson Strong-Tie® A21Z angles to join all four sides to construct the house. I used 3 angles at each corner. This way, the playhouse can be easily assembled and disassembled, which is a must for military families like us.
Ta-da! The playhouse is up! Now is a good time to stain or paint, and finish the house, before adding the trim and other details. I chose to leave the wood natural and simply sprayed a few coats of clear polyurethane on the playhouse to protect the wood. I spray-painted the trim pieces white then simply glued and nailed them onto the playhouse.
Finally, screw the roof on with 1-1/4-inch wood screws driven into the 2×4 frame. I chose plywood for the roof, but wouldn’t this look cute with actual roof shingles or maybe a corrugated roof panel? Totally adorbs. You could even drape a large piece of fabric over the top for the roof, if you wanted to. You know, since this is an INDOOR playhouse.
If you’d like to convert this indoor playhouse to one that is suitable outdoors, I would recommend removing all of the plywood components (plywood doesn’t fare well outdoors) and finishing it with several coats of exterior-grade polyurethane. You may even want to use cedar or redwood, since those wood species are naturally resistant to decay. Also, I’d replace the roof with one that is suitable for outdoors.
It’s funny because this is a little house for little people and the sign says… okay. You get it.
Speaking of little, get a load of this guy. This is Watson, our giant Rhodesian Ridgeback. I suppose when the kids get tired of this playhouse, we could convert it to Watson’s dog house. It’s a two-fer. #winning
He looks larger than life next to this tiny house. Let’s film our very own reality show and name it: Tiny house. Giant dog.
Yeahhh… probably not. My idea of ‘roughing it’ is staying at a hotel with no wi-fi. #firstworldproblems
Oh, look. He succeeded.
Okay, so let’s talk numbers. This project cost me about $250 in building materials and took 2 days to build. Not too shabby, right? You can totally knock this out in a weekend. Be sure to download the FREE BUILDING PLANS so you can build your own DIY Kids Indoor Playhouse!
If you’re interested, here’s a source list:
Be sure to PIN IT so you don’t forget it!
*This post contains affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, please click here. A huge thank you goes to Simpson Strong-Tie® for partnering with me on this project. All efforts, opinions, giant canines, and happy children are my own.