So you want to build a playhouse! There are lots of playhouses that you can find at toy stores, but as you probably already know, they can get pretty pricey. We are always a fan of creating DIY versions of popular household items or children’s toys, so we decided it was time to design an epic DIY playhouse. This is one of those projects that just kept growing and growing until we came up with the ultimate final product. This project certainly requires effort, but your handmade playhouse will last for years to come, and you have the option to customize the fabrics to make the perfect getaway for your little ones.
Tools & Materials to Build a Playhouse
The main materials that we used to make this DIY playhouse are fabric and PVC pipe. We found all of our fabric at Fabric.com, and then picked out our pipes and fittings at our local hardware store.
- Sewing Machine
- Rotary Cutter
- Small Scissors (Snips)
- Hand Saw (for cutting the pipe)
- PVC Pipe and Fittings
- Black and White Thread
- Heat N Bond
- Air Erasing Fabric Pen
- Fray Check
- Wooden Door Knob
Building the Playhouse Structure
You can find our DIY playhouse plans in the download at the bottom of the post. It includes a diagram of how PVC pipes fit together and the fittings you will need for the structure. On the second page of the diagram, there is a guide for the sizes of each PVC pipe. We cut down our pipe lengths by using a regular hand saw. The overall dimensions of this playhouse are 52″ long X 52″ wide X 58″ high.
Preparing Each Panel of Fabric
Each of the four panels were prepared individually first, and then sewn together.
- Start by picking out your fabrics for the siding, roof and window trim. You also have the option to add extra bottom detailing around the house. Our measurements are below:
- Door: 1.5 yards (Kona Cotton Jade Green is discontinued – similar here)
- Side panels: 7 yards of Premier Prints Scribble Storm
- Bottom trim: 3.5 yards (Grafic Brick Wall Gray is discontinued – similar here)
- Roof: 4 yards (Meadow Wood Planks Grey is discontinued – similar here)
- Trim the fabric for the front panel of the house, with an additional 2 inches of fabric on each side.
- Cut out fabric pieces for your window trim. The two-pane windows are 16 x 10 3/4″ all together and the six-pane windows are 16 x 24″ (indicated in PDF template below).
- Fuse the window trim fabric to your siding fabric with two sheets of Heat N Bond.
- Print the 5 x 5 3/4″ window template from the download below onto sturdy cardstock. Trace each pane onto the fabric using a disappearing ink marker, leaving 2 1/2″ trim around the window. Then, cut each square out of the fabric. We used a rotary cutter so that the lines would be straight, and then cleaned it up after with small snips.
- Add some fray check along the inner edges of the windows so that the fabric won’t fray.
- If you are adding the bottom detailing, simple serge the two fabrics together.
- To add the door to the front panel, measure 47″ high and 22″ wide. Mark a 2 1/2″ trim going around the door and cut out the door opening with a rotary cutter.
Sewing the Fabric Panels Together
Our general technique to build our playhouse was to make the frame of the structure, and then drape the fabric over the frame. After creating each fabric wall, you will have to sew them together before you can place it over the playhouse.
- Cut out your roof panel. For our roof we cut two pieces of fabric and serged them together at the apex of the roof. To do this, let the fabric overlap by about a 1/2″, and then serge where the fabrics overlap.
- Serge the two side panels of the house to either side of the roof. Again, let the fabric overlap (with the roof panel on the outside of the serged seam) by about a 1/2″.
- Next, attach the front and back panels. Straight stitch the front panel to the roof leaving an additional 1/2 of fabric from the wall and the roof inside the straight stitch. After stitching the two fabrics together, serge the additional 1/2″ of the two fabrics to make it more secure.
- Repeat this straight stitch and serging technique with the vertical edges of the playhouse.
- Fit the entire fabric piece over the PVC frame.
- Add a line of velcro to the bottom of the fabric and to the inside of the PVC pipe to secure the fabric to the frame.
Making the Playhouse Door
The last step in building your playhouse is adding a door.
- Start by picking out a fabric for your door. We used a solid teal cotton material, but this is a great opportunity to do some customizing in your project.
- Find the PVC frame outline diagram in the PDF at the bottom of the post to build the structure of the door.
- Cut two pieces of fabric to create a slipcover for the door (our door is between 16 and 17 inches wide).
- Sew 4 velcro loops on the left side of the door. These will become the door hinges.
- Remove a circular piece of the fabric to add in the door knobs.
- Velcro the door to the left side of the door frame.
Now that you know how to build a playhouse, you can find more projects to fill the playhouse with. Our favorite is our DIY play kitchen, which you can make out of brown moving boxes that you probably already have laying around the house. Browse through all of our DIY toys to see more projects to make for your little ones, or head over to our membership page to start downloading. Are you planning on making this playhouse? Please share your photos with us! We love to see how our projects inspire you. Share your photos on Instagram using #DIYDreamingWithLia, or email them in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for daily inspiration, or leave a comment below with a project you would like to see us make in the future. Cheers! ~ Lia & Team
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Are you having trouble? Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you out.
Where do I find the measurements for each panel? I’ve looked over the directions several times, and for some reason I don’t see them.
Hi Rachel! The measurements are in the downloads, as well as listed in the post.
Hello! How much fabric do you need for the window trim?
I have the measurements for the side panels, bottom trim, and the roof. Thanks!
Hi Elise! The measurements for the windows are listed in the PDF download, on page 2 🙂
How long did it take for to complete putting the playhouse together (the sewing part)?
Hi Sarah! Unfortunately we don’t have an exact answer for you here. For our designer it only took her a couple of hours on a sewing machine. But if you’re stitching by hand, it could take a couple of days! It really just depends on your style, skill level, and speed.
Please send an email to email@example.com if you have any further questions and we would be happy to help!
Hello, I downloaded these plans, but I don’t see what pieces are necessary to attach the door structure to the house? It appears that it is hinged. Where can I find this? Thank you
We secured the door with a long strip of velcro wrapped around the top, middle and bottom pipes of the door frame and door itself. You could use rope or fabric as well.
Is there a mistake in the plans? It says you need 2 lengths of 17.75″ pipe. But it looks like those are used for the roof, and there are 8 of them. What am I missing?
Yes, 8 pieces is correct!
Omg i just signed up and now i dont think ill ever be able to leave my craft room lol!! Except to go to joanns and home depot hahaa
[…] to Pinterest and looked for playhouses with a pvc frame. The first one I found that I liked was this one from Lia Griffith and I decided I wanted one with a sloped roof that really looked like a house. […]
Can this playhouse be taken apart and reassembled? It’s so darling!
Yes! We don’t have disassembly instructions but you can likely leave the larger pieces together, or take it apart fully.
This is adorable! can you tell me what are the dimensions of the playhouse?
Thank you! The dimensions are 52″ long X 52″ wide X 58″ high.
can you tell us the overall dimensions of the house before i purchase the membership i want to make sure it will work in my space
Yes! 52″ long X 52″ wide X 58″ high.
Hi. I am from the UK and have trouble finding the pipes. They have pipes that are quite bendy, would they be OK to use?
I would look for something sturdier, as the fabric may weigh just enough to warp a bendy pipe.
It’s adorable! I became a member & downloaded the above info, however, I don’t see any place where you list the yardage needed for the different fabrics? Am I missing something??
Sorry about that Janice! The measurements with links are in the post now.
[…] this project after making it is accessorizing it! Pop on over to Lia Griffith’s blog for the patterns and tutorial on … Read […]
How much fabric did you purchase for this? I’m not seeing those measurements anywhere.
Sorry about that, the measurements with links are in the post now.
[…] this project after making it is accessorizing it! Pop on over to Lia Griffith’s blog for the patterns and tutorial on how to build a playhouse out of PVC pipe and sew the cover. This would be a great space for all sorts of recycled play […]
I thought that was the cutest little playhouse ever, and then I kept scrolling down and saw the fabric pancakes and butter patties and the cutlery! Are you guys for real?! Truly adorable!
Aww thank you, that means a lot!! We sure love how it all turned out 🙂