Building a DIY playhouse costs from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the size and materials. We’ve rounded up ten of the best free playhouse plans in various budgets, designs, and sizes.
No matter your style or skill level, there’s something on this list that you and your kids will love.
1. Inexpensive Log Cabin Playhouse
Pre-built log cabin playhouses are expensive, sometimes costing up to $4,000. MikeO found a workaround, using stockade fence panels to build this DIY playhouse for around $300. The cabin is complete with a small front porch, painted shutters, and a log cabin-style door.
The free playhouse plan includes a material list, foundation notes, and step-by-step instructions for completing the build. The builder even provided a three-year update with a picture, and the cabin held up well.
2. Modern Shed Style Playhouse
Those looking for a simple build will love this modern playhouse. It features a frame of 2 x 4s and tongue and groove boards as siding. The playhouse has a front transom window, a door, and several windows around the perimeter. The builder even added white trim to the cutouts and flower box, adding to the charm of this DIY build.
You can find a material list and tutorial at Jen Woodhouse. Her blog has basic instructions, but you can download a detailed PDF plan by subscribing to her newsletter.
3. A-Frame Playhouse with Metal Roofing
Simple a-frame playhouses provide a vintage charm and a higher-quality feel than most store-bought options. Elise from A Beautiful Mess designed this playhouse and detailed the material list and step-by-step instructions on her blog. Materials for this build cost about $850, not including tools.
You can customize this playhouse by choosing a different colored roof or paint. Experienced builders can also adjust the dimensions to make it larger if desired.
4. Playhouse with Balcony and Attached Swing Set
Attaching a swing set to your playhouse provides kids with more play options and eliminates the need for separate spaces. In this build, the designers created a simple rectangular 6 ‘x ‘6’ x 10′ playhouse structure, adding a balcony on top, a rock wall on the side, and a swingset on the opposite side.
Materials costs range from $1,000 – $1,500 to build this free playhouse plan. You can find a complete material list and step-by-step instructions on Instructables.
5. Quaint Cottage Kids Playhouse Plan
You can turn this basic cottage-style plan into the playhouse of your kids’ dreams by customizing the siding, trim, and interior colors. The free plan provides a material list, exterior elevations, site preparation, rafter template, and floor and roof plans.
Add whatever interior finishes you like, giving this playhouse a traditional home-like feel or choosing bright, fun colors to complement your child’s personality.
6. Playhouse Made of Pallets
Build an upcycled hangout by putting your old shipping pallets to good use. Repurposed materials are a great way to build a cheap playhouse with a rustic feel. You can even use leftover pallets to make furniture for inside the playhouse.
Find these free instructions on Built by Kids. They’ll walk you through all the material you’ll need, plus how to assemble the pallet-style house.
7. DIY Farmhouse Style Playhouse
A farmhouse-style playhouse is a perfect complement to parents (or grandparents) with farmhouse-style homes or decor. Thrifty and Chic built this one, adding all the necessary details to make it feel like a mini home.
In total, it costs over $500 to build this playhouse, but prices will vary depending on location and materials. The original builder provides details of how she assembled the base, framing, doors, siding, and roof, plus details on the finishing materials she chose.
8. Play Fort with Trap Door and Climbing Wall
If you’re looking for a simple build that will keep your kids entertained for hours, try this play fort with a climbing wall, trap door, and a slide. You can even add a swing or tire swing to the side.
Les from Build Eazy designed this play fort and provides an extensive material list and detailed plans on his website. He also explains how to anchor the fort for extra safety. You can customize the finished look by painting or staining the lumber.
9. Cob Playhouse with Living Roof
Those living in hot, dry areas can use natural materials like cob to build a playhouse that keeps kids cool. From Instructables, this earthy playhouse features a wood-framed structure with a moisture barrier, cob siding, and a live green roof.
The plan doesn’t provide details on building the wood structure but covers everything you need to know about applying cob. Since this build relies on natural resources, it’s an expensive DIY playhouse idea.
10. Free Pirate Ship Playhouse Plan
If you’re looking for a statement-making playhouse and have kids who love to play pirates, look no further. Kids can hang out inside the ship or stand on top of it to play. From Instructables, this pirate ship playhouse plan provides a complete material list and step-by-step instructions.
You can customize the final look with any outdoor paint or stain. Estimated materials costs are $600+.