Over the weekend, I decided to build a playhouse for Levi out of PVC pipe. I wanted something that he could play in outside or indoors, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to make it.
Materials for play house structure:
- 7 – 10ft lengths of 3/4” PVC pipe ($15.26)
- 8 – 3/4” x 1/2” side outlet ($14.88)
- 8 – 1/2” x 3/4” male adapter ($6.96)
- 4 – 3/4” tee ($1.88)
- 2 – 3/4” PVC 45 Degree elbow ($0.72)
Total Material Cost: $39.70
I suppose I could have said this is a project that could be made for under $40, but I figure once you throw in a few dollars for sales tax, it’s more realistic to say you can make it for under $50.
You can save time by having your local hardware store cut your PVC pipe to the correct lengths for you. My local Home Depot rocks (I have to give a shout-out to Bill in the Appliance Department of the Brooklyn Park store – he came over to help me get down the PVC pipe because he saw me struggling from across the aisle, and even helped me get it all carried out to my car). If you’re doing the cuts yourself, you’ll need a saw of some sort to cut through the PVC pipe.
Cut your PVC pipe to the correct lengths (either have the store do it or do it yourself at home). You’ll need the following lengths to make a 5’ x 5’ playhouse with a roof:
- 6 – 5’ lengths (base and two top sides)
- 4 – 44” lengths (vertical sides)
- 2 – 27’ lengths (middle of two sides connected to roof)
- 4 – 15 1/2” lengths (to complete the sides connected to the roof)
- 4 – 32 1/2” lengths (roof)
Assemble your structure. Use the 3/4” x 1/2” side outlets for the corners. I couldn’t find a 3/4” x 3/4” x 3/4” side outlet fitting, so I bought the 3/4” x 1/2” ones instead, which means you also have to attach the 1/2” x 3/4” male adapter to make all 3 connector ends 3/4”.
Use the 5’ lengths to create your base. Use the 44″ lengths for the vertical sides. The top of the structure will use two of the 5’ lengths for opposite sides, and the remaining sides will use one 27” and two 15 1/2” lengths per side. Use the 3/4” tees to connect the roof pieces to the top sides, and the 45 degree elbows to connect the roof pieces at their peaks.
Add a cover. I upcycled some old t-shirts to create my cover. I cut off the sleeves and necks and sewed them together into a patchwork pattern. Then I used some old sheets to create a roof and front entrance. I still have some sewing to do to complete the project, but since the kids wanted to try it out, I just safety pinned everything in place for the meantime.
I’ll try to remember to post photos once I finish sewing the fabric cover properly. I’m thinking about adding a real roof, too, but we’ll see how ambitious I feel