Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed, Sneak Peek

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Here’s a look at how to Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed, with a super cool, but totally optional, Tree House Deck!

Hi guys! In my DIY Ridge Cap Shingles tutorial, last week, I mentioned that I’m in the middle of building a new playhouse for my boys. To get my HOA to approve it quickly, I designed it to look like a shed-sized version of our barn. So, I’ll be sharing tons of DIY projects about how to build a kids playhouse from a shed. Most of these can be used for just a normal shed or she-shed build too.

For my DIY Kids Playhouse from a Shed, I replaced half of the roof with a fun upper deck area that puts us up in the branches of the Live Oaks around our house. So, it feels like a tree house up there. I’m very excited about how this part turned out. But, it is totally optional. In fact, you can always pull just some of the DIY Kids Playhouse ideas from my build to use on your own.

I’ll be breaking most of this build down into small projects to share in DIY videos on YouTube. Most of my build videos are around 5-minutes. So, I hope that makes it easy for people to watch and understand how to do that DIY project at home. I can’t wait to start adding all of the fun playhouse elements over the next few weeks. But, first, let me show you some of the progress shots to build a kids playhouse from a shed.

Here's a sneak peek at my big DIY Kid's Playhouse build. With lots of DIY videos and photos to help you Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed, with an optional tree house deck on top. :)
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Starting this DIY Shed Playhouse Build

Luckily for me, my parents visited us for Spring Break, this year. I knew I was about to start building this Playhouse in a Shed, so I showed my Dad the drawings I made to get a few tips. He’s been in construction for about 45 years and has built quite a few custom homes and other buildings. He’s so smart and creative. I love having him as a source for all of my crazy remodeling and construction projects.

Well, I thought I was just showing him the drawing, but within a couple hours we were at Home Depot buying the lumber we needed to frame out my design. You can see my a-mazing Dad and some pics of the framing on this IG post. In just 2 days, thanks to him, we had the framing done! You can see it in that photo below.

Here's a sneak peek at my big DIY Kid's Playhouse build. With lots of DIY videos and photos to help you Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed, with an optional tree house deck on top. :)
Framing a playhouse with an upper deck in a 10×15 shed. Build Progress of how to Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed. You can see the steps I used to pour a rubber waterproof coating on that plywood deck in another tutorial.

I originally thought I’d be framing this shed mostly by myself, with my husband helping with all the lifting. I can absolutely say it would have taken me a month to do alone what I did with my Dad in just 2 days. Thanks again, Dad! And, I can also say, he definitely showed me new framing ideas and tips that made the build better than I would have done it too.

You can see a video look at the framing process here, with some of the build tips. I won’t be sharing a step by step tutorial on how to frame a large shed or playhouse. That’s a little over my head and would be really time consuming. BUT, I’ll be sharing tons of DIY videos for as many parts of the build as I can. So, hopefully, that will help you build a kids playhouse in a shed too. 🙂

Can I Turn my Shed into a Playhouse??

Yes! If you already have a shed in your backyard that you think would make a great playhouse, then you can absolutely use these tutorials to build a kids playhouse in a shed you already have! I have DIY’s sharing how to cut and install gable vents into the shed walls, how to build a raised deck, build a 2×4 playhouse ladder, DIY rock climbing walls and more.

To see all of the Playhouse DIY videos, as I add them. Including the finished build a KIDS PLAYHOUSE FROM A SHED REVEAL TOUR, check out my playhouse playlist on YouTube. And, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more DIY project sneak peeks and quick how-to videos.

1×4 DIY Exterior Trim around the Doors and Windows

A kids playhouse in a shed needs lots of air flow to keep it cool. And, a lot of light to make it a fun place where kids will actually want to play. Here’s a look at how I trimmed my 2 doors with 1×4 Pressure Treated Lumber. It works the same way on windows too. I’ll be building Dutch Doors to hang in these doors soon. I’ll share that Dutch Door tutorial in my Build a Kids Playhouse YouTube playlist, as soon as I can.

Installing a Gable Vent on a Shed

Another important way to keep a playhouse in a shed cool for those kiddos is by installing gable vents. These are great because they keep out the rain while letting in lots of fresh air. And, they’re actually pretty easy to install in shed siding. This 5-minute video will show you how.

Build a Kids Playhouse – More Progress Photos

Over the next two months, I’ll keep sharing DIY videos and lots of pictures to help you build a kids playhouse from a shed. Here are a few more pictures from the last few weeks to show you more of what I’ve done so far.

Here's a sneak peek at my big DIY Kid's Playhouse build. With lots of DIY videos and photos to help you Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed, with an optional tree house deck on top. :)
Here’s a look at one of the SketchUp drawings I made to get HOA approval before starting the process to build a kids playhouse in a shed. The Dutch Doors will look like our barn doors with the X’s on top and bottom.
Here's a sneak peek at my big DIY Kid's Playhouse build. With lots of DIY videos and photos to help you Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed, with an optional tree house deck on top. :)
After framing was done, my husband helped me install the 4×8 sheets of LP Smartside siding. This is an engineered siding that holds up really well to the weather and years of use. And, it’s not crazy heavy, like plywood. I bought this at Home Depot. But, Lowe’s sells a similar product by a different company. That ladder is how I climbed up onto that deck for the first 6 weeks. Now, that was a work out. 🙂

When you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s, they almost always have a bunch of shed’s in the parking lot. I have spent a lot of time checking those out in the last few months. It’s a great way to figure out how they framed something, what materials they used, and to get ideas for trim design on your DIY Kids Playhouse. They use the same siding I used on those sheds.

Here's a sneak peek at my big DIY Kid's Playhouse build. With lots of DIY videos and photos to help you Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed, with an optional tree house deck on top. :)
Look at those beautiful Live Oaks in our yard! It’s one of the reasons we bought this house, lots and lots of trees. Live Oaks are everywhere in Houston. And, 1 of the best things about Live Oaks is that they never lose their leaves. So, we are always surrounded by lush, green trees. 🙂
Here’s a look at that DIY Gable Vent I shared in one of the build a kids playhouse DIY videos above. I love all of this white. BUT, to get HOA approval and to make sure that everything in our yard matches, we have to add grey wainscoting around the barn. AND, to be honest, the grey is a smart idea around dirt-loving boys and our 2 donkeys. 🙂
Here’s a look at how this week started. I am building a raised playhouse deck to go against this side of the playhouse shed. The kids will eventually be able to climb out of the lower window, from inside the playhouse, and onto the deck. Then they can climb up to the upper deck from here too. They’ll have a slide, steps, rock wall and other fun playhouse things going on to this raised deck too. You can see how to set wooden fence posts in concrete in another posts.
The DIY Projects I'm using to build this Outdoor Kids Playhouse. Here's a sneak peek at my big DIY Kid's Playhouse build. With lots of DIY videos and photos to help you Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed.
I’m just waiting on the climbing rocks I ordered for this DIY Kids Climbing Wall with Ladder Steps. Update: The rocks are in and I shared the tutorial. Click that blue text to see how. 🙂

You can also find the steps for a DIY Small Step Ladder from 2×4‘s here.

Here's my quick and easy DIY steps for How to Build a Small Step Ladder from 2x4's for your playhouse, loft, bunk bed, or anywhere.
I love this little ladder and it was a low cost, pretty quick and easy build.

That’s it for this sneak peek at how to Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed. If you love building cool things for your kids. You should check out these builds too.


This DIY Kids Play Kitchen is super cute and has lots of fun moving parts to keep the kids entertained. Full DIY Steps and Printable build plans available.

Yay! This Kids Play Kitchen DIY Woodworking Plan is an easy woodworking build with lots of fun additions that little kids will love! I have the tutorial, printable plans, and a video to help you get this built. #AbbottsAtHome #KidsKitchen #PlayKitchen #KidsKitchen #KidsFurniture #woodworking

And, I made 2 of these beautiful DIY Kids Desk with Storage Drawers for my boys. Full DIY Steps and Printable build plans available on this too. Very handing for all of that unexpected homeschooling we’re all doing lately. 😉

Step by step build plans for a wooden DIY Kids Desk with storage drawers. Build this beautiful little arts and craft or school desk for your kids. Printable build plans and build overview video included on tutorial.

This Super Easy DIY Kids PVC Pipe Play Tent is a fun indoor hangout for your kiddos!

It's time for the boys bedroom makeover reveal, guys! And I'm so excited to share it with you. The whole room is full of awesome DIY projects, affordable decor, and fun boys bedroom ideas. I'm loving it and so are my boy's! This is a blue, white, and grey bedroom full of pops of fun colors. I think it's a bit Farmhouse, a bit traditional, and a bit Land of Nod. I designed this for my boys, but most of the ideas would work for all kids, boys and girls. #kidsbedroom #kidsroom #boysbedroom #bedroomideas

Here’s how to install DIY ridge cap shingles on a shed.

Easy to follow steps to DIY Ridge Cap Shingles on a Shed or Playhouse. With video to install ridge cap shingles and the last shingle on the ridge cap.


Thanks for checking out this sneak peek at how to Build a Kids Playhouse from a Shed with a Tree House Deck. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.

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