No-Cost Pallet Playhouse

What do you get when you combine an old abandoned treehouse, some pallets, and a salvaged window? An awesome woodland playhouse for the kids! See the transformation from burn pile to beautiful. This is upcycling at its best and it was absolutely free.

Here is the before picture of the treehouse. Our neighbor had built it for his boys years ago, but now they are grown and on their own. Since there was no need for it, and due to its condition, he gave it to us. So, my husband hooked up his trailer and hauled it home.

We picked up 30-40 free pallets from a local church who recently had a pumpkin sale. I was sure that we could brainstorm enough projects to keep us busy for several months. Our first project would be to remake the treehouse.




There is a substantial stack of old windows in one of our storage buildings, so we decided to install one in our "new" playhouse. It was necessary to cut an existing hole to the correct size and add framing boards. We cut away the ends of the roofing shingles and kept the remaining attached. There was no need to remove the shingles only to create more work for ourselves.


Since my husband was excited about making this project for the kids, he took the creative lead as well as the workload. Once he stripped the boards off several pallets, he cut them into 15 inch lengths for overlapping siding to give the playhouse a cedar plank look. There were a few imperfections in the boards, but it really adds character.

By this stage, three-quarters of the playhouse had been covered with its new siding. A door was added and the roof was trimmed. The window was installed and hinged at the top so the kids could open it, both for fun and for extra air circulation.


Here is our final placement for the new upcycled playhouse. It is very sturdy and sits on level ground on the back side. This Mama was a little concerned about an actual in-a-tree treehouse, so this is somewhat of a compromise as it now rests on the top of this slope. As you can see in the picture, the kids have created a dirt stairway. It will eventually be replaced with a more permanent solution (such as cinder blocks--free ones of course), but for now the kids are proud of their work.

 



These pictures taken close up show the detail of the staggered roof boards and how well the playhouse is resting on the ground. The color variation of the boards will disappear over time and will likely turn grey. An additional feature is a screen at the top of the gable wall on one side of the playhouse. It is made from a piece of zippered screen cut off of an old dining tent used for camping. (You'll have to excuse the dirt on the screen as it had not been washed when the picture was taken.)


Projects in which the kids can participate is great because they take pride in their work and learn valuable life lessons. While Dad did the major tasks, they helped with the decision of where to place the playhouse and worked hard to dig the stairway.

When we began the process of transforming this old treehouse, we thought the most rewarding aspect was that it was all free. However, our perspective changed when we saw the kids' faces light up at the completion of the project. It's awesome to get a great deal, but it's even more wonderful that we are building memories to last a lifetime.

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