The weather is cooling, rain may be on it’s way and the kids are bored inside. It’s time to sew a handmade playhouse to bring the outdoors in! Just a little sewing time and yardage will create a cozy reading corner, a hideaway for creative play or the perfect picnic cave. No matter how it’s used, your playhouse will definitely result in loads of child-size joy and satisfaction!
Making Choices for Your Handmade Playhouse
- Choose your fabric carefully. Canvas for sturdiness, fleece for coziness or bright quilting cotton for color.
- Choose the right needle for your fabrics. A heavy-weight needle such as sturdy Schmetz Chrome Needles will be a great choice for sewing with canvas.
- Choose the best thread. You’ll find everything you need in Coats Threads fabulous variety of weights and colors.
- Choose Dowels or PVC Pipe to support your playhouse if its teepee style. Look for heavy twine, cording or shoelaces for attaching the teepee fabrics to the poles.
- Choose and design your embellishments to please the kids. Will your playhouse include a clear vinyl window, appliques or machine embroidery? Will it have a cottage, jungle, forest, fire house or city theme?
5 Panel Teepee
Dowels, canvas and creative vision for fun added up to this 5 Panel Teepee designed by Anu of the Nalle’s House blog. In true Scandinavian style, she combined fabrics from Marimekko and IKEA for a sturdy handmade playhouse for her boys. From the canvas fabric you’ll cut 5 triangular panels using Anu’s directions for measurement and her fold and cut technique. Measure carefully as you’ll use these pieces to cut the print fabric for the front of the teepee, too. Once you’ve cut the front opening, Anu outlines her easy method to minimize raveling before you bind the raw edges. You’ll love the elastic loops included in her design for easy disassembly when its teepee take down time! Click here for the 5 Panel Teepee tutorial.
This sweet toddler teepee is adorable and just the right size for lots of in-house play. It’s an easy, beginner-friendly, all straight seams project that will be fun and quick to sew. Christina of the DIY Mommy blog used a fun print trimmed in pom-poms for the front door panel and a painter’s canvas drop cloth for the remaining sides. Her instructions include a clear cutting diagram and wonderful photo illustrations for assembly of this delightful handmade playhouse. You’ll love the neat, clean finish for the dowel sleeves, Terri’s suggestions for embellishment and tips for enlarging the teepee for an older child! Click here for the Toddler Teepee tutorial.
Easy Play Tent
Simple and fun, this charming play tent is perfect for beginners, too. Stephanie of The Tiptoe Fairy blog created this design with just three steps – measure, cut and sew! She suggests using fleece so you’ll have no hemming or seam finishing to do. The adorable prints available on fleece will be perfect for a handmade playhouse and the warmth of fleece will make it extra cozy! Stephanie’s play tent uses PVC pipes for the poles secured with sturdy twine. Best of all, there’s a unique round window hole included on one side! Click here for the Easy Play Tent tutorial.
Card Table Playhouse
Simple, adorable and just like she remembered enjoying as a child. These were the guidelines Liz of Simple Simon and Co. followed as she designed her Card Table Playhouse. Easy to sew and endlessly entertaining, Liz says “it’s totally worth it” and you’ll definitely agree! Start with your card table measurements to develop a pattern for the handmade playhouse top and side panels following her clear instructions. Choose your fabrics, add embellishments or leave it plain. Then it’s just cut, sew and play! Click here for the Card Table Playhouse tutorial.
Add the Finishing Touches
Now that you’ve sewn a fabulous playhouse, where will it live and what will be inside? On a covered porch, in the family room, the corner of your child’s bedroom or at Grandma’s house? Will you add matching pillows or a bean bag pouf or a box of new books and toys? Wherever it goes and whatever it contains, a handmade playhouse will be well-loved, thoroughly enjoyed and a family delight for many years!