a handmade hideaway

Updated: with price and full supply lists below!

Hello wonderful people!

Remember this post? After all our house shenanigans in Dramaville, we decided that since we’re staying in our home we need to make it worth our while…and we wanted to build a little something special for the offspring. If there was one thing I wanted, growing up, it was a tree house. Or fort. Or secret hideout. Don’t get me wrong. I was kind of spoiled rotten. But I was constantly trying to put one together with my brother and sister in the back yard…we spent hours designing forts and various whatnots. Apparently, according to them, I was kind of bossy. I still think they’re making that up, even if they did catch me slapping my little brother on video camera for not getting the dance routine right. That may or may not be a running joke in our family. Busted. He probably had it coming for blowing my perfectly synchronized interpretive dance. GAH.

And when we weren’t acting like total psychopaths, crossing the swing set in one fail swoop whilst not touching the ground for fear of the dreaded hot lava/quicksand combo, we were obsessed with our latest hideout, fort, or secret club. And or spying on our neighbors. It was all about the latest and greatest getaway. Fast forward to 2012: I live vicariously through my children. Secretly, this hideaway was for me. On the days when I want to climb the roof and rock back and forth in the fetal position, whilst simultaneously stuffing my face with as much chocolate as I can possibly find…vowing myself to a life of silence in a nunery… I’ll just go here, instead.

So after coming up with a plan…We kind of stepped up to the plate and went for it.


This is just the beginning of our back yard revamps this summer…{the back porch is next!} We’re hoping that anything from a pirate ship to a secret ninja hideaway, the kids will let their imaginations run wild.

I think we all already have. If you’ll forgive us for being pretty tired…I think we’ll let the photos do the talking. ;}

This was kind of a big undertaking…we’ve never built anything like it before, so it was very much touch and go on our parts. We had some amazing help… But more on that coming later on our how-to posts. We thought we’d share a little with you if you guys are interested in learning from our massive mistakes making one of your own…so stay tuned!

The hideaway is most definitely ninja/pirate/star wars approved. They are so excited. Kind of makes our aching joints/backs/ankles (not sure why my ankle hurts, but it does) worth it!

Let the s’mores and  campout fun begin! It’s going to be a seriously fun summer.


Updated: To build your own, be sure to check out our how to build it series: The Deck, The Walls, Railing + Shutters, and the roof. {The rest is being added as we go.} And, most importantly, the much requested master supply list + pricing can be found below.

A note on pricing: as you can see, this was no small project. So neither was the pricetag. We believe in saving up cash and spending responsibly on our projects + we had planned on building this for a really long time. On another note, if you research, you’ll find that anything remotely this size will range anywhere from 1,000 – 5,000. Comparable prices vary depending on size, labor, location, + all the bells and whistles. So take that into consideration when viewing this list…we wanted to build our vision, while doing it as cheaply as possible!

So there you have it. Let us know if you have any specific questions…we’ll do our best to answer those in the round up post! Have an inspired day, everyone!

This entry was posted in backyard bliss, bungalow revamps. Bookmark the permalink.
Be Sociable, Share!

Responses to a handmade hideaway

  1. Saby says:

    Okay um W.O.W. That is seriously awesome! Like as in I want to live there just because it looks like so much fun awesome. Your kids are going to LOVE it!

  2. April says:

    Wow! That is the nicest and cutest “DIY” play house I’ve ever seen. I can just tell a lot of thought and work went into it. I hope your kids will look back on it with fond memories one day. Then it will all be worth it!

  3. Allis says:

    Awesome! Can’t wait to hear more on how it was made! My husband and I want to make something that for ourselves..I mean, our boys! Though they’re 16 months and in-utero, so we have some time. 😉

  4. Rebekah Tice says:

    AWESOME!!! What a great place for fun/exploring/play/anything a kid can think of. Hope you have many summer evenings of worn-out kiddos from all their time playing outside in their new fort/hide-out!!! Let the good times and wonderful memories begin :)

  5. Natalie says:

    How amazing! Seriously this looks like the funnest little hideaway. Forget kids, I would play in it!

  6. Oh my goodness! What a wonderful place for your kids to play! You will never regret the time and energy it must have taken. Great job to you both!!

  7. Jen says:

    THAT.is.fabulous. What lucky kids! Love the touch of the “fast escape hatch” on the side. May your inner child enjoy her new hangout. 😉

  8. This is AMAZING! Love.

  9. Uhh . . .
    (Pardon me whilst I pick my jaw up from off the floor and wipe off the drool from my keyboard)
    That has to be THE. SINGLE. COOLEST. FORT. EV- AH!

    I’m in love. Total love!

  10. Jamey says:

    I love the color inside! I hope you’ll mention what it is in the how to post. Very cool playhouse.

  11. Alex says:

    This is wonderful! I hope to make one of these for my daughter and possible future children some day! I cannot get over how amazing this looks! Your children are lucky…I would have KILLED for something like this when I was little!! Haha. Well done!

  12. Lily says:


  13. Rasonda says:

    I second Lily’s amazeballs comment! Your kids are so lucky, how fun!

  14. jaime says:

    Love it! Great job.

  15. This is amazing! I would have loooved to have this as a kid…and quite frankly would love to have a tree house now :)

  16. katie s says:

    WOW, what a perfect space for kids! I would have loved this when I was little. Heck, I’d love it NOW! So excited for your how-to posts!

  17. Rachel says:

    I love, love, LOVE the outdoor space you created! Too cute!

  18. Kathryn says:

    That tree house is AWESOME! It makes me want to redecorate ours now!

  19. gretchen says:

    What a beautiful clubhouse for your kids. They are going to make wonderful memories there. Thanks for sharing!

  20. stephany says:

    I absolutely LOVE this!
    We did a VERY similar thing in our backyard…all because I always wanted a treehouse when I was young.
    We will have to “upgrade” to something bigger (we built a platform between two trees and then just put a playhouse from costco on the platform)…maybe even next summer!
    So, your homemade hideaway is certainly inspiring me!
    You can see our “treehouse” here:
    Thanks for the tour…it is wonderful!!

  21. Oh, mercy sakes! It’s beautiful!! Can I come play, too??

  22. Shaunna says:

    It is absolutely amazing. I’m floored, inspired, and totally proud of this work for you!! Awesome, friend!!!

  23. Betsy says:

    Wow! This is the most amazing treehouse I have ever seen!

  24. Danielle says:

    You guys are so talented! What a beautiful thing to do for your children- they will have the best summer ever. It is amazing.

  25. That’s the most absurdly awesome fort I’ve ever seen! I definitely want one for myself (and my kids)!

  26. Shannon says:

    This is amazing! I cannot wait for the how to – my son would love this!

  27. stacia says:

    This is awesome and I am so excited because I have been looking for a treehouse for my son’s and this one is perfect!!


  28. Heather O says:

    Amazing! It’s so pretty and rustic and gender neutral. I don’t blame you for wanting to claim it all for yourself. Love it!

  29. carol jane says:

    That is so freakin adorable! Looks nicer then the inside of my house. Seriously. Did you build the cute picnic table too? What color is the blue that you used ? Love it all. Your kids are so lucky.

  30. Jen says:

    It’s amazing … I love how quaint it is and that it really does allow them to use their imagination to make it any place they feel like going that day :~) Definitely worth the sore muscles! {it looks super sturdy – bet they’ll put it to the test all summer long LOL}

  31. katie says:

    this is so inspiring and fun!
    i cant imagine taking on a project of this magnitude but I just might have to!
    what a treasure for you and your littles!
    LOVE IT!
    and cant wait for the how-tos!

  32. Tina says:

    You are the coolest parents ever!!

  33. Angela says:

    Wow! Bring on the tutorial! Can’t wait!

  34. kellyk says:

    Would you be willing to share the plans? It is amazing!!!

    • Hey Kelly! This is a bit of an extensive project, so beginning next week {fingers crossed} ;} we’ll be bringing the first part of the tutorial your way! But most definitely will be sharing those plans asap!

  35. Complete & total awesomeness!

  36. Sharon McMartin says:

    This is the single most amazing fort I’ve ever seen!!! love it:)

  37. Janice says:

    Can you please come for a visit and make one of these in our backyard. Please!

  38. Lisa Eng says:

    Tota-freakingly amazing pretty much sums it up! I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have a home, you would find me living in there :) Can’t wait to see how you built it!

  39. MaryE says:

    Holy moley shmoley!! Way too cute!! Awesome job!

  40. I LOVE it! You did such an amazing job! I think I need hubby to build me one for my office.

  41. Erin says:

    This is off the charts to-die-for! Job well done, what lucky kiddos!!

  42. Jenn says:

    Girl…You’ve gone and done it again!!! Awesome!!! Just awesome!!!

  43. Rhonda says:

    That is completely amazing – how lucky are your kiddos?? Do you plan on sharing how you did it? I might just convince my man to build one of these for our girls!

  44. Sandy says:

    This is the most amazing thing I think I have ever seen! Can’t wait to hear more!

  45. Bethany says:

    That is just awesome. Your kids are so blessed!

  46. Brandi says:

    this is THE coolest thing ever! its as if you picked my brain! I’ve been telling the hubs for a while that I want to build a fort for our kids, we have 6, and I just couldnt express exactly what I wanted…and whamo…you did! Thanks! cant wait for the how to’s, although with all the great photos we could prob figure it out, but as you didnt say (LOL) I would love to learn from your mistakes!

  47. Amanda says:

    Please post plans soon! I was going to make a decision about a playhouse for my little girl but this blows all that I was looking at away! So worth making! Need plans! You guys did a completely awesome job!

  48. Jessica says:

    If you were selling your home and we were in the market, I would buy your house just for this! Thanks for the ideas. We are designing a tree fort and have the sketches hanging on the fridge. Wait until the kids see this!

  49. There are no words for how in love with this I am! A-MAZING!! Can’t wait to see the plans so I can build myself, I mean, my daughter one!

  50. Alayna Johnson Woods says:

    You used the globe as the color palette didn’t you?! I thought about doing that with our next house!!! lol LOVE the colors, they are perfect & you TOTALLY pulled this off!! GREAT job! =)

  51. Betty Bake says:

    wow wow wow!!!!
    that is so stinking cute!!!
    I wish I could stay in it!
    WELL DONE!!!!!

    Betty Bake

  52. Sandy says:

    You have wowed me! This belongs in a magazine! Now you and your kids have the grand tree house of your dreams! Love the llittle picnic table too. The colors are fabulous! My grandkids are coming to visit next week and I’ve got to show them your tree house. The boys would probably want something army or ninja but we could incorporate something like that. My grandaughter would love this! This has to be the best porch I’ve seen in a long…….time!

  53. Cilla Da Costa says:

    Gonna build this. Details please:)

  54. You for sure got the BEST PARENTS EVER award for this one. Can’t wait to see the plans for this one. It looks fairly simple to do but i’m not sure my hubby and I could handle that by ourselves.

    • Shawna-you’re too sweet. Yes, if you have one more strong person, like grandpa or a brother or a super good friend to pitch in- that definitely helps. I’m kind of a weakling, and there was a lot of heavy lifting for this one. ;} Thus my husband’s awesome team of teens to help…Heavy lifting for me is anything over 30 lbs. see? wimp.

  55. Valerie J. says:

    This is the best tree house/ fort/ ninja dojo/ intergallactic battleship EVER!!!!!!

  56. Rachel says:

    PLEASE TELL US HOW YOU MADE THIS!!!! For 2 years we have been searching for the “right” swing set for our 3 children! I’m thinking, forget the swing set! This is so much better!! Love everything you do. SO INSPIRING!!

  57. I am late reading this post…too busy lately with our own DIY projects…besides I usually do not comment. I just lurk around reading your every post! I love the tree house!!!!!!!

  58. claudia says:

    found you via pinterest and OMG this is amazing!!! You should be proud!

  59. Marisol says:

    Love, love, love this tree house! You are amazing!!!!! Please share your plans on how you did it…PLEEEASE! :-)

  60. Sandy says:

    Okay, I commented last night, but I had to come back and tell you I have been looking at this all day! I seriously don’t know if I can wait to hear more about what you did here! Thank you so much for the distraction.

  61. that is amazing. my 32 year old self wants one!

  62. Fun for everyone! Great job. The bold color is spectacular. I could totally see playing in this fort with the kiddos and having a blast doing it.

  63. I apologize I haven’t been over to comment in a while but I’ve been keeping up with you in my reader but I had to come over here and comment on this awesomeness. HOLY moly I want this! What a great idea with the raised platform. Your kiddos must love this! Nicely done :)

  64. for the love of all things holy. OMG!!!

    fantastic. girl, i’m NOT surprised in the least, however! you have everything decorated perfectly! love love love.


  65. Can you adopt me? I would of loved this as a kid! You get the best parents award!

  66. Kim says:

    That is fan-friggen-tastic!!! I want one!! Pretty damn amazing! Lucky mills kiddos :) now let’s see if I can use yoUr pics here to entice my hubs into making one!

  67. Candi says:

    Ok, I don’t know if I can keep reading your blog. My “envy” monster is rearing it’s head…LOL

  68. Emelyn says:

    I love it. Wowzers.

  69. That is just so fantastic! I love every bit of it! I made a picnic table similar to yours and LOVE how you painted it!! I may need to freshen mine up with some fun paint colors!!!
    PS – found you on pinterest

  70. Holy cow, Ashley. This is amazing!!!! Your kids are so lucky- I want one!!!! Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you happen to be blogging and reading emails right this very second from that cute little yellow chair in the corner of the tree house : ) Actually, can I come join you?! Very very cool. PS. I can’t find a post… what’s the status with y’all selling the house?! Did you take it off the market altogether?

  71. Papa says:

    Hey – Kido,,,great job…it inspires me to attempt a project…well maybe when I can contract with you & Jamin.

  72. Melisa says:

    Please post plans and approximate costs of materials……

  73. melisa says:

    Love, love.. You have a new follower.. How many hours did you put into this? I also love the loft bed design. Is that two twin mattresses up there?

  74. melisa says:

    Love love love!@ You have a new follower. I also love the loft bed. Is that two twin beds up there?

    • For the loft bed, that is a twin + a baby crib/toddler mattress. It will last a little longer for Malone, and then we will have a custom fitted mattress installed so they can continue to sleep foot to foot. ;}

  75. Sharon says:

    What did you use for the curtains and how did you attach? I’m off to duplicate your genius today!!!

  76. d e n i s e says:

    this is amazing! What lucky children! i’m sharing this on my facebook page.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    d e n i s e

  77. So amazing! I would’ve loved this as a kid (and probably even now!).

  78. Dawn says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I have decided that no other playhoue will do… I will buy the plans for this. IT IS SOOO AMAZING!! Please let me know soon! My little boy would be in heaven!

  79. Tami C says:

    Ok, wow! Love it, such fun imaginative times you’ve given your kids. (And yourself!! Date night in the fort, why not?)

  80. Dawn says:


    DAWN C

  81. I want to know – are you taking reservations? I seriously want to come and camp out over there.

    I would *totally* love one for my backyard, but sadly, my HOA would not allow it :(

  82. tracy-lynne says:

    We have also built a fort for our little guy, we went a little overboard its 16×16 and 6 feet off the ground but you have provided alot of inspiration-it should be complete this weekend.

  83. TracyT says:

    Me and my husband have 3 boys, when I showed
    them this pic they loved it. We have been wanting
    to build them a fort for sometime, they really
    like this one. Could you share with us what you guys
    used to build this backyard home.
    Love it!!! Thnx.;)

  84. Oh my goodness, this space is so dreamy!!! Even for an adult! :) I saw it over at Centsational Girl, she was kind enough to include my rooftop bedroom in her round up that started with this beautiful project!

    I actually did see you at Haven, I was the one who offered to share a chair with you at the photography session … the last session of the conference. Hope you enjoyed Haven as much as I did. :) Congrats on such a wonderful project!

  85. Mel says:

    We are in the middle of adding on to our treehouse and your ideas have added some inspiration for me! I love the idea of curtains, and painting the inside. Nice job!

  86. I love this!! : ) Thanks so much for sharing it! How did you run electric to it? Thanks!

  87. michelle says:

    This is so awesome! How wonderful of a Mommy are you! umm can I move in? :) Michelle W

  88. Lynn F says:

    I have been looking at these pictures all day. I can’t wait to get started. I can just imagine my husband and boys having a campout in there! It will be replacing a two level wooden playset that was destroyed by wind. I think they will enjoy this more and it’s cute to boot!