Here’s How I DIY’d This Outdoor Wooden Kids Playhouse That I Got for FREE

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kids playhouse with decorative lights at dark

Hey, Hip readers! Sara here! 

I scored this kids’ playhouse for FREE after moving to our new neighborhood 😱and wanted to take you on a little tour of the before and afters! Proof that one person’s junk can be another person’s treasure. 🙌 So here’s how I flipped our new kid’s playhouse from trash to treasure for little to no cost at all! 😍


Here’s what it looks like right now…

kids playhouse outside in grass with bike

Except… the kid’s playhouse used to look like this.

dirty kids playhouse sitting in yard on grass

Going for walks around our new neighborhood is one of our favorite things to do after dinner. Come to find out, bulk trash night (which happens once a week here) is quite a time to score freebies… like a kid’s playhouse! 😱 Who would have thought there was another dreamy place other than Hip2Save to score free stuff?! 😏

When I set my eyes on this beauty, you better believe I propped it up on top of our wagon and enlisted the help of some neighbors to steer it down the street to its new, permanent home. 🤣 My mind was racing with all the possibilities. 🙌

…it’s makeover time! 👏

man power washing kids playhouse in driveway

My first instinct was to either leave it be or go to the extreme and make it Pinterest-worthy, but that costs money and time that I wasn’t anticipating putting into something prior to finding it.

So instead, I took the frugal route to dress it up a little. I asked to borrow a family member’s pressure washer, hoped it’d work, and that our water bill wouldn’t be too high. 😅

I’ll let some of the before & afters speak for themselves…

before and after of kids playhouse

before and after of kids wooden playhouse

before and after of kids playhouse

We didn’t stop there… 

hand holding a white pot of pink flowers outside

Since we hadn’t spent a dime on the playhouse yet, there was plenty of room in the budget to spruce it up even more – I knew that adding some cute & frugal touches would make it perfect!

I took my daughter shopping at the local nursery and let her pick from the BOGO half-off flower section. Now she has some live greenery to give her mini home curb appeal and she’s learning some responsibility, too! Plus, we had some leftover brick pavers in the garage from the old owners. Funny, because I never thought we’d use them, but here we are!

Of course, we needed lights, too!

kids playhouse with decorative lights at dark

I’m obsessed with moody lights, string lights, tea lights, you name it – they make everything look more dreamy. 🙌😍 We recently shared these battery-operated tea lights on our site and I couldn’t be more obsessed with how easy they are to use and they look so great at night (we’re saving them for special occasions 😉).

And since I’ve been dying to hang some string lights, I splurged on these solar string lights at Home Depot to have on all the time. Not exactly Hip2Save, but since they’re solar-powered, I’ll never pay to have them on again! 👏

hand holding a can of spar urethane stain

As if our “Welcome to the Neighborhood” wasn’t enough, the neighbors getting rid of their kids’ playhouse told us to come back that weekend for the deck platform it’s sitting on (another score!) and they gave us a can of Varathane. Not only did the pressure washer do an amazing job, but now we’ll have a well-protected kids’ playhouse for years to come…

…all for the price of FREE! 😱

girl standing inside of kids playhouse

As you can see my daughter is thrilled with her little house and momma is even more thrilled with the price! She doesn’t waste any time in the morning running out in her jammies and grabbing the first pair of shoes she finds (aka, her older brother’s slides, haha!)

Overall, we spent about $60 total on this project (the majority being the splurge on solar lights) and it felt so good to put materials we already had to good use (the tea lights and brick pavers). We didn’t spend a ton of time on the inside, just pressure washed it a little, added some more fresh flowers, and the curb appeal to the outside of the house speaks for itself! We spent a fraction of the price we would have paid to buy a brand new playhouse!

Needless to say, I’m addicted to going for walks with the wagon on trash night. 🤣👏

Repurpose your trash with these incredible hacks Lina shared.

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 8+ years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 35

  1. Emily

    I love a good dumpster dive story 🙂 Turned out so cute!

    • Sara

      Thanks so much, Emily! It was so fun!

  2. SpaChica

    What a fun project! Looks good as new 👍

    • Sara

      It sure does, I’m still so impressed with what that pressure washer did! 😍

  3. smithjohnson16

    Oh my gosh I love it!

    • Sara

      Thanks so much!

  4. Couponanimal

    Beautiful! We just did this with a huge wooden $200 dollhouse we picked up for $10! A little paint we already had on hand went to good use!

    • Sara

      So amazing!!! $10 is such a great score too! Thanks for sharing with us. 🤗

  5. cierra

    Super cute!

    • Sara

      Thanks, Cierra!

    • C

      That is adorable. I love our pressure washer.

      • Sara

        Thanks, C!! Isn’t it amazing?!

  6. LChapman

    Wow!! This looks incredible!! WTG! ❤️

    • Sara

      Thank you so much, LChampman!! It was so much fun to spruce up! (Hoping the neighbors aren’t too regretful of getting rid of it though 😂)

  7. Sue S

    Got to love real wood:) This is a cute frugal score:) Just needed a little touch up. Looks good as new.

    • Sara

      Thanks so much, Sue! I still can’t believe we scored this and so happy with how it turned out. ♥️

  8. Tams

    Love it! So cute!

    • Sara

      Thanks, Tams! 🤗

  9. Amber

    Was the before and after results of the walls and roof from just a pressure washer ? Looks amazing

    • Sara

      Thanks so much, Amber! YES! We still haven’t used the sealer yet. It ended up raining the next couple of days and I was too anxious to get it all decorated haha! Hoping to have that done by next week though. 🙂 so amazed at what the pressure washer did!

  10. Deb

    Sara’s link to her Instagram page is not working.

    • Sara

      Hey, Deb! I clicked the link and it took me right to our Hip2Save IG which is where I shared about recently moving. (You can view in the “Meet the Team” highlight tab at the top. Maybe make sure you’re logged into IG to view content from the link. Hope that helps! 🤗

      • Deb

        Thank you!

  11. bunns


    • Sara

      Thanks, bunns!!

  12. judy

    Do you have any idea how that deck platform was made/constructed for the playhouse? We got a wooden playhouse similar to that one and I’d love to make a platform like the one you got!

    • Sara

      It seemed like it was a really simple platform to make, Judy! They built a frame with 2×4’s and laid Trex decking (all same size boards) right on top and screwed it into the 2×4 frame. Keep in mind, it’s HEAVY once completed to built it close to where you’re keeping it – it was not fun lugging it down the street to our house, but we’ll worth it! 😊 Hope that helps!

  13. marcelagarcia

    We just did this for my kid it was totally worth it!!! ❤️

    • Sara

      Yes, I totally agree!!!

  14. Sandy

    Are you happy with your solar lights , are they bright enough

    • Sara

      Yes, I love them! We had to do a little trial and error before they were getting enough sun, but they’re bright just like normal string lights, you’d never know they are solar!

  15. Lily

    Love it!

    • Sara

      Thanks so much, Lily!

  16. ava21

    It looks absolutely amazing!

    • Sara

      Thanks so much, ava21!

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