• Jayne Davies


Updated: Apr 7, 2021

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that our old playroom looked lovely but did not function in the way we wanted it. Our son Albert struggled with play and rarely used the room so it seemed like a huge waste of space.

It was around November 2019 that the wheels in my head started turning and I started planning how I could make it more Albert friendly so that being at home was easier for us all. Albert needs constant stimulation and would often find being indoors boring as he didn’t really know how to play with toys in the same way other children would. But one of his favourite things to do was to go to Soft Plays. So I decided to build one in our home!

I really wanted to make a treehouse style playhouse that they could climb up to and also down from. Rather than build this completely from scratch, I decided to use a loft bed as my base. The space underneath was the perfect height for them to play underneath and a space I could set up their play kitchen, fridge, etc. I planned the rest of the room around the loft bed frame which I bought from ebay

Once the bed frame was assembled and fixed securely to the wall, it was time to start building the platform which wrapped around the room. I had a plan in my head of what I wanted to do but had to adapt it along the way. The first step was to build a timber frame use 2”x2” timber lengths which I bought from our local timber yard. I cut them all to size using my mitre saw and secured them together with wood screws. I then attached it securely to the wall to make sure it was as solid as possible.

I laid some 6mm MDF inside the bed to make a floor.

I then used 2”x1” lengths to sit on top of the frame and make the platform and added sheets of MDF to the front to box it all in and make it look neat.

I made a padded top for the platform so it was more child friendly. To make this, I had foam cut to size which I purchased from eBay and I cut some 6mm MDF to the same size as the platform. I then used a staple gun and some oilcloth which I folded over and stapled to the MDF. It was then stuck down to the platform using No More Nails.

Then was the fun part of starting to decorate this part! I wanted to keep it fun and playful but also stylish and modern. I really dislike sickly bright colours that most children’s things come in so wanted to steer clear of this look. I decided to use monochrome wallpaper in bold spots and stripes which I bought from Graham & Brown.

Next up, I made the walls to the treehouse. I had some 18mm MDF cut to size. I knew I wanted windows in it, so decided to make the windows a bit more fun and cut them into bear shapes using a placemat. I did this using a jigsaw and sander and was pretty pleased how they came out! Before attaching the walls, I wallpapered the insides using wallpaper from This Modern Life.

Once they were screwed up, I used a monochrome rug which I’d purchased from Asda to carpet the inside. It has to be cut down and then I stapled it down with the staple gun.

As I wanted to make this area as special as possible I decided to make a starry sky underneath the bottom of the treehouse. This could be a really nice chillout area for both boys to sit and watch the stars. To do this, I painted a sheet of 6mm MDF with black paint. I then drilled 300 holes and poked through 300 LED fairy lights. This was a gruelling process but my goodness was it worth it! The room suddenly became magical.

There was then lots of painting and decorating and making it all tie together. Scallops are my favourite so I had to incorporate them in this room.

I then built a mini slope/slide coming out of the treehouse onto the platform. I originally planned to put steps here but changed my mind at last minute. It was another little fun feature to their assault course. I used a broom handle as a handrail so they could easily climb up and down the slope.

Now this part was pretty much complete, I could attach the ‘caging’. I used strips of 1” timber and spaced them evenly to create a barrier to stop them falling off the platform. This followed all the way round the platform, leaving an opening for the slide. I decided to leave them natural wood and not paint them as it was a nice contrast to all the monochrome.

Most of the main structure was now done so it was time to plan the ball pit. I’d managed to get a nice looking slide from Facebook Marketplace which I painted. I used 25mm thick MDF for the walls of the ball pit as it had to be really strong and secure. I attached it to the walls and together using L brackets.

I had some leftover Ferm Living wallpaper from Percy’s bedroom so used this to decorate the sides of the ball pit. We also had some left over foam floor tiles from when Percy was a baby so I used these to line the inside of the ball pit walls to make it softer for them. I used a wooden trim for the edge of the ball pit wall which I painted black.

It was then time to fill the ball pit! I initially purchased approximately 1200 balls but this was nowhere near enough so we ordered another 1500!

Now the build was complete I could concentrate on the rest of the playroom. I had to move quite a lot of their toys around to fit in with the new layout and make it work so they still had space to play with other toys. The finishing of room is always my most favourite part. It’s such a huge sense of achievement when everything comes together and this project was better than I’d ever envisaged.

It was 100% my most challenging DIY project as I’d never dealt with this level of woodwork. Most things I made up as I went along but did turn to YouTube a couple of times for some tips. I’d kept the room a surprise for the whole build, which took approximately 3 weeks in total. So seeing their faces when they entered for the first time made everything so worthwhile and is a memory I will hold forever.

*edit – since the playroom was finished I have altered it twice. First I made the ball pit bigger as the edge was too close to the side and they kept crashing into the wall when coming down the slide. A couple of weeks later I decided the slide was too steep and so purchased a wavy slide online which just made it a little slower and safer for them coming down into the ball pit.

*blog post contains affiliate links

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