Make Your Own Tree House for Pretend Play

How to make a fun tree house as a dollhouse alternative for pretend play.

Almost a year ago I posted about the trees we were removing from our backyard (in order to replace with much more useful trees I hasten to add). Whilst most of the tree remains were hauled away to the green waste area of our local rubbish tip long ago, I kept a number of large branches with plans of one day buying a drop saw and a hot glue gun to make a treehouse for pretend play.

Well, good things come to those who wait and that day finally came!

How to make a treehouse as a dollhouse alternative for pretend play

And all it took were a few old branches, a drop saw, a hot glue gun, a little string and two self tapping hooks.

We added in our favourite Schleich animal figurines,

and created a cool oasis with a piece of blue fabric and some river stones.

The rope ladder is simply small twigs and string, attached with two tiny self-tapping hooks.

Treehouse play scene ladder

Less than an hour to make for hours and hours of treehouse pretend play fun!

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  1. Wait till Cath gets her eyes on this!!!! It is absolutely GORGEOUS Christie. Well worth the wait and I can see many more hours of fun happening with it.

    1. SquiggleMum says:


      You KNOW how much I love this. I have a branch downstairs with similar dreams for it. So you got a drop saw??! Jealous. xx

  2. love it christie – great job. This projects in my To Do list with an entire folder of images from blogland and just waiting on my dad and his handyman skills for it to be done. You have one lucky girl! PS we are a big fan of Schliech animals here too arent they great

    1. It was sitting on my to do list for a good long time too, Michele, sometimes husbands need a little push in the right direction! LOL Dad 101 did cut the wood cookies for me (though I am sure that I could have handled the saw!) and then it was just me and a hot glue gun.

  3. That is so fantastically awsome and inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Fantastic! So.Sick.of.Plastic.
    Well done.

    1. We have our share of plastic too 🙂 But I do love adding lots of natural materials to our play, they are so much more open ended.

  5. Oh my you are a clever cookie Christie. The tree house is terrific! I especially love the little chimp sitting on an armchair up top. Very, very sweet. I don’t actually even know what a drop saw is, but maybe we need one here too!

    1. Thanks, Sarah 🙂 Dad 101 tells me a drop saw is also called a mitre saw and is like a drop down electric circular saw.

  6. Love it. Bet you had fun making it too 🙂

  7. Oh wow Christie, that is all kinds of fabulous! Immy will be the envy of all her pals!

  8. That is completely awesome! I want one for me, never mind the children!

  9. We have been working on the same project this year. A grandfather from our program has some big pieces of wood drying at his house and we already have smaller pieces and thicker sticks. Can’t wait to put it together.
    Yours look great! So simple, so much fun.

  10. Love it Christie and as I have said before – you are very clever!

  11. Amazing! Looks like it will bring much joy to your home! Enjoy!


  12. Hour and hours,that’s so true!

  13. Tried making this for Christmas this year but it just isn’t sturdy enough for the little, clumsy hands of my girls. Need to use bigger pieces and attach them more securely.
    Love the idea though!

  14. That is amazing! I need some tree branches to make something similar for our fairy garden outside 😀

  15. CHRISTIE! This is fantastic. I’m in love with it. I’m thinking…how can I get my hands on some wood… I shared it on twitter. 🙂

  16. Two Chicks and a Hen says:

    This is wonderful! I love the primate climing the ladder! But really, I just love the whole thing. Fantastic.

  17. Oh! My girls would LOVE that! They have a fairy house, but only use it with animals 😉

  18. OMG this is awesome! I’ve been eyeing off the very expensive shop bought tree houses for ages, never once thought to just make one myself! I think I might have to attempt this as a present for M’s birthday!!

  19. This is incredible – I love it and so-so jealous! Thanks for sharing it.

  20. Susan@improvamama says:

    what an inspiration! I love this…I’ll be hunting around for branches this week to attempt a version of it.

  21. LOVE THIS!!! How refreshing you are! Such a creative spin on playing with sticks! Thank you for sharing : )

  22. That is Unreal Christy! I’ve been nagging daddy Eco to make something like this for the last year or so thinking that it would be a task that required nails and screws and all those fancy carpentry things i find so frustrating. I never thought of using a glue gun! Aren’t glue guns wonderful!

  23. WOW, this is wonderful! I’m so inspired! I’m off to go find some wood…we recently cut some of our trees back too! 🙂

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  25. This is amazing Christie. I’d love to make this for my boys birthday.

  26. What a great idea and beautiful creation. We saved our Christmas tree trunk and hopefully we can make something similar with that. Do you have to sand the blocks you cut?

  27. stephanie says:

    This is amazing! I posted about this on my website for Zoo week! Thank you!

  28. How is it that I missed this post Christie??? It’s fabulous. Well done! … Donald thinks you’re a lucky girl Immy! xx

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  30. I’ve finally got my branches…now to get to work. Will post pics when/if we ever get this project complete 🙂

  31. Jeremy Hendrix says:

    Have some wood drying right now to have a go at making one of these. Did you do anything to seal the wood after you had glued the pieces together? I’m thinking of gluing it together and then coating the whole thing in a water-based polyurethane…what do you think?

    1. I haven’t, Jeremy, and it has help up just fine for indoor use but I can imagine it would be a good idea to do so.

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  37. Cari Gouldbourne says:

    This is amazing! I would love to make one of these for my 2 1/2 yr old. I am in love with these animals…much nicer than any I have found. Do you recall where you found them?

    1. The brand of animals we collect is Schleich, Cari. If you google them I am sure you will find a local or online supplier 🙂

  38. Pat Matera says:

    Your creation was such an inspiration that after my husband and I helped a friend cut down an overgrown bush in her yard, I harvested the branches that looked promising and dragged them home to make my own creative setting.
    I ended up with “The Land of Make Believe”. My husband screwed the branches together to make them super durable, I added mini vines of ivy, built stairs, a rope ladder and populated it with my peg people . I am so delighted with it. I can’t wait to deliver it to my grandkids in 3 weeks. It is easily disassembled as far as the decorations go so the “guys” can turn it into dino land or what ever and all can stretch their imaginations as far as they will go. Thank you so much!!!!

    1. Love the sound of your make believe land, Pat, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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  40. What age group is this for? I have four nieces aged 9 down to 2. I was thinking of making this for all of them but unsure if one is too old and the other too young.

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