By Natasha Price

All summer my husband has been the quintessential handyman — ladder leaning against the house, body splayed across the roof, a hammer hanging from his Carhartts, screws sticking out of his mouth. Only this house is 10 square feet and lives in our back yard. Behold: the playhouse.

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Last year my husband Stephen became my father’s apprentice and took up woodworking with unbridled gusto. We are slowly replacing our particle-board furniture with hardwood heirlooms. He has thoroughly impressed every one of our family and friends. I’ve even made him his own hashtag (#hubbycraft, if you’re interested in seeing some of his projects on Instagram).

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My parents recently replaced their deck and Stephen diligently sanded every discarded board. Twenty-five-year-old faded, mossy cedar planks turned out to be healthy, sturdy wood perfect for reuse.

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He used the repurposed deck planks for the frame and the miniature wrap-around porch. He spent every non-working and sleeping moment perfecting the playhouse from the screened vents under the roof to the retractable rope ladder leading up to the loft.

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At the end of July, we were finally ready for the playhouse-warming party. All of Jack’s buddies gathered for food, treasure hunts, pool splashing and a chance to break in the new house. Take a tour!

Here’s the front porch. The toy grill was a $60 Craigslist score. The little lantern is solar powered and flickers in the night. The cheerful doormat was just $12 at Fred Meyer.

This $2 garage sale toy mailbox has been the highlight of Jack’s summer. We write him notes and stick our junk mail in it, much to his delight.

Beanbag chair was on sale at Target for $30 and the cheerful papel picado flags were purchased on a recent vacation to Mexico. The hand-crochet blanket was a Value Village find.

Beanbag chair was on sale at Target for $30 and the cheerful papel picado flags were purchased on a recent vacation to Mexico. The hand-crochet blanket was a Value Village find.

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The kitchen was a $7 find at Salvation Army (normally $150).

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We splurged on a $30 vintage Fisher Price record player but saved on the 10-cent chair from Bishop’s Attic.

IMG_4001The writing slate belonged to Jack’s grandma Lucy when she was a child. Marquee letter was a housewarming gift.

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Stephen estimates he spent about $500 on the house — a worthwhile investment for years of yard fun.

The woodworker chilling on the fold-down loft.

The woodworker chilling on the fold-down loft.

Thanks to the interior design expertise of Fernanda Conrad. She was an immense help in staging the playhouse. Check out some of her regular-sized designs here.

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