Introduction: A "Jungle Cruise" Playhouse *updated

Picture of A "Jungle Cruise" Playhouse *updated

I made this playhouse this Spring for my daughters. It took about 4 months of evenings and some very full weekends,but except for some small details it is finally done! It is modeled after the Jungle Cruise building in Disneyland.


Like the Jungle Cruise,the siding is made of chanelled wood (cedar in my case) and bevelled siding. The pickets on the porch are replicas of the Jungle Cruises' upper left balcony that I patterned in my computer,then printed up full size to make a paper template.

The sign was also designed in my computer first,then a pattern was made,cutout,and spray painted.

The two porch post are newel posts for a hand railing, and not really for a porch,but the scale of the playhouse allowed me to use them.

The house is 8' x 6' with a 3' front porch,for a total size of 8' x 9'. The porch roof is angled just slightly for water run off. You do need to duck a bit as an adult stepping onto the porch and going through the door.Once inside it is roomy and high

Any more details,just ask!

I can provide more details if wanted....

Well enjoy the photos,and I welcome any comments or questions.

Playhouse plans: I have just now completed a full set of working plans to build this Playhouse for yourself. For those who don't like to 'wing it" like I did, these plans are for you. 40+ pages with over 60 3D illustrations will guide you thru from start to finish. To purchase via Paypal, click here


IndyPD (author)2016-04-13

Madhatter, I'm currently building this playhouse and am about to add the siding. Question for you about the siding did you use 6 inch wide siding? Thanks

madhatter1138 (author)IndyPD2016-04-13

Indeed I did. Best of luck!

mokuaikaua (author)2014-09-23

This may be years later, but I purchased the plans, and made my own version this summer:

Thanks for the inspiration and the plans!

madhatter1138 (author)mokuaikaua2014-09-29

WOW! So cool to see another one! I'm so proud :) !!!Congrats and thanks very much for sharing this!

mokuaikaua (author)madhatter11382014-09-29

Thanks! Not as well done as yours, but not bad for someone who doesn't build anything. Now to work and put on the finishing touches!

pmeissner (author)2013-06-28

Can you post a few more details like how much it cost?

facklere (author)2011-10-28

I. Love. This.

pamkeaton74 (author)2011-08-19

I think the playhouse you built is awesome! You guys did such a great job on it—looks really professional! I've been looking around for plans for different types of playhouses for kids but I haven't come across any for a playhouse like this. Most of the playhouses I've found are scaled-down which would make it difficult for me to join my kids inside the playhouse, but your playhouse looks to be full-size. Very nice! I just love it! Gotta show it to my husband when he gets home!

Akask (author)2011-06-04

Dude this is awesome. Seriously, are you an actual imagineer? If not, you definitely should be. :) keep up the good work!

snickerdoodles (author)2011-04-07

Forget the kids, I WANNA PLAY!!! This playhouse looks so amazing I could spend some serious time in there myself. Thanks for documenting all your hard work for us to see!

naluhduarte (author)2011-03-01

Man, you made me cry.

Sovereignty (author)2010-12-03

Mac: I'm a Mac.
PC: I'm a PC.
Mac: I look really cool, and people will think you're cool too if you have me instead of PC. Oh, and Microsoft is...bad. And they aren't nice either. They're, like, big jerks, and only fat, poopy-head Republicans use Windows.
PC: I've got work to do.

Sovereignty (author)2010-12-01

Them ears are riskybusiness. If Disney gets wind of this, they're gonna send in a crew to have the clubhouse burned to the ground. 'Cept for the ears; those they'll keep. Awesome though.

seamsbysami (author)2010-06-19

wow amazing u could probably build a mantion

tkocur (author)2010-05-27

Wow, this is truly AMAZING! Very nice work. My daughters would absolutely love something like this... any chance you came up with a framing plan? I know you said you based it off the Wendy playhouse, but I also saw that some plans were in the works. Just thought I'd give it a try.

Pinky212 (author)2010-02-24

This is absolutely awesom!  I felt tears flowing down my cheeks (Yeah, I'm a chick.) when reading the dedication plaque.  That was moving beyond words!!!  And the best part!  What a wonderful idea to cap off numberous other wonderful ideas.  Do your friends and co-workers know you're such a romantic?  Do you have a single brother?  LOL

That playhouse is supercalifragilisticexpealidoughshus!!! 

madhatter1138 (author)Pinky2122010-02-24

Wow, thanks! Ya, the plaque gets me too ;) brothers though,sorry, 2 sisters..

Romantic? I dunno,maybe. Crazy,you bet!
Thanks for taking the time to comment,you made my day.

milesduggan (author)2010-02-16

 OMG! I am totally going to do this for my kids! The whole yard is going to replicate yours! Thank you so much for sharing your creative ideas!

Do it! I wish I had room to do more! BTW my kids are 4 and 2,and the 4 y/o thinks this yard is normal.....but they have so much fun all summer long! Good luck,and feel free to ask any questions along the way!

ilovescience (author)2009-10-23


rich.drake (author)2008-12-20

Hi madhatter, I have a six year old son and we are going to build a playhouse this summer, so I was wondering if you would be able to post the plans to the playhouse you built. Even if you just have the frame plans, that would be great. Super job ... enjoy it with your kids.

Claudia (author)2008-09-17

Muito linda! A casa de brincar e a maneira de apresentar o projeto. Dá a maior vontade de fazer uma. Valeu ! Nice! very very nice!

madhatter1138 (author)Claudia2008-10-23


andyhuntdesigns (author)2008-08-17

WOW. Next you can come build a mini Haunted Mansion in MY back yard!

jonathan.gano (author)2008-08-17

What kind of finish did you use on the chimney? It looks like more than just paint.

I used a Faux finish rust kit from Home Depot. Basically spray painted a dark terra cotta colour first, then brushed on the dark colour,and quickly blotted it with crumpled newspaper or paper towel. I use this on everything metal in my yard,and kerosene lanterns look great this way.

disneyave (author)2008-07-31

Love the work! It's good to know that I am not the only Disney nut out there! I just signed-up...I will be posting my "DISNEY ROOM" in the near future! Keep Imagineering! - Disneyave

tink1272 (author)2008-07-24

This is amazing and so much fun... Forget the kids! I think my husband and I would just go out there and have a great time just hanging out!

Mr. Rig It (author)2008-07-13

What font did you ise to make the signs?

madhatter1138 (author)Mr. Rig It2008-07-13

No font used,created as a vector graphic from scratch using a photo of the real sign as a template. Found some fonts that were close,but decided not to use them.

thesamhill (author)2008-07-10

That is astounding! Great work. The floors are really impressive. If I hadn't seen that I wouldn't have believed they were plywood. Any tips on that process? I was going to resort to old carpet in my son's playhouse, but now that I've seen your floors...

madhatter1138 (author)thesamhill2008-07-10

I used a narrow V tip router bit,set to about 1/8" depth. I had a 8' 2x4 as a straight edge,and clamped it down on each end of the plywood sheet.After running one pass with the router,I unclamped it,slid it back 4 inches,and did it again. For the end grooves of the "planks" I just mainly free handed it. The stain was a water based stain (walnut),and waterbased Semi-gloss varathane on top of that. Also I used 1 1/4 galvanized nails (2) on each board end to give it a more rustic or old look...

Almost forgot the most important part.After staining and varnishing one coat, a light sand with 300 grit sandpaper to knock the grain down,then another coat of varathane varnish, then a light sand using a scotch bright pad,then a final coat. Silky smooth....

thesamhill (author)madhatter11382008-07-11

Thanks for the detail! I can never seem to get the stain right for plywood. Mine keeps coming out like I dumped coffee on, well, plywood. :) I suppose I've been trying to stain it too dark.

Ezara (author)2008-07-06

Wow! That is unbelievable. I am so impressed! Just amazing. Your daughters are very lucky!!

pebbles1 (author)2008-07-06

my goodness thats awesome ..i wish i was ur daughter there gonna be the envy of the neighbourhood.......

craziemutant (author)2008-07-04

wow, that is such an amazing job. i wish i was as skilled as you are. maybe some day. =)

junebugstuff (author)2008-07-04

Wow! That is gorgeous! My husband is not that handy so we are using a pre-fab kit. I'm inspired by your project though to help my daughter choose a theme and deck it out in that theme. If it's really cool I will post about it. Buliding permits here in Seattle sound similar to where you are - no permit required as long as it is 5' from the property line and there is no plumbing or electricity and qualifies as a "shed". Although, eventually, I would like to have electricity out in mine when it ceases to be a "playhouse" and becomes an "art studio" when my daughter grows up.

illdoyourdrugs (author)2008-07-04

Excellent job man! Love your craftsmanship and choice of color and design. I want to build my own in the near future and you have further inspired me to do so! keep up the great work.

To inspire someone else is the ultimate compliment,thanks and good luck in your work!

mwwdesign (author)2008-07-03

Incredibly well done. For some reason this reminds me of Blanka's stage in Street Fighter II...

dengcao (author)2008-07-03

Nice!!Colourful house,colourful day!

foobear (author)2008-07-02

Beautiful. Did you have to get a building permit to build it?

madhatter1138 (author)foobear2008-07-02

No permit..It isn't wired for electricity really,but a cable runs into the top for a lamp,but is not permanent. its basically looked at as a shed,and is 5' from the next yard,which is law here.

foobear (author)madhatter11382008-07-02

omg, you live on Vancouver Island? Wow. That is like the most beautiful place on earth. I would love to emigrate to Canada and live there, but ... I don't think they'll just let people go there, you have to have a work visa and all that stuff probably. You are lucky!

madhatter1138 (author)foobear2008-07-02

I agree,we love Vancouver Island!!!I have no idea about immigration laws,but I don't think they're too tough ;)...Come by to visit if you ever come here!!

foobear (author)madhatter11382008-07-02

Sweet! I have this fantasy of building my own house with my own two hands. I thought maybe I could get away with it by calling it a "shed" and building it in the back of a small house with a large yard. hee hee.

silver912targa (author)2008-07-02

Wow!!!!! You can actually live in this thing. Very professionally done. Although I do miss the show and tell feature. Any plans? Michel Portugal

Perhaps a tutorial would be possible,but I am completely missing photos of the siding process. I think answering the odd question on how to do some detail things might suffice? I strongly suggest buying a set of plans,and adding the details after. Thanks for viewing!

hooloovoo33 (author)2008-07-02


About This Instructable




Bio: I am a freelance graphic designer, as well as a carpenter. I enjoy spending time with my two beautiful little girls,and wonderful wife.Oh ... More »
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