Introduction: Breath of the Wild Playhouse
It started as idea to build a playhouse for my son for his birthday. My dad built me a playhouse when I was his age, so wanting to pass the tradition along, and inspired by The Legend of Zelda - Breath of the Wild, I decided to turn Link's house from the game into an epic playhouse!
SIDE NOTE: This is a BIG project, and one that I started before the price of wood skyrocketed. I also put A LOT of extra work and features into this playhouse that are optional. There are alterations to the plans, as well as modifications to the interior that would make it more affordable than what I'm showing you here. With that said...
Here's how I put it together:
Material you'll need: (with affiliate links)
13 - 4’x8’ plywood sheets (½”)
2 - 4'x8' plywood sheets (3/4")
100 - 2”x3”x8’ boards
2 - 2”x4”x8’ boards
2 ½” screws (I used about 3 tubs worth)
24 - 18 gauge rafter ties (this is optional, but does make it more secure)
12 - Fastenmaster 6” screws
Bolts and nuts
Laminate flooring and wood flooring
Green outdoor mat
Hangman picture mounts - https://amzn.to/2QwBs65
Mod Podge - https://amzn.to/3sUsgFR
8x11 canvas board -https://amzn.to/3eudws8
Red roofing stain
Solar powered lantern
Outdoor lights - https://amzn.to/3xtEed8
Vinyl - https://amzn.to/3sUtfG3
Tools you'll need:
Nintendo Switch - https://amzn.to/332E3HL
Breath of the Wild - https://amzn.to/2QXg8GS
SketchUp - https://www.sketchup.com
Miter saw - https://amzn.to/3xlpeOp
Pull saw - https://amzn.to/3xlpmNT
Chisels - https://amzn.to/3evDmf7
Drill press - https://amzn.to/3gSC8h5
Staple Gun - https://amzn.to/3gEKW9X
Marking pencils -
Hand router - https://amzn.to/3eueTqM
Router bits - https://amzn.to/3sTqswD
3d printer - https://amzn.to/3gBN7eB
Vinyl Cutter - https://amzn.to/2QBuE77
Step 1: Design in SketchUp
The first step was to design the playhouse in SketchUp. This step is crucial for larger projects because it allows you to know exactly how much lumber you will need for a project, and also allows you to test out variations before deciding on a final design.
I worked with Aaron (@aaronmakingstuff on Instagram), and we played around with several different design ideas and tweaks before finalizing a design I liked. One of the criteria for this size of playhouse was to ensure that the largest of pieces would still fit on a 4x8 sheet of plywood. With that as a constraint, it was just a matter of designing the different elements of the playhouse to make it as close to the original as possible but still allow for creative modifications.
After everything was drafted out and the materials list was made, I printed out the plans and got to work.
Step 2: Build a Foundation
Depending on where your playhouse is going to be located, and whether or not you want to have a floor in the playhouse or just have it sit directly on the ground, this step may be optional. Where I live it rains a lot, and sometimes floods, so I needed to have the playhouse set off the ground and have a foundation to add stability to the floor. I made a foundation to match the size of the main part of the playhouse, not including the features on the outside of the playhouse. Screwing the frame together, I cut two pieces of plywood for the top and screwed them to the frame.
To help keep out bugs and moisture, I stapled house wrap to the bottom of the foundation.
I decided on a location for the playhouse in my backyard, then started marking the area for the foundation. I dug holes in each of the corners to lay down cement bricks, and added 3 bricks in the center to go underneath each of the boards in the foundation. Using a level I made sure the foundation would sit level on top of each brick, and made height adjustments as needed.
Step 3: Putting Up Walls... in a Good Way
With the foundation set, I began working on the walls. Starting with the front wall, I cut the pieces of each wall and screwed them together. Mounting the front wall to the foundation, I added some extra pieces to hold the wall in place while I finished the other walls. Securing the walls to the foundation and then to each other added a lot of stability to the frame.
The inside of the playhouse has a second floor, like in the game. In the playhouse, the second floor acts more as a landing, since it is so close to the roof. It's enough for a small kid to play or sleep, and adds a place underneath that can be used for storage.
Since this part of the playhouse cuts down on the space inside the playhouse, it can be optional. Wanting to stay as close to the game as I could, I added it in.
Step 4: Roughing the Exterior
With the frame assembled, I started to cut pieces of the 1/2" plywood to shape for each of the outside walls. Because we intentionally made it so that no piece was bigger than 4x8', most of the cuts were cutting out the areas for windows, the door, or wrapping pieces around playhouse.
Before the roof was put on, making it impossible to get larger pieces inside the playhouse, I also cut and added a base to the second floor in the playhouse, and roughed out that section as well.
With the plywood wrapped around the house, I assembled the frame for the grassy area on the front and right side of the building, as well as the extended building that goes on the left side of the playhouse. I added the awning for the grassy side of the playhouse, and the front door.
After assembling the roof pieces, I used the 6" screws the secure each roof piece to the frame.
With the roof on, I added the chimney pieces, and screwed the plywood pieces around it.
Step 5: Adding a Roof
I stapled some underlayment onto the roof, the started cutting up the cedar fence pieces. I varied the length of each of the pieces I cut. I took the pieces and nailed them onto the roof, as well as a cap piece for the chimney, varying each piece so that the roof matched the mismatched pattern of roof pieces in the game.
Which brings me to an important point:
Step 6: Always Be Referencing
Since I was wanting this playhouse to be as close to the game as possible, I constantly had my switch beside me so that I could pick it up whenever I needed to look and see how the house is designed in the game.
Step 7: Windows and a Door
Using the 1x3" and 1x4" boards, I started cutting the pieces out for the windows and the door to the playhouse. After assembling each, I bored holes in each intersection of the vertical and horizontal pieces for the bolts to fit into.
To match the rustic and worn look of the house in the game, we used a grinder to grind down the bolt ends, and roughed up the window and door pieces. Sanding, chiseling out small random pieces, dragging them on the ground, and hitting them with Mjolnir helped to give that rustic look to the windows, door, and the bolts (as well as all the other pieces that will be going into the playhouse).
We also used different shades of paint, sanding unevenly between each layer, to help accentuate the aged effect.
Adding hinges to the windows and door, then screwing them onto the playhouse, I finished by framing each opening. I also added a trim piece to the outside door to act as a stopper for the door and help keep rain/bugs out.
Step 8: Turning Wood Into Rocks
To add the exposed rock features to the outside of the playhouse, I started with the corner pieces. I took some 1x4 pieces and cut a 45 degree edge on one side. After clamping and gluing the pieces together, I got some reference shots from the game, then drew out the placement of the stones.
Using a hand router and grinding bits, I carved out the shape of the stones, adding depth to make it seem more realistic, and taking away as much of the flat areas or straight edges as I could.
After the stone shapes had all been carved out, I put a base coat of grey on the pieces. Taking colors like green, brown, beige, and red, I mixed together each color with some water and brushed it on different parts of the piece. After letting it sit for a second I took some paper towels I dabbed the excess water/paint mixture off. This was to add color variation and depth to the carving to make it look more like stone.
I repeated this same process of carving and painting with the accent pieces for the rest of the outside of the playhouse.
Step 9: Adding a Floor, and Walls, and a Ceiling
With the exterior enclosed, I started laying flooring in the playhouse. Starting from the back corner and working towards the door, we measured, cut, and snapped together each row of flooring.
Once we arrived at the door/opening to the area under the second floor, we repeated the process back towards the inside wall.
After the floor was done, I started at the base of the inside of the playhouse and began nailing wall pieces to the frame, working my way up.
SIDE NOTE: At this stage, you can add insulation to the playhouse if you want. Considering the extra cost, I opted not to insulate the playhouse, figuring the finished exterior, the air barrier between the outside and in, as well as the finished interior would provide enough to keep the playhouse semi-insulated.
Step 10: Accents and Railing
Referencing the game, I cut some of the 1x3 pieces to frame out the door frame for both the exterior and interior door, as well as the loft area. Cutting each piece to size, I stained the boards then glued and nailed them into place.
Taking some 2x3" boards, I cut out pieces to make a railing for the second floor - in part to match the second floor in the game, but also to provide a barrier should a child decide to play or sleep up there.
Step 11: Finishing the Exterior
Cutting some ends out of the 4x4 post, as well as some of the 1x3 boards, I added the structural elements around the roof.
Wanting the playhouse to be as weather sealed as possible, I took caulking and sealed every joint, intersection, crack, and corner I could, making sure that even in a storm it would be dry inside the playhouse.
Step 12: Adding Some "Grass"
I found an outdoor mat made of a green material that I thought would work well as fake grass. I cut some pieces to length, then put adhesive on the back before using a staple gun to staple it down. I used my maker knife to cut around the edges of the awning posts, and glued and stapled all the edges together.
Step 13: Paint and Stain and Paint
I found a red stain that was a perfect shade to match the roof of the house in the game. Using a brush for the edges and then a paint sprayer for the main part of the roof, we put 2 coats of the red stain on the roof.
I stained the darker accent, trim, and frame pieces around the playhouse, then taped each piece off so they didn't bleed into the lighter colored paint.
I went over the entire playhouse with the first coat of exterior paint. It wasn't close enough a color to the game, so I remixed another batch and put a second coat of paint on the playhouse.
I added all of the stone accent pieces I made to the corners and the front of the house and grass landing, adding adhesive to each piece and nailing them onto the playhouse.
Step 14: Some Extra Little Details
The chimney in the game is semi-falling over and held up by support beams. While I didn't make the chimney of the playhouse look like it was falling over, I did cut a couple of 2x3 pieces to add as support beams to match the game.
Finding a solar powered light that matched the lantern at the front door of the house, I disassembled it and cut the bottom off. I also drilled 2 holes in the lid and reassembled the lantern. 3d printing a hook that I screwed on by the front door, I ran some wire through the holes in the top of the lantern and hung it in place.
Inside the house in the game is a coat rack by the door, so I cut a 2x4 and drilled 3 holes in it for some 1" dowel cutoffs. I cut off all the edges to give it the weathered look, and after staining the coat rack I mounted it inside the door.
Step 15: Making Weapon Mounts
Jumping back into Sketchup, we designed weapon mounts - like the ones that you can unlock in the game. Using the dimensions for a sword and shield that my son already had, we designed out frames to fit each.
I took 2x4's and cut the frame pieces out, then took them and cut out a 1/2" track on the inside of each piece. Using a frame clamp, I glued all the pieces together, and then stained each frame.
Cutting a 1/2" piece of plywood to the inside shape of each frame, I sanded and then painted each cutout black. Gluing and nailing the cutouts to the frames, I added some hanging mounts and got them ready to put in the playhouse
Step 16: A Custom Bow of Light
Taking reference pictures of the Bow of Light from the game, we brought it into SketchUp and traced the outlines and shapes of the bow. Extruding all the different elements gave us the shape of the bow. We then broke the bow into connecting parts, and sent each piece to the 3D printer.
After all the pieces were printed, I taped off all the areas that were going to stay white, then primed and spray painted the exposed pieces gold.
Once dry, I glued all the pieces of the bow together and hung it on its weapon mount.
Step 17: 3D Printed Decor
To add some Legend of Zelda decor around the playhouse, I went onto Thingiverse and found some models for
Majoras Mask - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:686111
Goddess Statue - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:82953
a breakable pot - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:772378
rupees - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:68154
After printing each, I primed and painted the mask and pot, and then primed and weathered the goddess statue with some watered down black paint.
Step 18: Framed Champions Picture
I printed off a picture of the Champions, and took an 8x11 canvas and brushed on a layer of Mod Podge. After letting it sit for a minute, I pressed on the picture of the Champions, and then put another layer of Mod Podge on top of the picture.
While the picture dried, I took some scrap cedar strips, and cut out a frame for the picture. Using clamps I glued it all together, and then glued and clamped the picture to the frame.
Step 19: Designing and Making a Chandelier
Jumping back into Sketchup, I designed out a chandelier that matched the one from the game. Cutting out pieces of 2x3, I notched each piece and then used a drill press to drill holes in each cross piece for the lights to fit into. I stained each piece and then fit and glued the whole frame together.
I took a string of outdoor lights and unscrewed each of the bulbs. Running the bulb mount through the holes I drilled in the chandelier, I screwed the bulbs back in.
Adding some eyehooks to each corner, I took some craft rope and hung the chandelier inside the playhouse.
Step 20: Decorating
With all the decorations made up, I started adding them inside the playhouse. I mounted the bow and sword mounts on the side wall, and the shield mount on the loft wall. Mounting a hanger by the door, I hung the Majoras mask.
I hung the Champions picture on the loft area (to match it's location on the wall in the game), and then put the goddess statue and breakable pot on the loft area as well.
Step 21: Painting One Last Design
Making a quick design in Inkscape, I cut it out on my vinyl cutter, then put the stencil above the door of the loft. Painting over the stencil, I removed it and finished one last design element to the inside of the playhouse.
Step 22: Bolson Quality Sign
To have my own Bolson quality sign, I jumped one last time into SketchUp and designed out a sign to look like the one in the game.
I cut the stand for the sign out of 4x4 posts, cutting and chiseling out a mortise and tenon joint to fit the pieces together. I cut the frame pieces out and used a frame clamp to glue them together, then like the weapon mounts I cut a backing piece and glued it into the 1/2" track that I had cut into the frame pieces. I then stained the pieces to match the colors from the game.
I went online and found a Hylian font, and added my own title to put on the sign. My good friend Wes (@geeksmithing on Instagram) was nice enough to cut the lettering out on a laser cutter using 1/8" plywood, and send them to me. I glued them onto the sign, making sure to get the lettering right side up.
With everything dry, I placed the sign in front of the playhouse to proudly display who's house this was.
Step 23: Enjoy!
With everything done, I plugged the playhouse in, and it was fully operational.
To say that this playhouse turned out great is an understatement. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out, and all the extra features that I added to this playhouse (that are, again, totally optional), made it that much better.
Because of its size, the playhouse is not only good for the kids to play in during the day, but at night we are all able pull sleeping stuff into the playhouse, set a TV and switch on the loft, and have a family game night playing Breath of the Wild in our own Breath of the Wild playhouse.
Step 24: Watch the Video!
Now that you've seen how it's made, watch the video!
I have more geeky projects you can check out here on Instructables, so be sure to follow me for when I put out new Instructables
AND you can watch more of my project videos HERE
AND you can also follow me on Instagram @onceuponaworkbench
Grand Prize in the