Introduction: Hobbit House
First off, you'll need to be slightly obsessed with Tolkien. Your significant other will have to sign off on this as well, as you'll need their assistance (and pocketbook). We saw a picture of something we liked, but knew we would have to make significant changes. As our hobbits are already 4ish feet tall, we couldn't do it with a normal sheet of 4x8 plywood. Draw out some plans and be prepared for changes.
***super duper disclaimer*** Neither my wife nor I have ever done something like this before. I work with computers. She wrangles the children. I'm sure there's stuff we could have done better or more correct, but it is working out so far!!
- furring strips
- brads, nails, screws, liquid nails (optional
Step 1: Go Buy Some Stuff
I'm lucky enough to have a friend with a truck and patience. We went down to Home Depot (the first of many trips) and got the majority of the stuff. Then hauled it to the backyard.
Step 2: (Hole In) Door
Everyone knows a Hobbit House needs a circular door. As our sheet of plywood was 4x8, we wanted a door that was most of the space. I decided to make a jig as I didn't wanted to spend the money on one, plus I couldn't find one big enough. So I cut out a piece of wood in an L shape that had a base where my jigsaw could go, then glued it up.
Unfortunately, doubling up on the thickness of the wood (one for the "arm" of the jig and one for the "base") made it too thick for the jigsaw blade to get through. After breaking a blade or two, I decided to just try and follow my sharpie line. That sorta worked.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Door
Using a jigsaw, I followed the line of the door. The plywood was propped up on two sawhorses. I should have used more sturdy ones, but we all survived. I used this same technique and cut out a window. We then spray painted the door red.
Step 4: Cutting Frame
We wanted a sorta teardrop shaped house. We knew the front and back would have the same shape, so we clamped two pieces of plywood together and squared them up, then drew out our curve, then cut away. Because the plywood was kinda thick, I swapped to a reciprocating saw with a longer blade. It required sanding afterwards, but this way, we had the same basic shape.
Step 5: Assembly
After cutting the front and back, it was time to assemble, Avengers-style. We slapped the front and back on a square-ish surface, then added a support board between them. Using 4x8 sheets of plywood made measurements nice - we knew it would be 4' wide, so we could reuse parts of plywood to fill in the blanks.
We used TONS of brad nails and liquid nails to try and hold it together. We cut 8' long furring strips into 4' sections (again, knowing it was based on a 4x8 sheet of plywood, measurements were easy).Then we glopped a bit of liquid nails, then held it in place with brad nails. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat a bunch more.
Step 6: Making It Pretty
As a hobbit house is in the ground, we had to simulate that. Our answer? Astroturf. My wife had the idea to fasten it (with wide-head screws and washers) to the underside of the astroturf so that there would be a pretty edge and you couldn't see the screws when it was done.
We used excess plywood to make some shingle slats, and I figured the kids would like a lookout spot - so I attached one on hinges, so they could poke their tricksy little heads out.
Step 7: Hanging the Door
This ended up being tricky. We understand now why doors are not circular. We tried to measure equally and hang with plenty of screws and liquid nails. Because the door wasn't exactly circular to start with, lots of sanding and additional cutting was required for a better fit.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
We're still not done, but we're getting there. We bought a couple different flavors of spray paint and added some moss and other accents. We also harvested floor samples from ...somewhere...and used them as a makeshift walkway.
All-in-all, it took about 2 days. If the weather (and hobbits) would have cooperated, it probably could have been done in a long day.
Step 9: Preciousss
When we were mostly finished, we found this strange ring.