Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tree House Made From Scavenged Materials

The original tree house platform

Mr. Chanclas and the kids built a small tree house a couple of winters ago. Unlike all the rest of our projects, I urged him to buy new lumber for this since it was going to be bearing our kids' weight and I wanted it to last. He built a platform (out of new lumber) in a little stand of trees out back and added a couple of steps to a tree in one corner for access. Recently Brother requested walls for the tree house so we tacked on some sides and a few novelty bits out of salvaged materials.

Tree house with salvaged sides added

The sides are headboards and footboards from an old bunk bed that Mr. Chanclas found in the trash. They are made out of nice, solid wood so we knew we'd eventually find a use for them. Between two of the side pieces Mr. Chanclas added a swinging door made out of an old baby gate. I've scavenged several old gates like this one and they have come in handy for all sorts of things (trellises for growing beans, covering chick brooding tubs, etc).

This old baby gate makes a nice tree house door.
While Mr. C was working on the tree house improvements I was dismantling an old wooden screen door. I had just removed the latch and stashed it away for a future project. Five minutes later Mr. Chanclas found it in the hardware organizer bin and used it to secure the new tree house door. How's that for some quick recycling?

Old screen door latch used for the tree house door
Mr. C also added a couple of fun details to the tree house while he was at it. I had picked up this toy steering wheel (attached to a 2x4) during a bulky trash pickup week and was waiting to put it to good use.
Scavenged steering wheel from a playscape

Then he added a plank. As in, "walk the plank". Because every tree house should be able to function as a pirate ship!

Pirate plank out of scavenged wood
While I was touring the finished (for now) tree house I caught sight of these old, rusty nails in one of the tree trunks that bends over the platform. I love these reminders that this place was once special to someone else, many years ago. I'm not the first person to love this place and mine are not the first children to play in these woods. They won't be the last, either.

Signs of an old tree house long gone


  1. The treehouse is looking good! I love the evidence of people before.

  2. Thats fantastic!
    We just built a chicken coop with 85% recycled/up-cycled/free materials. I find its so much more fun and creative this way (not to mention cheaper!)
    Next weekend our town (Nelson B.C. Canada) does the bi-annual 'trash to treasure' where you leave things you no longer want on the sidewalk and everyone goes around and picks things up. I've gotten some amazing treasures from other peoples trash!

    1. I love the "trash to treasure" idea! That is just so civilized. Not to mention fun. Good for you on your new chicken coop!


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