Treehouse Ideas and Designs You Can Build in Your Backyard

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Keeping kids away from devices and social media these days can be especially tricky and frustrating all at the same time.

What better way to encourage outdoor play than by building a fun and exciting treehouse right in your own backyard?

Treehouse ideas
Treehouse ideas

Luckily, tackling this task isn’t nearly as hard as you might think and can be a weekend DIY project depending on the option you choose. 


What to Expect: Here is a list of some of the best types of treehouse idea and images you can build in your backyard, which you and your kids are sure to love.


1. Playhouse Treehouse for Kids

If you have little ones running around, you are not going to want them in a high, off-the-ground, fort.

Playhouse Treehouse for Kids
Play treehouse for kids

Luckily, you can choose a simple, lower tree fort option that will keep toddlers happy and active for hours.

Instead of building a tree fort up in a tree, construct your playhouse around the bottom of the tree and decorate it with curtains, flower boxes, and even a performance stage.

Let your child bring their favorite toys, stuffed animals, and coloring books outside with them, giving them tons of ways to enjoy their day.

2. A Plank-Walking Pirate Ship Treehouse

Who wouldn’t love their own pirate ship to play in?

That is one imaginary play scenario most of us have enjoyed as children and will be popular amongst kids probably forever.

A Plank-Walking Pirate Ship Treehouse
Pirate ship treehouse idea

Creating a faux pirate ship treehouse in your backyard doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may sound. (unless you want it to be.)

But a simple plywood pirate ship placed in a tree with a pirate’s flag, anchor, and an old sheet as a sale is more than enough to bring an imaginary adventure to life.

3. Simple Platform Treehouse With No Sides

Not all of us know our way around power tools and that’s okay.

You can still create a fun way to play with some precut plywood, some screws, and a few other tools that anyone can figure out how to use.

Simple Platform Treehouse With No Sides
Platform treehouse

You don’t have to be elaborate with your child’s treehouse, a simple platform attached to the outside of a large sturdy tree with a slide, maybe a few swings, and a little creativity can really go a long way.

4. Home Away From Home Treehouse

For those of you who have a lot of talent in carpentry or are interested in calling in the professionals, a large tree fort with stairs, space, and hidden entrances will really get the family’s attention.

Home Away From Home Treehouse
Home away treehouse

For anyone who wants to really make their backyard tree house stand out, consider placing the fort in between two trees, adding an extra room or two, and including a few windows, secret entrance doors, and home decor.

5. An Enchanting Castle Treehouse

Let your child be the King or Queen of their very own castle, and build them a fairytale treehouse they will never forget.

An Enchanting Castle Treehouse
Castle Treehouse

Don’t be afraid to have fun with the design. Add a moat, bridge, and even a simple “castle gate” that can be raised and lowered by pulling a rope. 

Be crafty and draw a dragon on the side of the fort and add a wall of “weapons” with shields, fake swords, and a “catapult” in the window.

6. DIY Nature Made Treehouse

Who says you have to go out and purchase tons of supplies to build a fun fort in your backyard?

You can easily create something special out of broken branches, sticks, and rocks for a quick and simple DIY design.

DIY Nature Made Treehouse
DIY Treehouse

Start by securing a platform of plywood to your treehouse, then use branches and sticks to create the walls and sides.

Glue rocks and pebbles to the ground for a fun addition and secure wooden steps to the side of the tree for access to the fort from underneath.

7. Hide Away Treehouse (Go Incognito)

Having a fort in the wide-open is great for play and especially for younger children.

Hide Away Treehouse design
Hide Away Treehouse

For our older tree house goers, a hideaway fort pushed back into a wooden and secluded area can make for a great getaway if you have the land to do so.

These types of treehouses can be simple and provide a calm, quiet space, with some beanbags, blankets, and maybe some books or a drawing pad.

8. Ninja Worrier Training Treehouse

Most kids love to climb, especially trees, during the warmer months when they are outdoors enjoying the weather.

54+ Garden Quotes x
54+ Garden Quotes

You can easily include this activity in your treehouse to give your child the best of both worlds.

Ninja Worrier Training Treehouse
Ninja treehouse idea

You can make a ninja worrier tree fort by adding a rock wall to the side of the house.

You can also hang large climbing ropes to the bottom, a balance rope that leads from one tree to another, and some monkey bars.

9. Pallet Treehouse (A Quick and Simple Option)

Consider utilizing old pallets for another cheap way to throw together a great treehouse quickly.

Make sure you gather durable, solid, and safe pallets and put them together around the base of the tree.

Pallet Treehouse design
Pallet Treehouse

Let your kids contribute to the design and provide them with paint to make this fort their own.

Use this fort as a puppet theatre, a stage, a “no girls or no boys” allowed place to hide, or anything else their hearts can come up with.

10. A Cozy Log Cabin Treehouse

For a beautiful treehouse, even the adults will want to hang out in, try adding a little log cabin to your backyard.

This cabin can be set up high in the trees, with hammocks comfortably placed underneath.

A Cozy Log Cabin Treehouse
Cabin Treehouse

Hang bears or wolf decore around the inside, and a flowerbed and fountain on the ground below. 

You can even throw a few rocking chairs on the “porch,” making it an excellent spot for a summertime hangout. 

11. A Unique TeePee Treehouse

Using some long tree branches or trunks, create a giant teepee around a tree, securing it at the top.

A Unique TeePee Treehouse
TeePee Treehouse

Then use some canvas, old blankets or sheets, or some other type of material to create the sides of your teepee for a unique treehouse for your backyard.

You can leave this treehouse sitting on top of the soil, or you can raise it by adding a plywood floor underneath it, taking you a foot or two off the ground.

12. A Fun FIlled Playground Treehouse

A great way to incorporate a treehouse into your backyard is by making a basic structure and then adding all of the fun playground features to it.

Fun FIlled Playground Treehouse
Playground Treehouse

Build a simple fort up in the tree, then add a slide to the side, some swings underneath, and a sandbox close by. 

Consider using some chalkboard paint to make a tic-tac-toe board inside the fort or space for kids to be creative and draw while they are outdoors.

Tips for Adding an Extra Touch to Really Make Your Treehouse Stand Out

For most families, having a treehouse in the backyard is good enough.

However, if you really want to make your treehouse stand out above the rest, there are a few fun things you may want to add.

Add Some Lights for Extra Flare

There are so many different types of outdoor lights on the market today that can brighten up your treehouse and make it that much better.

Fun Treehouse lights
Treehouse lights

Always make sure the lights you purchase are weatherproof and made for the outdoors.

You can deck your tree fort out in Christmas light, LED color-changing lights, curtain lights, tiki torches, and so much more.

A Projector Screen Will Draw in a Crowd

Can you think of anything more fun than watching a movie at night from a treehouse?

Neither can we, that’s why we feel purchasing a small projector and hanging a screen (or white sheet) from the side of your fort is a great idea.

A Bucket Pulley System

It’s no fun having to come in and out of a tree fort every time you need something.

We promise your kids will thank you if you incorporate a pulley system into their treehouse.

You can easily do this with a buck from the hardware store and a rope.

A Treasure Chest Full of Fun

Keep a treasure chest inside the treehouse full of costumes, “gold,” and other dress-up items your children can get into every time they go out to play.

A Crows Nest for Peace

Treehouse spot for garden
Treehouse spot

A great little spot for your child to hide out and read, enjoy some peace and quiet, or keep an eye out for intruders is a crow’s nest at the top of the fort.

This can be a great little addition to any treehouse that can be used as a quick hideaway.

A Theme for a Personal Touch

Whether your tree fort is for a child or adults, there is nothing more fun and exciting than having a special theme.

Think of something that makes you happy and try to incorporate it into the fort, whether it is a zen space with pillows and incents or a spaceship painted silver and circled windows.

Final Thoughts

Age is nothing but a number when it comes to treehouses, and there is a design for anyone who is interested in creating a great fort for their backyard.

Let your creative juices flow, and the possibilities will be endless.

However, to save you some time, consider one of our treehouse idea and images.

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