Kid and dog rest beside small DIY wood playset

13 DIY Outdoor Playsets

Originally contributed by • last updated 2/4/2022


Crafting a playset from the ground up may seem to be a difficult task that a novice couldn’t possibly take on. Well, think again.

Take it from these DIYers who shared their playground projects for the rest of the Internet to marvel at. While these builders range in experience, they all prove that DIYing an outdoor playset can be an easy check off your summer to-do list. 

Peruse through these 12 playground projects. We’re sure you’ll find one that works just right for your outdoor space and DIYing abilities.


Revamp A Kids Outdoor Playset with Paint

Chris & Julia
Chris Loves Julia

Have a playset at home that can use some serious TLC? We're talking swing seats detached from their chains. Wood boards splintering in two. Climbing walls with missing rocks.

 These are all major headaches that may have a simple solution — a few repairs, plenty of sanding, and a fresh coat of paint. The latter, in particular, was all it took for one DIY couple to facelift their existing backyard playset.

They first began by prepping the unit with an oil-based primer. Once dry, they followed that coat with moisture-resistant exterior paint which is expected to last at least 25 years.

The duo then completed the project by staining the roof of the playset a dark black. And finally, spray painting the smaller accessories gold. In total, the makeover spanned an entire weekend.

 It is quite the commitment that yields stunning results. Be sure to check out the complete transformation on Chris Loves Julia.


The Pikler Triangle Toddler Outdoor Playset

Morgan & Sean
Charleston Crafted

A large playset complete with a set of swings, monkey bars, and a swirl slide may not be the most practical playground for a tiny tot. Fortunately, there's a play structure that's better suited for little hands and can be easily DIYed at home.

It's called the pikler triangle and it was named after the pediatrician who developed it, Dr. Emmi Pikler. The climbing frame typically features a ladder, rock climbing wall, and small slide.

Despite its rather simple design, the unit reaps plenty of benefits to growing toddlers. This is largely due to the fact that structure encourages the development of a toddler's motor skills as they safely climb.

As their first playset, the pikler triangle is designed to grow with the toddler as their agility enhances. For a complete look at how to DIY the little playground visit Charleston Crafted.


Wooden Outdoor Playset

Elizabeth Lampman
Frugal Mom Eh

DIYing a backyard playset doesn't necessarily mean starting from zero. Take it from Elizabeth Lampman, the blogger behind Frugal Mom Eh. The nifty DIYer crafted a functional playground by repurposing wood pallets and a smaller playset she acquired for free.

Lampman began the project by disassembling the playground for any lumber and hardware she could repurpose. In doing so, she was able to salvage swings, monkey bars, and a slide.

Equipped with both reclaimed wood and hardware, Lampman got to work bringing the perfect playset for her backyard to life. And the result is nothing short of impressive. Take a look!


The Small But Mighty Outdoor Playset


It's hard to believe that the DIYer who built this modest playset had never crafted a playground before. Although the DIY outdoor playset is of a simple design, its craftsmanship exceeds that of someone who constructed a playground for the first time.

The wooden piece features all the staples of a backyard playset, like a rock climbing ramp, elevated swing, and wavy slide. But it is the unit's compact size that makes this playset perfect for the average homeowner with a sizeable outdoor space.

Can't you just imagine this small climbing structure being put to good use in your backyard? We sure can!


An Outdoor Playset with a Spiral Slide


What's better than a massive playground with a slide? The answer: a massive playground with two slides. And one of them in a spiral slide that feels as if you've brought a park into the comfort of your backyard.

Well, to be fair the whole unit makes it seem as if you've stolen a park playground. This largely due to the sheer size of the playset. It measures 12 feet wide, 24 feet long, and 12 feet high.

In fact, the climbing structure is so large — and heavy — that it wasn't even secured into the ground. The mere weight of it keeps the unit in place. If that's not impressive, perhaps its towering three levels will do the trick.

Interested in crafting the unit for your own outdoor space? You can view the complete project on Instructables.


Outdoor Playset Accessories

Tylynn Sattler
Bitterroot DIY

Looking for a way to adapt your existing swing set so that your new family addition can soar through the air beside their siblings? This wooden baby swing DIY project is calling your name.

The unit measures 12 inches by 12 inches, meaning it's the perfect size for a growing infant. And more so, it can still be used as your little one sprouts into a toddler.

Such a swing is crafted entirely out of wood and suspended from a playset with metal screw eyes and rope. For a complete look at the building plans, be sure to visit Bitterroot DIY.


Outdoor Playset with Monkey Bars


Who would've thought it was possible to craft a set of monkey bars with conduit piping? Well, one DIYer did and she shared her clever process with the rest of the Internet to marvel at.

Using a combination of lumber and a 10-foot conduit pipe, a set of monkey bars was built onto an existing playset. The conduit pipe was cut into five two-foot pieces to construct the climbing bars.


An Outdoor Treehouse Upgraded Playset


Think back to when you were seven years old. The memories are probably a little blurry but you probably have a slight hint of what you wanted for you upcoming birthday. Maybe it was a pony. A trip to Disneyland.

Or perhaps, your dreams were a little more practical. Like having your parent build you a treehouse in your baclyard. That's what one seven-year-old wanted and her father certainly didn't disappoint.

He decided to upgrade his daughter's current playset and turn it into the treehouse of any child's dream. The lofty structure was built out of wood and completed with a yellow tunnel.

The plastic tube serves as one of the main entrance and connects the nifty treehouse to a nearby patio. How fun!


Pirate Ship Outdoor Playset


Imagine boasting to your friends and family that you don't just have a pirate ship in your backyard. No, you built a pirate ship in your yard.

This is exactly what one grandfather can say after constructing a pirate ship playset for his grandson. With plenty of lumber, a little bit of concrete, and a whole lot of creativity, the ship was ready to set sail.

Sure, this DIY outdoor playset isn't the easiest of builds. But the end result is stunning piece that captivates all 'ayes.'


Castle Playset Outdoor

Sara Tramp
Emily Henderson

Bring a piece of the Middle Ages into your backyard with a DIY castle playset. The playground built by Emily of Style By Emily Henderson features a small clubhouse shaped into a — yup, you guessed it — castle.

The unit takes the classic medieval architecture through its design of gaps that surround the top walls of the structure. Known as battlements, these indentations traditionally served as a protective wall that allowed easy access when fighting enemies.

Your kiddos may not be battling foes anytime soon but the playset is still a fun addition to a backyard. Complete the wooden clubhouse with a staircase and slide and watch your little one step into the role of king or queen.


Outdoor Rock Climbing Playset


One father with some serious DIYing skills wasn't happy with the playsets he saw in stores. That's when he knew it was time to take matters into his own hands.

He created a charming wooden playground complete with a swing set, slide, and rock climbing wall. The latter was a clever addition that this father designed to be challenging, but of course safe, for his kiddo to climb.


Outdoor Playset Kits

Dripex Store

Let's be real, not everyone can take on a DIY outdoor playset project themselves. Imagining all that time and effort to build a climbing structure from the ground up can seriously make anyone's palms sweaty.

Fortunately, there's a simple way to make DIYing a backyard playground a total breeze — a playset kit. Take, for instance, the Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course by Dripex.

The set is designed to be installed onto two trees or pillars to create a slackline that houses a variety of playset accessories. Included in these are a rope ladder, climbing net, monkey bars, and a swing.

And as for the best part, the kit is easily transportable and can be set up virtually anywhere. Available on Amazon, the mobile playset sells for $159.


Crafty Outdoor Kitchen Playset

Liska Myers
Adventure In A Box

Brings the indoors out with a charming kitchen playset the kiddos are sure to love. The wooden unit was brought to life using an existing shelf that houses all sorts of bowls and pots.

The kitchen's countertop was made out of plywood with a circle cut on one of its sides. A metal bowl was then fitted in the hole to create a makeshift sink.

No kitchen space is complete without backsplash, so a plywood backdrop was consequently added to the piece. Finally, a coat of paint was used to finish the playset and transform it into an adorable mud kitchen.

For all the crafty details, be sure to check out the complete DIY on Adventure In A Box.