How to Make a Fabric Sandbox Playhouse

Item # X-HT-300665

Does the playset in your backyard include a square sandbox with posts? Turn that unused space into a charming fabric playhouse your kids will love to play in! In this DIY video tutorial, we’ll teach you how to make this easy-to-sew fabric playhouse and how to install it on your playset.

Make a fabric playhouse for your child's playset.

Our fabric playhouse is made up of four fabric panels that snap to the playset’s wooden frame using snap fasteners and screw studs. The panels feature windows, a zippered door opening, a zippered window, and fun and colorful appliqués. Flowerpots, flower boxes, shutters and cats add a playful and whimsical look to this DIY fabric playhouse that your kids will love!

Don't let the size and scope of this project intimidate you! Even a beginner sewer can make this fabric playhouse. In the video, we’ll show you how to take your own playset measurements and then add the seam allowances and hems to create panels that fit your structure perfectly.

Snap fasteners and screw studs keep the panels snapped in place and rolled up during high winds.
Snap fasteners and screw studs keep the panels snapped in place and rolled up during high winds.

During the course of this project video, you'll learn several important sewing skills you'll be able to apply to future projects. Some of the techniques you'll learn include:

  • How to sew vinyl window material.
  • How to sew binding.
  • How to sew a curved zipper.
  • How to sew small appliqué pieces and take tight corners.
  • And more!
Snap fasteners and screw studs keep the panels snapped in place and rolled up during high winds.
A curved zipper creates a window opening in one panel so your kids can play restaurant!

Let's talk about fabric choices. We wanted an outdoor canvas fabric that has excellent water, UV and abrasion resistance so we can leave the fabric playhouse installed year-round. We chose Top Notch® 1S for our fabric panels. This solution-dyed polyester fabric has a clear urethane coating one one side, which gives it superior water resistance. It also boasts excellent dimensional stability — an important feature for our project.

Watch the video below to learn how to make your own fabric playhouse! Below the video is the link to download the appliqué templates. You can use our appliqués or create your own designs like butterflies, birds and more.

Are you excited to make your own fabric playhouse? Below you'll find the complete list of materials and tools used to make this project. You can find all your sewing and DIY supplies right here at Sailrite.

We'd love to see photos of your finished fabric playhouses! Tag #Sailrite on social media so we can see your creativity and DIY talent!

Video Chapters:

  • Measuring Structure
  • Creating Hems and/or Reinforcement Edges
  • Sewing Edges
  • Making Clear Vinyl Windows
  • Sewing Zippered Door Opening
  • Installing a Zippered Door Opening
  • Adding Appliqués
  • Sewing Appliqué Plaques On
  • Installing Snaps
  • Adding Roll-Up Straps
  • Materials & Tools List

Materials List:

  • Shelter-Rite® Black 61" Fabric #1120121
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery (50 yds.) #104167
  • Top Notch® 1S Caribbean Blue 60" Fabric #121802
  • Top Notch® 9 Polyester Bias Binding Tape Black 1" #120940
  • Plastipane 20 Gauge 54" Vinyl Window Material #283201
  • Top Notch® 9 Polyester Bias Binding Tape White #120937
  • Lenzip® #5 Black Style C Double Non-Locking Metal Zipper Pull (Coil Chain) #125119
  • Lenzip® #5 Royal Blue Continuous Coil Zipper Chain #124702
  • Sur Last® Binding Black 3/4" #102541
  • Sailrite Snap Fastener Cloth-to-Surface Set 3/8" Screw #666002
  • 1" Blue Polyester Webbing #100PLLWBL-FT
  • DOT® Snap Fastener Button 1/4" (Nickel-Plated Brass) #333010
Make a fabric playhouse for your child's playset.
Here's a close-up look at the fabrics we used for the fun appliqué pieces!

Fabrics Used for Appliqués:

  • Odyssey® Brown 64" Fabric #120417
  • Top Notch® 1S Forest Green 60" Fabric #121812
  • Top Notch® 1S Cappuccino 60" Fabric #121808
  • Odyssey® Red 64" Fabric #120421
  • Shelter-Rite® Green 61" Fabric #121629
  • Top Notch® 1S White 60" Fabric #121806
  • Sample of Shelter-Rite® Orange 61" Fabric #121630S
  • Top Notch® 1S Silver Gray 60" Fabric #121810

Tools List:

  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" #102400
  • Grease Marking Pencil Yellow #111002
  • Professional Stainless Steel 10" Scissors #123615
  • Scribe-All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl #121977
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300600
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Collapsible Sewing Table #104821
  • Sailrite® 1" Swing-Away Binder #100103
  • Sailrite® Edge Cordless Hotknive 18V Package #122177
  • Seam Ripper Deluxe #18104
  • 303® Multi-Surface Cleaner 32 oz. (Quart) #30553
  • Easy Fit Kit in Waterproof Box - Snap Positioning System #102565
  • Pres-N-Snap Installation Tool #109011
  • Scribe-All® Water Soluble White Marking Pencil #120681
  • Magnetic Sewing Guide #102983
  • Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter 1/8" #121817
  • Sailrite® Cutting Block & Die Holder #121597
  • Tape Measure, Drill