Instructions for How to Build With Lincoln Logs

Written by aaron kopf
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Instructions for How to Build With Lincoln Logs
Lincoln Logs are named after the 16th American president. (Lincoln Memorial image by dwight9592 from

Famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, may have passed his architectural genius to his son. John Lloyd Wright created Lincoln Logs in 1916 after visiting a hotel in Tokyo. A construction toy for children, Lincoln Logs are miniature logs of different sizes that are connected by notches in the wood. As with other construction play sets, what you can create is only limited by your imagination.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Basic Construction

  1. 1

    Place two three-notch logs with flat sides on a flat working surface. The flat sides of the logs should be against the surface with the notched sides facing upward. You can build on a table, counter top or even carpet, as long as the fibres aren't too long, which would lower structure stability.

  2. 2

    Adjust the logs so that they are side-by-side. Lay two three-notch logs across the first two logs. The upper logs will lock in place when you align the notches on the ends with the end notches in the lower logs. You will have what looks like log square with two levels.

  3. 3

    Add six more levels, alternating two logs in one direction followed by two logs in the other direction. This will make a simple structure that is good to start with because it demonstrates basic Lincoln Log mechanics.

  4. 4

    Place two roof supports side-by-side on the top level of logs, using the notches in the corners to secure the supports in place.

  5. 5

    Place roof slats across the roof supports, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Each slat holds in the place the slat above. After all the slats are in place, you will have a basic cabin without any doors or windows.

    Advanced Techniques

  1. 1

    Stack several single-notch logs on top of each other to create pillars that can hold up other sections. These single-notch logs are essential for building large openings within your cabin walls.

  2. 2

    Use single-notch logs on the front of your basic structure as one corner and two-notch logs extending toward it from the opposite corner. After building up six or seven levels, add the roof. Your simple structure now includes a doorway.

  3. 3

    Start another opening on another face three levels above the ground. Extend logs over the opening just below the roof to create a window.

  4. 4

    Extend longer logs outward from the centre of the house to create animal pens or porches. Support these extensions with single-notch logs. Build above these pens or porches to create a split-level effect for your cabin.

  5. 5

    Place single-notch logs on end outside your cabin to give the effect of wooden barrels.

Tips and warnings

  • Glue your constructions together with wood glue to make permanent structures.
  • Be careful building with Lincoln Logs around small children, as the smaller pieces can be a choking hazard.

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