How to make a TARDIS playhouse

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Every child enjoys having their own playhouse where they can let their imagination run wild, and if you or your child is a Doctor Who fan, then what could be more appealing than a TARDIS playhouse. The TARDIS is Doctor Who’s transport and the initials stand for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space.

These instructions are for a TARDIS that is 1.2 metres (4 feet) square and 1.5 metres (5 feet) high, but the techniques can be easily adapted to make a playhouse that is larger or smaller.

Make a frame with the 2-by-4s that is 1.2 m (4 feet) square to form the floor. Place more timber at 30-cm (12-inch) intervals to strengthen it and cover it with the 1.2 m (4-foot) square piece of plywood.

Build frame for the walls with the 2-by-4s that are 1.2 m (4 feet) by 1.5 m (5 feet) high and attach them to the floor and screw them together at the corners. Make two door frames with the 2-by-4 pieces of wood that are 60 cm (2 feet) by 1.5 m (5 feet).

Mark the plywood to show the panels and windows of the TARDIS. Use Google Images to see pictures of the TARDIS as a guideline. The TARDIS has eight panels on each side, but for this shorter version, six panels work well with three high, where the top one is the windows and the standard two panels across. Mark a line 15 cm (6 inches) from the top where you will paint the Police Box notice, then measure 11.5 cm (4.5 inches) between each panel and draw panels that are 30 cm (12 inches) deep and 38 cm (15 inches) wide that should have 11.5 cm (4.5 inches) all around them. Cut one sheet of plywood in half vertically to cover the door frames.

Divide the top panel on each side into six small windows, three wide and two deep, that have 2.5 cm (1 inch) between them. Use a jigsaw to cut these windows out on the plywood panels for the door. Cut the windows out on all panels if you live in a warm climate, otherwise make a window effect later with paint.

Screw the plywood panels onto the frames and attach the two doors to the front using hinges top and bottom and hanging the doors. Check there are no rough patches and sand if necessary.

Screw the large sheet of plywood to the top of the walls to make the roof, making it overlap evenly on all sides. Tack roofing felt to the top with roofing tacks.

Paint the outside of the TARDIS with a mid to dark blue paint. Use black paint to outline the panels, and if you are artistic you can make them look more like panels with some shading effects. If you didn’t cut out windows on all sides, you can paint them either black or a light color. Paint the top 15 cm (6 inches) of each side white, and once that is dry, paint the words “Police Box” in large capital letters with the words “Public Call" in small capital letters between them. Use your reference picture to get it right.

Glue a jam jar upside down on the roof to look like the police light. Attach a handle on each door. Let your little ones decorate the inside with Dr Who posters.