Dad Builds Insanely-Detailed Magical Treehouse in Daughter’s Bedroom

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4023 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4023 Articles

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Rob Adams is an artist working in the gaming industry. When his daughter said she wanted a fairy treehouse in her room, Rob decided to make her wish come true. 350 hours and over $4K later, he had realized this amazing and enchanting room feature. He writes: “Even though it was difficult, I learned a huge amount along the way. It turned out pretty well, and she’s so happy in her new room!”

Here are some progress pictures from the build and some of Rob’s build notes that he posted on the projects Imgur page.

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“I used Sculpey modeling clay and some plywood cut in the dimensions of her room, including the window and beams in the ceiling. I drew grid lines 1″ apart. I put the whole thing in the oven for 25 minutes at 275 degrees to bake it to hardness.”

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“I used 1′ grid lines on the floor to match the model. This made it a lot easier to quickly see where things like branches were supposed to be.”

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“At the recommendation of my instructor, I bought a Miller 211 MIG welder for its relative ease of use. The inert shielding gas comes from the wire itself. I also got a 30″ industrial fan to suck the smoke out the window as I worked. (I also wore a welding respirator). To get 240v power to the room, I built a 50′ 8 gauge extension cord to plug into the dryer receptacle in the laundry room at the other end of the house. This setup ended up working well.”

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“After some frustrating attempts to use 1/4” wire screen, I found “expanded metal lathe”, which was is much easier to work with! After trying to use wire to fasten the lathe to the skeleton, I opted for zip-ties. These were faster and easier to use than wire.”

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“The formula I found worked best was 2 parts portland cement, 1 part water, 1 part polymer fluid. This fluid can be bought from “Something Better Corporation” online. They also have some videos on youtube showing how this is mixed and applied. I added 2oz of 1″ fiberglass shreds to the mix. I used a 5-gallon bucket and a heavy-duty drill mixer. The concrete was applied with a trowel just like stucco application. For the texture, I used silicone bark rollers and clay sculpting tools for the smaller details.”

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“The knot hole fairy windows are on their own 12v circuit, dimmable from a switch near the door. At bedtime these make awesome nightlights.”

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You can see many more pics of the magical treehouse on the Imgur page and also a discussion of the build on Reddit.