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  • The Ruthless Maker

One Room Challenge Spring 2021 - Week 1

Hi! I am excited to be taking part in the spring ORC as a guest participant! It's the perfect boost to get me to make be build an outdoor play area for the kids.

Before I get into my plans, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Ruth, I'm a mom of three

boys (7, 5,1) and moved from the city of Toronto to a small country town called Snow Valley, north of the city. Being home on mat leave with my youngest son, Samuel, I took up a new hobby of building things (diy style, although I like to refer to myself as a novice builder). I picked up my first mitre saw for $30 at a garage sale last summer and the rest is history. So far, I have renovated my powder room, built a backyard ice rink and am in the process of creating an awesome hockey themed bedroom for my older two boys. Every build I do, I do for my family to make their life and our home more enjoyable. My favourite part of this new hobby is the research, the learning and the hands on approach of bringing a vision I have in my head to life.

Now back to the One Room Challenge (ORC)! This is the first ORC I'll be taking part in and I am so excited (and a little nervous). Over the next 8 weeks I'll be transforming this space below into an epic Outdoor Boy Zone. Read below for my plans and stay tuned here on my blog and on Instagram (@theruthlessmaker) to stay up to date on my progress!

The Space. I'll be transforming this forest patch in my backyard into a wild play space for all three boys to enjoy.

Here are the different aspects of the design that I will be building:

  1. Raise Playhouse Fort: this will by far be the biggest build in the design and also the most challenging. I've never built anything like this before so I will be basing my design off of their outdoor hideaway plans from I plan to modify these plans to fit my area and design aesthetic. The trick here will be building this to a budget since the price of wood is so expensive. We'll see what I can come up with to help keep costs in line.

  2. Sandbox: the sandbox will be located next to the sandbox. Given the high cost for lumber, I'll be surrounding the sand using large river rocks that I have found on my property.

  3. Toy Truck Track: weaving through the forested area, I will be using pavers to create a car or truck track for Samuel (1) to play with his cars. Cars and construction have been his latest obsession and I can just picture him having so much fun this summer driving his tows around this track. I plan to make this track out of paver stones.

  4. Zip Line: this forested area has a few large oak trees and maples. The plan will be to build a stair platform and have a zip line that will allow the older boys to zip from one area of the forested patch to the other.

  5. Landscaping: Once all the aspects of the design are in, I will be adding a thick layer of black mulch in the entire area. This will help keep the weeds at bay and also provide a nice design aesthetic to the space.

Wish me luck!

For more information on the One Room Challenge and to check out what other participants are up to, go to the ORC Blog page (

~The Ruthless Maker~


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