Building & Renovating

5 Inspiring DIY Projects Made by Dads During Quarantine

From backyard pools to playhouses!

Photography: (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) Rose Ann Bautista

The community quarantine gave parents a chance to flex their handymen skills, especially dads and lolos who are willing to do anything for their kids and grandchildren. They went all-out, too and wowed our readers with their do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

From backyard pools, life-sized activity boards and playhouses, plus some pretty cool baby furniture, here are five of the best DIY projects made by dads that we featured in 2020: 

DIY backyard pool


This was one of our most-read stories for 2020, and it was actually inspired by another project that we featured (more on that story below)! Couple Michael and Rose Ann Bautista were tasked by their parents to build a backyard pool for their apos and of course the two readily complied.

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The materials cost around Php10,000 and it took them seven days to build the pool (thanks to hired help). Michael and Rose Ann were in charge of the design and painted the pool themselves.

Sulit na sulit ang pool! Their two sons, Matthew and Timothy loved swimming with their grandparents. “Sila [in-laws] ang masipag na naglalagay ng tubig  at nag-d-drain. Nagagamit po nila ang water sa mga halaman nila. Marami po kasi silang tanim and may bukid si Papa,” Rose tells

See how they built the backyard pool here.

Lolo converts former pigpen to swimming pool


Wilfredo Mangubat, 57, went viral on Facebook after his daughter posted about the DIY pool he made for his apos. He was moved to build one because his grandchildren were envious of the inflatable swimming pools that their neighbors in Pampanga owned.

Luckily, the former pigpen in his backyard was the perfect size for a pool. Using his know-how as a construction worker, Lolo Wilfredo finished the pool in six days and with a budget of Php4,000!

Throughout the process, lolo’s three apos were all excited for the project to be completed. “Lalo na po nung natapos na, nag-swimming na po sila agad,” Wilfredo’s daughter, Blessie, tells Smart Parenting.

Take a look at how Wilfredo built the pool here.

‘Life-sized’ activity board for sensory play


Another lolo who impressed us with his DIY skills is Dr. Rafael “Pipo” Bundoc. The orthopedic spine surgeon and a professor in Anatomy at the University of the Philippines took advantage of the lockdown and constructed a life-sized activity board for his apos!

Dr. Pipo tells Smart Parenting that he noticed a specific pattern during playtime with his grandchildren: The two would spend hours playing with doorknobs and cabinet handles, particularly when there are lock and keys attached.

He researched different busy boards on YouTube, but thought he could make a “better, more colorful one.” He says, “Now that I have all the time in the world to make one, why not make the best activity board [my] basic carpentry skills can create?”

It was a hit with his two grandsons. Dr. Pipo’s eldest son, Mikey Bundoc, tells Smart Parenting that his son Ravi and nephew Likha are very fond of their newest play area and would have to be removed from the activity board come bedtime!


See how the giant activity board came to life here.

Baby furniture from wood pallets

There was an abundance of quarantine projects this year, and one of our well-loved stories was about a devoted father who built baby furniture for his son!

On our Smart Parenting Village, mom Khynsue Ibardolaza shared that her husband, Michael Besiño fashioned it out of discarded wood pallets he collected from different warehouses located near his office. “Hindi ko ineexpect kung ano ang gagawin niya,” shares the mom. “Super appreciated ko ito.”


From the wood pallets he collected, Michael was able to make a cabinet, baby chair, a wooden chest, a trolley, and more! See his creations here.

Wooden playhouse

Apart from their backyard pool above, Michael Bautista also constructed a wooden playhouse for his two sons. They already had pieces of wood lying around from his parents’ old home plus leftover paint, so he just needed some time off work to be able to start the project.


He was able to take advantage of the quarantine and built the house in a week. It has two rooms — a play kitchen and another area filled with his sons’ toys! The kids were really excited to see the finished product, too!

According to Rose, the playhouse inspired her sons to be more organized. “Marami silang toys na pakalat-kalat kaya rin naisip ko na if may playhouse sila, doon na lang lahat,” the mom shares.

See how Michael pulled off the ‘life-sized’ playhouse here.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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