Lincoln Logs are the quintessential childhood toy and we have vivid memories of lazy days spent building tiny cabins, carriages and barns. When west elm asked us to develop a project for their Watermelon Challenge, we thought it would be fun to make an edible version of the logs and see where our imagination took us…


The project can be completed from start to finish (including clean up) in less than an hour. You’ll need the following:

• 1 large watermelon
• 2 lemons
• 1 stem of a pineapple
Paring knife
Schmidt Brothers knives from west elm
• Toothpicks
• Small plastic figures such as people, horses, dogs

How to Make a Watermelon Homestead

Assemble your materials. Using a large knife, trim the rind off the watermelon in the largest pieces possible — these pieces will be used for the roof and wagon base.


Cut the watermelon into several log-like pieces. Make every effort to make the “logs” identical in shape and size so that they stack neatly.


Stack the watermelon logs into the shape of a house using toothpicks for added support where needed.


Using your paring knife, cut out windows and a door.


Once your house is as tall as you want it to be, trim a piece of the rind into a rectangular shape that is long enough to extend past the house’s edge once folded in half. Make a shallow cut in the center of the rind on the outer, green side and bend the piece in half – ensuring the inside half of the rind is still intact to hold the roof together. Insert one toothpick as a beam to hold the two sides of the roof together and two toothpicks on either side of the lower end of the roof to be inserted into the house walls to attach the roof.


Cut a triangle to match the size and shape of the empty space between the top of the house wall and the roof and insert into place.


How to Make a Watermelon Wagon

For the wagon, cut a small piece of the rind to be used as the wagon base and four watermelon “logs” to be used as side rails.


Carefully cut two thin slivers of the rind which will be used as the wagon shaft allowing the horses to pull the wagon.

Cut the lemon across the grain into fairly thick pieces to be used as wheels. Cut two toothpicks in half to be inserted into the wagon base as axles and attach your lemon wheels.


Now for the fun part! Hook your horses up to the wagon…


… and build a fence around the house using any remaining watermelon “logs”, plant your pineapple tree in the yard and put your horse out to pasture.


– Timothy + Laura

For more projects — including Pumpkin Carving With Power Tools — visit Built By Kids.



Timothy & Laura Dahl are the founders of Built by Kids — a do-it-yourself website dedicated to inspiring the next generation of makers and their parents. Timothy has previously worked at This Old House and Elle Decor before launching his own home improvement and design site, Charles & Hudson. Laura is a fashion designer whose labels include Wifebeader and Laura Dahl. They were both inspired by the birth of their son Hunter to create Built by Kids and explore “The ABC’s of DIY”. Get to know the Dahls, or connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

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May 21, 2012

Fun!! I must diverge from the main topic to ask where your triangle print blouse is from? <3


May 22, 2012

Hi Melly! Thanks for noticing :-). The blouse is actually a sample from my new collection and I didn’t mind if it got a few watermelon splashes on it.

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