How To Plan And Build A Small Cabin From Start To Finish

A small cabin somewhere in a peaceful place surrounded by nature is something that many of us dream of and a lot of times dreams become reality. The objective of building such a cabin is often not only achievable but also very exciting because it means you get to plan the whole thing.

The Wooded Beardsman Tiny Forest Cabin

Log cabin by one man in the forest - youtube tutorials

So how would you envision your own version of this project turning out? We found some interesting small cabin plans that we’d like to share with you today so let’s check them out together.

DIY Small Cabin Plans To Help You Spend More Time In Nature
1. Build a Log Cabin with the Classic Framework

How To Plan And Build A Small Cabin

Log cabins are amazing and so incredibly cozy-looking, especially when the overall design also follows the classic framework with small windows and a pitched roof. However, building a log cabin from scratch is no easy task. Check out this great YouTube video to see the entire process from start to finish.

2. Use Huge Logs to Build Your Own Cabin

You might also enjoy this YouTube video which lets you follow the progress of a DIY log cabin project, showing in more detail how the walls are built and how the whole structure is starting to take shape. As you can see, the logs used here are pretty massive.

3. A Three-Year Log Cabin Project

Building a traditional log cabin can take a lot of time. This particular one, for example, was built over a period of 3 years. It turned out lovely, with small windows that let you see outside but don’t expose the interior and don’t steal the focus away from the log walls. The interior is almost entirely made of wood, with a lot of handmade furniture pieces and accessories. Check out this YouTube video to find out more about this project.

4. A Cabin in the Woods with a Small Platform

This is another small cabin in the woods project, this time with a platform that evens out the sloping ground and a tiny patio that frames the entrance. The cabin has a classic pitched roof and is clad in wood, with a cozy attic space and a minimal interior design. The chimney completes the look. Check out the YouTube video to see how it was all planned and built.

5. Use Pallet Wood to Build a Minimalist Cabin

Building a small cabin doesn’t have to be a very expensive project. In fact, there are plenty of ways in which you can stay within the budget without necessarily making any big compromises. For starters, consider using pallet wood. Check out this adorable little cabin and its minimalist design. It was built out of reclaimed pallets and it’s a very inspiring project. Find out more about it in this YouTube video.

6. Find a Flat Site for Your Cabin

The main steps to follow when building a log cabin include finding a suitable site and making sure it’s flat, cutting down some logs, building the base and then the wall, adding the rafters, and then the roof. Of course, each step is more complicated than that and requires careful planning. Check out Instructables to find out a bit more about that.

7. A Cozy-Looking Cabin In The Wood Or In The Mountains

Another cool tutorial that explains how to plan and build a log cabin step by step is featured on Instructables and offers a more in-depth look at how everything is put together and how all the elements interact with each other to eventually come together in the form of a cozy-looking cabin one might expect to see in the woods or in the mountains.

8. Consider Trying a Cabin Rental First

To better understand what it takes to build a small cabin and how living or spending time in one actually is it can be a good idea to rent such a structure for a short period of time and actually do some research. This can later give you ideas about how you want your cabin to look like or to be structured. Check the cabin rentals on bluemoonrising for example.

9. Use Small Cabin Plans For Your Project

Naturally, every bit of help matters when taking on a big project such as building a cabin. We hope some of the projects on this list can serve as inspiration or point you in the right direction and if you’re looking for specifics perhaps you want to use these small cabin plans in your project. The PDF shows a small porch and a multifunctional indoor space. You can find more house plans here.

10. A Little Cabin With A Main Living Space

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You can also find complete and detailed plans on cabinplans123 which will guide you through every step of the process. Follow them to build your own little cabin with a main living space at the bottom and a cozy loft which you can turn into a sleeping nook.

11. A Contemporary A-Frame Cabin

A-frame cabins have a contemporary allure and the design usually allows for large glass surfaces to be included which is really great if you want to frame a beautiful view or to bring the outdoors in. You can find plans for such a cabin on lsuagcenter.

12. A Traditional-Looking Cabin

You can also find plans for a more traditional-looking cabin on lsuagcenter. The design is simple with many familiar features reminiscent of rustic houses and mountain retreats. As always, there’s room for customization so don’t hesitate to add your own signature to the project.

13. A Cabin with a Symmetrical Frame

A lot of cabins have symmetrical frames which in some ways makes the project easier yet a slightly different approach can make a big difference and can give the cabin lots of character while also giving it the contemporary vibe you’re looking for. Assuming this is the case, we suggest checking out the cabin plans featured on lsuagcenter.

14. A Small Cabin With A Basement And A Loft

How about a small cabin with a basement and a loft? Such a structure should make it fun and easy to organize all the different functions even if the overall floor plan remains small. On todaysplans you can find detailed plans for the cabin and each floor section separately.

15. A Cabin Design With A Basement Level

Here’s another example of a cabin design that has a basement level, the main floor, and a loft area. The plans are similar to the ones shown above with a few structural differences. As you can see, these are detailed plans which reveal a design focused on functionality. The plans can be adapted and you can choose to repurpose some of the spaces to better suit your own lifestyle. Check out the details on todaysplans.

16. A Guest Cabin with an Adult-Sized Loft

Building a cabin is much simpler when you have detailed instructions to follow. Timber Mart provides this full PDF which details everything you would need to know about building a guest cabin. This cabin is ideal for a small family, and there’s an adult-sized loft as part of the design. You’ll find full instructions and a detailed materials list, as well as great plans to follow for your new cabin. The only issue with this plan is that it doesn’t have a bathroom or a kitchen area, so you’ll want to keep it nearby to your home so your guests can use your facilities.

17. A Lookout Cabin

If you are looking to take on a big challenge this year, you’ll love this lookout cabin from Today’s Plans. We believe this cabin is more like a small house than the traditional cabin style, thanks to the two-story design. The PDF will guide you through everything you need to know to get started and offers the plans and blueprints to get started. They’ll even help you out with electrics and plumbing, so you’ll be ready to move into your cabin as soon as it’s completed.

18. Build a Cozy Cabin in the Woods

This 14 x 20 ft cabin includes a sleeping loft over the porch for you to enjoy spending time outdoors in nature. While it’s certainly not a quick or inexpensive project, it’s a stunning design that you’ll get years of use out of. Mother Earth News shares the plans to assemble this cabin and encourages you to work to the same standards as you would if you were building a full-size home. It’s important to use durable and high-quality materials when building a cabin. This means that you’ll enjoy decades of use of your cabin, making all of the hard work and effort of building your cozy cabin well worth it.

19. Building a Cabin on a Budget

After seeing some of the extravagant projects listed here today, it would be easy to assume that all of these projects would cost a small fortune to build. Instructables shows us that it’s entirely possible to build a small wood cabin on a budget this year. This 12 x 20 cabin cost around $2,200 to build, which is a significant saving in comparison to purchasing one from a company. The price of these products has increased in price in recent years, which is why so many families are opting to build their own. This simple cabin is ideal for any garden and has a sturdy door and windows to keep you safe and secure.

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20. A Solar-Powered Cabin

Solar-powered homes are becoming more popular than ever before, and there’s no reason this technology can’t be applied to your cabin project. Instructables shares this small off-grid cabin that you can enjoy living in even if you don’t have water or power. This 8 x 8 cabin could be used as a bedroom, office, workshop, or anything else you need it for. They always recommend that you check the codes in your area before building anything of this size, as you should always ensure that you are allowed to complete any project you are going to put time and money into. This is certainly one of the smaller cabins on our list today, but it won’t attract too much attention wherever you place this cabin.

21. A Two-Story Contemporary Cabin Plan

If you are looking for a contemporary cabin plan, consider purchasing this extravagant guide from Pin-Up Houses. The Yvonne cabin is a two-story family home that has a living room, a bedroom, and a balcony. It’s perfect for either all-year living or for use as a recreational cabin. It offers an eco-friendly yet modern cabin design, and you’ll enjoy the incredible views from the living room. The balcony can easily be turned into a porch if you prefer, and you’ll love sitting outside and enjoying the stunning views that surround you.

22. A Fancy Contemporary Cabin Plan

Drummond House Plans shows us how to make this small but fancy contemporary cabin with their detailed plan. This one-bedroom cabin has three or four-season options, which are included as part of the plans. You’ll make the most of the space available to you with these plans, building a bedroom and a shower room within the cabin. As with any DIY project, we always recommend using your imagination to make the most of any space available to you. You’ll find that you can sleep up to six people in this cabin if you are creative with your bed arrangements.

23. Plans For A Modern Small Cabin

This small cabin from House Plans is more like a mini-cottage than a cabin. Inside, you’ll find it includes an L-shaped kitchenette and a full bathroom. Making the most of the space that’s available to you, the design combines the living and sleeping space into one. As well as acting as a guest cottage in your backyard, this would be an excellent studio cabin or office for anyone who needs an extra room in their home. The great thing about these plans is that they can be fully customized to your needs. When taking on such a big project, we always recommend planning out everything well in advance to ensure you add all of the features you’ll want to use further down the line.

24. Build a Cabin in Just 55 Days

Many of the projects on our list today would take the average person a year or two to build. We love this feature from Field Mag, which shares how a cabin was built in just 55 days. It’s a 240 square ft cabin, which is 12 x 20 in size. It’s the perfect home office or extra outdoor space but could easily be transformed into a guest bedroom. The tallest wall is 12 feet high, and it features a shed-style roof. While it doesn’t have a bathroom currently, you could add a composting toilet or shower to improve your experience while sleeping out in nature.

25. A Tiny Pallet Cabin

For anyone looking for a tiny cabin or shed for their garden, this DIY project from Easy Pallet Ideas is a great option. This is the perfect solution for anyone looking to add a workshop or office to their home, but it could also make a small guest bedroom. You’ll save a lot of money by using pallet wood in the process, which is also a very sturdy and cozy solution. To get started, you’ll just need plenty of pallets and tools to clean off the wood. Ensure everything is looking clean and tidy before you get started, and you’ll create a stunning mini-cabin in your garden this year.


All of these small cabin plans make it much easier to tackle the project of building a small cabin in your garden or the woods this year. While this is certainly not a quick or easy project, with time and patience, you’ll find it’s one of the most fulfilling DIY projects you’ve ever completed. Whichever one of these DIY small cabin plans you choose to use this year, we wish you the best of luck building your new home away from home.



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