June 11, 2010

Bunk Bed Fort Tutorial

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Do your kids have a bunk bed?  Do they ever drape a million blankets over the top to make a fort and have a million items trying to hold it up so you are left with a big mess after they build that fort?  Do they get really frustrated when their fort keeps falling down or gets pulled down by little siblings? 

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Yes, yes, and yes HERE!  When you are done making this easy bunk bed fort, you just might get a million hugs and kisses and your kiddos telling you that you’re the best mom in the world.  I have sweet kids.  DSCF9381-1

What’s great about it is that you have a huge, blank space where your kids can help you decorate.  I’m sure most of you have seen those awesome table forts people make, and they have mailboxes and windows and stuff.  Homemade by Jill has a really cute table fort that can be a great source of inspiration for your fort.  I wanted to show you just a basic fort, and you can fill in the rest how you’d like.  My kids are planning on decorating it today when they wake up.  We’ll be making a plan!  They wanted to make pictures for inside, so maybe I’ll sew some blank white “posters” up that they have colored on with fabric markers. 

You’ll need:

-2 sheets.  These were just some I already had. I used one full size and one twin size for mine—it totally depends on your measurements of the bunk bed.   *If you want the fort to cover all four sides of the bed,  you will probably need 2 full sheets depending on the size of the bed.  I only wanted to cover 3 sides, since the bed is against a wall. 

-for the ties, you can use ribbon, shoelaces, or make some straps with fabric and velcro.  I used some shoelaces I had.

-freezer paper

-acrylic paint

-package 1/4” bias tape (you won’t use all of it)

-Heat n’ Bond or some other type of double sided fusible interfacing stuff. Cut two  3” x 6” pieces

-fabric to use with Heat n’ Bond, also cut two 3” x 6”

-2” strip velcro

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First start by measuring your bed, and add an inch or two to each measurement.  The long portion of mine measured 77”.  The short side was 42”.  Measure down to wear you want it to hang as well.  Mine was 36”. 

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So I needed one big piece measuring about 78” x 37”, and two pieces measuring 43” x 37”.  It helped me cut straight since I had lines on my fabric!  And it just so happened that my full sheet measured exactly 78” across!  To help in cutting such a large piece of fabric, I folded my fabric in half and then measured about 18.5”.DSCF9337

Take the LONG edges of each piece and fold over 1/4”, then over again and sew.  DSCF9341 DSCF9342

Next, sew the short sides together so you connect the 3 pieces.  You’ll have one very long strip.  Put the LONG PIECE IN THE MIDDLE.  Remember, I’m only covering three sides.  If you are covering all four sides, then you can sew it all together to make them all connected.  With the 3 pieces, leave it in one long strip so the longest portion is in the middle.  DSCF9344 DSCF9345 

Find the middle of the long strip.   DSCF9347

Figure out how big you want your door.  Cut along the sides of the door along the sides, leaving the top connected.  Alternately, you can cut it out all the way and cut a larger portion piece of fabric (by a couple inches) out and use that as a flap.  My kids are totally happy with the door like this and I thought it was easier.  DSCF9348

Fold back one of the sides of the door and the edge next to it like this. DSCF9349

Place bias tape along the edge. Treat it like it’s just one continuous straight line when you get to the corner.DSCF9350

I used a zig-zag stitch to make sure I was catching all the layers together.DSCF9352

See how it gaps at the corner?  From the inside, pinch the corner like this and sew about an inch down with a straight stitch.  Repeat with other side of door. See next 3 pictures.DSCF9353 DSCF9365DSCF9367

 

Mark where you want the straps and sew them on.  Mine were about every 20-24” apart, and I used nine straps that measured about 14” long.

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Mark where you the peek holes.  Cut out a 1” x 4” rectangle on each peek hole.DSCF9363

Take the 3” x 6” pieces and iron with the Heat n’ Bond.  Cut out a 1” x 4” piece in the exact middle, then iron over the rectangle you cut out on the fort.    Stitch along the rectangle like this.  Or a decorative stitch would be cute!  DSCF9370

Trace letters on your freezer paper and cut out.  Iron on the freezer paper and paint.   You can find a downloadable version with the font and size I used, here.  I actually just traced mine onto the freezer paper straight from the screen.

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Sew the soft side of the velcro onto the inside bottom of door flap.  Sew the other piece on the inside of the fort where you want it so the door can stay open if the kids want it to. DSCF9371

That’s it!  Tie onto the bunk bed and let the fun begin!  So yah, you can’t even tell that I ironed the fabric TWICE for the pics.  I ran out of starch.  Oh well.

 

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Seriously, my kids were overcome with love for me after hanging it up.  I crawled inside and was smothered with hugs and kisses and compliments.  It was awesome.   DSCF9381

My oldest son spent the afternoon “relaxing” in it.  They are sleeping in it as I type this.  Love!

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17 comments:

  1. I bet your kids love it! They are so lucky to have you! :)

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  2. I love how this is a simple do in an afternoon project. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. This is awesome! My kids don't have bunkbeds *yet* but me and my sisters did when we were young and this would have been so much better than draped sheets/blankets etc!

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  4. WOWSERS! That is so much fun! I love all your ideas and projects. -Janina

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  5. Oh my word. We have a bunk bed, and for the last week we have had huge blankets constantly draped all over it. I wish I knew how/liked to sew! This is genius!!!

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  6. I wish I had this as a kid! I bet your kids love their new fort.

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  7. love, love it!
    i'm adding it to my "to make" file.
    my boys will flip over it.

    i just found your blog recently. such fun!!

    ~keri

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  8. This is genius and so much fun! Thanks tons for this, I'll be linking.

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  9. What a great way to recycle a few sheets, make the kids happy, and provide endless adventures for them! Great tutorial! Thanks!!

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  10. How fun! Your kids seem to like it a lot. :) I am thinking of making something like this for my little boy. :) Just haven't got around into making it. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Two things that made me smile: 1--my much younger brother and I used his bunkbed to make forts like this (though not as cool) and 2--he had John Deere sheets too.

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  12. I've been eyeing this since you posted it, but haven't had a chance to comment yet! What a fun idea! I'd like to share a link on sewwhattoday.blogspot.com! I'd also like to share a link to your bubble skirt on June 23! Both tutorials are darling!

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  13. that's awesome... will have to try it sometime :o)

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  14. What a great way to recycle a few sheets, make the kids happy, and provide endless adventures for them! Great tutorial! Thanks!!

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  15. I have been wanting to do something like this for my little guy. Thank you for the inspiration I needed :>

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  16. I love this idea! It's perfect for my son's birthday in a couple weeks, and I even have a full set of sheets I bought for my bed but they didn't fit! I'll link back to you when I post it on my blog. It's nice to find something to make for boys, it seems I always have something to make for his sister but not him.
    Casey

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  17. Thank you again for this tutorial, I gave my son his gift this weekend and he loved it! It's a little different than yours because I wanted to use the supplies I had on hand. You can see a picture at: http://simplejoycrafting.blogspot.com/2011/10/bunk-bed-tent.html

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Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

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