Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Easy To Make Kid's Fort

The littlest country kid has officially hit the “Let’s Build a Fort” phase of life. Every kid goes through it, grabbing pillows, blankets, tables, chair, boxes, and whatever else they can get their grubby little hands on in order to make the coolest, private space ever! Needless to say, as with most things in childhood, messes are made and things get broken. The most recent casualty was one of our tv trays. *sigh* But such is life, what is a mama to do?!?!

And don’t even get me started on the dismantling of said fort and the restoration of order in the home. It is amazing how these little bundles of building energy tend to peter out at the first signs of something resembling a chore. What went up in mere minutes takes forever to put away. There had to be something better, I mean come on, we put a man on the moon decades ago and yet still the same old, same old when it comes to fort construction.

And then the answer came in the mail from my Aunt, or so I thought. She had blessed the littlest country kit with a fort kit. Someone had found a better way?!?!? Ummm, no. Sadly, this kit was worse than the old way of building a fort. For an item that cost over $30, it was more work to set up, didn’t stay up, and well, in one word, it sucked. I know, that’s a strong word, but it was the most frustrating thing EVER.


It was like fort origami, but with no directions. Clips and suction cups to keep it up? Excuse me while I go laugh myself silly in a corner. This thing came down repeatedly, even when no one was in it! *sigh* Alright then Universe, it was up to me to come up with something better. And by better I mean, cheaper, stronger, and easier to set up and take down. Time to visit the home improvement store and get to work.


I bought two 1” x 2” x 8’ boards for my project and then cut them in half. It was cheaper to get longer pieces and do the cutting myself. If you don’t feel comfortable using a saw, then by all means, spend a few extra dollars to get the wood already cut to the proper length. Always make sure you measure twice before you cut!


Next I drilled a hole in each of the boards 1 ½” from the top. The drilling is super easy to do, so if you have never used spade bit, don’t be afraid, it works just like any other bit, just makes a bigger hole! The nice thing about this project is that is all the wood working that is involved. No nailing or screwing on this one folks. The ¾” dowel will slide into the holes you just drilled, making the frame for your fort.


For the cover, I decided to utilize the panels from the kit my Aunt had sent. Around here, fabric is fabric! I stitched the two sections together on my machine to make one solid piece big enough to cover the frame. If you want to buy fabric you can (you will need a piece approximately 46” x 86” un-hemmed), or you can use an old flat twin sheet to cut costs. I also snipped off the elastic on the kit and stitched them where I wanted them. Don’t worry, you can pick up elastic for just a few dollars at any craft store.


I put loops of elastic at the bottom edges on all four lower corners, so they can be easily looped on the legs after the cover is positioned over the wooden dowel. I also placed an elastic loop at the peak of the fort at both ends so that the fabric would not slide on the dowel. Since there were already loops located on the front of the panel, I just left them and ran the legs through, but they are not needed. Loops at the bottom will work just fine.


I also have a “flap” at the back of my A frame because I had extra material and the littlest country kid likes having a door.  If you want flaps, you will need to increase the length of your fabric. As you can see, this fort is nice and roomy. The littlest country kid managed to talk his Nana into coming in and she fit comfortably!


I would say that big ol grin pretty much says it all…… The littlest country kid LOVES his fort! And the nice thing about this fort is it is easy to set up and take down. You can fold it up and just lean it against the wall or you can completely take it apart to store it. Since the littlest country kid loves his so much, ours is usually just folded up at night and leaned against a wall.



I pulled this project off for just $10, the cost of the wood needed to construct the frame. Since I had everything already, this was a very affordable project. Even when using a sheet and purchasing elastic, this fort can be made for close to the same amount!


14 comments:

  1. Great idea! Maybe you should make and sell. Or print and sell the plans. "Born again " moms home business! :).

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    1. LOL They are too easy to make. I would feel bad charging folks.

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  2. Cute idea! My 3 year old grandson quite often builds a fort when he comes to my house and then guess who cleans it up? Grandma, of course. I really need to follow your lead and build a fort! Teresa

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    1. Don't you just love being the clean up crew? LOL This is really easy to make and so simple to just fold away. I hope you make him one, for bot of your sakes!

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  3. That's brilliant, my kids got the big cardboard box if we ever had something new like a washing machine to built forts or we would just put a big cloth over the table and they'd crawl underneath! I vaguely remember them doing something with the clothes horse, a couple of chairs and some blankets. I would have loved to have made them something as cool as this.

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    1. Oh giant cardboard boxes are the best! But we never have any LOL My children are so deprived.

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  4. My granddaughter loves forts. She uses my sofa and loveseat cushions and my throw blanket! I like this better. Thanks for sharing at #overthmoon! Please visit Wonderful Wednesday if you are in the neighborhood! Have a great week.

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    1. I got tired of picking up all the cushions, blankets, and pillow LOL Something had to change :)

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  5. What a fantastic idea! Kids would have so much fun with this! Thank you for sharing this great project with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop. Hope to 'see' you again this week! The hop is open now.

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    1. It was fun to make and my little guy does love it. Thanks for hosting

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  6. Great post! Thanks for joining the Homestead Blog Hop last week!

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  7. Plus, it's just so much more fun when you build something together, nice!

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    1. Thanks! It was fun to make and fun to play with him with it :)

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