Thursday, February 16, 2012

Make Your Own Fort Kit!

I am so excited to share this Fort Kit post with you.  Seriously.  I think this is one of the best things I have ever made.  It is an awesome gift for any kid - boy or girl and it was a blast to put together.  I made this particular Fort Kit for a birthday gift for one of Jack's little buddies.  I think I was just as excited to make this for him as he was to get it!!  The idea, instructions and inspiration for this "make your own fort kit"come from two different sites - Saltwater Kids and Armommy.  I put my own twist on this fort kit, and made my own tags (I'm sharing - here is the link to print your own tags!).
I made the tags in Microsoft Word using shapes and clip art.  Print the tags on card stock paper on a good quality printer (you may want to pay to print this file at an office supply store if you don't have access to a good quality laser printer). It was fun to make these tags and really gives a professional look to your finished kit.
This fort kit includes:  two flat sheets (with loop ties), rope, mini claps, clothespins, flashlight and a reusable drawstring bag to store it all.
The flashlight and clothespins came from the dollar store (I put my own batteries in the flashlight so it was ready to use).  The mini clamps and rope came from Home Depot.
These mini claps are awesome for little hands, and a bit sturdier for keeping your fort in place.
I cut the rope into 18 inch pieces so it would be a good size for tying down the corners.  Make sure you burn the edges of the rope to keep it from fraying.
Wooden clothespins make great reinforcements too.
Every little kid need a flashlight to use when hanging out in a fort.
These flat sheets have loops sewn on each corner and in the middle of the long edges, and the very center of the sheet to help make a peak.
I bought two inexpensive twin size flat sheets at Walmart for this kit.  Since they were for a gift, I wanted to use new sheets.  But I am working on another fort kit for my boys using old sheets we already had at home.
For the loops I used this heavy ribbon that I bought at Joanns. You need 7 ties for each sheet (14 total for both sheets).  I cut my ribbon into 10 inch strips for the loops.
You should use fray check on both ends of each ribbon to prevent fraying.
Loop a ribbon like shown above and pin on the very edge of a corner on the back side of the sheet.
Sew the ribbon straight across and back about 3 or 4 times.  Then sew an X under the line you just sewed to secure each side.  I went back and forth over my stitches on each line at least 3 or 4 times to really secure it.
 Can you see the line and the X right under?
Flip it over and you can see the sewn lines a little better.  Hopefully this shows you what I mean. Continue with each corner of the sheet, and in the middle of of the long sides of the sheet.  Now you should have 6 loops total sewn on.
Flip the sheet over to the front side and find the center. Make another loop and pin and sew in the very center of the sheet.  This will give the kids a spot to make a "peak" for the fort when they are building it.  This is the only loop that is sewn on the top of the sheet (the rest are sewn on the back side).
Here is a view of the entire sheet, with the six loops around the edges and the one loop in the very center.  Complete the second flat sheet the same way as the first.
Fold your sheets so all the loops are on the corners.
 Stack your fort building supplies on top of the folded sheets.
 Place the sheets and supplies inside your bag to complete your kit.
I made a lined drawstring bag to store my kit.  I used this tutorial here to make the bag, but had to adjust the size so it would fit everything.  It took a little math to get it right but I am pretty happy with how it came out. I used the same rope from the kit for the drawstring on the bag to tie it all together.
I loved making and giving this Fort Kit.  My boys were excited about each thing in this kit, begging me to make one for them, so I knew Jack's little buddy would like it too.  Homemade gifts really are the best.  It is fun to personalize a homemade gift using colors, fabrics or patterns that you know the receiver will like. I didn't get too detailed in the instructions, so please email me if you have any questions and need help!
Happy Fort Making (and building)!
Here is the link again for the tags - For personal use only.  Thanks!

6 comments:

  1. Very cool idea! My DIL sent me this link; I think it's a great hint for what her boys would like!

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  2. Haha, I'm the DIL that sent it- I think this is the coolest idea and my boys are going to love it!

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  3. Do you have a picture of the fort that has been built?

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  4. I made something similar for my 3-year-old nephew, and it was a big hit! I love how you've styled it!

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  5. This is just adorable! My little boy would love this! Stopping by from Our Best Bites FB!

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  6. Thanks for a fab tutorial Andrea. Its gone down a treat for my son's four year old friend. Love your blog!

    Cheers Em

    http://puddleducklane-handmade.blogspot.com.au

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