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.
How To Make A Fort
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!