build a fort tutorial.

our boys + their friends and building {wether with legos or blankets} go hand in hand.  so when espen’s friend brady invited him to his 6th birthday party, a fort building kit seemed fitting.  it ended up being a big hit with the boys and was quick and painless to put together.  you can head on over to brady’s mom’s blog to see pictures of the built fort + read below for the tutorial.

first, gather the supplies.  included in this kit was 2 flat sheets, a lantern, laundry clips, rope, hefty ribbon {for ties}, tags {click on above image to download} and a bag, pillow case or tote to hold all the goodies.  i purchased a sheet set from target for $14, but exchanged the fitted sheet for a flat one from our linen closet.

next, cut 6 to 10 long strips of heavy ribbon or strips from an old t-shirt.  then, find the center of each strip and pin to the corner and sides of your sheets {see drawing above}.  then sew each strip in place going back and forth several times.

lastly, stuff the goods into your bag, write a thoughtful note to the recipient and head out the door with a handmade gift that kid-os and mamas are sure to gush over!

please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for items to include in the fort kit by leaving a comment below….  i would love to hear from you!

xo . rae

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  • Tonya September 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    What a great idea! On my to-do list for today is figure out what we’re giving to our nephew for his birthday this weekend and I think I’ve found it! (finally, I can justify the time I’m spending on blogs today!) I’ve heard that wal-mart sells individual flat sheets for just a few dollars so I’ll start there. I love the striped tags you made…is there any chance they would be available for download?

    • rae September 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      thanks for your comment tonya! the second image down is linked to the pdf download for the tags… just give it a click! 🙂

    • Tonya October 4, 2011 at 3:07 am

      update…the fort kit was a hit at the party! I bought individual sheets and a little battery lantern at walmart for $5/piece and ended up making a kit for my son as well since he was so excited about the idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • Amy @ Gospel Homemaking September 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I love this idea! It might be perfect for my son’s ninth birthday next month. Is the second sheet just so the fort can be bigger?

    • rae September 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      you got it!

  • Momoftwingirls September 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    The tags won’t load for me in Firefox???

    • rae September 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      sorry about that! i will send you an email with them attached….

  • Erin September 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    This is precious. All of my friends have kiddos and I’m always looking for creative ideas for boys. This is great!!

  • Kristin McCullough September 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    That is the cutest idea & the best part is it doesn’t require batteries. Very clever and full of imagination (while inspiring the use of kids’ imaginations too!) Thanks so much for the downloadable tag file!

  • Mandy September 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    This is an adorable idea but I am confused about the steps. Did you sew the two flat sheets together? Also did you just throw some rope in to help with the ties and such???
    Thanks for the freebie!

    • rae September 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      hi mandy! the sheets are not sewn together and the rope is just another “tool” for the kids to use while building. it was a little past my bedtime when i wrote the post so i apologize if it’s not very clear! xo

  • Renae September 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Any chance you’d make the instructions and tags printable for us? I’d be happy to pay for something like that. It’s SUCH a great idea and i’d never be without a gift for my son’s pre-k friends!!

  • Abbey September 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    OMG…this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Can I feature this on my blog for all the other mommies out there?

  • Leslie September 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I love this idea but I’m a bit confused, too. The pictures look like you sewed a casing for the rope on some of the sides of the sheet. Also, it looks as if you made the bag from one of the sheets, since the print is the same. Great idea — just wondering.

    • rae September 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      thanks for your questions! no casing. the only thing i did to the sheets is sew on the ribbon. the bag came with the sheet set i purchased at target, but a pillow case would also work great!

  • Catherine September 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    This is such a great idea. I love handmade gifts and this would be a huge hit with my son. Hmmm, wonder who I can forward this post to? My son’s 6th birthday party is this weekend…

  • Tia September 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Adorable! I am going to do this for my nephews’ Christmas presents. I think I will add some things like the following links:

    I was going to do this kind of party for my soon to be 4-year old, so I am going to make him one too!

  • Jenna September 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    This is one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait to gift this to someone special! {PS – pinned this on Pinterest}

    • rae September 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      love . me . some . pinning! thanks jenna!

  • Sandra September 26, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I don’t see a link to brady’s mom’s blog to see the fort in action…. can you send that link? Thanks

    • rae September 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      the text “brady’s mom’s blog” is linked…. thanks sandra!

  • Meg September 27, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Over from JDC and let’s just say that I’m pining this right now! Great idea!

  • Janie September 27, 2011 at 3:48 am

    thanks so much for this great idea!!! my 2 year old said, “that is so cool, momma!!! will you make me a fort?!” in his awesome 2 year old speech 😉 i’ll be pinning as well. thanks!!!!

  • Marie September 27, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I’ve never seen a lantern like this before. Who makes it and where did you purchase it? Would love
    to find one for my kids. Many thanks. Marie

  • Michael @ Blue Velvet Chair September 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Love the project! What a clever and ridiculously cute idea! I’m going to try to do one for some friends here in Sweden! Any chance you can send me your tags without text? Then I could add Swedish text.

  • Michael @ Blue Velvet Chair September 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Also wondering if you sewed a seam and add a string around the pillowcase to make the carry bag?

  • Jennifer Smothers September 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    The Perfect gift for my little birthday boy. Thanks for sharing your fun ideas. Found this on Emily’s blog – so adorable. My little boys will enjoy this immensely.

  • Nicki October 1, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I would love to get this even as an adult!! :o) Love the font you used as well, what is it called?

  • Katie October 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Love this idea! I follow JDC and saw it there. Am doing a pirate themed version for my nephew’s bday. Will use a black sheet. Add white skull and cross bones. Will also be cutting out a hole and singing the sides of the hole to give it a pirate feel!

  • Kim I. October 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Have to echo all the other sentiments – I love it and am making this for my very soon- to -be- 8year old. I love that it forces them to use their imagination rather than ‘plug in’ to something. I think it will be paired with a “dangerous Boys’ book or something along those lines!

    Thanks so much!

  • Jenn October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I love this! It was extra great because it was a quick project and a unique birthday gift. Thanks for sharing.

  • Carrie October 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    what size sheets did you use?

  • Brianne Hanson October 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks so much for this download and tutorial. I get so frustrated buying gifts that I know my kids are going to be tired of a week after they open. I am getting started on Christmas presents and I have three of these kits in the works. Thanks so much for sharing. It inspires me and saves me time.

  • Denise January 13, 2012 at 3:34 am

    What a wonderful, adventurous gift for a child! Thank you for sharing your creativity! I would love to receive the email for the tags. My son turns 10 next month and this will be fun for him.

  • rachel April 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    What is the font you used to make the tags? Im making additional tags to go in my kit. Thanks.
    Love. Love. Love this idea.

    • rae April 14, 2012 at 5:05 am

      it’s a font called hannah. thanks rachel! xo

  • amy April 18, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Love, Love it! So darn…AWESOME! I just tried putting together…I am just starting to sew and figure out my machine. Anyway – would love to have a pdf or something of the tag! Giving for our neighbor’s birthday party tomorrow! Thx a ton!

    • rae April 20, 2012 at 3:19 am

      The files are located in the body of the email as a link that leads to a download….. I will also email them to you! xo

  • Kathleen April 26, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I love this. Will put together for my grandson and granddaughter for indoor play on rainy Seattle days. Thank you so much. could you please email me a copy of the tag to download? Firefox won’t let me access it here. Mucho thanks!

  • Brianna June 14, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Love this idea! I’m using internet explorer, but I can’t get the tags to download. Would you be able to e-mail them to me?

    • rae June 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      of course!

  • Cassie July 2, 2012 at 1:02 am

    LOVE love this idea! I have been saving this in my inbox for months and months, waiting for the right birthday boy or girl to come along. 🙂 I am ready to make one for my niece and nephew but haven’t been able to get to the page to download the tags. Any way you would still be able to email those to me? Thanks so much!!!

  • Christine September 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Finally getting around to making these! So excited!! Would you please email the tags to me as well.

    Thanks so much!

  • Rachel October 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I feel a little stupid what are the ties for?? I have been looking up fort tute’s and a lot of them have ties but don’t way why I suppose to tie to furniture what would the center one do?? Thanks just wondering so I can include some instructions for cousin gifts this year 😀

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