She's Crafty: The Fort Kit

So if you have kids ... boys in particular as they seem to be really fascinated with any kind of impromptu fort-building ;) ... and if you happen to have birthdays right after the holiday hoopla ... then you'll definitely want to take note of this post. Thank you, Ellen! Perfect timing in our house! *To submit your "She's Crafty" tutorial for the blog, send it to info at machcphotography dot com with the subject line: She's Crafty.



I have a good friend who is so good about making stuff for my kids (two Christmases ago it was a "boredom box" filled with activities to do with my kids over the winter), so this year, inspired by Pinterest, I decided to make her three boys a fort kit.  I found a couple of tutorials at meg + andy and saltwater kids, and of course waited until the last minute to get all my materials and make it. ;)  I did this as a Christmas present, but it would be a great birthday present too.

In the tutorials, the bloggers got twin sheets, which is a great idea since they're already hemmed, but since I was short on time, and making a kit for three boys, I was afraid I was going to spend hours scouring thrift stores for non-floral sheets.  So I went to my local fabric store, Hip Stitch, and they had some great boyish fabric on clearance (not to mention that Suzanne is so incredibly helpful - she helped me brainstorm how much fabric and how best to make it work.  If you want to learn to sew, I really recommend a local sewing lounge!).  I got two yards for the fort itself, plus another 1/2 yard for the bag, and Suzanne cut off a strip to use for ties.

I cut the strips into eight pieces sewed them together to make ties.  I learned a handy little tip while quilting, that if you aren't worried about backstitching, you can just keep sewing all the ties together and then just snip them apart when you're done.  It saves starting and ending with each tie.

If you don't use sheets, like me, you'll have to hem the four sides of the sheets together, which was ok since I stuck a tie in to each corner anyway.  When all four sides are hemmed and the ties are sewn in (I did a zigzag stitch on the ties to make them more sturdy), it's time to make the bag.  I just eyeballed how big the bag would need to be with the fabric and goodies inside (suction hooks, clothespins, clamps, rope and a flashlight) and then cut the material around it (leaving a generous amount on all sides), and used ribbon to make a drawstring (I used the tutorial from skip to my lou for the drawstring bag).

The last thing was to make the tag.  I used the tag from saltwater kids and modified it a little with my contents.

And there you have it!  A fun present that encourages imagination!  My husband told me I need to make one for our kids too. ;)  I seem to do all my sewing late at night when the kids are asleep, so excuse how dark the first couple of photos are.

my note: I think we all do a lot of 'working on things' late at night when the kids are asleep huh! :)

Thank you again, Ellen! I can't wait to make one for our crew!


PS - New You make-over winner will be announced soon!!! We had a ton of really great entries - thank you for your awesome submissions!

PPS - My fall calendar (that's August & September around these parts ;) it goes by quick, but sure is gorgeous!) is quickly filling up. Contact me now if you are interested in reserving your spot! And of course if you are interested in a Spring or Summer session, now's the time to touch base!