I know it may seem crazy to give up a closet. It’s not going to work in every home. But we weren’t using this space very well anyways. It was just a spot to dump junk.
I’ve been feeling a bit guilty that my kids don’t have a backyard playhouse or play set and building either of those are totally out of mine or my husbands carpentry skills.
For around $100 we created this little fort instead.
It took us a good 5 hours to build, but my husband and I are not exactly handy. Plus we had to stop multiple times to fill sippy cups, break up fights, and recharge iPads.
- 2 x 4’s
- 2 x 2’s
- stud finder
- mitre saw
- fence brackets these were about $0.67 each (optional)
- 3.5″ deck screws
- 4″ deck screws (only necessary if you have the inside case molding and need to add that extra piece of scrap molding)
- 1″ plywood (for the floor) we had Lowes cut it for us
- some scrap wood or molding to cover up the raw edge of the front of the plywood
- wood filler
It’s time to find the studs. You need to be sure that your screws go into the studs! I really hate this part, but the stud finder really is your best friend. I bought this one at Lowes for about $20. My husband did this part, he’s the extra cautious kind of guy and was already iffy on this whole idea. So he wanted to be sure this fort would be safe. We knew half the neighborhood would end up on top of this.
Marked the studs with a pencil.
We are basically going to make a rectangle. We started with measuring the length of the back wall. Cutting the corners at a 90 degree angle. And screwing the board into the studs. We used 3 (3.5″) screws in each stud. We decided to do the front (the ones beside the door frame) pieces next. We had molding inside the door and I didn’t want to take it all down. So a simple solution was just to add a scrap piece of wood to make it flush with the trim.Since we had to add this extra piece of wood the 3.5″ screws weren’t long enough. So after a trip back to Lowes we picked up some longer 4″ screws.
This is what the frame looked like after adding the front and side pieces.
Big old rectangleNow for some center braces. I bought these fence brackets since they were so cheap.We only used them on the back wall. Where they met the front we just screwed the board from the front of the front board.We decided on three center supports.We bought a piece of 1″ plywood for $19 and had the store cut it for us. We waited till after we had the frame built before measuring and cutting the plywood. We had to have a seam in the middle of the plywood so we made sure the seam landed on top of one of our center supports.
We drilled the plywood to the frame.For the ladder we used 2 x 2’s. I just kind of winged it, and it worked. I didn’t do any fancy pocket holes or anything I just screwed 4′ screws in from the side. I sanded down the edges a bit to prevent slivers. And painted it with red spray paint.
Need to do some more decorating but I did add this little book shelf from a plate rack I found at the ReStore (just spray painted it). And I made the little “Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have” sign.
Still a few things left to do, find a foam mattress and make a cover for it, add some shelves for toy storage, a railing and some sort of lighting. But at least it’s a useable space right now.
My kids are so excited to sleep up there. I better get on that railing and mattress.