Saturday, September 15, 2012

DIY Gift - A Fort Kit!

Jack is going to a birthday party today, and it's the first even party that just he has been invited to (not a tag-a-long invite from David and Henry).  He's SO excited to go.  I decided I couldn't stomach buying one more Lego set for someone's birthday, so I poked around on Pinterest for a bit and decided to make a Deluxe Fort Kit.  This is my new favorite gift to give.

What you need is:
Twin flat sheets (I used 2)
Bias tape or some sort of rope for the ties on the sheets
Glow sticks
Either a pre-made drawstring bag or tote to put it all in, or make your own

So, the first thing I did was take the sheets out of their packaging.  They came in little cloth bags, which I almost threw away but didn't at the last minute.  And I'm glad I didn't, because I used those little bags in the finished product to store the little accessories.  I think they'll be good for the clips and clothespins once it's all been used and it's time to put it away, instead of having those fifty little clothespins and clamps loose inside the bag.

The sheets were very wrinkled from being folded in the package.  If I wasn't so lazy pressed for time, I would have washed them and ironed them.  Instead, I threw them in the dryer to tumble with some damp clothes I already had in there.  (Mom and Grammy, stop shaking your heads at me!)

While the sheets were tumbling?
I made Buffalo Chicken Nachos.

Next I got the ties ready.  I sewed looped ties onto each corner of the sheets and one on each side on the middle of the long side of the sheets.  I didn't want to use bias tape, because I started the project the night before the party and didn't want to be up all night sewing.  I looked around at the store and decided on Piping Cord.

I measured 20 inches of cord and cut it.

The I cut eleven more, so you'll have a total of twelve (six per sheet).  Obviously if you're using more than two sheets, increase the number of ties by six per sheet.

Next, I tied the ends of each tie into a little knot to prevent fraying.

I made a loop and sewed through the middle (the "x) on the corner of each sheet and onto the little tail a bit on each side.  I went back and forth two times on each side of the X, so a total of four passes over the middle, to give it more strength.

I stacked it all up with the accessories and wrapped my material for the bag around it to eyeball how much I would need.  And stopped taking pictures.  

If you're going to make a drawstring bag, this is a good tutorial.  It's super easy to do.

Once I finished my bag, I just put it all inside and made a little tag for the front.  
I hope he likes it.  And doesn't open it at his party and think Jack brought him a big pillowcase for his birthday...

Cost breakdown:

Twin sheets - $4.97 each x2
Clamps - $1.00 each x2
Clothespins - $0.49 (I used half of a $0.97 package)
Flashlight and batteries - $2.00
Glowsticks - $2.00
Piping cord - $1.99 (I used half of the $4.00 package)
Fabric for bag - $2.80
Hang tag - $0.20
Total price - $21.42 

*If I made these for my own kids (which I will be doing for Christmas), I would use flat sheets from Goodwill.  I don't know the people who are having the party though, so I didn't want to go all Goodwill on them!  Obviously using sheets that are $1.25 each would significantly decrease the cost.*

I already had the ribbon for the tie, the thread, and the blue card stock I used for the tag.

There are some much better tutorials for fort kits here:


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