"" sewing tutorial | KIDS | crafts | handmade gifts | bread bags | fort kits | diy hang tags | saltwater-kids


fort kit mini tutorial


supply list:
  • sheets (I used 2 twin flat sheets)
  • clothes pins 
  • clamps
  • rope
  • flashlight/headlamp
  • suction cups
  • adult t-shirt (for the ties)
  • bags (or fabric for making them) for the accessories and the kit

I was able to make the kit above for about $10. (here is the original post)

Here is a mini tutorial for making the ties from a t-shirt:
I used a ladies XL t-shirt, making the ties ~20" long (10" when folded).

The sheets have ties with loops attached at the corners, in the middle of each long side, and in the center of the sheet (optional).  To cut down on time, I decided to use strips of jersey instead of making bias tape (like in the original tutorial). Here's how...

First, cut 1" strips across the shirt

 Then cut off the sides.

Then stretch out each strip, making it curl into a rope-like shape, and tie a knot at each end.

To attach the ties...

Sew the ties to the corners, long sides, and center of the sheets, making an "X" shape with your stitches to give it strength.

To figure out the correct size for the drawstring bag, I simply stacked up all of the accessory items and took a rough measurement...    

And then did the same for the large bag. 

------------------ UPDATE ------------------
  more kits & a great tip!

Here is a great tip from a reader: Littel Holts suggested that instead of (or in addition to) sewing ties on the sheets, create casings for the rope. Fold down each corner, and half way between each corner, about an inch, and sew.  This is a simple, but sturdy, way to thread the ropes through.

fort kit in action!

Thanks for stopping by! 


Check out the Fort-Kit tutorial at BLOOM HERE!


  1. Do you have any pictures of the forts put together? This is a cute idea :)

  2. Hi Cheryl! I have one picture, it's not great, but it will give you an idea of how they can be put together.

    here is the link:

  3. i really really love this idea! (and those two kits featured at the bottom are so perfect.)

  4. I love this and hope to make two of them this weekend for birthday party gifts. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I'm so glad to have found this again. I found it a long time ago and then forgot where I had seen it. So excited to see it again via CTB this week. I added it to my link love today.

  6. This is awesome. I just made a kit for my nephew. Thanks for posting!

  7. This is such a great idea! I'm going to make this for my boyfriend for his 18th birthday. :) (teenagers love forts too!)

  8. Thanks for posting this. Awesome idea!

  9. Do you sell the digital file for the tag? I would like to make these for christmas gifts this year! Thanks! ek_jensen@yahoo.com

  10. Hi Erin,

    Thanks for checking out my blog! I don't have the fort kit tags for sale, but I do have a tutorial for making your own - which you can customize to match each bag/fort.

    Here is the link: http://www.saltwater-kids.com/2008/10/tutorial-make-your-own-free-hangtags.html

  11. I can not WAIT to make one of these for my son's 7th birthday next month! Thanks!

  12. Hi! I just made this for my grandson - and i adjusted a few things. I made the casing at the corners, but i didn't use ties, i used velcro - that way the little guy will be able to do a lot more himself. I am so happy with how it turned out! Thanks for the tute!

  13. Love this! Thank you so much! Would love to share this on my blog, if that's ok?

  14. This is the BEST idea!!!!! Love it!!! Doing this for Christmas FOR SURE!!! Thank you!!!

  15. I love this idea!! Going to make a couple for my kiddos and as gifts for Christmas this year. I love the duffle bag idea for the boys....do you know where a good place to get those are inexpensive? Thanks so much!

  16. Sorry, didn't see your post on making the duffle...too cute! Thanks!

  17. Can you tell me what kind of bag you made for the grey geometric and rainbow fort kits? I have the cutest vintage pillow case I want to make a bag out of for my fort kit, but I am not an expert...

  18. Okay using the tshirt for the ties is pure brilliance. I am way impressed. I appreciate the pictures. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting!

  19. Loved your tie tutorial on the fort kit. I put a link to it on my blog. Thank you for sharing this fun idea.

  20. Ok... LOVE this idea. But my question is more of 'how to set up the fort?'.... Not quite sure how to make all the pieces fit together.

  21. Oh, I just love these fort kits and can't wait to make one for my kids!! I am a complete beginner when it comes to sewing; one question I have is how did you make the drawstring bag?

    Thanks!! :)

    1. Drawstrings aren't too hard- sew a basic pillow-case shape, and on the open end, fold the edges toward the inside of the bag about 1/2 inch. Sew them down like this, so you have an open hollow tube at the top of your bag, but make sure to leave a small slit unsewn, so that you can thread a ribbon, string, whatever through. Then just feed it all the way through the empty tube, tie knots at the ends of the rope so they don't slip through the bag, and voila! YOu have a drawstring. Hope that helped.

  22. where did you find the white clamps?

  23. I couldnt find sheets at a thrift store & got them at walmart..for $5 each they come in a little bag that could be an accessory bag or two if you have a small flashlight. Got some cheap ribbon for the corners too. Cant wait to give it to my nephews with their DS game. Old school & new school combo!

  24. I'm making this for my nieces and nephew for Christmas. I am going to include PVC pipe that they can use as stands in theirs as they have big open areas in their house that they play in so they can build their fort there. I'm also going to put button holes every 12 inches in the sides of the sheets to thread the rope through rather than sewing ties on. The button foot on my machine will make fast work of that.

  25. I know this is an old post, but it is a good one! I put together a fort kit for one of my Gr-sons last year. I put it all in a sturdy backpack, using all the pockets for different supplies. He and his sister made a fort to sleep in Christmas Eve! They still play with it a lot. Best gift idea ever! Terase

  26. Great idea! I'm a grandma and I sew all the time so the bags will be a snap for me. Won't need to cut up a t-shirt as I have tons of stuff to use for ties. How much rope did you buy? How many clamps, clothes pins and suction cups? When you used 2 twin flat sheets, is that for 2 forts? I would really love to see pictures of the fort put together as I can't picture what things in the house you clamp onto. Thank you!