Thursday, March 2, 2017

How to Build a Clubhouse Fort Bed

All the details on how I built this kids clubhouse fort bed:

diy kids clubhouse fort bed

The amazing Ana White drew up plans for the ultimate clubhouse / treefort bed you can build yourself:

diy kids clubhouse fort bed

It fits a regular twin size mattress:



diy kids clubhouse fort bed


pottery barn eli fort bed


I was so lucky to have the opportunity to build this clubhouse bed, not only was it the most fun but my kids are truly enjoying their new bed:

3 kids inside clubhouse bed

Including the fun hide out below:

playspace under clubhouse bed

playspace under clubhouse bed

To see how I added the curtains click on my post here.

curtains for underbed hideout

 Ana had the brilliant idea to add the red window grids:

surfboards sign on clubhouse bed

And I attached them on hinges for more playtime fun:

window grids for kids clubhouse bed

window grids for kids clubhouse bed

diy kids clubhouse beddiy kids clubhouse bed

Here's how I built the bed:

1. Using Ana's plans here cut lumber, side walls first, then back, front and ladder.

2. Assemble the side walls, use a spare 1x3 to get even spaces between the slats:

how to build a kids clubhouse bed

clubhouse bed end railings

You'll need lots of pocket hole plugs but only at the visible portion of the top rail:

clubhouse bed end railings

3. Add the legs, stretchers and finally the front trim piece.
Use the 'portable' pocket hole maker piece to attach the front trim from behind:

clubhouse bed legs and stretchers

clubhouse bed legs and stretchers

4. Assemble the back wall.  Start with the legs and first slat using pocket holes, then find the middle and secure slats from the inside to the trim piece:

clubhouse bed back wall

Lay out the remaining slats on one side, keeping an even 1/8" space between boards:

clubhouse bed back wall

5. Once all slats are attached flip over the wall and secure the top trim from the outside, that way your screws and putty will be on the outside - hidden from view.

clubhouse bed back wall

6. Build the front wall in the same fashion except screw the top trim from the inside this time.
Add a small 1x2 piece at the top seam to keep the trim piece steady, this also provides a good hook for hanging signs across the front.
(or pocket holes if you remember to drill them before assembly!)

clubhouse bed front wall top trim interior

I also added a lower interior trim piece to the window sill, securing it to the side slats:

clubhouse bed window cut outs interior

*Sand everything well and seal with clear satin poly.

7. I used 3/8" hex screws at 3 1/2" with washers and nuts in 3 places on each leg to secure both 2x4s together:

diy clubhouse bed hex screws

Predrill screw holes with 3/8" bit, one at top, middle

how to attach front panel to sides

and near the bottom:

how to attach front panel to sides

8. Now add all the mattress slats (1x3 furring strips) working from the edges into the middle.

clubhouse bed mattress slats

9. Finally secure the ladder with 3/8" carriage bolts @ 2 3/4" with washers and nuts on the inside:

diy clubhouse bed ladder with carriage bolts

TO ADD THE HINGED WINDOW GRIDS:

Opening for window: 11 1/2"w x 11 3/4"h
Finished window grid: 11 1/4"w x 11 1/2"h
** Double check your window opening and deduct 1/8" from each side for a hinged grid.

Shopping list: 4 - 3/4" square dowels at 36"

Cut list:

2 @ 11 1/4" (top and bottom)
2 @ 10" (sides)
2 @ 4 5/8" (short cross pieces)
1 @ 9 3/4" (middle cross piece)

window grid for clubhouse bed

2. Attach the sides to the top and bottom using 1 1/2" screws:
(You could definitely use pocket holes too.)

window grid for clubhouse bed

3. Now add one short cross piece to the middle cross piece at center, then add that portion of the grid to the outer frame.

window grid for clubhouse bed

4. Add last short cross grid piece, screw at outer edge and toe nail at center.

Apply hinges.

window grid for clubhouse bed

What a difference the grids make, they really complete the look:

diy clubhouse fort beddiy clubhouse fort bed with window grids

A huge thank you to Ana for suggesting the grids, she always has the smartest ideas and knows exactly how to make a piece sing.

diy clubhouse fort bed with window grids

34 comments:

  1. I love everything about this! What is the ceiling height in the bedroom? Thank you so much for sharing.

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  2. Great job! I took my daughter to pbk last month and she was so upset when I wouldn't let her climb up into the fort bed. One question though, how hard is it to change the sheets?

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  3. Great job! How much did a project like this cost? I'm sorry, I might have missed that. What a fun idea for kids! :)

    Serena
    Thrift Diving

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  4. Great job! I was also wondering about the cost of the project. We've been eyeing this bed at PBK and my husband already said, "I could build that"! :) Also, is it a pain to change the sheets/make the bed???

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  5. From someone that has built a massive bed before, I can appreciate the work you did! Great job, looks great and I will not show my son this, or he will want me to build him this one!! Keep up the great work.

    JM

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  6. You and Anna are an amazing team! Super fun project!

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  7. This is amazing! I love it! I found your blog through the 36th Avenue Linky party. Thanks so much for sharing!

    -brittany
    www.ahandcraftedhome.com

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  8. Oh my goodness! That is incredible, i'm pretty sure my son would die for bed like that. One question- how hard is it to change the sheets? :)

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

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  9. This is so cool!!! I love making things that are inspired from PB kids! Following you @
    http://www.craftycagirl.blogspot.com

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  10. Oh my goodness is this cute! My son would go crazy over this!I would love for you to link this up to my Feature Friday Linky Party.

    Danielle @ Blissful and Domestic

    http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/2012/05/feature-friday-linky-party-southern_24.html

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  11. WOW!!!! How awesome is this!!!!!!!!!! Makes me wish I was a kid so I could have one of these!!!!! Absolutely love it!

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  12. That's super great. Any kid would love that!!!

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  13. Fabulous!!! I always thought you would have to have an amazingly huge, loft style room to make one of those beds work but looks like you did it in a regular sized room!! Great job.

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  14. Changing the sheet - for everyone who has asked
    "how hard is it to change the fort bed sheet?" no harder than the top bunk on bunk beds. But changing the sheet is really minor compared to the hours of fun and memories my kids are making of their fort bed! It's so worth the little bit of extra effort.

    Cost - lumber $200, total including hardware, fabric, etc. $300

    Ceiling height - in this room is 90", the bed is 88".

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  15. Looks awesome! I loved this bed at PBK. I especially loved its height, as it left room underneath to play but it wasn't tall like a bunk bed (which scares me a bit).

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  16. This turned out awesome, Jaime! What was the cost of the project/lumber? I checked Ana's site but I must be looking too hard because I don't see it. Thanks!

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  17. I have a question, how do you change the sheets on the bed?

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  18. Again - Changing the sheet - for everyone who has asked "how hard is it to change the fort bed sheet?" no harder than the top bunk on bunk beds. But changing the sheet is really minor compared to the hours of fun and memories my kids are making of their fort bed! It's so worth the little bit of extra effort.

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  19. We love it! and are in the process of finishing construction. We are confused on how to attach the slats that hold up the mattress. You mentioned a 2x2, but further on say a 1x2 @ 71". There is no clear detail on attaching.

    dollray200

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  20. Dolly - the 1x2x71 is attached as a cleat to the inside base of the side walls, I ran a long pocket screw through the 2" part into the wall slats and outside trim (making the 2" part parallel to earth). You can barely see it in the picture before Step 8 and the picture after Step 8. Leave me your email address if you have further questions.

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  21. We are so excited to start this project for our 3 year old son. We will make it a "Dino Den" however as he is obsessed with them. Picked up all the materials already and getting started tonight. Thank you for sharing this amazing bed/plans!!

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  22. This might seem like a silly question but how you get the mattress inside once the bed is built?? I'd love to build one of these for my daughter but it's just me with no one to help so I haven't tackled a bed yet... She's almost 6 though so I don't want to wait too much longer!

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  23. Jaime, I saw your surfer bed before and yet it never fails to amaze me. Beautiful job and you had great vision on this one! Thanks for sharing.

    Brittany

    P.s. I'm not sure why I didn't comment before ;-(

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  24. This bed is amazing! One question though... roughly how much time did it take to build? I'm trying to figure out if this could be a weekend project or not.

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  25. Did you use the Kreg Jig for the pocket holes? It looks like there are quite a few of them!

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  26. We've finished building the clubhouse and are in the process of sanding it down. I love the color and look of the wood and I would prefer to leave it as is. Did you use anything to seal or protect the wood? I'm afraid that a lacquer product will change the color and that's not what I want. Please advise. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I used clear satin poly to seal. It will darken the wood ever so slightly but keeps the finger prints and dirt at bay.

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  27. are you able to get the front and back piece through a standard bedroom door or did you have to assemble the long standing legs once inside room?
    TIA

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    Replies
    1. Yes the front and back can fit through a standard door. You have to bring it in upside down, one leg then wiggle up and then the other leg. Like a C shape and wrap around the doors.

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  28. Hi I want to build this next week for my son. What is the approx. weight limit???

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    Replies
    1. My husband and 3 kids were all in there with no problem. So I would say 300 pounds is safe.

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