...not quite finished!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Here We Go Again - a Toddler Style Fort!

The first fort, although super fun, was just too big for little man.  So I geared  up to build another littler one.  There weren't any wooden bunk beds at the thrift store...but there was a nice sturdy metal one! -with railing, supports, ladders and all the hardware to go with it.
I set up the bunk bed, without the top mattress support, and built a little deck inside.  My toddler loves to drive and I had found a steering wheel, keys, accelerator/brake pedals and a horn!  I built a wall on the deck and installed those items for a perfect little race car.  (I also added some light buttons and a sound effect board.)
This new little fort stood on the ground just in front of my Pirate ship.  Stepping back and looking at it I realized it looked even more like a ship, with a high deck and a lower deck! So I started to tie it all in together.

The bunk bed had a metal slide so I installed that at much lower height.  The mattress supports were very sturdy and intended to hold weight and I knew they would come in handy.  I took down the ladder on the first fort (too steep!) and used one of the mattress supports  a ladder/ramp. It was perfect for all ages and added to the pirate look.

I knew every pirate ship needed a plank, but couldn't figure out where to put it.  I tried setting it up going from the higher deck to the lower and it seemed awkward.  But as I was messing around with the design and the space between the two decks I realized this fun piece of scrap lumber (with a little door!) might fit to connect the two.  So I laid my too steep ladder on it's side and put the window/door piece on top.  NO WAY.  It fit perfectly.  What luck! And, unknowingly, I had created my little man's absolute favorite part - the little window with a door!  In my thrift finds I actually had a peephole and door chain. I installed them and played "knock knock - what's the password?" forever.

I had also found tire chains for a few bucks and wondered if I could use them as a ladder.  But when I went to hang them the curved shape never worked out.  But now I had the bottom of a bunk bed, a 5 foot space and then the deck of my fort.  Once again, it happened to fit perfectly! I had to bolt them down so good, and when I did I ended up with a swinging chain ladder - so fun!

The fort was definitely amazing already and hours of fun, but then I got what I interpreted as a direct challenge.  SOMEONE said to me: "You better be careful, this could end up looking like a junkyard."

oooooooooooo.  Just wait.  This will be so far from a junk yard it will FLOOR YOU.

Remember, at this point there was no siding on, no paint, just a fun eclectic fort that somewhat resembled a ship.  But I had a vision.

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