Bunk Bed Forts!

Bunk Forts!
Bunk Forts!

After all of this adventuring lately, I was itching to do something hands-on creative today so I dug out a project that’s been sitting in the back of my head for awhile. Ever since getting the kids a bunk bed I’ve wanted to make it into a bed-fort and today I finally pulled it off.

My kids share a room and at the rate we’re going with house hunting they will continue to do so until they graduate high school. Lucky for me, at 6 & 4, they don’t mind sharing and actually I don’t think they would have it any other way. But when four people live in 1000 sq ft, it never hurts to find creative ways to carve out a little more personal space and privacy. Plus the fact that bunk bed forts are obviously awesome.

I headed to Ikea to pull together the few items I would need to perma-fort the bunk bed…


A Few Simple Things
A Few Simple Things
– 2 curtain wire packs
– screws
– wire cutters
– Phillips screwdriver
Kura bed tent for top bunk

This should have been the no-brainer in the project. Go to Ikea, get the tent thingy that goes on an Ikea bunk bed, put it on the bunk bed. DONE! Nope. Oh Ikea, why do you almost make it easy but then make that last 5% such a pain in the butt? Of course this tent thing doesn’t fit ALL Ikea wooden bunk beds, just the one we don’t have. So it’s up there for now, but the hooks don’t fit so it keeps getting knocked off. I need to rig it to be more sturdy maybe get some velcro strips and wrap then around the tent poles and then around the bed.

Wire curtain hangers in progress.
Wire curtain hangers.

For this I got two of the curtain wire packs from Ikea. Dang it Ikea, really? Everything BUT the screws included? Ok, so I fumbled around the tool area in the basement and dug up a couple but I don’t think they were long enough to really anchor in the wood. I went ahead with them and screwed one set in along the inside ledge of the bunk bed along the length, then one along the width (see pic). While the curtain wire did hang, it doesn’t seem sturdy enough and I had one already pull out of the wood. The screws I had were not right. I’ll probably change them out with a screw or bolt long enough to go entirely through the wood and then fasten a nut on the other side. Or maybe just a longer screw and a little wood glue. I am going to research but for now, it’s in place and looks good.

For the fabric, I found these owl curtains in the kids section of Ikea. They were way too long so I cut them to the size I needed and (GASP!) fake sewed them with the iron no-sew adhesive stuff. Let’s see if it holds up. I made the third curtain with the leftovers from the original panels and might make some pillow cases with the remaining scrap.

So there are some things I need to work on to make this concept more solid so that 2 hyper kids can’t take it all down in an instant, but those adjustments should be simple. The entire project, including Ikea-time, took only a couple of hours. The kids seem to love their new forts and, coincidentally, have their first sleep over friends here enjoying them too.

Gotta have lanterns inside, especially happy ones.
Gotta have lanterns inside, especially happy ones.

Elise's new bottom bunk fort.
Elise’s new bottom bunk fort.
Sleep Over!
Sleep Over!

Bunk Bed Forts!
Bunk Bed Forts!

4 thoughts on “Bunk Bed Forts!

  1. Did you ever figure out a good way to rig this tent to the bunk bed, so that it isn’t falling off? I just bought the same wooden bunk bed and tent from Ikea, and I can’t figure out how to make it stay on. Thanks!

    1. Yes, we did figure this out. What we did was cut “chunks” of wood about the thickness and length of the plastic tent “hooks” and screwed them into the inside of the bunk bed. We did this based on the ideal spacing of the tent’s plastic “hooks.” Then the plastic “hooks” fit snuggly and stayed on. Does this make sense? If you don’t have a wood saw, you might try buying a package of shims and seeing how many bundled together would be the right width. Then wood glue them together and screw them on. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-8-in-Homeowner-Shims-12-Per-Bundle-PSH8-12-12/100082960

      Let me know if this makes sense or if you have questions.

  2. That is so smart. I want to buy the tent from Ikea but it does not fit the bunk beds we bought. Now I know how to do it. Thank you smart lady. And yes, they should make tents that fit each bed.

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