Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pictures of the Top Bunk Bed Tent and Paltry Instructions

I'm sorry this is less of a how-to build a top bunk bed tent because I didn't build it, Mike did. I constructed the bottom bunk bed tent ("How to Make a Bottom Bunkbed Tent"). I've been bugging him to do a post about how he built this thing, but he's been busy saving the world and rubbing my feet. So here's what I've got; mostly just some pictures that will hopefully help you if you're interested in building your own top bunk bed tent.

There are five cross-bars that attach to the middle bar, made of PVC. The top and bottom of the bed (lengthwise) are open, to let air and light in. The fabric is duck canvas, but any fabric without too much stretch should work. I don't know, maybe stretchy fabric would be awesome (or more awesome). We wanted it to be pretty heavy-duty though, in case someone decided to try and lean on it.  

Another view of the top of the tent. The dimensions were based on how high our ceiling was above the bunkbed. And we gave it the shape of the top half of an octagon (is that an A-frame?) because we have a fan in the room that would have hit it otherwise. 

Yet another view. 

We attached the fabric to the PVC pipe with heavy-duty snaps. We also reinforced the fabric where we attached the snaps with pellon (fusible interfacing, or for those of you, who like me had no idea, it's thick stuff you can iron on to your fabric to make it more stiff and sturdy.) Mike sewed on ties at eight points--one in each corner and two more on each side. 

Here's a picture of the snaps unsnapped. In the top right corner is a little window that I cut out and sewed, after we took the very top picture. 


The door way was the hardest, Mike said. This is where the ladder comes up. I don't even know how to explain it (I'm sorry). He sewed the fabric so it made a pocket for the pole. The gauzy fabric in the top picture is a "door" that I sewed on later because my daughter wanted to be able to close the door. We chose the see-through stuff because we didn't want to block out all the light.  

I sewed some little pockets on the inside so she could store her things. She also liked to put things in the fold of the fabric on the sides. I say "liked", because since little Norah was born, we've had to switch things up a bit and the bunkbed tent resides in pieces in our garage. :(

Hopefully this will give you some more ideas on how to build your own. Good luck! Feel free to leave a comment, with your email address, if you have any questions and I will respond as best I can. Also, if you make one I'd love to see it, so send me pictures! 

13 comments:

tktakesphotos said...

Whoa! You guys are talented! I would attempt something like this and then burn down my house in frustration. Or something equally dramatic like that. =)

If you get a chance you should read my blog. I have good news. But I'm only sharing on my blog. I'm devious like that.

Emily Widdison said...

I know i have told you before but I love reading your blog...especially posts like this one.
"My philosophy has been "Work first, then play." But this has turned into "Work First. Fight Always. Get Grounded and Have No Fun." I would just give up and go sit on the couch, but the couch is currently buried in a pile of laundry."
Because it is exactly what our life is like too! Life with four is such a BLESSING;)!!

Debbie Schweinberg said...

Love it .... how did you attach to bed posts???? Thanks!!!! Debbie

Amateur Steph said...

Hi Debbie-
We tied it with long ties to the sides of the bed and at the corners.

Stephanie Goetsch said...

So, I realize this post is a year old, but I'm hoping you'll still see the comment & reply. :) Reach me at sgoetsch at cox dot net-- Am I correct in understanding that the fabric attached to the frame via snaps at the bottom & then the entire frame/fabric set up just rests on the bed frame via ties on the edges? How does it not fall off the sides? How long did it last & would you say it would be sturdy enough to keep a 4 yo boy from trying to jump out of bed?

Anonymous said...

how many yards of fabric did you use???

fewkhalilah said...

I hope this post finds because I see the post is old, but it's always worth a try. I am attempting this project as a Christmas present for my boys (they love forts!) I have enlisted the help of my semi handy friend and also a friend that is a semi seamstress. First question, would you consider this a beginner's project? What type and how many connection pieces did you use? Is it only one piece of pvc pip that runs the entire length down the middle? If you could answer these questions just to get me started it would be so appreciated! :-)

Anonymous said...

I am trying a similar project, too. I'm wondering if people think it's important to use "furniture grade" pvc.

Amateur Steph said...

Fewkhalilah: I would say it's a beginning project, but it takes a lot of time. You need a way to cut the pvc, a pvc cutting tool or a hacksaw. The longest length of PVC was no more than 2 feet, so no the middle isn't one big piece. The joints join all the pieces together.
I will pull it out and count my pieces and measure the fabric yardage used.

Amateur Steph said...

We used sprinkler PVC, schedule 40, 1/2" from Lowes or Home Depot or a Sprinkler Shop to make ours. The number on the pipe says SCS-430DD. Really, the stronger the PVC, the better because then it won't bow. We didn't glue the joints so we could take it apart, but you could glue it with PVC glue to make it stronger. We used a rubber mallet on some of the joints to help put them together.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

We just got our daughter her jr loft bed and were thinking of making a tent. Thanks for the info.

Michele Modzeleski said...

Would this be something I can hire you to make for my boys bunk Bed? I absolutely love the added safety it provides but am afraid I am not that handy.

michelemodzeleski@gmail.com