The No-Sew Fort Kit

When we recently had a twins’ birthday party to celebrate, I began thinking of what I wanted to get the kids.  They are very close to my son and I was planning on heading to the store to find some cool toys.  But that was when I remembered this idea.

I had pinned this idea on my Gifts Board on Pinterest and when you follow all the bloggers linking back to where they found it, it started with Meg and Andy, but eventually led to a guest post from Mrs. B on Bloom.

As I read through the various tutorials, all of them involved sewing.  Ugh!  I wish I could sew.  I would like to sew.  But I don’t have a sewing machine, nor the time to learn.  Maybe someday . . . [wishful sigh.]

So after much thought and a couple trips to the craft stores.  Here is what I’ve got for you non-sewers!


Contents for the Boy’s Fort Kit

Fort Kit Contents:

* 2 Flat Sheets (Many of the bloggers pointed out that they saved money by buying thrift store sheets.  But because this is a gift, I couldn’t bring myself to buy used sheets.  So I picked up a couple at Walmart for only $4.47 each.)  
*Rope (I chose the 70′ clothes line from the Dollar Tree.  All the items below except the last one are available at the Dollar Tree.  I love that store!)
* Flashlight
* Clothespins
* Clips or clamps
* Suction Cups
* Glow Sticks
* T-Shirt Ties (made myself)

How To Make it “No-Sew”:

All the other fort kits have ties sewn to the four corners and centered on the long sides of the sheets.  This is where I got stuck being the non-sewer and not interested in doing it by hand.  So I bought grommets.  If you buy the 1/4″ ones, you can also buy a little tool to assemble for only $1.50 compared to the $25 one needed for larger sized grommets.

You will need –
* Zippered Pillow Protector
* Ribbon and Cardstock for tag
* 12 – 1/4″ grommets
* Tool to assemble grommets (the cheap one!)

Grommets & Sheets for the Girl’s Fort Kit

Follow the simple instructions for inserting grommets.  And FYI – I am suddenly addicted to grommets and looking for anything else I can grommet-grommet!

Make a tag!  I made this tag with my Silhouette Cameo, laminated it and added some ribbon.  I did pin the tag’s ribbon to the bag so that when the fancy, tied ribbon is lost and the bag is just being zipped,  the contents tag will remain.

I also made a third kit for my son’s upcoming birthday (shhh!)  I had a blast making this fort and so badly wanted to share it with my kids! . . . patience. . .

I see lots of fun forts in our future and plenty of imagination for each one!

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  1. What an awesome idea. My kids are so getting these for Christmas.

  2. Came over from “I Can Teach My Child”.

    What a great gift idea!!!! Definitely going on my “gifts” board.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. What an awesome idea! Pinned!

  4. Very cute idea!!!

  5. This is really cool!

  6. Great idea and a totally cool gift to give!
    ~Heather @ourcultivatedlife

  7. I love this idea! Shared on Pinterest & twitter. Awesome! Thanks for sharing at our Pinteresting Party!

  8. I love this! Thank you for posting on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you’ll be back this week with more.

  9. Awesome idea! (stopped in from cheerios and lattes.) Thank you!

  10. Thank you for the detailed idea!

    Found any more use for grommets?

    • Sadly, no. But I am ready! They were so much fun – – maybe it was beating the grommet/tool with the hammer. Therapeutic?? 🙂

  11. Great idea!! I am already looking for Christmas gifts that we can make. Quick question, for those of us who are mommies of girls…what are the suction cups and clamps used for? I would love to see you take it a step further and describe how to “set-it-up”. Thanks for the awesome post!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wondered the same thing!

    • Anonymous says:

      Suction cups are to anchor the rope or grommet to slick surfaces, like a window or sliding glass door. The clamps are to keep the fabric from slipping off the backs of hard chairs, dresser drawers, or the back of the sofa, etc. I think the idea is that not every household has the perfect dining room table for a fort (or wants a fort in their dining room for that matter!) The rope, clamps and cups are to allow the children to be creative in their environment and make their own fort – so there’s no ‘right way’ to do it. Right now my daughter enjoys a small triangular space between our sofa and a cozy chair with a blanket draped over it for her personal fort space. Her biggest frustration is that the blanket falls down on top of her; the clamps are a great idea! Thank you. (Visiting from Money-Saving-Mom)

    • Anonymous #2 is exactly right. All the different pieces give you options. You could tie a t-shirt tie through a grommet and then to a suction cup on a window. I pulled the sheet up to a bookshelf and simply clamped the sheet to the edge of one of the shelves. You can send the rope through a grommet and tie it to a doorknob or chair…possibilities are endless.

    • Thanks for the examples and ideas. I am headed to “the city” today and going to Dollar Tree to pick up some supplies. Christmas gift making will be underway!! Cindy

  12. Can you tell us where to get the grommets and grommet tool thingy? I’m pinning this. I have three boys that love forts…. =)

    • Sure, Ellen! I bought the grommets at both Walmart and JoAnns (I was making three kits and realized I needed more.) I bought the grommet tool at Walmart. You have to make sure you get the matching-sized tool and grommets. It is so much cheaper to stay at the 1/4″ grommets and use the $1.50 tool than to go with the bigger ones that require the $25.00 tool.

    • I couldn’t find it at our Walmart and we don’t have a JoAnns, but I did find a grommet kit in the small hardware section of Lowes. It had plenty of 3/8″ grommets (they had a 1/2″ kit too) and a small tool included for $6.20. Thought I’d share in case anyone else had trouble finding supplies.

    • Thanks for sharing, Chelsea!

  13. Can you tell us what the total cost for one fort was?

    • Hi JenA, for one kit I spent less than $20. The sheets were $4.50 each from Walmart(needed 2) – the biggest cost. You could go cheaper and get them from the thrift store, but for giving it as a gift, I opted for new. The rope, flashlight, clothespins, clips, suction cups and glow sticks were all $1 each at the Dollar Tree, although I split the pack of suction cups among the three kits. The pillow protector was less than $2 from Walmart. I did have to buy the $1.50 grommet tool and I needed a couple packs of grommets between all three kits. I am pretty sure the grommets were a couple bucks per pack. I had t-shirts to cut, ribbon and cardstock already. 🙂

  14. I have several nieces/nephews..ages 4-9. Would this be to “baby-ish” for a 9 yo(girl)?

    • Hi Ashley, I think it would depend on the child. If your 9 year old niece has a good imagination and is creative, I think she would enjoy it. I know an 8 year old who would love it, but her 10 year old sister may not get quite as much use out of it. Although, I remember building forts outside until I was probably 11 or 12. It probably just depends on the kid.

      Anyone else have any thoughts??

      • I have an 8yr old boy that builds forts all the time with his 3 yr old brother so this Xmas they are getting a cute fort kit. Forts aren’t only for pretend play, I can totally picture my children reading books on a rainy day under their forts. Thank you for the cute no sew idea. I too wish to learn to sew one day!

  15. Loving this idea! If you don’t mind, I want to pin onto my pinterest board so I can remember your details once we’re ready to make it! May come in handy for a gift at Christmas…a perfect indoor activity!!

  16. Awesome idea!!! I’m making one of these for my Godson’s Christmas present, seems easy to mail also (he’s states away). Just to let you know Ashley, he is 9 years old also and I know this will be a definite big hit with him. I don’t think it’s too baby-ish for a 9 year old, even a girl. You could go more of a glam type look for her, with very girly sheets, and add some sparkle into it with possible gemstones or sequins or maybe do the animal print with accents of pink…? Endless possibilities 🙂

  17. So, you put the grommets on each corner? I’m a little confused! 🙂

    • I put a grommet on each corner plus one centered on the long sides of the sheet…which meant 6 grommets per sheet. Total: 12 grommets for a 2-sheet kit.

  18. Very cool!!! My son is all about forts right now. This will be a huge hit! I am little confused about the grommets also…but I’ll have to read more into it! Thanks for the great idea!

  19. 1 more question… 😉
    What size sheet? Thanks

  20. How does the zippered pillow protector fit in this equation?

    • Elizabeth, you could definitely use a regular pillow case. I opted for the zippered pillow protector because the kids are younger and can’t tie yet. Zip this up and you won’t have stuff spilling out everywhere.

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  22. You could definitely use a regular pillow case. I opted for the zippered pillow protector because the kids are younger and can’t tie yet. Zip this up and you won’t have stuff spilling out everywhere.

  23. How did you make the tshirt ties? Silly question I know but I’ve never done it before. Thanks

    • Hi Daneal, All you have to do is cut up a t-shirt into strips. Then once you have that done, stretch each individual tie. It will curl inward and work great!

  24. What section of Walmart did you find the grommet tool? I’m having a hard time finding it. Is the tool the “pliers”?

  25. Does your clothesline rope fit through the 1/4″ grommets? The one I saw at the dollar store didn’t look like it would. Maybe I should keep looking? Thanks for the great idea!

    • Hi Michelle, Yes my clothesline fits through the 1/4″ grommets. If you are shopping at the Dollar Tree, I know they had two kinds of clothesline at my local store. I went with the one that was striped. The one end has a big laundry-like hook but the other can be fit through the grommets. Hope that helps!

  26. Michele M says:

    Thanks Kristen! I did find a clothesline that fit. I was glad to find your post about using grommets, because I don’t sew. I was so excited to give this to my nephew. Thanks again!

  27. Thank you very much for this. I have made my fort kit and had fun with the grommets. My only problem is the t-shirt ties. They are not curling at all. What have I done wrong? Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Hi Robin,

      The way I got mine to curl was to stretch them out. It wasn’t entirely intentional, but hey, I liked how it worked. Try stretching the tie. It should curl after that. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  28. I’m about to make this. How long does it take to make?

  29. Are the grommets for the bag to keep all the stuff in or is it for the sheets to connect them?

  30. And where do purchase grommets?

    • You can purchase them at craft stores, but Walmart probably also carries them…just not in the variety of sizes that a dedicated craft store would have. Good luck!

  31. Hi there!
    I love the idea of the “no sew” version! Thank you. I have 2 questions. First is about the t-shirt ties. Do you tie them onto the corners, or just put them in the bag. And second, would it be better to use 2 twin size or 1 larger (full or queen)?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Harmony, So glad you stopped by. I just put the t-shirt ties in the bag along with everything else. And as to the sheet size, you could do either. I like twin better because if you want to tie the center to something for support you can, whereas with a larger sheet, it may be harder to provide some sort of center support. Two twins give it a little more versatility, plus being able to tie can be fun for the kids. Thanks for reading! ~Kristen