Tuesday, August 27, 2013

how to turn a closet into a floating fort/reading nook

Today starts day 1 of the tutorials for the play room!

If you missed the reveal click HERE.

Growing up I loved turning the floor of my closest into a reading nook.

The more blankets and pillows the better.

So I wanted Rhett and Rad to have something like that; a place where they could read, and play, and hide and build and have a space for their littleness to grow.

Which is where the idea for the floating fort/reading nook came from!

Before be get to the details, I want to make it perfectly clear that we are NOT contractors or professional builders. We used our self learned DIY skills, some advice from friends, and common sense to build this project; so if you chose to follow this tutorial you accept ALL responsibility for it's function and safety.

Now that we've got that taken care off, let's get to the tutorial. :)

I will be listing all materials used, but not the cuts and measurements since all closets are different sizes.


2 X 4s 

2 X 2s 

sheet of 1in thick plywood

quarter round

3 1/2 in deck screws 

miter saw

stud finder


A Kreg Jig is helpful, but not required

Step 1: Determine the height of your floating fort in the closet and mark it off.

Step 2: Locate the studs in the walls.

Our closet had 7 studs. I'm not sure if there is a science to how many studs it takes to build a closet (oh the jokes we could make about that sentence. :)) but the more you have the better. This is is my personal tip, but if your closet has less then 5 or 6 studs I would recommend not doing this tutorial. 

PS I HIGHLY recommend using a stud finer. Makes it so much easier.  

Step 3: Measure the walls and make the cuts. 

You'll need 2 longer pieces and 2 shorter pieces. 

Use the miter saw to make cuts on each end at 45 degrees.

Step 4: Secure your longest 2 X 4s to the back of the closet wall and use the level to make sure the board is well, level.

We used 2, 3 1/2in deck screws to secure the board to each stud.

Because when 1 screw is good, 2 is better.

Step 5: Secure the shorter boards to the side walls.

Again, use your level.

After we had secured the back board we secured the shorter side boards.

We had studs in the corners of our closet so we used our drill to drill the screws at an angle into the corner.

Step 6: Attach the final long 2 X 4 to the front.

(Say it with me...use your level!)

Look at the awesome rectangle you made!

Step 7: Measure and cut your 1in thick plywood to fit onto the top of the rectangle you just built. 

We used a lot of scrap wood for this project, which is why we used 2 different sheets as seen below.

Step 8: Using your deck screws and drill, secure the plywood to the frame.

We didn't measure exactly between the screws but it came out to be about 5in between each one.

Step 9: Brace the frame and plywood with 2 X 4s.

Cut the 2 X 4s to fit flush with the frame and brace them against the plywood.

Screw the 2 X 4s to the frame.

Again we used 2 screws to brace the 2 X 4s to the frame.

Because when 1 screw is good...2 is better! 

Right? :)

Total, we used 4 pieces of 2 X 4 to brace the frame and plywood.

Step 10: Nail the quarter round to the raw edge of the plywood.

It will give the project a more finished look and help protect little fingers from splinters.

Step 11: Build the ladder.

We used the 2 X 2s for this.

Measure the height you want your ladder to be.

Cut 2 longer pieces and 4 shorter pieces (we found the best length to be 15in for the shorter pieces).

This is when the Kreg Jig would be helpful, but if you don't have one you can just screw/nail the steps to the ladder frame.

Step 12: Secure the frame to the fort base.

This is just a tip, but it is so much easier to paint/stain the ladder BEFORE you attach it to the fort frame. 

And that's it! 

Paint it, pillow-ize and decorate it and then snuggle up with a book or some cookies and make some memories. 

Again, we are NOT contractors or professional builders. We used our self learned DIY skills, some advice from friends, and common sense to build this project; so if you chose to follow this tutorial you accept ALL responsibility for it's function and safety. 

Feel free to leave a comment or  email with any questions!

I'll do my best to help. :)

Come back tomorrow for the shim wall art tutorial!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

playroom reveal

It's probably only me that feels like this reveal is so long over due. 

The playroom has been almost done for about a month, but a few little details kept tripping me up and I don't like showing things till they are mostly 100% done.

But I finally have it ready (And by ready I mean I wouldn't let my boys play in here till I got the pictures I needed. Mean mom I know.) so here we go!

Here's some before pictures.

Don't judge the chaos. 

Lest you think we normally have a hallway full of toys, these were after we cleaned the room out to start painting. 

If you follow me on Instagram (why aren't you following me yet?! :)) you've seen this pic of us getting the paint on the walls. 

And then there was some Ikea shopping and DIY's and yada yada let's get to the pictures. 

Details will follow. Promise.

I love this room. 

I may not win Mother of the Year for a multitude of reasons (you're kid ate goldfish crackers for breakfast, lunch and dinner...?) but I do a pretty darn good job of playing with the boys. 

So this room was really important to me. 

My tops priorities were storage, lots of floor space to play, a desk and just for it to be a playful place.

And I think I can check all of those off the list! 

Below is the source list for everything in the room. 

I'll have a different tutorial each day this week for different projects in the room.

Tomorrow will be the closet turned nook. :) 

Playroom Source List

Built-Ins: IKEA and Craigslist

Metal Storgage Baskets: Crate & Barrel 
$35 (on-sale)

Leather Chair: already had (thrifted)

Rug: Home Decorators 

Curtains: Target

Shim Wall Art: DIY 

Closet fort: DIY
$40 (we had most of the wood on hand)

Pillows: Target and already had
$45 (all pillows are on clearance)

Turquoise stool: Already had 

Chalkboard: DIY

Elephant: already had

Red storage bins: Target
$7 (clearance)

Wood desk: DIY 

Stools: IKEA

Alphabet Poster: Hobby Lobby
$15 (clearance)

Circus Water Color: a gift from my very talented aunt

PLAY Picture: DIY

Wall Paint: Already Had (It's Pepper Corn by SW)

Total: $478

We sold the rocking chair/ottoman, rug, shelf, and some toys for a total of $110 which we put toward the projects in the room, so the final total came in at $368.

Not to bad!

See you tomorrow for the closet turned nook tutorial!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

playroom sneak peak


The mysterious playroom that I've randomly been mentioning for a few months, is done?!

See, I actually do follow through on finishing big projects. :)

So today I'm giving you a glimpse and Monday comes the full shebang, followed by tutorials and projects and source lists the rest of the week.

Be excited, because I am - and it's more fun to be excited together.

See you Monday!
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