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I watch 2 grandsons, big brother (4 years) and little brother (20 months), 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  I am always looking for ways to keep them active and happy.  I have been wanting to create a cloth covering to put over our card table, to turn it into an easy fort, tent or place to “HIDE”, as little brother always says.  Finally this past weekend I took up the challenge and “gotter done”.  My grandsons have used it and love it.

Step 1:

Supplies:
5 yds. of material (I finally opened the bolt of unbleached muslin that I bought years ago)
Clear plastic (bought by the yard, easy to sew, left over from a past project)
White thread
Sewing machine
Tape measure
Sewing scissors
Fabric markers
Straight pins
A couple of books/ magazines (one larger than the other)
Card table cutting mat
Rotary cutter

Step 2:

First I set up the card table and measured it.  The top was 34 inches (85 cm) square.  From the top of the table to the floor was 28.5 inches (71 cm).  So I added 1 inch (2.5 cm) to each measurement, to provide space for seams. 

Step 3:

And I cut out a piece of 35x 35inch square muslin to cover the top of the table.  Then I cut 4 pieces of material that were 35 inches by 29.5 inches, rectangle.  These would cover the 4 sides.

Step 4:

Since I had rounded corners on the table, I thought it would be a good idea to round the corners of the fort.  So I fold the top square together that all 4 corners were together, found a cup that had about the same amount of curve, the traced the curve onto the corner and cut off the corner.  It does not have to be perfect.

Step 5:

I sewed the 4 rectangles together along the short (29.5 inch sides) a total of 4 seams, ½ inch wide.  I made sure that the last two sides, which would be the opening of the fort, was sided by the salvaged edge, so that I would have to hem it.  I ironed the seams open.I determined where the center of one four sides of the top was.  Then I started with one corner of the long piece of material and pinned it to the middle spot, than pined the long rectangle to the four side of the square.  I used the sewing machine to sew the top to the bottom.  Once that was done, I hemmed the very bottom edge.  I put it on the table and it fit.  Hurray!

Step 6:

Next I found a large book and a smaller magazine, to use as my patterns for creating window in the fort.  I traced the magazine where I wanted it on the each side of the fort. 

Step 7:

I used the larger book to cut out 2 rectangles of clear plastic for the window itself. 

Step 8:

I cut out the rectangle I traced.  Then I snipped a little ¼ inch slice at a 45° angle to each corner.  I place the clear plastic under the hole and folder under the edges on all four sides, pinned them in place and then sewed those edges down.  Windows are done!

Step 9:

Now to decorate the fort, so I thought about last spring when we found a bird nest with eggs in it at eye level in our back yard.  I thought about how much fun it was to take the boys out each day to watch the baby birds being taken care of by the mommy and daddy birds.  So I used the fabric markers, which dry almost instantly, and drew (free hand) branches and leaves on the top of the fort fabric. 

Step 10:

On the back I drew a big tree truck with a nest a little baby birds. 

Step 11:

I put flowers below each window and a door on the front.  It was just fine.

Step 12:

I set up the completed fort in the living room and waited for the boys to come. It was an instant success.  Big brother brought toys in to play with and they ate their breakfast in the fort.  Little brother would crawl by the window and pop up and yell “BOO!” at his brother. 

Step 13:

Big Brother noticed the baby birds and asked where the mommy and daddy birds were.  So we got out the fabric markers and drew a mommy bird and a daddy bird, each with a worm in their mouth, in the top of the tree.  That made him really happy!  Enjoy!

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Bio: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
More by craftknowitall:Crochet Cover Your Wire Hangers Crocheted Case for a 7” Tablet Simple Knitted Dishcloth 
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