This started as an idea to reuse a queen sized mattress which still had some life in it. The project morphed from a patio bed to a tower fort for my kids. The first step was to make a platform for the mattress. Second was to make the top level. Added on to the top level are safety rails, a trap door, a climbing wall, a whiteboard, rope ladder, swing rings, pulley baskets and safety padding. The lumber is regular pine.
I'm a novice woodworker and my tools are modest. Also I am limited in how much time I can dedicate to ideas like this one that I come up with. So , speed and costs are important. But , I am doing this for the experience and try to get out of the building process what I can.
I built this for a patio because the weather conditions of South Florida can make a mess of wood outside after only a few years. Also , because of the local mosquito problem. This was a trade-off to making a real tree-house or play fort outside.
The photos are pretty self explanatory as to how it was put together. I am posting this because it may give others an idea of how to make a playhouse/fort for their kids . One that isn't outside so the kids can use/play with it more often because it is more accessible.
Step 1: Mattress Base Assembly.
Just a big frame screwed together.
Step 2: Upright Posts for Top Level.
The pictures give an idea of what I did. Basically, I made a big cube. I just kept adding wood spans and screwing 2x4 's until it was stable and the flex was minimal. It turned out kinda like a big bunk bed.
Step 3: Finished Top and Fun Stuff Added.
I used 2x4's and 1x2 strips to make top railings. I wanted a certain level of security up there since a 2.5 yo would be using this. After looking at the raining and her up there I went a step further and tied rope in the corners, kinda like a web, to give her a bit more security. I added foam pads to the top floor area and cut foam pads to fit in areas where heads might hit the wood. I added a little pulley arm for the kids to play with. Also a coconut head to use as a pull bucket. There is a climbing board and a trap door that swings up on the top floor area.
The tower is a bit rough, I did sand the wood down to smooth it out. My kids like it and it gives them another little nook to play in.