Introduction: Red Train Bunk Bed Curtains for a Child

About: I have enjoyed creating things all my life, from childhood, when I didn't play with my dolls but made clothes for them, Now I'm retired I love making things for my family - clothes, furnishings and anything el…

I made these bunk bed curtains for my grandson. As he lives in Germany it’s based on the train that his parents go to work in but I replaced the DB (Deutsche Bahn) on the front with his initials RB. It is double sided so the inside simulates the interior seats and tables.

There are also curtains on both of the long sides and flaps that simulate the doors, with one open driver’s window and the other windows made of organza.

Step 1: Materials I Used

I needed a lot of red and white fabric, so I purchased 5 metres each of red and white poly cotton sheeting 240 cms wide

I had some left over brown poly cotton which I used for the wheels and some black lining fabric which I used to support the wheels. They also required buttons (10 in all).

I needed 3 metres of organza for the windows and various colours of felt to make the door buttons and internal tables and the front wiper. The lights were made using fusible web and scraps of plain cotton fabric.

I also needed lots of 2.5cm black bias binding for the window seals and silver bias binding for the wheel trims and rails. I used grey silks for the centre wheel supports.

The curtains are attached using Velcro stitched onto the curtains and the opposing type of Velcro with a sticky back to attach to the bed frame.

Step 2: Making the Red Front Side Sections Outside

The first piece I worked on was the red section as shown in the picture. The actual size of the red piece is 65x72 cms.
It has a small driver’s window (B in the picture) actual size 24x20 cms and a large window (A in the picture) actual size 40x39 cms.
First cut out 2 pieces of red poly cotton allowing for 2.5 cm seam allowance around the edge. Next turn all around the sides to the wrong side by 2.5 cm and tack and then iron. This helps you to see your working space.

Creating the windows

Using a steel 1 metre rule, carefully draw the windows to the dimensions and positions in the 2nd picture on one of the pieces. (These marks will be sewn over.) (The second piece’s windows will be a mirror image for the other side of the train.)

The windows are made by sewing bias binding onto the lines you have drawn. Open one side of the binding and pin it onto the middle of one of the sides of a window with the rest of the binding facing into the window. Carefully line up the crease with the line on the window and pin till you get to the corner. From here it is probably easiest to sew it directly on using a sewing machine, so line it up at the starting point and sew to the edge of the corner taking out the pins as you go. Now leave the needle in the fabric, take up the presser foot and move to face the next edge, carefully moving all the folds of fabric out of your path. Continue in this way until you reach your starting point.

Next cut out the window from the red fabric, trimming to the edge of the sewn bias binding.

Now turn the red fabric over and fold the bias over so it covers the window edge and sew it down, creating a neat mitred corner by folding the binding at 45 degrees on the corner and then folding back over at 45 degrees again. (Note I am writing this retrospectively so some pictures are taken from the 2 year old train. At this point you will only see one line of stitching.)

Follow the instructions above to create the second window on this red piece.

The larger of the windows then needs organza sewn into it. Cut out a piece of organza at least 2cms wider than the window. (You may find it helpful to stick the organza to a non shiny surface with masking tape to cut it accurately.) sew it onto the wrong side of the window.

Now create the other side of the front train by repeating the whole process on the other red piece reversing the window positions.

Step 3: Making the Outside Doors (6 of Them)

The outside doors are made of the white poly cotton. You will need to create 6.

The actual dimensions are 74x22 cm so cut out 6 pieces allowing 2.5cms seam allowance all around. Tack and press seam allowances as above and mark the windows, 40x12 cm centring them horizontally and vertically and create as described in step 2.

Cut out pieces of felt to make the push buttons and hand sew onto the appropriate sides (see picture). There should be 4.

Step 4: Making the Red Outside Back Sections

Follow step 2 to make 2 red sections to the dimensions in the pictures.

Step 5: Making the Inside Side Front Sections (in White Poly Cotton)

You will need 2 of these in white polyester cotton, the same width as the red panel made in step 2, BUT the length is longer at 76cms. Line the windows as before, making sure they match their corresponding red piece because they will be sewn together through the bias binding later.

Next it needs to be furnished with the interior chairs and table. I used some heavy furnishing fabric that was similar to the train seats, blanket stitching around all the sides once I’d cut out the seats and then positioned and hand sewed them on. The table was made of felt, again hand stitched to the fabric.

Step 6: Making the Inside Doors (6 of Them)

These are made in red poly cotton. Make as in step 3 but don’t add the organza.

These are now ready to join to their counter part doors. First take a red and white door, making sure they both have buttons on them which, when joined wrong side to wrong side will be in the same position on either side of the door and carefully pin the windows together through the binding and then sew together at the outer and inner edge of the binding. Finally

Sew them together .5 cm from the edge and again as close to the edge as possible. ( I actually put them right sides together and seamed on the inside but I think this method would work as well.)

Step 7: Making the Back Inside White Panels

Make two panels to match the outside back panels, BUT with a drop of 75 cms. Sew on the chairs and table to match the picture and the other inside panels you have made and then join together as in step 6.

Step 8: Making the Wheels

As I am writing retrospectively, I’ll try to describe what I did. The first picture shows the templates I made for the wheels, after some serious studying of pictures of train wheels. Wheels are just circles whichever size you think will fit between the bottom of the red pieces and the bottom of the interior pieces. The bit in between, I just drew as best I could.

I mounted the inside of the heavy fabric I used for the seats on a piece of cardboard cut to the template and stuck it onto both sides and then sewed the silver bias binding around the edge to make 8 wheels. I used some left over brown poly cotton to cut to the template, 2 for each set of two wheels. I then put wadding between the pieces and sewed as in picture 2 and then carefully trimmed the edges and cut out the holes and then used grey silk to embellish the middle section. Finally I sewed the whole structure together as in picture 3 and added a button for each of the hubs.

Step 9: Mounting the Wheels

With hindsight I would suggest that a piece of black heavy fabric such as gaberdine would be more suitable than the lining fabric I used. This needs to be cut to fit at the bottom of the side pieces so that they match their equivalent inside pieces and tacked and pressed to seam allowances and pinned In place so you can position the wheels.

The wheels then need to be sewn in place. (You may find it easier to detach first from the red fabric as these need to be sewn firmly in place. This has proved to be the weakest area over the 2.5 years mine has been in use.) next attach the black fabric with the wheels onto each respective red panel and sew silver bias binding on the bottom to make the railway lines.

Once you are happy these are in place, you can continue on to fully construct the side curtains.

Step 10: Constructing the Side Panels

Match up each of the red external panels with its opposite interior counterpart and pin together wrong sides together (make sure all the sides are still tacked in). I would suggest that you start by sewing the windows together as described before in step 6 for the doors.

Once you are happy the windows look good, make any adjustments to the tacked seams to make them match properly and sew together.

Now you are ready to create the whole curtain for each side. (These will be different sizes as one side has to incorporate the ladders.) the first three pieces from the front of the train will be the same:

Front side sections (created in step 2 and 5)
2 doors (created in step 3 and 6)
Back sections (created in step 4 and 7)

The final pieces will be the final 2 doors which will be on the longer side without the ladder.

Lay these out so you can check you have them correctly (picture 2 shows the outside and picture 3 shows the inside)

Now you need to attach them in order to some white fabric, either more of the poly cotton or some white tape, sew Velcro on the back, stick opposing Velcro to the bed and see how they look!

Step 11: Making the Front of the Train

The main piece of fabric is red poly cotton, actual size 98 x 110 cms with added seam allowances of 2.5 cms. once this has been cut out and tacked and pressed to actual size, onto this piece draw on the windscreen as shown in picture 2 so it starts at the top 88cms wide, dropping 80cms to the bottom which tapers to 66cms.

carefully cut out this window allowing 2..5cm seam allowance and trim to the corners so you can turn to the inside to make a neat edge, tack and press this down.

The second piece you will need is grey poly cotton at least 101x93cms which you need to tack behind the red cut out part and then sew it on.

I then cut out a bottom section in the same way and inserted a black piece.

The initials and lights were made by using fusible web ironed onto scraps of fabric which were then cut out into the required shapes.

The final step was to cutout the window in the grey fabric, attach the bias binding and organza and add the top as before on the side curtains and the train is completed.

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