Try this easy no-sew bunk bed tent trick next time your little one wants to use all your sheets and blankets to build a fort out of their bed.
One of my daughters is a burrower. Do you know a kid like this? She likes to pile up all her stuffed animals on her bed and sleep right in the middle of them.
If you’re ever looking for her, you can bet she’s hiding somewhere under a sheet tent in the den or behind our overstuffed chair reading a book with about 3 or 4 of her animals.
A Cute but Messy Problem
She’s also an engineer-in-the-making. If you’re on Instagram with me, you may have seen the picture I posted recently of her invention that allows her to turn her light off and on from her bed. (When you’re cuddled up with all your stuffies, the last thing you want to do is crawl out of bed, turn off the light, and then race the monsters back across the room to the bed!)
So I wasn’t surprised when I came in the other morning to find this.
It may be a little hard to tell from the picture, but she raided the linen closet, draped sheets and sleeping bags from the top bunk, anchored them with rolls of yarn, and made herself a colorful little bunk bed tent.
Now, I respect a girl’s right to the perfect little reading hideaway, but I just couldn’t deal with a bed that looked like the villain from a luxury bedding horror movie. I mean, it looks like the swamp thing, with sheets instead of watery goo!
Plus, we have no more spare sheets now. I couldn’t bear to tell her to take it down, so I had to come up with a more mommy-approved version of the tent. After a few failed attempts, I hit on an amazingly simple trick.
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Bunk Bed Tent Solution
In trying to solve this dilemma, I sacrificed a couple of hours and a perfectly good bed sheet before I realized that all I would need is:
I picked up two packages of the fridge clips from my local Hobby Lobby, otherwise known as “My Happy Place”, and applied them upside down at about 12 inch intervals around the upper bed frame.
Then I simply cut the jute string to a little more than the length of the bed and tied a knot in each end. I folded the bed sheet in half lengthwise, and inserted the string along the fold.
Then I gently pushed the sheet and string into the clips.
In case you’re wondering why the string is necessary, I found that the sheet alone was too thin to be securely held by the clip. But once you put the string in the fold, it fills up that little loop at the top of the clip and is much harder to pull out.
Plus, tying a knot at the end keeps it from slipping out of each corner. You can probably use any kind of string that you have on hand, as long as it’s small enough to fit in that loop, but not too small to pull through.
For the end of the bed, I used part of the other sheet that gave its life for an earlier, failed, prototype. You could probably use a pillowcase too, if that’s handier.
The beauty of this method is that it can all be removed, with no trace! So if she ever outgrows her bunk bed tent, I can just take down the sheet. I can leave the clips up because they’re almost invisible, but once we’re really done with them, they’ll pull right off cleanly, with no mess to clean up and no damage to the furniture.
I also relocated her lamp cord, just to clean things up a little bit. Doesn’t it look pretty with her light on inside?
I’m sure she won’t mind if I make myself at home with a good book while she’s at school! I’m off to play Goldilocks…
Monday 30th of March 2020
Hi! I’m wondering if this method could be used to attach to a wall and ceiling? Would the clips work if they were attached to ceiling perhaps? My son has a mid/high sleeper and den below his bed but has been begging for a den on top for so long. So much so, we’ve temporarily moved his toys out from the den and put his mattress there until we can figure out how to ‘make a den up top’
Tuesday 31st of March 2020
Hmm, that's a good question Natasha. I'm not sure if the command hooks would hold as well to the ceiling, since they would be pulled at a different angle than they're designed for. I would try it with one first, to see if it will hold the weight. Or maybe you could use plant hooks? Let me know if you find something that works!
Saturday 3rd of February 2018
Any problem with the clips coming loose when opening and closing the tent, does it slide well on the string?
Friday 9th of February 2018
This one actually doesn't slide on the string. The rope is in there just to give the hooks something to grab onto. She doesn't open it by sliding it, but just by lifting the flap.
Mary-In the boondocks
Sunday 23rd of August 2015
I used to do this too with my kids bed...so much fun. Now that they are older I have to try to make a bunk bed look more sophisticated (wish me luck)
Thursday 27th of August 2015
Thanks Mary! It's always a challenge to "grow up" a piece of kid's furniture or an older kid's room.
Barb @ A Life in Balance
Friday 27th of March 2015
Thank you for contributing to Motivational Monday!
Bre @ Average But Inspired
Tuesday 24th of March 2015
GENIUS!!!! I am FOR SURE doing this for my son's bed. He will love it!!
Wednesday 25th of March 2015
Thanks Bre! I hope he loves it as much as my daughter does! :)