Parrot House Rooftop (aka Toddler Bed Tent)

What kid doesn't like a little hide-away?

What kid doesn’t like a little hide-away?

For close to two years now, my son has loved to pretend to be a baby parrot. I have no clue why a parrot in particular was chosen, but I made him (and his little sister, of course) a Halloween costume of wings & a parrot-head hat. I have a feeling he’ll be wearing it again this year. He may be a little obsessed! Both of them like to turn their bedroom into a parrot house (or houses) by re-arranging the furniture, hanging up blankets, etc. So I decided to make roofs for their little nests.

These are basically fitted sheets for the top of four-post beds. (I tried using a regular crib-size fitted sheet, but alas, too small. Darn, an opportunity to sew. *wink*) Dad built these cribs for his grandkids before each was born. The crib phase has 4 mattress heights, then the front piece can be removed and replaced with this short piece you see here, for use as a toddler bed. The final phase uses the back of the crib as the headboard and the front as the footboard of a full-size bed. Ingenious, really. 

Lovely cherry wood

Lovely cherry wood

Step one: Get some fabric. You could make sure it passes muster with the parrots before beginning, but I was pretty sure they wouldn’t mind whatever I used. I did want it to be something that would let a little light in.

Step two: Get some elastic. I had some old fitted sheets that were done in, so I cut the elastic off of them. I had enough to do the entire circumference of both roofs, with some left over, but I’m sure I could have gotten away with only doing the short ends of the roofs if I didn’t have as much.


Step three: Measure the bed & cut the fabric. See how deep you’ll need the roof to be by pinning it in place, then spread it all out & snip, snip! Mine didn’t need to be very deep, but if there’s more trim on your parrot’s nest, you may need to make some adjustments. I also didn’t make any allowance for the difference in height between the front edge & the back (the back has a curved trim piece whereas the front is, well, non-existant), but it didn’t matter. Thank goodness.

IMG_0598 IMG_0605

Step four: Sew the corners. I sewed french seams to hide the raw edges, and then thought: what am I doing this much work for?? I guess I’ll count it as practice!

Step five: Sew on the elastic. If you are using old fitted sheets, leave about an inch or so of fabric attached to the elastic, then you’ll have an easy time of it, as you can just sew the two different fabrics together (see pic below). If you’re using new elastic, you could make a casing for it, or just stretch it out and sew it directly to the edge of the roof. I’d hem the raw edge first, though, or just make sure you’re well away from it so the stitches don’t pull out.

Hard to pull elastic tight with one hand, and take a pic with the other!

Hard to pull elastic tight with one hand, and take a pic with the other!

Perhaps this is self-explanatory, but it was such a fun, easy project, I thought I’d share!


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