make your own: bunk bed caddy.

April 14, 2020
hardware store apron bunk bed caddy | reading my tea leaves

I’m using the term make very loosely here. This is a hardware store canvas apron of the $2.99 variety that my sister Devan gave to Faye years ago, knowing that in a child’s hands it would become a dozen different playthings. In its tenure in our home it’s moonlighted as a server’s apron at the local sushi restaurant, our resident carpenter’s toolbelt, in a sartorial pinch it’s been a miniskirt, and for a stretch of a good month or so it served as a daily carrier for a family of plush woodland animals. Today it’s a bunk caddy. Or, as Faye calls it, a bunk mailbox. (Calling all letter writers! In the time of social distancing, we appreciate the United States Postal Service more than ever.)

I did not sew this apron, er, bunk caddy, though no doubt the construction would be easy enough. I did tie the apron strings to the slats beneath the top bunk mattress and fill it up with the things that Faye deemed important enough to keep nearby: a bunny, a headlamp, a chapter book, a headband, a notebook, and a pencil, plus mail from Grammy. We didn’t test its weight limit with the geode that Faye likes to keep by her pillow, but barring large rocks, I imagine it will be able to hold most everything a five-year-old could need.

hardware store apron bunk bed caddy | reading my tea leaves


+ Canvas Waist Apron/Tool Belt

+ Any treasures you desire.

hardware store apron bunk bed caddy | reading my tea leaves


+ Tuck the apron strings down along the side of the mattress and through the slats of the top bunk so they dangle above the lower bunk.

+ Fasten each tie around a wooden slat of the top bunk with a simple double knot.

+ Fill ‘er up.

hardware store apron bunk bed caddy | reading my tea leaves

Usage not at all limited to bunks or five-year-olds. Should you be a grown-up person needing to keep treasures close, here’s the answer.

For the curious:

More about the bunk bed.

More simple gifts for kids.

More about the little bunting.

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  • Reply Megan April 14, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    A perfect DIY and a lovely way to remember some things we have in our home shouldn’t be fixed objects. My husband uses a loaf pan to store his soldering equipment, no specialized soldering stand needed here. Thankfully we were gifted a set of two, so bread/cake baking still in full swing.

  • Reply Rita April 14, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    I’m grateful that you still share the simple solutions you always find! This is the kind of post that inspire me the most and that has always set you apart in the blogsphere of buying buying buying. Loved your skillshare lesson by the way ❤️

  • Reply Nicole Andrews April 14, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    Such a lovely, simple idea. My five year old would be ecstatic to have a friend with a geode and a bunny by her pillow…she often has a large agate and bunny by hers!

  • Reply Maryann April 15, 2020 at 9:21 am

    Great idea. My son has a similar bunk caddy that he has used for almost 8 years! When you sleep up top, you need a caddy. His is filled with similar stuff plus one of those giant Calvin and Hobbes books that is testing the strength of the caddy seams, but its still holding strong. I spy a Ramona book in Faye’s caddy. Ramona is a favorite and we’ve been revisiting her books recently in search of the comfortable familiar.

  • Reply Jennifer April 15, 2020 at 10:44 am

    One of my teacher friends a canvas work apron tied to the side of each of her students’ desks, to more conveniently store pencils, markers, scissors, etc. It worked brilliantly!

    It’s sad to think of those aprons being empty now.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

      i love that! sad indeed re: those empty desks. one day at a time!

      • Reply Anushka April 16, 2020 at 5:58 am

        I love it, what a brilliant idea! I am an adult with a loft bed, and we use the top of the wardrobe as a bedside surface. But this caddy is so clever and simple. I may need a bunny too…

  • Reply leah April 16, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Love this idea – only wish I could configure for my bed! Where is the floral pillowcase from? Lovely!

  • Reply Emily Glover May 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    Love it! Can you remind me which bunkbed you ended up getting?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE May 3, 2020 at 8:21 am

      Ours is the bunk bed from Oeuf!

  • Reply Ali May 8, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Can you tell me where the floral pillowcase is from or if its perhaps a fabric and you sewed it yourself? Thanks!

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