How to make a Blankets Fort

6 min read

how to make a blanket fort

Building A Blanket Fort can be fun for the little one's

How to build a blanket fort is something many parents ponder about, yet a bit of imagination is all you need to build that makeshift fort that will give you or your little one a sense of adventure in the safety of your home.

What’s special about a blanket fort?

Most children get swept away with adventure stories like The Swiss Family Robinson or the adventures of Huckleberry Flynn and Ton Sawyer, or perhaps stories of pirates in search of buried treasure who build a fort to hide away in. 

There are dozens of Disney shows that inspire children to get creative building a fort with whatever is available around them. Cardboard boxes that are large enough to crawl into or sit in are the easiest and most attractive things that a child will find a use for.

The function of a fort is important as it must be able to provide a “no entry” hideout that your child can sneak into and roleplay their movie or cartoon favorite characters. But, it’s not the main reason you should build a fort.

Brainstorming your blanket fort ideas 

The idea of brainstorming about fort ideas with your little one has so much more value. It’s the perfect opportunity to strengthen the bond you have with your child.

By including your little one in the serious task of how to build a blanket fort you are signaling a sign of trust in their judgment and ability while teaching a lesson in ingenuity.

Building a blanket fort as a family where everyone chips in do wonder for a child’s development. As a parent, you should lead by example and show some seriousness about the project you’re about to undertake.

You could start by taking notes of where the fort is going to be built and what supplies can be used to build it. Give your child the leading role; after all, you’re only helping to build the fort that they’ve imagined.

Blanket forts for adults.

Believe it or not, some adults enjoy the cozy atmosphere of a blanket fort in their living room to relax and enjoy each other's company.

It breaks the monotony of doing the same thing every day after work and it helps to limit our dependency on those pixilated screens. 

Some people may have a fixation with reality TV programs like “Survivor” were building a makeshift shelter spells the beginning of many challenges to come and they want to prove their worth even if they have all the creature comforts around them.

Others may want to rekindle their love for each other or reflect on their youth remembering how awesome it was back in the day when they went through the fort-building phase.

In short, there are many reasons to build a blanket fort and there is no age restriction to enjoying the freedom a blanket fort offers.

If the weather or the ever-changing Covid-19 restrictions, have you locked up in your home then the last thing you want to do is get glued to the TV and snack away.

Get creative and change the atmosphere in your home to inspire conversation. Building a blanket fort is the perfect way to add substance to what would perhaps be another gloomy day or night indoors. 

The basics of a blanket fort.

Building a blanket fort is the same as erecting a tent in your home but way more fun.

There are hundreds of different blanket fort ideas but each will be limited or enhanced by the available space and materials you’ll be using for the build. Here is a rundown of what you will have to consider: 

how to build a fort

  1. Sturdy supports. The roof of your blanket tent needs to be secure so you may want to use the dining room table or the backs of a few high chairs as the main support. Using some rope or washing line cord tied between two strong supports like table legs works but be mindful not to walk into the cord on your way to the kitchen. If you don’t have strong supports then try using woodworking clamps attached to the tops of two doors and string the cord between them. Don’t use light fitting as your main support because you may end up damaging the fitting or worse create an electrical hazard.
  2. Outer materials. Lightweight throws or sheets are perfect to shape and limit the amount of light inside the fort. Heavier blankets will require a stronger support structure and they might also increase the temperature inside the fort.
  3. Inside Materials. Here a thicker blanket can be used to cover the floor space if you want a softer floor with a few to scatter pillows for comfort. Using fairy lights creates great ambiance but a flashlight or headlamp adds to the sense of adventure.
  4. Tie downs. You’re not building a permanent structure so washing pegs or plastic clamps will in most cases do the trick when styling your fort. The sides of the fort can be tucked under your floor blanket or blow-up mattress if you’re using one. Use enough pegs to secure the blankets or sheets to the washing line or use heavier blankets or books as a weight to hold the top in place when using a tabletop. Duct tape may come in handy too but it can be awkward peeling off fabrics afterward. 

How to make a blanket fort kid in blanket fort

Venice, our daughter spent the entire evening playing with her stuffy toys under blankets and we could hear her making up all sorts of stories.

Basic shapes of a blanket fort. 

The typical shape will be a triangular tent shape or a dome shape that resembles a mosquito net but you can get a little more creative and have a lean-to-style fort using the back of a couch as the main support with both sides open.

You could build a tepee style fort with a few lightweight extendable tent poles neatly wrapped with lightweight patterned throws. 

This will give the impression of being on safari in Africa, or the colors and patterns of the throws with tassels on the edges may have you imagining Pocahontas and the life of native Americans.

You could also stick to neutral light colors and keep your fort light and simple.

The idea behind building a blanket fort is to temporarily transform a piece of your normal living space into a new space that excites the imagination of children and reconnects the older generation with a few fond memories. 

For children, a fort of their own will make them feel like an adult and the older folks will embrace their youthful days and behave like children for that fleeting moment.

Regardless of the shape of your blanket fort, it will serve a very important purpose for whoever steps or crawls inside. 

how to make a homemade blanket fort

I would like to say we had master plan on our blanket fort architecture but in truth it was a bunch of pillows piled on top of each other. 5 year old don't have that much patience for Dad's OCD. 

Building a tepee-style blanket fort.

For the frame, you’ll need about five or six extendable aluminum tent poles. They are lightweight and will not cause any serious injuries if the fort accidentally collapses; besides, they are easier to manage, and being telescopic makes them perfect for rooms with lower ceilings.

Most people have camping gear packed away in the garage so there will no need to go out and purchase the poles.

Extend the poles to the required length and tie them together with a cord at one end but loose enough so you spread the longer sides of the poles out over the area you’ve cleared for the fort.

Once you’ve positioned the poles, attend to the floor area first before you can get to work wrapping your throws around the frame. Use washing pegs or plastic clips to secure the throw where it overlaps on the frame.

It will drape over the frame at an angle that will put less strain on the pegs or clips. Your tepee-style fort can be raised or lowered depending on the height you want. The lower it is the more floor space you’ll have but with less headroom.

Building an A-frame blanket fort.

If you’re fortunate to have tent poles in your garage then building an A-frame fort will be a breeze because all you need is a firm top support. If you don’t have tent poles you can use a cord tied between two chairs or any other heavy furniture pieces.

This will form the top of the fort and the angle of the sides can be maintained with a few big books to tuck your throw underneath to secure the angle of the sides.

A few final words.

Building blanket forts are great for young children right through to older adults but babies and toddlers probably won't appreciate the exciting adventure of building one or playing in it.

Blanket forts may pose a suffocation risk for young babies and toddlers especially if unattended.

Look around your home and let your imagination run wild with ideas for your next fort-building exercise.

However, you should only keep your fort up for at least a weekend at least you dampen the adventurous spirit that stirs in all of us. A treehouse might be next on the cards.

Steve Watts
Steve Watts


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