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Remember your mom’s heavy sigh when you and your brother carried off the couch cushions, plundered all the blankets, and ransacked the laundry room for clothespins? That sigh heralds the building of a blanket fort—and for many kids, it’s a first introduction to the challenge of design. Whether you assemble it yourself, leave the construction up to the kids, or do it all together as a family, don’t be surprised if you want to settle into the DIY fort in your living room!
1. A-FRAME ABODE
Some of the best forts are spontaneously built, but if you’re going for a particular look, it helps to have a plan. Rubyellen (an adult) constructed this easy DIY fort frame using little beyond whitewood molding, dowels, and an drill chucked with a spade bit. Best of all, it’s collapsible. Visit Cakies for the plans and full tutorial.
2. TABLECLOTH TENT
After spotting this tent from CoolSpacesForKids, Centsational Girl set out to make her own for less. The process? Simple. Buy enough fabric to cover the tabletop and legs. Then, for the windows, use shortened curtain panels, tea towels, or fabric scraps. Feeling extra ambitious? Sew or glue on ribbon ties as curtain pulls.
3. NETFLIX NEST
Pulled up to a TV and stocked with puzzles, you could spend days in Anna’s DIY fort, losing hours like house keys. By night, fuzzy blankets are your mattress, and the string lights are just bright enough to read by. To make yours, use your sofa and coffee table as a foundation, then layer on blankets and pin up some bulbs.
4. MAGIC MANOR
Fort Magic, best known for its appearance on NBC’s Shark Tank, sells a 382-piece kit enabling you to make more than 20 different forts out of PVC pipe-like parts. The company claims the kits boost creativity and confidence, while teaching kids “the value of planning [and] believing in their ability to complete a project.”
5. CLASSIC CUSHIONS
Your fort might not have four stories, but Pacific Coast’s basic principles still apply. First, pick your spot—an area with enough furniture to support your structure. Next, arrange cushions and furniture in a circle, building up where you can. Finally, add comforters to form a roof that blocks out light and makes the space cozy!