One of my most treasured memories of growing up is of building forts at home. My brothers and I would build huge forts using blankets, pillows, couch cushions, chairs, the couch and other various pieces of furniture, a broom as a supporting pole, Christmas lights, all kinds of stuff. We would line the floor with blankets and duvets and could spend all day in the fort. Sometimes the fort would even have separate rooms for each of us and we would decorate them accordingly with favorite items and toys from our rooms. Our own special little worlds were created in the forts, and nothing felt as cozy as the little space filled with my favorite blankets, twinkling lights, stuffed animals and treasured books.
A day off from school can feel like the equivalent of a week long vacation to a child, the time stretches out deliciously without the normal school restrictions, and having a brand new created space to spend a day in can make it feel even more magical and special. The best part of building a fort is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it. You can make it easy and simply stretch a couple blankets out between two pieces of furniture, or drape them over a few chairs or you can get more involved and create doors, rooms, tunnels, whatever you want.
An easy way to create a fort is with your dining room table. Drape the table with sheets and blankets, creating the whole structure over the table with a roof and walls. You can use clothespins to attach the sheets to each other so they have a chance to stay put. Using two clothespins you can create a doorway opening similar to what a tent would have by pinning back two flaps of adjoining sheets. Sleeping bags are a great way to plump up the floor of your fort, but either way a few layers of blankets, sheets and/or pillows will be necessary to make the comfiest fort possible. Add a special touch by stringing some Christmas lights underneath the table (the roof of your fort) and give the kids a couple flashlights to light up the fort when the flaps are closed. You can also get creative and tuck corners of sheets into dresser drawers, hang them from door knobs or close them in doors, it really depends on the space you have and the shape you want.
Another easy option is to use any big boxes you might have left lying around after the holiday presents have been unpacked. You can drape the box with whatever sheets or blanket you want, toss in a few pillows and a favorite stuffed animal, add some lights and voila! Instant fort! This type of fort is especially fun because your little one can draw all over it making it truly customized, plus we all know how much little kids love to play in boxes...
You can make the fort whatever kind of space you want. Fill it with board games, books, toys, pets, set it up near the tv for a movie watching fort, the possibilities are endless. Come up with a fun name for your fort and have the kids make a sign or a flag to hang from their fort. For the DIY impaired there are even fort kits, believe it or not, over at one of Mamatoga's favorite spots, Etsy! You can buy this fort kit that comes complete with 3 sheets with twill tape ties machine sewn to the corners of each sheet, 12 wooden clothespins, a small handmade drawstring bag for holding the clothespins, a clothesline rope and a handmade cotton tote bag to keep everything organized! There are also pre-made forts that you just drape over a table as well, I love the idea of bringing one of these to a family holiday get together as an after dinner surprise for the kids table! This Christmas we got the kids a teepee to use as a permanent fort. We set it up in the playroom next to the bookshelf as a quiet spot to curl up and read or draw and the kids have already added tunnels and an adjoining blanket fort to create a little fort city.
So as you can see the fort possibilities are as endless as your imagination and sheet/pillow supply. And whether you make it elaborate and find a way to rig up a small chandelier inside your fort or whether you keep it sweet and simple with a sheet over a couple chairs, the magic of the fort remains the same. However, if you are in the mood for a full on fort project, head over to Design Sponge for the complete how to for creating this gorgeous fort below.