A fort is a very fun and simple private base that anyone can construct which allows them to be sectioned off from the rest of the world. Although forts seem simple to build, they often require at least some tips in order to build them to their full potential. This guide shows some of these tips and helps even a novice fort builder to create the fort of their dreams. The entire process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on how much help there is and the size of the fort. Although forts are usually created by children, some children will need help rearranging furniture and reaching high places. Because of the limitations of some children an adult may be needed to assist them.
Step 1: Gather Materials
The great thing about forts is that blankets are the only things that is truly needed. Unfitted sheets work best but any type of blanket works. Also multiple sheets are preferred since the amount of sheets determine how big the fort will be. The following are a few materials which allow for easier fort building:
- Duct tape
- Furniture (tables, couches, etc.)
Step 2: Rearrange Furnature
Rearranging furniture is important to do early because furniture is usually the main support for the entire fort. A good rule of thumb would be to try and put your tallest pieces of furniture in the center of the room. Also, turning the surrounding furniture so the tallest points face the center of the room tends to help make the fort bigger.
Tip: Some furniture may be too hard to move with only one person. A good idea would be to get help from a parent, guardian, or other adult.
Caution: Make sure you get permission to move furniture first before attempting to move it.
Step 3: Attach Sheets to Furniture/walls
Attaching a sheet to furniture or walls can be either very simple or quite impossible. If your lucky, you will be able to use clothespins to secure the sheet safely to furniture. In other cases such as a table or walls one must use different means to secure the sheet. This is where the duct tape comes in and is a very useful ally.
Caution: Duct tape can destroy some surfaces if not used carefully! Be sure that the duct tape will not harm any of the objects it comes in contact with. A simple way to avoid any harm to furniture/walls is to test the duct tape on a small unnoticeable spot and see if it leaves a mark. If not then it is probably safe to assume that duct tape can be used.
Often duct tape will have trouble sticking on certain sheets and blankets. This is not a problem! Using a combination of duct tape and clothespins should fix the problem. To do this, simply break off a decent sized piece of duct tape and clothespin the duct tape to the sheet. You are then free to stick the unused portion of the duct tape to any surface which will allow much more freedom in fort building. This can be seen in the picture below.
Tip: You may often use different things around the house as well to attach sheets in various positions around the room. Some ideas include heavy electronics such as a TV or a VCR but almost anything can be used to help with the construction of the fort.
Caution: Be careful attaching sheets to anything of value since an accident could cause the fort to break which can cause the valuable object to break along with it.
Step 4: Connect Sheets Together
This step is very important because it ties many very smaller forts into one big fort. When using multiple sheets (which is encouraged) you can use clothespins to attach two or more sheets together. Not only will this close any gaps in the ceiling of your fort but it also helps to control the height of your fort. By using clothes pins you can control how much excess blanket is allowed to fall down. This is really up to the builder of the fort since some children prefer lower forts so no adults can use the fort.
Tip: It is also helpful at this stage to have an adult help because some of these gaps are hard to reach for children. If an adult can't help you may be able to close the gaps in the ceiling from inside the fort if needed.
Step 5: Cover Unfurnished Areas (optional)
Sometimes when building a fort you may find yourself looking to expand into other areas. The problem with that is some areas, such as hallways, do not have furniture and can be very hard extend your fort into. To expand your fort into these areas a good idea is to use the rope method. Simply attach a rope between two points so that the rope extends down a hallway or other open space. You can now place your blankets over the rope much like a classic tent and use duct tape and clothespins to attach the excess sheets to the wall.
Tip: An explanation on how to use duct tape and clothespins effectively to attach a sheet to a wall is explained in step 3. There is also a picture shown below which may be helpful.
Step 6: Creating Doors and Walls
Now that you are mostly finished it is often necessary to create a wall or door for the fort using sheets. This is very simple but makes a big difference in a fort. Making rooms in the fort can make it seem more elaborate and doors can make the fort more private. In order to make walls or doors simply clothespin a sheet to an already existing ceiling.
Caution: Make sure the ceiling of your fort can support a wall or door and doesn't lead to a fort avalanche!
Step 7: Conclusion
If your fort looks anything like the following images then you are done with your fort! Forts are very unique however and there is not "correct" way to build one so have fun and be original while taking some of the tips shown here as advice. After construction of the fort is done the real fun is personalizing your fort on the inside and making it your home. Enjoy playing in your new fort!
Caution: Look out for a would-be fort Godzilla as shown in the last picture.