All kids seem to like making dens, whether under furniture or trees, in little crooks or corners, with blankets or chairs - wherever and however they can. Our four year-old, Leo, is especially into “building”, having watched us construct our own home from the day he was born. He is constantly making pens and shelters for his toys, or caves for him and his brother. So this year for Christmas, we decided to make the boys their own Fun Fort.

The Fun Fort cost a little under $200 and took three days to make (one to cut, one to assemble, one to paint). It's a two-story play house with a bedroom (where we put a mattress) and shelves on the bottom, and a playroom and desk on the top, although the design can be adjusted to fit your particular needs. And don't be scared by the length of these instructions – they are a lot more complicated to read than they are to do!

Leo got to help with almost every step of construction, excluding the use of power tools (we're not brave enough for that yet). He loved being a part of making it, and he and Nicky now spend a large portion of their time in it. Leo sleeps in the bedroom, has asked many times if he and Nicky can eat in there, and is a little upset that we didn't include a bathroom. The best part of this gift is that the whole family can take part in the process, as quality family time is the best holiday gift there is.

The cost was more than we would have normally spent on a Christmas gift, but it was worth every cent, and will give them years of enjoyment. Not to mention the peace and quiet the parents get when the kids are so entertained!

To see more of our ideas and projects, visit our website VelaCreations.com or the kids' section.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

  • Marker
  • Tape Measure
  • Chalkline
  • Jigsaw
  • Circular Saw
  • Dremel if you have one, for the windows
  • Cordless Drill

  • 6 pieces of 8ft long 1”x1” lumber (preferably with rounded corners)
  • 2lbs of 1 1/4” wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 6 sheets (8ft x 4ft) of 3/8” plywood (see note below)
  • Paint
We used 3/8” plywood, and it works just fine, especially with a couple of supports across the floor of the second story. However, before we put it together, it tended to bow, which made marking it with a chalk-line a little harder. 1/2” would be stouter and would bow less. If you would rather use 1/2”, you will have to change some of the measurements of this design, as follows:
Wherever you see 3/8”, replace with 1/2”.
Wherever you see 5/8”, replace with 1/2”.
Wherever you see 1/4”, round down to the nearest even inch.
Even inches remain as they are.
my sister is convincing me to make her funfort
These forts are awesome. They look like great fun. <br>If people want to have easy Playhouses but are not up to making these fantastic designs, Green Ant Toys Online Toy Shop has a great range of cardboard Playhouses that you can buy online at www.greenanttoys.com.au
Good job - this is awesome! My son thinks it's cool!

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Bio: Off Grid Homesteading Guides, Tutorials, and Books. http://VelaCreations.com/blog - latest updates.
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