When Greg saw my blanket fort, he immediately was inspired to create his own version.
Step 1: Materials
12 x 10 foot pvc pipes 3/4"
4x 12-1/4" (this dimension can be varied if you want it to be longer)
36x tee connectors
16x 45 degree connectors
1x cross connector
10x safety pins
(optional) miter box
(optional) file (highly recommended)
Step 2: Cutting the Pipe
Make a plan for how you will cut the ten foot lengths of pipe into the required sections. You can get all the needed lengths from 12 standard ten foot pipes, but if you don't plan ahead you might end up with leftover sections too short for the missing pieces you still need.
Cut the pipe with the hack saw, using the miter box to help easily make a straight cut. Applying some beeswax to the back of the blade will help it go through like butter.
After you cut, file the ends of the pipe to smooth the rough edge. This is "optional", but connecting the pipes and connectors is a lot easier with a smooth end. You can use a regular file, or there is a tool made especially for filing the ends of PVC.
Step 3: Build Four Corner Walls
Assemble a rectangle from two 38 3/4" pipes, two 12 1/4" pipes, and four T connectors. The long pipes go in the middle leg of the T connector.
Add a 3" piece of pipe to the open end of each of the four T connectors. Then add a 45 degree connector to these.
Repeat four times to make four walls.
Step 4: Build Four Side Walls
The side walls are built in almost the same way as the corner walls.
The first difference is that there is a T connector at the center of the top of the wall.
The second difference is that two of the side walls are longer. These make for a nice door and also help fill up most of a queen-size bed.
The parts for the shorter pair of walls (pictured) are two 38 3/4" pipes, one 12 1/4" pipe, two 5 1/2" pipes, four T connectors and four 3" pieces.
The parts for the longer pair of walls are two 38 3/4" pipes, one 25 3/4" pipe, two 12 1/4" pipes, four T connectors and four 3" pieces. If you want a slightly longer fort, you could increase the length of the 12 1/4" pipes and increase the length of the 25 3/4" pipe by twice as much. You would also need to increase the length of the roof supports (described later).
You also don't attach 45 degree pieces on the corners when you build these walls.
Step 5: Assemble Walls
Erect your walls. You might as well do this in place on the bed or wherever you plan to use your blanket fort. Two people could carry the whole structure, but you won't be fitting it through any doors.
Connect the ends of the 3" pieces on the side walls into the 45 degree connectors on the corner walls. Done.
Step 6: Add Roof Supports
Connect the two 26" pipes into opposite ends of the cross (plus) connector. Connect across the width of the roof, inserting each end into the open middle leg of the T connector at the top of the side wall.
Connect each 33" pipe between the end wall and the cross connector.
Note: these pipe sections are actually a little longer than what would fit horizontally across this roof. This is intentional. You want the roof supports to bow upward a little bit. If flexing the pipe puts too much tension and breaks the corners of your fort, then you might need to shave off a little length.
Step 7: Blanket the Walls
A king-size blanket nicely covers half of the wall area of this fort. Use two to surround it entirely. They meet along the long sides of the fort. Where they meet forms your door flaps.
Fold the edge of the blanket over the top rail and safety pin to itself. At the doors, I make both blankets extend past the center roof support, overlapping each other, to help keep the door flap closed. Pinning the second one requires a little tucking and is tricky with the safety pin.
Lift each end up the fort in turn and tuck the blanket under for a really snug fort.
Step 8: Cover the Roof
Use your nicest and warmest blanket for the roof. A full size blanket will actually do here. I had no need to pin the roof blanket; I suppose you might only if your blanket was a combination of heavy and smooth.
Participated in the