The Blanket Fort That Ate My Bedroom




Introduction: The Blanket Fort That Ate My Bedroom


The Blanket McMansion

This contest was prescient for me as I had been thinking about building a pvc blanket fort for a long time.  Especially in winter, when you want to sit up and play a board game or something but it's just too cold to get out from under the blankets for any reason.

I was first introduced to the notion of building things out of pvc from Thinkenstein a few years back.  After I realized what an easy and inexpensive construction material it is, I've had it in mind to try it out.  I first tried making a ladder which didn't work and I gave up for a while.  But this contest got me thinking about completing this second pvc construction. 

I wanted a fort that had a pointy roof like a house and also would sit on the floor around the outside of the bed rather than on top of it.

This fort was designed to fit around the outside edge of a Queen sized bed.  Ours is 60" x 80" and the outer dimensions of the fort are around 64" x 84" or thereabouts.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

tools needed:

rubber mallet
hack saw
mitre box
tape measure
cutting guide
safety glasses
assortment of permanent markers in varied colors (or electrical tape in different colors)
small number of large safety pins
half round file for smoothing the cut ends of pipes

about 14 sticks of 10 foot pvc pipe 3/4"
4 bags of 3/4" pvc tee connectors
1 bag of 3/4" pvc 45 degree connectors
2 bags of 3/4" pvc 90 degree connectors
2 pvc cross shaped pieces

** I noticed that a year or so ago, you were able to get a 10 foot stick of 220 PSI pvc for around a buck!  But since then they have phased that out and now the cheapest you can get is 440 PSI for $2.  They must have changed the codes or something so that the cheap pipe is not available.  It's too bad because the cheaper pipe is lighter weight and easier to cut.  But on the plus side, the strong pipe is sturdier

Step 2: Measure and Cut a Whole Lot of Pipe

Using the cutting guide, measure out the required lengths of pipe and cut them with the hacksaw.

6 at 34"
16 at 28"
4 at 24"
3 at 21"
4 at 19"
8 at 16"
12 at 12"
8 at 11"
8 at 10"
4 at 7.25"
8 at 3"
8 at 1-3/4"

If you file down your cut ends of pipe with a file, your pipes will slide together and come apart more easily, so it is worth it to take the time to do that.

Step 3: Label and Color Code the Pipes and Connectors

Label and color code the pipes with the sharpie pens (or colored electrical tape if you have it)

I went through a couple of iterations on this.  The first design was way too big, so I had to cut out a few sections.  Then I colored the pipes to help me remember how they went together, but I colored them sort of arbitrarily.  I'm sure there's a better way to do the coloring.

Step 4: Assemble the Roof Peak

Start with the two cross pieces and assemble the peak of the roof as illustrated.

Add 8 45 degree pieces to each 3" piece as shown in the second photo.

Then attach 8 16 inch pieces into the other end of the 45s as shown in the fourth photo

Step 5: Assemble Roof Sides

Add 8 tees to the ends of the roof as shown.

Add the horizontal pipes that fit into the tees as shown in the second photo.

Add 4 ten inch pieces into the middle sections as shown in the third photo.

Continue adding tees and the horizontal and vertical bars as illustrated.

Step 6: Add Roof to Wall Connections

Add 90 degree pieces to the ends of all the roof "legs" as shown.

Insert the 8  1-3/4" pieces into each of the 90 degree pieces just added.

Add 8 tees to the 1-3/4" pieces as shown.

Add the final horizontal pieces along the bottom to complete the roof

Step 7: Assemble the Wall Panels

add the verticals that descend from the roof/wall connection.

continue building the walls using the verticals, horizontals and tees as illustrated.

Step 8: Assemble the Back Wall

Assemble the back wall as shown in the photo

Step 9: Cover With Blankets

Now that you have this thing assembled, start covering it with blankets.

It took all 7 of our blankets to cover this!

Step 10: It's Definitely Spacious

It's difficult to convey in photos how big this thing is.  It took all the blankets in our house to cover it!

Step 11: Kitty Likes It

Step 12: Greg Has an Idea for a Better Fort

Once Greg saw my fort, he immediately had ideas on how to improvise his own version.

So we made a second smaller fort!

that will be another instructable

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    16 Discussions

    get a life14
    get a life14

    6 years ago

    great idea I like yours better than Greg's fort

    get a life14
    get a life14

    6 years ago

    my mom would never let me do this


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work! I just built this for the kids. I scaled down a little...and it is still big. Thank you for the great instructable.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Being a long time larper, this is a very effective way to make a period style tent, for those whos personas are better off then others.Thank you very much for sharing your ideas and plans for this build,When i get around to making one of my own i will have to make sure i link you the pictures for it, and tell every one i know about it so we can all have our own.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Cool. I didn't know that gabled tents were a thing back then. It would be great to see the photos when you do it. thanks!


    6 years ago

    I love it!! I wanted to build something similar for my kids this past summer. They want a club house. I was going to use PVC so that I could put it away at the end summer.


    6 years ago

    What's the name of the software that you used? I searched in vain for something like that while making my hydroponic garden out of pvc pipes... Would have been better than paint!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It's called Sketchup. I think you can still get a free version. It used to be owned by Google but they sold it to some company called "Trimble". I'm using the old version: Version 8. I haven't tried any of the newer versions yet.


    6 years ago

    I tried to build one for my daughter and I was stumped at the roof part without using plastic ties.. This is very very cool I can't wait to do this.. Well done man!!!


    6 years ago

    Use colored electrical tape to mark pipes