How to Make a Blanket Fort—Plus Ideas for Your Best Fort Ever

The "no grown-ups allowed" sign is strictly optional.

Little girl in indoor fort
Photo: Mark Lund; Styling: Kate Jordan

It doesn't take much to win a child's heart. If the kids in your life don't already consider you their all-time favorite adult, an hour of fort-building might just put you over the top. You don't need to build a Swiss Family Robinson-level treehouse, either–a simple blanket fort will do.

That said, if you do want to knock their socks off, we have some ideas for over-the-top forts they'll be talking about for years to come. Building blanket forts can take as much time as you like, be done over and over again with new twists and variations, and be enjoyed for minutes, hours, or days before you take it down and start anew. We think this ranks up there with one of the best things to do indoors (if not the best).

With this guide, you'll have the knowledge you need to build the blanket fort of their dreams.

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How to Make a Blanket Fort

How to make a blanket fort - fancy blanket fort
Photo: Mark Lund; Styling: Kate Jordan

The art of blanket fort construction is pretty simple. First, gather supplies for your fort's walls and ceiling, cushions for the floor, and clips and string for securing your walls.

Blanket Fort Supplies:

  • Light blankets, spare sheets, beach towels, and tablecloths
  • Sofa cushions
  • Laundry clips, clothespins, binder clips, or chip clips
  • String, wire, or yarn
  • Dictionaries, phone books, or other heavy (non-breakable) items

Clothespins are perfect for hanging linens and attaching sheets together. (Binder clips and chip clips work just as well.) Turn to string, wire, or yarn for expanding your fortress, tying your fabric ceiling to knobs, pulls, doorknobs, and even hinges for extra support. Use books to secure fabric on tables, bookshelves, and other raised surfaces, so fort-dwellers can crawl underneath.

When planning your fort, examine the walls and ceilings: You want to start high. Hang light fabrics (sheets, ideally) to securely mounted light fixtures, high shelves, curtain rods, or floor lamps and connect them to other sheets with clips to build a raised ceiling. Secure the ends of your fabric under furniture legs to make your fort bigger.

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Easy Blanket Forts

How to make a blanket fort - simple, easy blanket fort

The true brilliance of blanket forts is that one can pop up virtually anywhere—like under the kitchen table. A simple sheet draped over a table or desk of any size can create a natural nook for reading, drawing, or scheming. Scatter chairs around the room to make the fort larger.

03 of 06

Corner Blanket Forts

The goal here is to use the room's corner as two walls for your fort. Choose a room with the right furniture and architectural details—sofa, ottoman, built-in bookshelves, securely attached curtain rods—for supporting your fortress. Hang your largest blanket or sheet from the highest possible point in the corner of a room and attach the edges to high shelves or other fixtures. Bring in pillows and stuffed toys to make the floor comfy enough for lounging.

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Whole-room Blanket Forts

How to make a blanket fort - whole-room blanket fort
Photo: Mark Lund; Styling: Kate Jordan

Take over an entire room for a spacious, tent-like vibe. If there's space and you have a camping tent, consider pitching that tent in the center of the room. You can also build your own by hanging sheets across the ceiling and over the walls.

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Clothesline Blanket Forts

How to make a blanket fort - clothesline blanket fort
Photo: Mark Lund; Styling: Kate Jordan

Use a clothesline, yarn, or another sturdy string or wire to loft your blankets. Hang the cord high across the room and drape blankets and sheets over it, securing with clips if necessary. Weigh down the edges of the fabric as far from the string as it will reach for a wider blanket fort. If you have the space, you can also hang two parallel cords and drape blankets across both for a larger fort.

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Outdoor Blanket Forts

How to make a blanket fort - outdoor fort
Photo: Mark Lund; Styling: Kate Jordan

Take the clothesline blanket fort idea outside if you have the space and don't mind sheets and blankets getting a little dirty. (Picnic blankets and beach towels are good alternative.)

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