Build Your Own Elephant-Sized Fort.

by Davina on December 7, 2012

It’s got to be a super sized fort!

Building a fort brings out the kid in everyone! Every time we build a fort (especially an elephant-sized fort) it stays up for weeks!  There’s something magical about doing every day things in a fort.

The most important aspect of fort-making is creating something that even YOU (the adult) wants to hang out in.  For me, that means making it huge.  That way  I can walk around in it, sit up comfortably in it, and even sleep in there!

We pile our fort with pillows and blankets from all around the house.  We bring in games to play together.  We eat every dinner and breakfast we can in the fort.  The kids sleep every night in the fort…yes, even school nights.

Hanging out with my child(ren) in our fort makes their wildest dreams come true.

And someday…my kids will look back and say, “Remember how we used to build enormous elephant-sized forts and them we ate, slept, and played games in them and left them up forever?  That was awesome!”

Creating a bit of magic around every day things makes life and family a happier, more whimsical, light filled home.  Doing everyday things like eating, sleeping, working on homework….in a FORT…that’s magical. :)

So…how did we build this mega thing?  I’ll tell you.  It’s easier than you think. (don’t let the 12 steps scare you, you can do this!)


Cotton string/twine
Push pins
Light weight sheets
Safety pins
Clamps (we didn’t use these but they would have been nice)
A big piece of furniture or two
Lots of blankets
Lots of pillows
Twinkle lights
A pennant banner (to use as a chandelier)
And being okay with putting push pin holes in your walls

Building time:  2 hours (a second adult is hugely helpful if you’re short like me…if you want to refrain from words your kids don’t want to hear…not that I speak from experience…)


Our steps to building a fort:

NOTE:  Some good prep will save you time and your patience later.  These first two steps are the prep that will help the rest of the fort go up more easily.

  • 1.  We started out with our big armoire that holds our T.V. by opening our armoire doors.  This is our main piece that every other part of the fort is built from. (You don’t  have to use an armoire but something tall, big, and heavy that’s not going to fall over is safest.)
  • 2.  Put something in front of the doors to hold them in place.
  • 3.  Tie cotton twine/string around the metal pointy part of the push pin and then push it into the top of the armoire door.  Do this for each door. Using this starting point build a grid of cotton twine to create a square around the room.  We attached corners of our cotton string grid to our stationary bike (wrapped string around the handles), the wall, and to the hinges of our back door. (It did pop off our door a few times during the month but I just reattached it: see below.)
  • 4.  Fasten a lightweight sheet to the top of the armoire with push pins going along the top of the armoire.
  • 5.  Safety pin the sheet to another sheet and (if you have a ceiling fan or lamp that can take it) attach the sheet to the fan or light fixture with clamps.  I know this sounds crazy (make sure you set your fan so that it won’t turn on!) but we had our fort up and hanging from our fan for a month with no issues.  (This is the way I did it and by no means should you do anything you’re not comfortable with, it’s your house, do what you feel is safest.)
  • 6.  From the fan we safety pinned more sheets together and brought them over the cotton twine grid that we built and push pinned the sheet into the wall above our window.
  • 7.  You’ve now created the foundation for your fort.  Now you just need to add the walls.  We attached sheets with safety pins to our foundation pieces and then draped the sheets over the long sides of the cotton string rectangle grid that we made.
  • 8. Hang twinkle lights along the cotton twine, along your armoire, up to the middle of the fan, and all over the fort where they’ll hang well  (lights add to the magic of your Super Fort.)
  • 9.  Hang a pennant banner from the fan (I just tucked it and used safety pins where needed) so that it’s covered up and it looks like you have an ultra magical chandelier (especially since the twinkle lights are interspersed).
  • 10.  Now add sheets where you think you need them to make walls and doors so that your fort feels more top secret-ish.
  • 11.  Bring all of the pillows and blankets you can find from around the house and fill your fort so that it feels nice and cushy.
  • 12.  Get a bunch of games and play them in your awesome fort.  Eat dinner in there.  Tell stories.  Watch a movie.  Do homework.  Read a book out loud while everyone is nestled in blankets.  Do everything in your fort.  It makes all the little things feel like magic.

Have any questions?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to help you!

Despite a couple of hiccups (and wondering how I could have taken on this crazy idea) the process of building with the kids, having them get so excited as it went up and was so huge, and then all the fun we had in it was worth it x1000!  We’ve already been talking about building another one.

Want to build a fort, just smaller and super easy? Here’s one for you.

You can make your own fort building kit here! Love this!!

Have fun building your secret hideaway…right inside your house…




Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer.  You can find her blogging during the day  at creating adventures for families around the world.  By night she builds forts that include twinkle lights.

She loves dates with her husband and the smell of clean laundry.  She especially loves when those two things collide.

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