Every kid likes to have his own private place to chill from time to time, which explains why sheet forts are a popular and memorable fixture of childhood. Making a fort with sheets allows designs adapted to any space and a variety of materials depending on how elaborate you and your child want to make his hideaway. A sheet fort uses only common household materials, so whatever you have on hand will be enough to entertain your child for as long as you allow the fort to remain standing so the memories of family fun and play time in the fort can be treasured for years to come.
Select the supporting structures for your child's fort. It can be as simple as a table, with or without the chairs, a bunk bed, day bed or canopy bed, sofas, chairs, bureaus, entertainment centers, closet doors, stacked pillows or even a simple PVC pipe frame or makeshift rope lines tied securely to heavy furniture. For a lean-to design, all you need for support is a wall or curtain rod. Set up the frame and supports, moving furniture into position if necessary to support the roof and walls.
Drape the roof sheet or sheets over the top supports. The simplest is to hang a large sheet over a table or tuck it in around the sides of a bunk bed. For a lean-to design, secure one end of the sheet to the wall with push pins or loop it over a curtain rod and fasten with safety pins or clothes pins. Alternately, you can use the large furniture in the room such as tables, chairs and sofas, to support the roof, leaving space in the middle for playing or reading.
Tie the corners of the sheet walls to the roof sheet, fasten it with safety pins or clothes pins or tie it together with string or yarn. The bottom edge near the floor can flap loosely or you can stack heavy books along the lower perimeter to hold it in place. If you are building a mega-fort that spans most or all of the room, you can hang interior walls to make it a multi-room fort by using safety pins to attach the inner sheets to the roof and the outer walls. If your walls or roof start sagging, use taller chairs and furniture for more support along with additional safety pins or clothes pins for stability.
Accessorize your sheet fort with blankets, pillows, bean bags, stuffed animals, sleeping bags, favorite toys for a nice comfortable place to cozy into for a little rest and relaxation. String twinkly lights or keep a flashlight handy for a little mood lighting. Allow your kids to bring snacks into the sheet fort to munch as you all enjoy your sheet fort creation.
- Using a fitted sheet as the roof on a wide anchor such as a sofa gives a more stable base.
- Don't drape sheets over light bulbs and light fixtures as this could present a fire hazard.
- Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images