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How to Build a Pillow Fort

Kids Home for the Holidays? Help them Build a Great Fort with Bedding Pillows, Blankets, Sheets and Cushions!

Hovel decorated with garland for children's party at home

Sometimes you want to relive the good old days, or you want your kids to have some fun inside a spectacular artificial dungeon. A blanket or pillow fort made of spare pillows, blankets and bed sheets can be a fun project for kids home from school for the holidays. Here’s a 5-step process to building a pillow fort that will be an epic hideout for the kids.

Identify a Good Location for your Castle of Pillows and Blankets

Girls playing in pillow fort made of blankets sheets and pillows

While it’s possible to build a pillow fort anywhere, it works better in some places than others. While pretending to be in a fort, castle, or dungeon, eventually the kids will get bored. So, be sure to take entertainment into consideration, selecting a spot with enough light to read a book by, or within view of the TV or, if you plan on letting the kids (or adults) go online, check that an electrical outlet is nearby for recharging devices.

Other things to consider: Don’t let the kids choose a spot that blocks a busy traffic area, takes away the main dining table, or is too drafty or cold for them to be comfortable. If the floor is hard or cold, let them build instead on a bed or sofa to make a cozier hideaway. Alternatively, use sleeping bags, cushions, duvets or blankets to provide a floor for the pillow fort interior.

Get Your Pillow Fort Supplies Ready

Tower of multi-colored bed pillows.

Time to let the kids get creative and help you find and gather the materials that will make up their unique and awesome pillow fort. Luckily, these materials are readily available in most homes. Let the family pick out pillows, blankets and bed sheets. Sturdy sofa pillows are great for walls and bolsters to rest on. Bed pillows add soft comfort, shore up corners and make for great relaxing and napping. Grab your extra sheets and blankets. Pick out one or two fitted sheets along with regular sheets. The kids may want to include their favorite blanket or pillow, and they’ll certainly want to invite a few stuffed animal friends over once the castle is open for visitors.

To enlarge and support the pillow fort, you may choose to build over a tall table or sofa. If you will still need to strengthen walls, hard-back chairs can act as the frame for portions of your improvised house. Select a couple of sturdy, widely set chairs (for less possibility of tipping over) to act as frames. Face the chair inwards if the blankets are heavy to avoid the chair falling backward into the structure. The kids can use the seat as shelves to store their castle supplies, like dishes for serving tea and to store electronics and other toys. Dining table chairs work well as they are easy to move and usually there are extras so they won’t be missed.

Build a Sturdy Base for your Fort

Now that you’ve got everything that you need to build your super cool getaway, it’s time to begin the construction.

If you choose chairs as stands, move them closer together. It would work best if you have 6 chairs or more, 2 on either side with an opening to the front. For the tables, three will create space for a nice big cave. Alternatively, you can use a combination of chairs and a table provided they create a proper U-shape.

When you get the furniture aligned, grab seat cushions and fill any large openings in the walls. Block the smaller spaces with your smaller pillows such as the ones used for back support on couches. Wrap your blankets around the chairs or tables to create thick walls. Then secure them with clothes pins or large clasps to keep them stable. Grab extra pillows or sleeping bags and lay them on the cold floor or scatter them around the fort for lounging, playing games on and sleeping.

Create the Roof

In building a pillow fort, the basic design is the heavy materials on the bottom and the lightest on the top. Now, to enclose it fully, drape some thin blankets over the chairs or tables. Sheets works best for the roof since they’re light. But for even more warmth if it’s cold outside, thin blankets are also ideal.

Hours of Fun Ahead in Your Cozy Pillow Fort

Happy father and son with teddy bear reading book in blanket fort

Other than the pins, you might want to stack some heavy objects such as books on the chairs to keep the blankets and the sheets from moving. For lighting, place some lamp or flashlight nearby.

Now that the pillow fort is ready, let the kids explore. They can decorate the interior with toys and drawings to make their own little home the way they like it. Bring them some snacks, and watch them enjoy playing creatively in their very own home-constructed pillow fort.

As you rummage around your cupboards, should you find that your old pillows, sheets and blankets are getting a bit tired looking, be sure to check out sobelathome.com for the very best hotel quality pillows and linens.

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