The first time my 6-year-old daughter tried to make a blanket fort, she had the joyful ambition of a child. Unfortunately, she did not have the structural expertise of an engineer because the whole thing collapsed within three minutes and she cried.
A flaw of most blanket forts lies in the foundation: the pieces of furniture used to hold up the blankets. My kid used kitchen stools, which are a pretty good height, but can easily topple with any hasty movements (for instance, a child standing up and running to the bathroom).
I decided to do some light research on building a better blanket fort, one that could be enjoyed for hours — days even. The method that struck me the most? Using Command hooks.
Command hooks allow you to secure your fort to the wall or ceiling, meaning you don’t need to fear your child being crushed by a tipping chair, floor lamp or planter. They also give you the flexibility to make your fort as big or small as you’d like.
And, of course, the hooks are removable — you can try different formations in different areas of your home and decide on your ideal structure. (Room corners are especially great for making cosy nooks.)
To make a simple fort, you’ll need:
Command hooks. I used one small wire hook, but the number of hooks you use depends on what you want your fort to look like.
String. I used baker’s twine, but fishing line or any sturdy string should work.
Lightweight sheets and blankets. Muslin swaddle blankets are great for summer forts.
1) Attach the Command hook to a wall or ceiling.
2) Tie one end of the string to the Command hook and the other end to either another hook or a secure base. (I tied the other end to a stair railing.) Make sure the string is tight.
3) Drape the blankets over the string. Keep the fabric in place using clothespins.
4) Keep the base of the fort in place by pinning the ends of the blankets to area rugs, sticking them in sofa cushions, etc.
5) Make a door to your fort by adding more blankets and clothespins.
My kids and I ended up hanging out in our fort for hours this weekend, reading books and playing hair salon. I’ll probably keep it up for a while longer — retreating to it myself when I need a moment of zen. Hey, it’s peaceful in there.