Building a pillow fort is a perfect activity for rainy days, for slumber parties, for beach vacations and for any number of other occasions. But you need to have a plan before you get started, which is why you need to know how to make a pillow fort — a good one — prior to gathering up blankets and sheets for construction.
So, here’s a look at 9 tips for how to make a pillow fort, including plenty of options so that you can always make an incredible creation — no matter where you are or what you have to work with.
1. Get Pillows (and Bedding) From Everywhere
Go big on gathering pillows and bedding before you do anything. You want lots of building blocks to work with as you work on your pillow fort. Because here’s the thing: You’re going to try a lot of stuff that doesn’t work.
When you’re trying a pillow that’s too light to hold a load, you’re going to want a pillow that’s heavy enough to get the job done. And when a comforter is to heavy to serve as a roof, you’re going to want a sheet that’s light enough to do the trick. So, make sure you have lots of stuff to work with before you get started: chairs, pillows, sheets, blankets and more.
2. Find the Perfect Base
Location is everything when it comes to building a pillow fort. The best possible base is a floor with padded carpet. The worst base you can choose is hardwood or tile — it’s just not that comfortable.
After you choose the right base, look for the next level. For example, building your pillow fort adjacent to a bed allows you to wedge roofing between a mattress and box springs. And building next to a couch let’s you use the space between the couch base and cushions to wedge roofing.
3. Use Walls for Pinning
Here’s something that a lot of pillow fort builders miss or forget: You can pin sheets and even blankets to walls!
Yes, that’s right: Simply using thumbtacks allows you to pin things to the wall, and the thumbtacks aren’t going to leave much of a mark. You’ll find that pinning things to the wall opens up all sorts of possibilities when you’re wondering how to make a pillow fort.
4. Duct Tape is Good in a Pinch
Not interested in tacking anything into the wall? Try using duct tape. Duct tape is powerful when holding together a pillow fort, and it’s not going to leave much of a mark on your walls, pillows or blankets.
If it does, a little Goo Gone can do wonders on a wall, and you can always wash pillow shams and sheets and blankets after your pillow fort party if you need to rinse away any duct tape residue.
5. Choose Your Roof Carefully
You have a choice to make when it comes to your pillow fort’s roof. A sheet is lighter and, hence, easier to hoist and to keep up. But, a blanket is going to be denser and create a darker fort interior, which is a little more charming for when you’re throwing a pillow fort party.
If you’re going to choose the latter and use blankets for a darker pillow fort, you’ll almost certainly need to use thumbtacks or duct tape. If you can’t (or don’t want to) use tacks or tape, it might be easier to use a sheet for a roof.
6. Proximity to Entertainment is Key
Always build near a television, preferably one that has a DVD-Blu-Ray player or some sort of device for streaming. The best part about building a pillow fort is then popping some popcorn and turning on a show or movie to watch. You’ll love it, and your kids will, too.
7. Snacks, Snacks, Snacks
Entertainment is key, and to so too is food and drink. Make sure you stock your pillow fort with lots of delicious stuff to eat and drink after it’s built. In fact, your kids might love having a cooler full of goodies to stash in their pillow fort and to bring out at various times during the evening.
8. Name Your Creation
Back in the day when they built real forts, they always named them. So name yours, too. You can try Fort Fun or Fort Kookout or Fort de la Diversion or Fort (insert your last name here). Stand back and admire your creation, and then give it a name worthy of your time and effort.
9. Have a Ball
Now it’s time to have a blast. Decide to binge watch all the Toy Story movies, or choose to plow through a season of Paw Patrol.
You can even hop on YouTube and show your kids children’s shows from your youth: Pinwheel House, Today’s Special, Mr. Rogers, etc. But, no matter what, have some fun. Bake some cookies, put on some music, do whatever makes you and your kids happiest.
Final Thoughts on How to Make a Pillow Fort
Don’t forget to let your kids take a lead role. You can help with the vision and the plan, but let them to most of the actual creating. Part of the fun of making a pillow fort is seeing your children’s eyes light up as they take everyday household items and make something extraordinary.
Yes, adults might do a better job of making a pillow fort — but that’s not really the point. So introduce them to the tips for how to make a pillow fort, and let this become their own project.
Do you have anything else to add to the tips above? Let us know in the comments section below, or send us a message through our contact page.