A family-friendly escape, without having to leave the house

By Southern Living Editors
Updated May 08, 2020
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blanket fort
Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

Yes, you can toss a sheet over some high-back chairs or create a blanket roof between the twin beds in your kids’ room (we won’t judge … we’re tired too), but if you’re looking to really up the ante this weekend, follow these five steps for free family entertainment and the best blanket fort this side of the Mississippi. Fair warning: Your kids may never want to take it down.

1. Gather your materials.

You’ll need:

A clothesline, or long, sturdy piece of string that can extend the width of the room

Sheets or lightweight blankets (the number depends on how many “walls” you want your fort to have)

Cozy, heavier blankets (to act as the floor of the fort)

Clothespins

Pillows or books

Rubber bands/duct tape

2. Secure the clothesline on both sides of the room by tying it to something sturdy, like a curtain rod, built-in, or door hinge.

Make sure the clothesline is hanging at an appropriate height for the room and that the sheets can easily reach the foor. If you want to create a more permanent reading nook in your children’s room or playroom, consider installing wall or ceiling hooks on which to tie the clothesline instead.

3. Using clothespins, attach the long sides of the sheets to the clothesline.

These sheets will act as the horizontal “walls” of the fort. Close off the other sides of the fort by hanging another smaller sheet on each end. If you want to be able to watch TV from your fort, you should leave one side of the fort open, hanging only a “back wall” sheet and the smaller sheets on the ends.

4. Anchor your sheets to create a “room.”

In order to transform your sheets into a more spacious fort, pull your sheets taut, then secure them in place with heavy books or sofa cushions. You can also secure them with rubber bands stretched over furniture or duct tape.

5. Decorate the interior of your fort.

Spread out your coziest, plushest blankets to form a cushy floor, then layer in pillows and sleeping bags for soft surrounds. Let your little ones (and their wild imaginations!) take it from there.

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