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How To Make A Fort Outside How To Make A Fort Outside

DIY & Crafts

How To Make A Fort Outside

Written by: Harper Martinez

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Kathryn Senior
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Reviewed by
Kathryn Senior

Senior Editor in Create & Decorate, Kathryn combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary trends. Her background in textile design and commitment to sustainable crafts inspire both content and community.

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Learn how to create a DIY fort outside with our step-by-step guide. Get creative with these fun and easy DIY & Crafts ideas for building a fort in your backyard.

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So, you want to know how to make a fort outside? Well, you've come to the right place! Building a fort can be a fun and rewarding DIY project that the whole family can enjoy. Whether you're looking for a cozy spot to read a book, a secret hideaway for the kids, or just a cool hangout spot, a fort can be the perfect addition to your outdoor space. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps to create your very own outdoor fort, from choosing the right location to making it cozy and inviting. Let's get started!


Choosing the Right Location

When it comes to building a fort outside, choosing the right location is crucial. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect spot:

  1. Consider the Terrain: Look for a flat and level area in your yard where the fort can be easily constructed. Avoid areas with slopes or uneven ground, as they can make building and using the fort more challenging.

  2. Think About Sun and Shade: Take into account the sun's movement throughout the day. You may want to place the fort in an area that gets some shade during the hottest parts of the day, especially if it will be used during the summer months.

  3. Privacy: If you're building a fort for kids, consider placing it in a location that offers some privacy. This could be a secluded corner of the yard or a spot surrounded by bushes or trees.

  4. Accessibility: Ensure that the location is easily accessible from your house and other key areas of your yard. You don't want the fort to be too far away from the action, but you also don't want it right in the middle of a high-traffic area.

  5. Local Regulations: Check with your local municipality or homeowners' association to make sure there are no restrictions on building structures in your yard. It's important to comply with any regulations or permits that may be required.

By considering these factors, you can select a location that is not only practical for building your fort but also enhances the overall enjoyment and functionality of the space.


Gathering Materials

Now that you've found the perfect spot for your outdoor fort, it's time to gather the materials you'll need to bring your vision to life. Here's a list of essential items to get you started:

  • Wood: You'll need sturdy, weather-resistant wood for the frame of your fort. Pressure-treated lumber is a popular choice for outdoor projects as it can withstand the elements.

  • Screws and Nails: Make sure you have a variety of screws and nails in different sizes to secure the wood together. It's always a good idea to have extras on hand.

  • Tarp or Canvas: To create a roof for your fort, consider using a durable tarp or canvas material. This will provide protection from the elements and give your fort a cozy, sheltered feel.

  • Decorative Fabrics: Add some personality to your fort by incorporating colorful fabrics for curtains or cushions. This is where you can let your creativity shine!

  • Outdoor Lights: If you plan on using your fort in the evenings, consider adding some outdoor lighting. String lights or lanterns can create a magical ambiance.

  • Decorative Accents: Think about adding some fun decorative accents like bunting, flags, or even a DIY sign with the fort's name.

  • Tools: Don't forget essential tools such as a saw, drill, hammer, and measuring tape. Having the right tools on hand will make the building process much smoother.

By gathering these materials, you'll be well-prepared to start building your outdoor fort. Remember, you can always customize the materials based on your specific design and preferences.


Building the Frame

Building the frame is a crucial step in creating a sturdy and reliable structure for your outdoor fort. Here's a detailed guide to help you get started:

  1. Measure and Cut the Wood: Begin by measuring and cutting the wood to the desired lengths for the frame. Use a saw to ensure clean and precise cuts. It's essential to double-check your measurements before cutting to avoid any errors.

  2. Assemble the Base: Lay out the pieces of wood to form the base of the fort. Use a level to ensure that the base is even and stable. Secure the pieces together using screws or nails, creating a solid foundation for the rest of the frame.

  3. Build the Walls: Once the base is in place, it's time to construct the walls of the fort. Stand the wooden posts upright and attach horizontal beams to create the walls. Make sure the walls are securely fastened to the base and to each other to provide stability.

  4. Add Support Beams: To reinforce the structure, consider adding support beams diagonally across the walls. This will help distribute the weight of the roof and provide additional strength to the frame.

  5. Create Door and Window Openings: If you want to include doors or windows in your fort, now is the time to cut out the openings in the frame. Be sure to measure carefully and use a saw to create clean and precise openings.

  6. Check for Stability: Once the frame is assembled, carefully inspect the structure to ensure it is stable and secure. Give it a gentle shake and make any necessary adjustments to reinforce weak spots.

By following these steps, you can build a strong and durable frame for your outdoor fort. Remember to take your time and pay attention to detail to ensure a solid foundation for the rest of the construction process.


Adding Walls and Roof

Now that the frame of your outdoor fort is in place, it's time to add the walls and roof to create a cozy and sheltered space. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you complete this essential phase of the construction process:

  1. Attach Wall Panels: Begin by attaching the wall panels to the frame of the fort. You can use plywood, wooden planks, or even recycled pallets to create the walls. Secure the panels to the frame using screws or nails, ensuring that they are firmly in place.

  2. Create Openings: If you want to include windows in your fort, cut out openings in the wall panels using a saw. You can then attach clear plastic or plexiglass to create windows that allow natural light to enter the fort.

  3. Construct the Roof: To provide shelter and protection from the elements, it's important to construct a sturdy roof for your fort. You can use a large tarp or canvas material to create a simple pitched roof. Secure the roof material to the top of the frame, ensuring that it is taut and securely fastened.

  4. Add Overhangs: Consider adding overhangs to the roof to provide additional coverage and create a charming aesthetic. Overhangs can help prevent rainwater from dripping into the fort and provide a decorative touch to the structure.

  5. Weatherproofing: To ensure that your fort is resilient against the elements, consider applying a weatherproof sealant to the exterior surfaces. This will help protect the wood from moisture and prolong the lifespan of your outdoor fort.

  6. Decorative Touches: Once the walls and roof are in place, you can add decorative touches to personalize the fort. Consider painting the exterior, adding trim, or even installing a small weather vane or decorative elements to enhance the visual appeal of the structure.

By following these steps, you can add walls and a roof to your outdoor fort, creating a comfortable and inviting space for relaxation and play. With the walls and roof in place, your fort will begin to take shape and provide a cozy retreat in your outdoor space.


Making it Cozy

Now that the structure of your outdoor fort is complete, it's time to focus on making the interior cozy and inviting. Here are some tips to help you create a comfortable and enjoyable space inside your fort:

  1. Add Soft Furnishings: Incorporate soft cushions, blankets, and pillows to create a cozy seating area inside the fort. Consider using weather-resistant fabrics that can withstand outdoor conditions.

  2. Create a Reading Nook: If you're building the fort for relaxation and leisure, consider adding a small bookshelf or storage for books and magazines. A comfortable chair or bean bag can transform the fort into a perfect reading nook.

  3. Install Lighting: To extend the usability of your fort into the evening, add some soft lighting. Solar-powered lanterns, string lights, or battery-operated LED candles can create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

  4. Personalize with Decor: Add personal touches to the interior by hanging artwork, photographs, or decorative items on the walls. You can also involve the family in creating artwork to display inside the fort.

  5. Incorporate Nature: Use potted plants, hanging baskets, or a small herb garden to bring a touch of nature inside the fort. Not only will this add visual appeal, but it can also create a calming and peaceful environment.

  6. Consider Functional Additions: Depending on the purpose of the fort, consider adding functional elements such as a small table for games, a portable speaker for music, or a small cooler for drinks and snacks.

By making these cozy additions, you can transform your outdoor fort into a welcoming and comfortable space that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Whether it's for relaxation, play, or simply spending quality time together, a cozy fort can become a cherished part of your outdoor living area.



In conclusion, building a fort outside can be a rewarding and enjoyable DIY project that adds a unique and charming element to your outdoor space. By carefully choosing the right location, gathering the necessary materials, building a sturdy frame, adding walls and a roof, and making the interior cozy and inviting, you can create a special retreat for relaxation, play, and quality time with family and friends. Whether it's a secret hideaway for the kids, a cozy reading nook, or a fun hangout spot, an outdoor fort can provide endless hours of enjoyment and create lasting memories. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your materials, and get ready to embark on a fort-building adventure that will bring joy and excitement to your outdoor living area.

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