Do you need an affordable, creative, and fun idea that will keep the kids busy for hours? Today we are making a DIY fort kit using PVC pipe. My kids love making forts at home! Hi Everyone, it’s Holly from Bits of Everything, I’ve done a few PVC projects and they are always lots of fun, but my favorite part is that PVC is cheap! Plus, not only is this a great outdoor activity, but it’s a perfect indoor activity for rainy days or anytime the kids need a little something to do.
Besides making a kit for yourself, you could even make them (or have the kids make them) to sell! Mariel did some fun booths at their local Fourth of July fair, where her kids sold pvc marshmallow guns, pvc bow and arrows, and pvc foam swords. It was a great way for her kids to learn about making money and running a business.
DIY Fort Kit for Indoor and Outdoor Use
All the supplies you need to make your DIY fort kit is 1/2 inch PVC pipe, pipe connectors, a pipe cutter (the metal sturdy one is best!), duct tape, clamps, blankets (or drop cloths), and a box to store everything in. You can buy pvc pipe at your local hardware store, such as Home Depot. You can even have them cut to size while you’re in the store, for a charge.
Now we are ready to cut some pipe. Cutting pipe with a pipe cutter makes it very easy. The pipe cutter is very much worth its cost! Or, if you have a chop saw, even better, it makes it super fast. We chose 6 different lengths to cut pipe: 4 inches, 6 inches, 9 inches, 12 inches, 24 inches, and 36 inches. If you get the PVC that is 10 feet long, you should be able to get all these fort pieces with 10 pieces of pipe. We also got a variety of connector pieces. Once the pieces are cut, assign a color to each length. Color coding the length with duck tape, like this, makes it so much easier when you need the same size pipe – just get the same color!
DIY Fort Kit Contents:
- 12 – 4 inch pieces
- 12 – 6 inch pieces
- 12 – 9 inch pieces
- 12 – 12 inch pieces
- 12 – 24 inch pieces
- 12 – 36 inch pieces
- connector pieces (lots!)
- drop cloths
Now you are ready to construct an awesome DIY kids fort! We have made DIY forts in the family room and in the basement, but today we wanted to do something even more fun, so we made our fort on our deck! This entertained my kids for hours! Building this kind of fort requires some thinking and planning. We’ve made smaller forts before, but this is what we ended up with today.
Now just cover it with your blankets or drop cloths and clamp them on so they don’t keep falling off. Your kids will love making forts at home!
Inside forts is a great place to read a great book (have you seen this list of books for kids?), eat, play, rest, or even sleep! Perfect outdoor or indoor activity that the kids will love.
Here are a few more fun ideas for you: Backyard Campout and PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table.
I am loving this! Such a fun set to have. And I love that I could use it year round! I have some nephews that will love me forever for sending this their way. THANK YOU!
Such a great idea! I’m thinking Christmas present and lots of hours playing indoors when the weather is bad! Thanks for the idea.
Approximate cost for all pvc, including connectors?
Sara Spears says
Around 60 for ours. 🙂 Hope that helps.
JUst went to LOwes,
bought 10 pvc 10′ pipe, borrowed their cutter,
12 – 40″
42 conectors, all different kinds.
Spent $48.00 before tax.
I found “clamps” at the dollar store, now need to gather some twin flat sheets and we have a
DIY FORT KIT.
I love this idea! I was thinking about doing something like this, but I was worried about the ends being sharp. Did you need to sand the edges much? Thanks!
I have the same question… How much do you think you spent overall? Also, is it heavy? Is it something you’d use in your living room or is it safer outside where it can’t hurt floors or little ones if it falls?
I love this idea. How many connectors did you get for this project? Thanks!
I was wondering what size that storage bin is? Thanks!
Sara Spears says
My husband is now buying the materials for this at Home Depot. We are skipping the 4 and 6 inch pieces. Without the blankets/drop cloths right now, he said it is around 60.00. He bought a larger package of clamps for around 9 dollars with twenty some clamps from Home Depot. He went with the 3/4″ pipe at 10 ft for about $3/ a stick. We are going to purchase some king size bed sheets from the thrift store for a dollar a piece or use some we have around here. So not a super cheap project, but hopefully fun and creative!
10′ 1/2″ pvc pipe is like 2.30$ per piece. The joints are between .20 and .65
We have 11 grandchildren and this would be perfect! The cheap plastic play tents
never last even one weekend. BUT….. I don’t see the instructions for putting the
frame together…..Example….the 4″red connects to the 12″pink…. I could wind up
with a trapazoid. LOL Please reply as summer is near.
Paula Garcia says
Can someone please tell me about how many connectors are needed? Putting a fort kit together for my son’s birthday 🙂 Please help!
My 3 sons are going to love this! Where did you buy those pinch clamps that seem to fit around the pipes? The ones I see online all seem more permanent and I’m hoping to find ones like the ones in the photo that the kids can re-position on their own.
Laurie Brooks says
Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for something like this for my daughter! She loves to build clubhouses or fort when playing!
Awesome! Thanks for commenting! I’ve been wanting to do this for my kids too. They would LOVE it.
Thanks for the idea, I like the color code for the different lengths. Perfect homemade gift for Christmas! 🙂
We tried putting this together today after buying all the materials but we coukdnt get the construction of it right. Could you please post a thorough direction list? Please. Thank you.
I am looking at putting this together for a friend and her 4 boys. Being that this can be put together anyway that you like it will be fun for them to make many different forts with it. I am going to buy some king sheets for them to use as the tarp part. I can not wait to wee what they make Christmas day.
They will love it! What a nice friend you are!
This is cool! So crafty. I just recently saw some pre-made fort building kits for purchase that followed this basic model.
Could Ivget a connector list?
This could be great in a larger cheap rolling suitcase from the thrift store. This is my Christmas. Three boys so I need to make triple the parts and a couple of spinners so that it can be a new game. Twister Fort. Fort Twister. One of those. Whatever color pipe you land on you have to use as well as which connector. Could make some interesting things.