DIY Fort Kit

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I originally shared this idea over on Or So She Says a while ago.  Just in case you missed it, I wanted to share it here as well.  Do you need an affordable, creative, and fun idea that will keep the kids busy for hours?  I have the perfect thing for you!  Today we are making a DIY fort kit using PVC pipe.  I’ve done a few PVC projects and they are always lots of fun, but my favorite part is that PVC is cheap!


All the supplies you need to make your 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.


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!  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 like this makes it so much easier when you need the same size pipe – just get the same color!


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!)
  • clamps
  • drop cloths

Now you are ready to construct an awesome fort!  We have made 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 camp them on so they don’t keep falling off!


This would be a great place to read, eat, play, rest, or even sleep!  Perfect thing to do on a summer afternoon.

*Update*  I’ve had a few questions about the container that stores all the pieces.  I bought mine at Target.  Like this one.  It is made by Sterilite and is called an Underbed box and is 74 Qt.  Hope this helps!

*Approximate Cost*  

  • PVC pipe – $20
  • Connectors – $10
  • Drop cloth – $10 each
  • Clamps – $10
  • Duct Tape (optional) – $3 per color
  • Storage case – $15

Here are a few more fun summer ideas for you:  Backyard Campout, Summer Reading Ideas, and Family Reunion Tips.


33 Responses to DIY Fort Kit

  1. Caroline 09/25/2014 at 6:31 am #

    About how much should one expect to spend on a project like this? Any tips for cutting costs? Thanks so much:)

  2. Jodi fischer 11/07/2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Curious what size drop cloth you would suggest? Never bought those before and seeing a variety of sizes online. Thanks!

    • Holly 11/10/2014 at 11:11 am #

      I bought 2 drop cloths that are canvas 6ftX9ft. Sometimes I wish they were bigger, but they work.

    • Mary Rodger 12/12/2014 at 11:32 pm #

      I have not used the pvc pipe for forts but I think it is great. Another option to the canvas drop clothes would be sheets. I get sheets at the local thrift store for really cheap. My kids paint on them and drag them thru the dirt. They have been the best purchases I have ever made.

  3. Kate 11/10/2014 at 11:00 am #

    How many connector pieces do you recommend having?

    • Holly 11/10/2014 at 11:10 am #

      I think I started with 10 connectors of 4 different shapes, then I went back for more! Good luck!

      • Myra 12/11/2014 at 12:17 pm #

        Where did you purchase the connectors?

  4. Linda 11/17/2014 at 8:01 am #

    Love this fort kit…want to make for grandsons…about the cost of materials for kit?

  5. Nancy 11/19/2014 at 9:37 am #

    How much did it cost. I got a kit like this on line it was a 55 peace kit and cost $30.00 it came with a tarp too.

  6. Char 11/25/2014 at 1:05 pm #

    I was wondering where you got the storage bin to put the kit in? I’ve looked around a few places and can’t find one long enough for the 36″ pieces.

    • Holly 12/03/2014 at 9:01 am #

      I bought mine at Target. I put a link to one in the post. It is made by Sterilite and is called an Underbed box and is 74 Qt. Hope this helps!

  7. amanda 12/02/2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Also wondering about where you were able to find a container that long. I have not found anything bigger than 32”. I may cut my pieces down to 30” but don’t really want to.

    • Holly 12/03/2014 at 9:01 am #

      I bought mine at Target. I put a link to one in the post. It is made by Sterilite and is called an Underbed box and is 74 Qt. Hope this helps!

  8. Michelle 12/10/2014 at 9:45 am #

    What size pvc pipe did you use? 3/4 inch or larger?

    • Holly 12/10/2014 at 9:51 am #

      Yes, 3/4 inch.

  9. Ruth 12/10/2014 at 9:46 am #

    Love this idea. Can I use, share, with credit to you of course on my blog? Also I would like to talk with you regarding being a guest blogger about a fun/kid/family friendly activity

    • Holly 12/10/2014 at 9:53 am #

      Yes, please share! Thanks for asking.

  10. Melissa 12/10/2014 at 10:46 am #

    What a great, fun idea! Do you know the approximate cost of the supplies you listed? Thanks!

  11. Melissa 12/10/2014 at 7:06 pm #

    I just tried to buy this for my boys for Christmas. At Lowe’s this rang up as $100, including the storage box, but no pipe cutter, and only three colors of duct tape. So we’ll be doing something else for Christmas.

    • Holly 12/10/2014 at 8:57 pm #

      I went to Home Depot today and you’re right. $40 was too low! I’ve added approximate costs on the post. I wish it didn’t add up so fast!

  12. Garry 12/10/2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Melissa, I believe you 100 percent. I just figured up stuff in my head and I came up with at least $80. There’s no way you could buy everything for $40.

    • Holly 12/10/2014 at 8:58 pm #

      I went to Home Depot today and you’re right. $40 was too low! I’ve added approximate costs on the post. I wish it didn’t add up so fast!

  13. Brooklyn Castro 12/10/2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Hi there- I love this idea and was just pricing it out on Home Depot’s website. I have a couple quick questions (I am 100% unfamiliar with everything involving building, which is why I am determined to let my daughters immerse themselves in it). Does it matter if I get 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch PVC, because I saw both mentioned in your article and in the comments. Also- any chance you might have a breakdown of what shapes of connectors to buy and how many of each one? Anything in particular I need to know about buying clamps, or can I just walk in and demand clamps and they will know what I mean? Thanks for any help you can offer!

  14. melissa b 12/12/2014 at 4:22 am #

    I love this idea. However, the post says 10 feet of PVC pipe, but for 12 of each size we would need way more than that. Is your $20 estimate for PVC pipe for one of each size (which 10 ft would work for) or for enough PVC to get 12 of each size? I have no idea how PVC is priced. Thanks

    • Brooklyn Castro 12/15/2014 at 9:32 pm #

      She says that you need 10 pieces of 10 foot pvc- 100 feet total. Our Home Depot sells 10 foot 3/4″ pvc for $2.40 per piece, so $24 total.

  15. Patricia 12/14/2014 at 2:30 am #

    Great idea, but sorry to say, PVC pipes off gas something terrible. Please look into this. Not only during use, but when discarded and burned it will cause damage to us and our environment.

  16. Ken 12/16/2014 at 2:12 pm #

    You might want to edit the post to reflect that it’s 3/4″ inch PVC not 1/2″ that you used. You can clearly read the 3/4 in the picture of the kit in the storage tub. Also 3/4 is not much price different and much sturdier. Thanks!

    • Ken 12/16/2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Oh! And I did buy all the pipe and fittings including the pipe cutter for less than $60 at Lowes then got colored duct tape at the dollar store. Total costs less than $70.

  17. Chuck 12/26/2014 at 9:31 am #

    Thanks for the great idea! Gave a kit for Christmas and it was an absolute hit with my two boys, ages 8 and 10. It was great family time and spurred the boys to use their imagination, planning, and problem solving skills.

  18. lorie 01/13/2015 at 8:15 pm #

    Where did you get the clamps?

  19. Janet Lyn Bedford 02/01/2015 at 11:18 pm #

    Great idea !
    Thanks for sharing.
    I hope to try assembling…building this with my Son & Grandchild.

    Thanks to all who’ve asked questions here and made informed suggestions too.


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