“This Old House” Inspired Fort for Kids


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Hi, Lemonade readers! This is Kelly. Nothing says outdoor fun for kids like a good old-fashioned fort, am I right? I found this simple plan on the This Old House website, and I promise you it was not difficult at all! (The plan is also in their book called “This Old House Fun Family Projects: Great Ideas that Mom, Dad and Kids Can Build and Enjoy!” which has MANY more fun family projects.)*


*{This post is not sponsored or endorsed by This Old House. They have no idea who I am, but I really wish they did, because I think they are awesome.}

I won’t go into the exact step-by-step process for building the fort, since the online plan is clear and comprehensive. But I did make a few modifications, and here they are…

First, instead of 4-foot stockade fencing , I went with 6-foot fencing. I wanted the fort to have a little bit more of a hideout feel to it. And really, with a 7 and 5 year-old, do I really want to know what they are doing in there? Probably not.

“Out with you, bad guys!”

This caused a BIG problem, however, when I went to Home Depot to buy it. Because 6-foot stockade fencing is HUGE. So huge, in fact, that when the two guys who had helped me pick it out asked, “How are you going to get this home?” I had only one thought. Which was – “Oh #$%&, hadn’t thought of that.” It meant I had to make other arrangements.

Was I embarrassed to be driving a truck that said "Rent Me Hourly" on the side? Yes. Yes, I was.
Was I embarrassed to be driving a truck that said “Rent Me Hourly” on the side? Yes. Yes, I was.

I sent a text to my husband: “Had to rent the Home Depot truck. Are you home to help me unload?”

“Uh, yes.”

(That man of mine. We’re so connected that I can sense his fear even in plain text.)


Another feature I added was painting the entire fort in camouflage. Not only did I think the boys would dig it, but  it really does blend in (go figure) and isn’t a major eyesore in the backyard. To get the colors, I did the following:

  • Got a pair of my son’s pajamas
  • Picked out matching colors
  • Drew the pattern freehand

Nothing too fancy!


The boys really love their fort. They did make a few suggestions they say would make it even more cool:

  1. A roof
  2. Windows
  3. Running water and a TV

We’ll be working on some of these this summer and I’ll be sure to give you an update. Except for #3…

IMG_0718Dream on, boys, dream on.

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