PVC pipe is a great material for building a play tent or fort for kids!
After we had fun playing with our marble run for a while, we recycled the PVC pipe into this fun fort:
It’s the perfect spot for doing a little reading!
Jonathan (age 2) has been really into having a little house (“owse”) to be in lately. However, at his age he ends up accidentally knocking down the blanket forts the boys make. This fun tent is toddler friendly, and it can be a stable starting point for a major blanket fort!
To build one, you will need:
- 3 – 10 ft. pieces of 3/4 inch PVC pipe (Three will do it, but there’s not a ton leftover. You can always get four in case of error since they’re only about $2 each.)
- 10 – 90 degree elbow joints. We bought a contractor 10 pack for $2.35 at Home Depot. Make sure the joints aren’t threaded on the inside!
- 6 – T joints. We bought a contractor 10 pack of these also.
- Bed sheet. If you sew, you could always make a simple cover that would fit this fort more precisely. I don’t, so we just used a queen sized flat sheet. Works well!
Note: This structure would be more stable with pipes all the way around on the bottom and all the way around on the top, but to do that, you need a connection with three pipes coming together at right angles. Each corner would require two connectors that cost about $2.50 together. We decided that for us, that was too expensive for this project.
We cut our pipe to the following measurements:
- Bottom 2 pieces – 32 inches each
- Front 2 vertical pieces – 32 inches each
- Top pieces – both sides have one 5 inch, one 19 inch, and another 5 inch
- Roof pieces (4) – 22 inches each
- Back cross support – 32 inches
- Back 2 vertical pieces – 19 inches and 12 inches on each side
You can always cut extra pieces and let the kids re-build it in different ways – makes a very open-ended toy!
We can easily take our fort apart in sections and store it in the closet. It is simple to rebuild the next time the boys want to use it.
Here is our fort combined with a card table for a bigger tent:
We LOVE PVC pipe! Here are more things to build with PVC pipe:
- Marshmallow blow gun – these are a LOT of fun!
- PVC pipe sling shot – fun for shooing Nerf balls
denisse Jun 4, 2018
Thank you for posting this with measurements and quantities. My son (3 years old) loves hidding little places, but the cheap nylon tents we have gotten him don't last long, boys are rough, at least mine is, ha!
Tiffany Bolgert Sep 14, 2018
This is such a neat idea! And if you wanted to get really fancy, you could use even more PVC and construct a really big, elaborate tent... or a system of tunnels... oh boy, you're making me give myself ideas :)
Marni Mauser Nov 12, 2018
Thanks For Sharing
Jennifer Bates Mar 23, 2023
Love this! Something I can build and rebuild over and over again. Maybe even do “add ins”. Thanks so much for details!
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