Our backyard backs up to a cornfield. Each spring I eagerly anticipate the big, green tractor rolling by, turning the dark soil for planting. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to living in the country or being on a farm. Dividing my yard and the cornfield are giant mulberry trees. Their branches and big green leaves provide shade and make our small backyard feel even more cozy. At some point (before we lived here) the tree was hit by lightning and split down the middle. This gives it a bit of a wild shape and character and made for a fun place for the boys to play, before our fence was put in.

how to make a fort

A few years ago, despite my protest, my husband cut off a lot of the branches from the tree that were hanging in our yard. I hated the way it looked, making our backyard seem stark without the gorgeous shade and branches. I made him promise that we wouldn’t trim it to that degree again all the while telling him all the possibilities for play there could be with a big tree and three little boys.

how to make a fort

Forts being one of them.

I have been wanting to make this fort for awhile, but was unsure how to make it sturdy enough for the fun I knew would ensue. After seeing Allison’s examples over on ‘All for the Boys’, my problem was solved.

how to make a fort

how to make a fort

how to make a fort

All it took was 4 yards of cheap fabric, some string, a few clothes pins, tea towels and an old quilt.

They hung out back there all morning…reading, talking, giggling, using their imaginations. At one point, Ben called me into the fort and I found he and Henry laying there looking up.

how to make a fort

‘Mom, look at all the shapes and shades of green in the tree. It looks so different when you are lying under it.’

how to make a fort



10 Responses to In the Backyard

  1. Alyssa Walters says:

    Oh how I LOVE this! Bookmarking for future reference! Your boys have such creative spirits — can’t imagine where they get it from! 😉

  2. polwig says:

    Beautiful pictures and a FUN summer post. I love hanging outside with the kids in the summer and it is even better when they take over with their own imaginations.

  3. Allison says:

    We’re on our way to play! 😉

    • Alison says:

      We had so much fun, thanks to your wonderful inspiration! Hope you and the boys had a great day!

  4. Bree says:

    this is the cutest thing ever. I want a fort to daydream in.

    • Alison says:

      It was pretty fun. I laid under there for awhile and it was very relaxing. Maybe we are on to something…forts for grown ups. 😉

  5. Jessica says:

    such a cute fort! I was wondering if the blanket they are laying on is denim? did you make that?

    • Alison says:

      Jessica, the blanket is an old quilt that my husband’s grandma made. It’s a thick flannel on one side and a combination of flannel, denim and cotton patchwork on the other.

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