Creative Play,  Imaginative Play,  Outdoor Play

24 Amazing Homemade Den Building Ideas You’ll Want to Try

There’s nothing new about making indoor dens and forts….

But there are always new and exciting ways to do so!


This week on Instagram I asked my followers to share with me their homemade dens to share with others and I was blown away by the response!

This post is a round-up of all their awesome homemade dens and forts with links to all original sources so go check them out for more details!


Be inspired!

Cardboard Den For Kids & Forts ideas

Cardboard boxes should be a childhood staple – they are just full of potential but they are also a great stand alone activity! Check out these awesome ideas using the humble cardboard box:

  1. Cardboard Fort
    I love this classic cardboard box fort – it’s almost like a maze! The use of blankets means you can open up the boxes to make them extra tall and I love the duct tape over the entrance – a lovely finishing touch (and prevents cardboard injuries!)


  2. Box and balls
    I love that when it comes to den building for little ones, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy for them to love it – this little one loves her balls in a box den and that’s a win for us as parents 🙂


  3. Box with lights
    Again I love the simplicity of this – a cardboard box with fairy lights can be the most amazing thing to little ones (and big kids too, if you can fit in the box!!) A great sensory den!


  4. Cardboard House
    I don’t know what it is about a cardboard house, but there’s just something magical about them! This one is beautifully decorated and looks very inviting! What I love about cardboard houses is that they can customised to your child, it can become a project in itself!


  5. Cardboard Castle
    This magnificent castle even comes with it’s own working drawbridge! Every detail has been considered in this fort, from the flags and the crocodile to the stones that weigh down the ‘water’ so it doesn’t blow away. The stone detailing and the accessories really bring it all together beautifully!

Outdoor Den Ideas for Kids DIY

Den building is a great outdoor activity, especially in the summer when you want to create a shaded area – these dens can all be created outdoors (or indoors if you have a very large space!)

  1. Paddling Pool Hideout
    This is almost a ready made den – with the simple addition of blankets and some comfy cushions it is transformed into a cosy and spacious haven! If you have a smaller paddling pool without the top part you could consider putting it under a table and covering that with blankets – or if you have washing lines you could see if you could create a canopy of some sort


  2. Trampoline Den
    Again if you have an enclosed trampoline this is another great ready made den! I love the addition of a giant parachute over the top of this one – I imagine on a sunny day this would be really beautiful 🙂


  3. Makeshift Tent
    If you have a tarpaulin or ground sheet then this is a super fun makeshift tent for the garden! really easy to do with a low lying washing line or rope and a picnic blanket underneath – a lovely shady place on a hot sunny day!

Cosy Den Blanket Forts

This is probably the easiest and most popular way to make a den or fort at home using furniture in your home such as sofa, tables and beds and transforming them with blankets and cushions – you can be as adventurous as you feel with these – check out these ideas for inspiration:

  1. Blanket Bed Den
    I love the mish mash of blankets in this den which is supported by some extra wooden poles on the ends of the bed to keep the blankets held up – it looks super cosy in there!


  2. Lounge Canopy
    This den is pretty impressive with tent like sheets draped from the ceiling, fairy lights and a spacious lounging area! I don’t think I’d ever want to take it down 🙂


  3. Florence’s Blanket Cave
    Florence looks like she is loving having her own little hideaway – the decorative touches really make this den special and even comes with a guard dog!


  4. Sofa Den 
    This little one looks very happy with himself and his little corner of the sofa – it just goes to show you don’t need much to make a fun den!


  5. Rainbow Canopy
    This is such a lovely girly den – the rainbow balloon and the star projector really transform the whole room and make it look just magical! This is also a great one for babies who will love to watch the lights!


  6. Sofa Fort
    Another great classic sofa fort for some great entertainment – why is it when we take a sofa apart it becomes a whole new place to play?!

Themed dens and Reading Nooks

These dens all have a bit of a theme which can make for a really fun den! You could either choose a generic theme like the space theme or jungle theme shown below – or be more specific and choose a favourite story to make a den around, like the Bear Hunt Example below! If you want to use a story to base your den on then check out this post all about Creative Stories for inspiration!

  1. Jungle Book Den
    This little reading nook come den would be so appealing to little ones with the bright coloured streamers – this is easy to replicate with a table and some streamers and some jungle themed books of your own – I love anything that encourages children enjoy a story! 


  2. Space Themed Hideaway
    This space themed under-the-table den is just awesome with its hanging decorations and lights – a great sensory den for little one and just love the extra touch of the star rug underneath! If you could do this in the dark, glow in the dark stars would work really well in here too!


  3. Bear Hunt Cave
    This family took the story ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and made their very own bear cave using sheets over chairs and even made their own masks! What a fab idea!

Dens made using Toys and Den making Kits

Toys and kits that are specifically made for den building are great activities to do as a family as well as having a finished den at the end 🙂

  1. Toy made den
    I love that this Den utilises lots of different toys from around the home – it just goes to show that you can make a den with anything in your home 🙂 And I love the chalkboards – perfect way to personalise your dens!


  2. Den Building Kit
    I love den building kits like this because they are inexpensive and allow you to create lots of different structures that can either be left bare or covered with blankets or sheets and made into a hideaway!


  3. Connecta Straw Den
    This is another awesome den made out of Connecta Straws (reminds me a little of a giant K’NEX project!

Pallet Den for Kids Ideas & Alternatives

Projects that take old disused things and repurpose them are my favourite! These dens and forts are all made from either wood/boards or disused furniture and have been transformed into magnificent creations – be inspired!

  1. Pallet House
    If you have a spare pallet or two then why not have a go at creating your own pallet house in the garden. I can’t take the credit for this one, it was all my husbands doing – the sheet over the top was from an  old gazebo which means the kids can even play out in the rain!


  2. Pinboard Tent
    This den is a genius idea made from two pinboards and covered in brown paper so that it can be customised – the lights are truly magical in this small den which is a great option of you don’t have a lot of space – it looks really cosy! 


  3. Cot bed Den
    Another great idea that has been on social media a bit lately, and that is to transform old cots into fun dens! Super simple to do using the frame and cover however you like (and of course adorn with the compulsory cushions and blankets!) I love that an old piece of furniture gets a new lease of life! 


  4. Pallet Tipi
    This is a spectacular wooden fort, which certainly looks like a great hideaway – if you are good with wood then I highly recommend this project…I’m making hints that we might need another fort in the garden so the kids have got one each!!!
den building ideas for kids diy

Den Building Conclusion!

So there you have it!

24 amazing den and fort building ideas that you can have a go at yourselves at home!

Thank-you once again to all those who contributed – you are all amazing!

If you have a go at making your own dens – I would love to see them – be sure to tag mumscreativecupboard on social media!

Happy Building!

Louisa x