The Art of Building the Ultimate Blanket Fort
I don’t know about you, but on Christmas Eve I was always WAY too excited to go to sleep in anticipation of Santa’s arrival and the festivities that would ensue the next morning. (Oh hi! Lindsay here, Brit + Co’s Creative Content Producer.) It was such an imaginative time filled with wonderment. I love the magic of the holiday season, from decking the halls to Christmas carols. Which is why I’m SUPER excited to team up with IKEA® to make the most EPIC adult fort of all time. Together, we’re bringing back the spirit of Christmas to take a break from #adulting and bring out those kids at heart. Read on to see what 12 items you absolutely need for the ultimate holiday fort.
From seasonal swag to pillows, blankets and twinkly LED lights galore, the IKEA® 2016 Holiday Celebrating Guide is FILLED with all of your fort needs. Not sure where to start? Don’t you worry! I got you covered on what you need to create the most magical fort of your dreams. After all, it is my FORT-é. ;)
It’s All About the Decor
First off, to get into the Christmas spirit, you’ll want to make sure you have your decor on lockdown. IKEA®’s holiday decor game is strong this year with their VINTER 2016 line. (It’s so amazing that B+C couldn’t help but notice its launch.)
1. Tiny Christmas Tree
Who needs a full-sized tree when you can make it a mini!? This little white tree is perfect for a fort. IKEA® even has little ornaments that are too cute, like this Santa Claus set. Plus, you can still fit your presents underneath and leave enough space for other fun, fort-worthy activities.
2. Faux Fire Basket
Make a cool faux fire basket to help bring some warmth into your fort without having to worry about any fire hazards.
First, collect your materials. If that doesn’t look like wintertime in a photo, I don’t know what does.
Wrap the VINTER 2016 tape (we chose red with white snowflakes) around the basket. You can space the tape to your liking and add as many strips as you want. We opted to keep it simple and added the trim in three spots toward the top.
Time to add your holiday *flavor!* Start by arranging the birch logs — these will serve as the foundation of your faux fire basket. Next, fill in the open spaces with a green garland. (We stocked up on the SMYCKA spruce garland for this foxy faux fire.) Finish it off by adding your remaining filling. We used artificial holly branches and pine cones. The best part about using fake plants is that they’ll be looking fresh all season long.
Lastly, wrap holiday lights around the logs, like this KILOMETER light chain. Be sure to thread the end of the cord through the back of the basket so you can easily plug it into a socket. When you add the light chain, you’ll want to leave a little extra for the garlands in the front. The loose weaving on the basket allows the lights to shine through for a very dreamy effect.
All you need to do is to find a good spot for some nice wood *fire* ambiance and plug in the lights.
Look at that beautiful glow! Now that’s a basket of joy.
3. Seasonal “Walls”
Sure, you could use old sheets or find things you have laying around your house to make the structure of your fort, but if you’re really going all out, invest in some legit curtains. IKEA® makes that possible by being so affordable, and that extra touch goes a long way. These VINTER 2016 curtains are slightly opaque, making the fort feel extra dreamy.
Make It Cozy
Where to begin! There are so many ways to get your fort comfy and “max chill” ready.
4. Pillows and Blankets
Seriously though, I’m pretty sure it can’t be considered a proper indoor fort without a MILLION blankets, pillows and anything and everything soft, squishy and warm.
Keep them toes warm with a pair of super cute and comfy slippers, like these VINTER 2016 slippers.
6. Stuffed Animals
You’re never too old for your favorite stuffed animal. PLUS, comfort is also about company, so make sure you bring a friend or two to hang out with.
Get Lit With Some Serious Mood Lighting
It’s all about the winter vibes in your fort, and what better way to make that happen than with some magical lighting?
7. Hanging Star Lights
These beautiful STRÅLA pendant lamp shades are the perfect thing to look up to while reading, taking naps or simply daydreaming in your fort. The design details of these shades are seriously stunning.
8. Merry and Bright Holiday Sign
Make your own illuminated sign to add some season’s greetings to your fort. It’s just the thing to bring some additional merriment to an already bright place.
First, get your goods together. It’s so much easier to have everything you need all in one place before you start.
Cover the canvas with silver paint. Be sure to paint the edges as well, and let dry.
Time to make the wreath! This part takes a little patience while each layer of paint dries, but it’s a perfect activity to do while catching up on your favorite show. Create stencils out of the leaf cutout template (using cardstock will help these last longer). Make sure you leave plenty of room around each leaf to prevent additional, unwanted paint on your canvas. Using a different shade of green for each leaf stencil, create a loose circle on your canvas.
DIY Pro Tip: Let one layer dry before moving to the next AND have a moist paper towel on hand to wipe off any excess paint that may have gotten on the bottom of the stencil.
Using your red paint pen, add little holly berries throughout your wreath.
Write out your holiday message in the center of your wreath. You can always start with pencil if you don’t want to commit right away. Make the type really pop by thickening your letters. OR add another skill to your repertoire with our calligraphy or fauxligraphy e-classes and make your sign really stand out.
Lastly, install your lights. There are 48 lights on the KILOMETER light chain, so use your utility knife to make small holes where you want your lights to go. Then, turn your canvas over and make an X with the knife, using the small holes as a guide. Punch the tip of your light through the X. On the backside of the canvas, wrap each bulb with a small piece of painter’s tape. This will help keep the lights in place.
Turn it over and take a look at what you made! This holiday sign is most definitely merry and bright.
Plug it in and hang it in your fort for some seasonal cheer. Now that you’ve seen what we can do with LED lights, show IKEA® what you can do! You could win a $100 gift card. Take a photo of your most creative holiday LED creation and share it with IKEA® by tagging @ikeausa and using #MyHoliDIY. Time to get workin’! Get the full contest details at MyholiDIY.com.
9. Accent Lighting
Supplement your bolder lighting statements with some more subtle tones. LED tea lights are just what you need to achieve this.
Set Up a Utility Station of FUN
Of course, you’ll want to hang out in your fort like all the time, so why not make things easy and accessible for you. IKEA®’s RÅSKOG utility cart is a great go-to piece for organizing and storing all of your holiday needs. Plus, it looks even MORE amazing now that I decked it out with some extra trim! The only question is… what to fill it with?
10. Entertainment Station
Because, duh, you won’t want to be alone in this fort, so be sure to stock up on games and activities to do with your roomie, BFF or boo. The LATTJO toy line at IKEA® is off the chain. As an added bonus, they’re cutely designed and super colorful.
Also, don’t forget about the holiday jams! Bring in a set of portable speakers to listen to your favorite songs and some kiddie instruments to sing and play along. It never hurts to get a little silly when you’re hanging out with a bestie.
11. Craft Station
Stock your utility cart with paper, scissors and colorful pens so you can craft the days away. Get inspired in your fort to make more decorations or holiday cards for your loved ones.
12. Gift Wrapping Station
A gift wrapping station is pretty much a necessity in your fort. It’s the perfect place to reflect on all of the fun things you got for your friends and family.
Time to Toast
While you wait for Santa on Christmas Eve, why not enjoy some cider and cookies and toast to bringing back the magic and imagination of a holiday season celebrated right.
Cheers! Happy holidays to all and to all a good night!
How do you keep the Christmas magic alive? Share your photos of your LED DIY projects with us on Instagram by tagging @ikeausa and don’t forget to #MyHoliDIY (after all, you could win a $100 gift card from IKEA®). Get the full contest details at MyholiDIY.com.
DIY Production: Lindsay Saito
Styling: Lindsay Saito + Cassidy Miller
Photography: Chris Andre
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!