DIYdiy projects

diy project: justina’s valentine’s day fort

by Kate Pruitt

There are so many different ways to express feelings of love on Valentine’s Day: some are sweet and sentimental, others are bold and celebratory. For kicks, I’m thinking I might want to surprise my loved one with an amazing and decadent love fort, like this one from designer Justina Blakeney.

Justina is the woman behind the LA-based design and consulting firm Compai Creative. She always shows a fearless use of color and has an amazing talent for mixing print and pattern to produce sophisticated, eclectic designs. You can read more about the making of this project from Justina after the jump, and be sure to check out Justina’s Before & After projects, as well. Thanks for sharing, Justina! — Kate

Styling by Justina Blakeney and Caitlin Levin. Photography by Carla Richmond.

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

In my family, building indoor forts was a weekly enterprise. Once constructed (usually after robbing every bed in the house of all sheets and blankets), we ate snacks, played games, told stories and eventually fell asleep all tucked inside. We thought a fun way to bring back a bit of magic this Valentine’s Day would be to build a (slightly more) sophisticated fort for your loved one. Can you imagine the delight of coming home to find that your amour had constructed an enchanting tent for the two of you to eat, drink, play and tell stories for the night? — Justina


  • about 5 sheets, sarongs and/or large pieces of fabric
  • a few blankets
  • one pole (we used an old shower rod, but a broom stick would do); size will vary based on how large/small you’d like the fort to be
  • 4 screw hooks
  • 1 spool of twine
  • 4 large safety pins
  • 1 newspaper
  • pom-poms
  • fishing line
  • lots of pillows
  • tape measure
  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • needle


For the Fort:
1. Measure the length of the pole. Decide where you’d like to build the fort, and screw two screw-hooks into the ceiling the same distance apart as the two ends of the pole.

2. Cut two, 3-foot long pieces of twine. Tie each piece of twine onto either end of the pole, and tie the other ends of the twine onto the screw hooks.

3. Start with the heaviest sheet, and begin to layer the sheets and fabrics over the pole. that will help maintain a more tent-like shape at the end. Once all the sheets are on the pole, measure about 2-feet down from the pole in front, and hook one safety pin through all of the sheets. Do the same on the parallel side.

4. Cut two pieces of twine about 3-feet long and tie one piece to each of the two safety pins. Screw the remaining two hooks into the ceiling about 2 feet from the pole on either side. (Actual distances will vary depending on how large you make the fort.)

5. Tie the two pieces of twine that are attached to the safety pins onto the two empty screw hooks in the ceiling.

6. Fill the inside will pillows and blankets for extra coziness; add chocolates, champagne and whatever else you fancy!

For the Newspaper Heart Garland:
1. Fold newspaper in half and cut out a half-heart shape from the fold.

2. Keep the hearts folded and punch one hole into the center of the folded heart so that once the heart is open, there are two holes.

3. Weave the twine through the holes in the paper hearts to complete the garland.

For the Pom-Pom Garland:
1. Thread your needle with the fishing line.

2. Thread the pom-poms onto the line, but be careful not to table the wire.


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  • ZOMG that’s the best boho blanket fort of all time!!!!!
    Honest: I feel like my BF would get a little creeped out if this suddenly popped up in the living room, but the cat would love it.
    Double Honest: Cat wins every time.

  • I love this so much, it so romantic! My only problem is the toddler-creature that lives in my house. He would love it, which would make it decidedly less romantic.

  • This is kinda what I had planned for our Bollywood valentine’s dinner. So excited to see that it exists outside my imagination. Inspirational. I’ll try hard to live up to this.

  • OMG. Finally! I’ve been looking all over the net for instructions on a fort just.like.this!! I know this is a post for V-day but i’ve been wanting to make one for my son’s play room. My latest attempt was similar but in the end didn’t turn out. i just need to tweak it a little this weekend. a big THANK YOU D*S!!!

  • justina’s work is so inspiring! thank you d*s for featuring such an awesome idea! tents/forts/teepees seem to be all the rage these days, and personally i’m loving the childish throwbacks. why NOT build a fort? amazing. i featured this idea in my valentine’s day inspiration blog:


    thanks again for always posting awesome ideas, d*s! you keep us inspired!

  • i am freaking out over that hanging macrame thing! LOVE it. i am inspired! i think i may have to make a love teepee for vday this year. it can live permanently in our yard so that we can vday whenever we want!

  • I LOVE this idea! Unfortunately, or fortunately, we have really high ceilings so I wouldn’t be able to hang this from them, but even making a cozy fort with chairs is a cool idea! I can’t wait! Now, somehow, I have to get him out of the house for an hour!

  • I love this, but I am concerned about putting in the time and effort and perhaps some money if the hooks arent going to hold the weight of the sheets in the ceiling… i am afraid it will just all fall out of the ceiling and be a disaster…thoughts on this??

  • This is so neat! A few years ago, I made a fort for Valentine’s Day, although not exactly like this one. I ordered a sheer canopy (mosquito net) and hung it from the chandelier. I lit all the candles I could find, stuffed some blankets and pillows underneath the canopy and served dinner there. It was stunning and so romantic.

  • My fiance did something similar to this one year for v-day. He also added a “star projector” that lit up the inside of the fort with constellations. It was kinda perfect.

    • Hi there! I’m very curious how to do this with out putting hooks into the ceiling. I tried to look at the link, but it said that I wasn’t able to open it. If you could share with me how you did it, that would be wonderful!

  • wow wow wow. this is like out of my dreams! thanks for sharing ;) we have a large picture window/nook in our bedroom thats about six feet wide and three feet deep. PERFECT for a fort lol

  • Wow, this reminds me of the forts I used to build when I was a little kid, except all grown up + super sexy!!! I love this!!! Will definately be doing this for my sweetheart. Thanks!

  • Yikes this makes me cringe! How long until it catches on fire? I can’t even be in love with that fort as long as all that fabric is directly in front of the fireplace!

  • how beautiful! when I have a bit more of a permanent spot, I’d like to build up a permanent little fort like this for napping, tea, lounging, reading etc. the pompoms making me giggle. ssssoooo good. It’d be nice to see if there is a way to incorporate this into a bed, like if a futon were under it or it hung like a canopy above a regular bed.

  • Until I saw Karen’s comment, I was beginning to think that I must be the only one to see the blazing log fire directly behind all that fabric and paper… I do love it though, except I’d like to make one just for me. Den building shouldn’t be confined to one day in theyear! ;)

  • I want to make one of these in my daughter’s room for her bed!! She has a wrought iron twin bed frame that squeaks like crazy and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with her room. I’m thinking of putting her mattress right on the floor and building her a tent around her bed! She’s six, I think that would be just magical! Thank you for the great tutorial!!!!

  • This is by far the ultimate design for a fort! I plan on using this for an intimate dinner setting in our yard. Thank you so much for the tutorial and easy instructions!

  • I’m decorating my little girl’s room, and I have been looking for and idea just like this! Brilliant! I link you to my blog as well :) Hugs, Ingrid

  • Amazing inspiration! Made a similar “love fort” this weekend for my boyfriend who absolutely LOVED it. thank you so much for the great ideas

  • This looks great! Kind of thinking I might just build a fort rather than buy a couch for my new apartment! Just kidding.
    What I’m really wondering is where you got all those wonderful sheets since my plain white fort would look much less amazing than this one!

  • This is great. My husband and my anniversary is coming up and we don’t have a lot to spend so we decided a night in without kids would be nice. He is in charge of cooking dinner for us and I am going to put this up in our living room. :) thank you for the idea and easy to follow instructions.

  • Really beautiful fort. Think I may do this as a reading corner for my class. Can I just ask did you make the pom poms from wool or did you buy the more synthetic-ey ones. Don’t think I have enough time to make all of those pom poms!

  • where did you purchase the cool white lamp? I am going to do a tent like this for my Granddaughter…. she will freak out!

  • Hello! Love this idea (for Valentines Day or otherwise!) I am currently working on a Valentines Day Round-up for my blog Vildmarket.com & would love to feature this idea in the round-up! Let me know if you would rather I did not, I will take it down with no hard feelings.
    Thank you in advance,

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