When I was a kid — so, like, five years ago — I had an amazing cubby house. It was a few planks of wood across two willow trees that hung over the dam in our backyard. With a plywood roof that I had to keep replacing when the constant dampness got the better of it. I mostly stole my supplies from construction sites around the area, but now that I am a grown up … Nah, I’ll still be hitting up the builder’s dumpsters.

Now I live in the city, don’t have a backyard (let alone a dam) and my dreams of “willow mansion” have long vanished. I do, however, have bed sheets, some clothes pegs and an assortment of furniture. This combined with an uncanny ability to create great feats of engineering with very limited resources means: I WILL HAVE A FORT ONCE MORE.

If you want to regress with me, here is a brief step-by-step on how to build an indoor cubby house — or, if we want the Latin name “pillowfort”.

  1. Arrange furniture in your lounge room in a circular shape, as though you are designating a landing spot for a UFO. If you are a high roller and have a larger living room, you may find you want to arrange you furniture in a rectangle and build an adjacent eastern wing for your cat.
  2. Get your broom (or if you are some sort of joke of an adult and don’t own a broom “guilty”, get a big stick) and lay it across two cupboards of the same height. This is your doorway.
  3. Use twine or yarn or rope and link up the furniture, making sure the twineyarnrope is taut.
  4. Get several of the biggest bed sheets you can get your hands on. Peg them together. Proceed to drape the sheets over your construction, creating a large cavern. If you are tall of stature, I suggest you tip your couch on its arms to create more height.
  5. If you find the middle of your fort sagging, get a blow fan and face it upwards — or at an angle — to create what is known as a “bubble fort”.
  6. Drag in pillows, pull on your snuggie and begin what I call “the nesting phase”.

Five fun things to do in your fort:

  1. Eat biscuits.
  2. Use a telescope to spy on your housemate/ partner/ neighbour.*
  3. Invite in your housemate/ partner/ neighbour 😉
  4. Plot. It doesn’t matter what you’re plotting, just punctuate it with creepy laughing.
  5. Nap shamelessly.**

* This may be illegal. I do not necessarily endorse this.

** Shameless napping is entirely different to regular napping because you can do it n-ked and still sprawl starfish style.