Krak des Blanketiers
August 2, 2011 9:03 PM   Subscribe

My housemate and I, and our across-the-hall neighbours, will soon be throwing a combined blanket fort party. If anyone has done something similar, do you have any tips for the logistics of actually constructing said fortress? We're thinking twine strung across rooms, secured at the wall by those little adhesive hook things, creating a frame for draping our linen - but there are worries about the strength of those little adhesive hook things. For reference, our apartments are 1920s Art Deco things with very prominent architraves (I think that's the word - skirting boards coming down from the ceiling, is what I mean) which we are thinking of using as our anchor points.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Some of those hooks can hold five pounds or more- I think the packages for those show a bathrobe hanging off of one. Get the strongest ones you can find.

Also, you're gonna want to have some sort of central tent pole feature. That'll take a lot of the strain off of your wall hooks, and also prevent the 'roof' from bowing down annoyingly in the middle. Maybe a tall lamp? (Not turned on, obviously.) A hat rack would be perfect but who has a hat rack these days? (Or, if I'm overestimating how high you want these blanket forts to go, a chair could also work.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:39 PM on August 2, 2011

ideas for a huge blanket fort party. I'm going to repeat what I said there: think about safety and don't allow any smoking/fire.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:56 PM on August 2, 2011

Do you have picture rail molding, along the top edge of your rooms?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:57 PM on August 2, 2011

Instead of a hat rack, perhaps a freestanding coat stand? Your local Freecycle/Craigslist/Salvation Army might be able to help you out.

Also, what showbiz_liz said; those hooks come pretty sturdy. However, a word of caution: maybe it depends on the kind of paint job you have, but those hooks that promised to peel harmlessly off my dorm room wall, leaving the paint intact? Yeah, not so much. If you're using these on fixtures that presumably have some kind of gloss/varnish, this may not be an issue (maybe try one somewhere unobtrusive, first?), but if using them anywhere else, be aware that you may need to do some touch-ups afterwards.
posted by sophistrie at 10:00 PM on August 2, 2011

What a fantastic idea. If you use the hooks, check the label to see how long you need to wait before hanging anything on them--it might be a couple of hours.

An unplugged floor lamp or a folding ladder could be good support for the middle. You can also use clothespins to clip sheets and blankets to furniture and drape accordingly. Small spring clamps from the hardware store would be even stronger.
posted by corey flood at 10:24 PM on August 2, 2011

Meh, adhesive hooks will either work too well and peel paint or fall off too often. I would use a trusty staple gun or nail thumb tacks, They would work well on plasterboard as well as render. Stapling stuff is fun and fast and if someone accidentally pulls a bit down can be patched up quickly.

You should be able to pop them off easy as well, holes shouldn't be that visible and easily patched up.
posted by Raff at 11:36 PM on August 2, 2011

Memail me for an invite if you're sexy and live in Brisbane. I do worry about the visibility of penetrative attachment methods - maybe a compromise? I think you can get little plastic hooks that are anchored with a couple of tacks?
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 2:05 AM on August 3, 2011

Maybe you can create tent-type frames with PVC pipes & elbow fittings? You could probably get away with dry fitting but if you use the glue, make sure your various parts are small enough to be removed or that you have access to a saw.
posted by jaimystery at 4:35 AM on August 3, 2011

0h - if you have tall enough furniture (couch backs for one), just put the pipes from side to side & drape - no elbows needed.
posted by jaimystery at 4:36 AM on August 3, 2011

Once you hang the sheets on the twine it is probably going to be too much for just the adhesive hooks. If it does hold up the sheets, I'd imagine a slight tug from someone would pop it off the wall.

To hang the twine securely you are going to have to secure them in the wall, IMO.
posted by gatsby died at 7:58 AM on August 3, 2011

Try to get access to one of those really really cheap quality fold out couches. Like the ones that are literally just made of foam (the red one at the bottom left of this page). When I was little my bro and I would flip them upside-down, pull out the cushions to there full length and prop them up with stools. We would then drape blankets over the whole thing and have a blast. Gives you a nice main-base area while providing easy expansion points.
posted by smokingmonkey at 11:56 AM on August 3, 2011

I doubt that adhesive anchors will do the job--as others have pointed out, one tug and they'll come down.

It seems to me that you'll need a handful of really solid supports, and you can string twine from those. A telescoping shower rod (the kind that you twist out until it presses firmly against two opposing walls) could work for relatively narrow places with parallel walls, like a hallway. Do you have a large tent? Tent poles could be appropriated to form an arch--it would want to tip over in one dimension, though, but two arches connected by a broomstick or a piece of bamboo at their apexes might be stable. I think some mix of elements that are strong in compression (bamboo, tent poles, shower rods) combined with your strong-in-tension twine would be the way to go here.

Come to think of it, if your local home improvement store sells bamboo poles in some form, that, a roll of twine, and some amateur engineering would be all you'd need, I'd think. And cheap!
posted by kprincehouse at 10:59 PM on August 3, 2011

I just tested out stapling my renter rendered wall and removed them (Ill make any excuse to use my stapler). They leave a pin prick style hole, that you would mistake for a flakes of dust if you were not looking out for them.

As they are so small you can fill them with a minuscule amount of paint, spak/filler, toothpaste, flour, glue etc. to hide any evidence.
posted by Raff at 7:29 PM on August 4, 2011

Interesting notion, Raff! Strongly considering.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 12:46 AM on August 5, 2011

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