I’ve been on a journey to embrace winter by finding as many ways to spend time outdoors as possible – all winter long. From skiing to creating cozy outdoor hangouts – there are a million ways to add to the magic that is South Dakota winters.

What better way to create a cozy place to host outdoor game nights than a small, portable greenhouse??

My PVC greenhouse for outdoor game night fun!
My PVC greenhouse for outdoor game night fun!

My original inspiration for a greenhouse fort comes from vising the geodesic domes found in both Hill City and Sioux Falls.


1″ PVC pipe

  • 2 x 6′
  • 2 x 4′
  • 3 x 3’3″
  • 6 x 3′
  • 6 x 3″
  • 1 x 3’10”
  • 1 x 2″
  • 6 x 4’3″

1″ PVC fittings:

  • 6 x 3-way 90-degree elbow
  • 8 x tee
  • 2 x cross
  • 6 x 45-degree elbow

Check out this recent segment I did on how to measure and cut PVC pipes to design and build your own structures:

Greenhouse Fort Plans:

Greenhouse fort plans
Greenhouse fort plans


In order to get the fittings to work for this structure, you need to build two sides that are mirror images of each other.

For the base of the structure, use a 6′ piece for both the front, where you enter, and the back.

For the right-side wall (your right when looking at the fort), use a 3-way 90-degree fitting to connect the front 6’ft base piece to a 3’3″ side wall, base piece.

Connect the 6' front base with a 3'3" side base piece with a 3 way 90-degree fitting
Connect the 6′ front base with a 3’3″ side base piece with a 3-way 90-degree elbow

It’s not the only time I’ve built a fort on TV! Cabin fever busters: DIY collapsible cardboard fort

Using a tee fitting, connect that piece to a 4′ piece to finish the base of the right-side. Connect the side to the base of the back wall with another 3-way 90-degree elbow.

The left side wall is a mirror image of the right side.

Connect the front base piece with a 4′ long base piece using a 3-way elbow and then connect that piece to a 3’3″ piece using a tee fitting. Finnish connecting the base with a 3-way elbow.

Start building the sides up by adding a 3′ vertical piece to all of the base fittings. Each piece will then get another fitting piece connected on top. All four outside corners need a tee fitting. The center two pieces of PVC pipe (one on each side wall) get a cross-shaped fitting.

You can then connect the side wall pieces with an additional piece of horizontal PVC pipe bracing. The right-side gets a 3’3″ piece on the part of the wall closest to the door and a 4′ piece closest to the back of the fort. The left-side is, again, a mirror image.

Add an approximately 2″piece of PVC pipe to the top of each fitting all the way around – 6 pieces in total.

On top of each of those 6 pieces add a 45-degree elbow fitting. This is to connect the roof.

PVC Greenhouse Fort structure
PVC Greenhouse Fort structure


Each of the sloped beams of the roof is 4’3″ in length. The top beam, or ridge, of the roof has to correspond with the off-set sides in order for the fittings to work. To do this, make the first part of the beam 3’3′ long use a tee fitting to connect it to a short 2″ piece of PVC and then connect that to another tee fitting. Then connect that last tee fitting to a 3’10” piece of PVC. Both the front and the back of the ridge will connect to the two slopes using a 3-way elbow piece. in the center, connect the first tee fitting to the left-side slope and the second tee fitting to the right-side slope. Voila!

Plans for the roof of the greenhouse fort
Plans for the roof of the greenhouse fort

Covering the fort

I wanted to be able to see clearly through my fort to really enjoy the beautiful surroundings of a South Dakota winter. I found this 8′ x 25′ roll of exterior, high clarity, poly-film at a local hardware store.

High clarity, exterior poly-film
High clarity, exterior poly-film

Since my fort is about 8 feet long, I unrolled my poly-film so that it covered the 8′ of roofline with the 8′ width of poly-film. Then I just had to cut out pieces to attach to the back and the front door. I used a variety of cut pieces for the front so that there would be an overlapping edge at the door. That isn’t quite enough to keep it easily closed so I plan to make the door out of heavier plastic and magnets in the future.

Adhere all of your plastic sheeting to the PVC structure using Gorilla tape or Duct tape. For now, I tucked the sheeting under the base of the PVC pipe structure, but I plan to add gromets to easily tie it down in the future.

Of course, I added a chandelier made from a metal hoop and fairy lights and added lights all around to make my fort glow in the winter night air.

Greenhouse fort chandelier
Greenhouse fort chandelier

Find more tips for decorating your greenhouse fort here:

Plug in a space heater, grab some games and a few blankets and enjoy a magical night!