How to Make a Combat Worthy Fort Out of Cardboard

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Every child should have the opportunity to build a fort and defend it from the Mongul hordes, or at least friends and little brothers. Start collecting boxes today, enlist the help of an adult and then you are ready to enter your own land of fantasy and adventure. Defend you lands against dragons and invaders. Talk to the fairy princess or just hide behind your safe stone walls. With some proper planning, you can have a defensible fort big enough for you and your army!

Things You'll Need

  • black marker
  • several large boxes, preferably from appliances
  • duct tape
  • box cutter
  • safe cutting surface (like outside)
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers for decorating the fort

How to Build a Fun and Defensible Cardboard Fort

  • Inspect your boxes for rips or tears that can make them unusable. The more strong boxes that are available, the bigger you can make the fort.

  • Slice the boxes down one so they will open flat.This may require using the box cutter and should not be done on Mom's hardwood floors! Trust me on this one. Make sure that the boxes to make the front are the same length as the boxes to make the back. Make sure the sides are the same length too.

  • Draw the ramparts along the top of your castle wall. These can be as simple as rectangle cut outs or as decorative as you want. Also draw the front windows so you can see who is attacking! Using the box cutter, on a very good surface with adult supervision or an adult handling the knife, cut along the decorative lines at the top. For the window, cut across the top and bottom and then on long cut down the middle. The fold each side of the window open. That way, when the attack comes, you can close the window!

  • Repeat step three for each of the side of the fort as well. When you get to the back wall of fort, be sure to draw a door. Cut on only one side of the door and along the top so you can fold it open and also close it.

  • Tape up the walls! Lie the right wall next to the front wall, with the outside down towards the floor. Align the sides and then use duct tape to attach the two sides together. Use about half of the width of the tape on each side. This will make the walls hinge at the corner. About every 12 inches, add a 24 inch horizontal strip of duct tape as well to reinforce your corners. Repeat this step until all the sides are attached. Be careful to match top to top and outside to outside.

  • Erect your fort and put a big book inside the fort in each corner to help keep it in place and support the walls. Next, take crayons or markers and add whatever details you want to the outside of the fort. Watercolor pains work very well if you are careful not to use too much water in the paint. Then you can add painted on water or grass and even add some bricks to your castle.

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