How to Build a Fort Out of a Wooden Pallet

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Pallets are often available for free.
Pallets are often available for free. (Image: dumpster and pallet image by Lucid_Exposure from Fotolia.com)

Wooden pallets are commonly used in many commercial warehouses and factories. These facilities are often looking to get rid of these pallets. Because of this, wooden pallets can sometimes be obtained for free. They can be used in many outdoor or rustic woodworking projects. Children will especially appreciate having a few extra pallets to make a wooden fort. Wooden forts made from wooden pallets recycle commercial waste and save money at the same time.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 wooden pallets
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Straightedge
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Screw gun
  • Box of 2-inch coated deck screws

Place one pallet flat on a work surface. Draw a doorway by measuring 30 inches up from one edge of the pallet. Mark this point with a pencil in the center of the pallet. From that point measure 12 inches on either side and mark those points. Use a straightedge and pencil to draw straight lines from each of these points to the edge of the pallet.

Use a circular saw to cut off the boards on the pallet following each of the lines that you drew. Sand the edges of the doorway with 120-grit sandpaper.

Assemble the walls of the fort. Lay out the pallet with the doorway perpendicular to another pallet. Use a screw gun and 2-inch coated deck screws to fasten the two pallets together where the pallet corners meet. Space the screws evenly using two screws per pallet board section. Place another pallet so that it is parallel to the pallet with the doorway opening and perpendicular to the other pallet. Fasten the two pallets together in the same manner as the first. Set another pallet in place to form the fourth side of the fort. Fasten the pallets together at the corners with screws and a screw gun.

Assemble the roof of the fort. Place the final pallet on top of the wall structure. Line up the edges so they are flush on all four sides, or as close to flush at they can be. Fasten the roof to the sides with the 2-inch deck screws and a screw gun.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use more pallets to make a more elaborate system of rooms for the main fort.
  • Allow the fort to weather naturally. Children will appreciate the rustic nature of the fort as it ages.
  • Always wear eye protection when woodworking.
  • Follow power tool safety precautions carefully.

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