How to make a fort with wood pallets

Updated November 21, 2016

Making a fort out of wood pallets is an inexpensive solution to buying timber, and a quick way to build a fort. Wood pallets are used to transport various consumer items and so not all pallets are created equal when it comes to their strength. Using pallets that were used to carry building materials such as bricks or 23 kg (50 lb) bags will be the best pallets for making a fort. These pallets are usually made of hard woods -- using nails can be nearly impossible due to the likelihood of the nails bending when hammered. Steel wire can be used to band these pallets together.

Levelling the area

Remove soil from the high areas on your building site with a shovel and toss the soil into the low areas.

Rake the area until it's nearly level. It doesn't have to be perfectly level, but the flatter the better.

Remove all large rocks using the shovel to pry them out of the ground.

Building the floor

Lay down three rows of three pallets side by side and butt the ends together to form the floor of the fort. The floor should be 3.6 m by 3.6 m (12 feet by 12 feet) wide.

Unroll the carpet so that it is squarely centred over the underlying pallets. Check all four sides to make sure it is evenly placed.

Nail the carpet to the underlying pallets using 2.5 cm (1 inch) roofing nails. Nail at least four nails per pallet.

Starting the fort walls

Find the 1.8 m (6 foot) centre on all four sides of the floor using a tape measure. Place a mark at these points and then measure 1.8 m (6 foot) into the centre of the floor to find the middle. Check the centre by measuring from each of the four outer marks.

Stand two pallets up on end and butt them together. Make sure the closed ends of the pallets are butted together. Cut a piece of wire, using wire cutters from the wire spool long enough to double over, and then wire these two pallets together at two outer points. Twist the ends of the wire together using hand strength only.

Wire another six pallets to these two pallets in the shape of an octagon around the middle of the fort floor.

Finish the walls

Build another octagon just like the first level wall, but build it away from the fort area.

Invite eight people to gather around the perimeter of this structure and lift it. Place this octagon directly above the first level octagon, a half turn off centre so that the corners of the octagon are directly above the middles of the pallets below.

Cut doors and windows, wherever desired, using a wood hand saw. Use pliers to tighten all twisted wires wearing a pair of gloves.


Place 3.6 m (12 foot) long lodge poles over the structure for a roof. Wire them to the pallets to keep them in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake (hard tine)
  • 28 pallets, 1.2 m by 1.2 m (4 feet by 4 feet)
  • Piece of remnant carpet, 3.6 m by 3.6 m (12 feet by 12 feet)
  • Spool of baling wire or farm wire
  • Gloves
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Wood saw
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