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Directions for Making a Fort Out of Popsicle Sticks

Updated April 17, 2017

Using nothing more than Popsicle sticks (or craft sticks purchased for the project) and some other everyday items, you can build a sturdy fort with your kids. A Popsicle stick fort is easy enough to make that kids of any age can actively participate in its creation.

Tools

The main tools you need for your Popsicle stick fort are Popsicle or craft sticks and glue. Wood glue works best with Popsicle sticks, but other types of glue may work as well. If an adult is in charge of the Popsicle stick fort-building, you can use a hot-glue gun for rapid gluing and construction. Paper glue also works, but the Popsicle sticks will not be as stable as with wood glue or a glue gun. Keep in mind that glue does take some time to set, so your fort will remain unstable for some time after gluing.

Construction

Before you begin building, determine how many Popsicle sticks you have. Your fort's size depends on how much material you have for its construction. On a large sheet of paper, draw the basic shape you want for your fort. Lay the Popsicle sticks on that diagram to form the base of the fort. From that base, you can determine how many sticks it will take to build up the walls of your fort. If you don't have enough Popsicle sticks, consider using other building materials like cardboard and paper for part of your fort design.

With your fort's base designed and your Popsicle sticks counted, you can begin. Build the entire base of your fort first. Let the glue dry before you move the base or continue to build on it. When you are ready to build up the fort walls, make sure you place the Popsicle sticks carefully next to one another. For a more solid and sturdy wall, build with the Popsicle sticks' flat sides: they can be interlaced like the logs of a log cabin or they can simply be glued flat on top of each other. Gluing the narrow sides of the Popsicle sticks together will speed your fort-building, but the resulting walls will be unstable and flimsy.

If you want windows in your Popsicle stick fort, you can either plan to leave spaces while constructing or you can cut the holes after you finish. To cut holes in the Popsicle sticks, use a sharp knife or a small saw. An adult should be in charge of this section.

Your fort roof can be made of Popsicle sticks lying flat or you can use paper. Do not attempt to attach the roof until the glue in the walls is completely dried.

Decoration

After you have built your Popsicle stick fort, you may want to decorate it. It is easy to use markers or crayons to draw on Popsicle sticks, so these tools may be used for the decoration. Alternatively, you can paint your fort with water-based paints. If using the hot-glue gun, you may want to attach decorations like pom-poms, pictures or glitter to the outside of your fort.

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About the Author

Laurel Brown has several years experience as an educator and a writer. She won the 2008 Reingold Prize for writing in the history of science. Brown has a Ph.D. and Master of Arts in the history of science and Middle Eastern studies from Columbia University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in astrophysics from Colgate University.