How to Make an Action Figure Fort Out of a Cardboard Box

Updated February 21, 2017

Every action figure needs a fort or base to call home, but manufactured forts for action figures such as G.I. Joe, LEGO and more can be expensive to buy. If you're the creative type or want to work with your children on a craft project they'll enjoy, creating a custom action figure fort might be a way to save money and have fun. Your kids may soon find that creating their own custom fort is just as fun as playing with their action figures.

Gather several cardboard boxes of a variety of shapes and sizes. A simple action figure fort can be constructed out of a single cardboard box, but the fort can be more elaborate by using multiple boxes.

Glue or tape the bottom flaps of the box together so the bottom is closed. Leave the top flaps of the box open.

Trace the shape and size of windows and doors onto the box using a pencil, then cut them out using scissors. Make the windows and doors an appropriate scale, depending on the size of action figures you play with. For example, if an action figure is 4 inches tall, the door should be 5 inches tall, not 9 inches tall. To create a standard, swing-style door, cut only three sides of the opening and leave the left or right intact. This way, the door will be "hinged." To create a drawbridge-style door, cut out the left, right and top of the door area and leave the bottom intact. The door can then be lowered to allow action figures to enter the fort, and raised to close the opening. Windows can be done in the same way to allow them to close, if desired.

Customise the top of the box to fit the style of the action figures. If your action figures are futuristic, you may want to add sleek angles to the fort. If the figures are historical, you may wish to cut notches across the top of the box to make it look like a castle.

Glue additional boxes to the structure to make the fort larger, if desired. Add a separate "wing" of the fort by cutting a hole in the main box roughly the size of a smaller box. Cut the end of the smaller box, cut small tabs and glue the boxes together.

Paint the fort in any style that is appropriate to the figurines. A castle-style fort could be painted in grey with black lines added throughout to represent rocks. If the fort is futuristic, bright neon colours could be used.

Add any accents found around the house to make the fort more unique. A toilet paper roll could be used as a tunnel into the fort. Strings or elastic could be attached to the drawbridge to help it open and close.


Leaving the top of the fort open will allow your kids to freely move action figures around inside the fort. The key to this project is creativity. Allow your kids to design the fort they'd like and help them with the difficult parts.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paint
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About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.