Here’s a LEGO craft that kids will go bonkers for! Upcycle a shoebox into a fort that you can furnish with things you build out of your LEGO bricks.
All you need for this project is items from around the house. A shoe box, paint, glue, popsicle sticks, etc. Use what you have on hand.
My kids have been having a really great time with their shoebox LEGO forts. Transforming a shoebox into a fort is simpler than building a multi-story LEGO structure, especially for young kids. Another benefit to the shoebox fort is that you don’t need a huge amount of bricks to make this fort! Very do-able for any family!
We built two different forts. The first is a fun three-story building that can be a house or a headquarters type of building, and the second is an authentic old west style fort.
How to Make a Shoebox LEGO Fort
To make the three story building, I stood the shoebox up on one end and added cardboard to create the different floors.
I used hot glue to attach the floors to the inside of the box.
I figured that if I put hot glue on the sides of the cardboard rectangles and then slid them into the box, the glue would smear and would not end up where I wanted it. So I decided to cut some small rectangles to use as supports for each floor.
I glued the supports to the sides of the box first before adding the floors. Make sure your supports are positioned at the exact same height on both sides! Then put some glue on the top edges of the supports. Attach the floor to those. Then add a line of glue underneath the floor to attach it to the back of the box.
After the floors are glued in place, the only thing left is to paint your box! Make the walls on each floor a different color, or paint them all the same. The boys wanted to use this fort for their Star Wars Resistance Troopers since they just look sort of military-like. So I went with fairly plain colors and brick details on the outside.
I would like to do one of these shoebox LEGO forts for Janie’s LEGO Friends figures and make it more like a dollhouse with pictures for the walls and cuter accessories!
Use LEGO bricks to build beds, tables, and computer desks. It’s also fun to add cabinets and shelves for supplies and equipment.
How to Make an Old West Fort
I just love how this old west fort turned out! And it was SO EASY. It’s just a shoebox, popsicle sticks, and paint!
Here’s a look inside the fort. I made this one a two story building. Build a fireplace out of bricks, and use brown plates for logs. We added a couple of flame pieces for the fire.
Here’s how I built the fort.
First, I cut an opening for the door with a utility knife (definitely an adult job).
Then I used hot glue to attach popsicle sticks to the front and sides of the fort.
Here’s how the final popsicle stick design looked. This was SO easy. I used a combination of full-length popsicle sticks and mini popsicle sticks. I wanted the sticks to stick up past the top of the box so that the LEGO figures could hide behind them.
On the top row of sticks, the shorter ones are mini popsicle sticks, and the taller ones are regular popsicle sticks that I cut shorter with some heavy duty scissors.
Then I painted the entire box brown, sticks and all! I used acrylic paint.
We made a little American flag and glued it to a popsicle stick, and my 9 year old also made a sign that says, “Fort Texas,” which I think he attached with tape.
SO much fun! We added bushes and rocks that we cut out of cardboard and painted. The bushes also have green felt leaves glued to them.
We have quite a collection of cowboy minifigures and horses. Some of them came from the Lone Ranger sets, which are now discontinued.
You can see the Lone Ranger sets and minifigures on Brick Link here. The prices are really not that bad for retired sets/minifigures because they were not super popular.
There was also a sheriff in the series 13 minifigures collection. (He’s pictured below at the table.)
You can find tons of horses on Brick Link under Animal, Land.
Have fun building shoebox LEGO forts!
More LEGO Building Ideas
We’ve got tons! You can browse all of our LEGO projects here. There are seasonal builds, character builds (like our Star Wars mini characters), STEM challenges, and more.