Third Birthday: Building a Cardboard Fort, Part 2

Whew! You know you’ve married the right woman when she’s still up at midnight helping you get a cardboard fort together. Help is a weak word. She is a fort building dynamo.

It doesn’t look it, but this fort has 44 boxes. We scored one fridge box and oven box from a friend, and a bunch of odds ‘n’ ends from Arcata Exchange Furniture on the Plaza, plus some postal, two wardrobe and various other boxes off Freecycle and Craig’s List that were destined for recycling. (Read part 1 for my taxing experience scrounging for boxes.) Some of those odd furniture boxes were two halves from two different dresser boxes. My wife’s genius idea was to use them as roofs, supported by small box pillars. The larger of the two roofs actually contains two rooms.

There is also an open air central courtyard which isn’t so open because the party takes place in the dark (with flashlights, glow necklaces, etc.).

Photo of a cardboard fort.

The fort is comprised of 10 large and 34 small boxes, several Mr. McGroovy’s box rivets, lots of packing tape and 10 lanterns. A review of those box rivets is on its way in a couple weeks. They were a lifesaver in a few spots in this fort.

Another photo of a cardboard fort.

Another view of the fort. Please, don’t ask where our furniture went.

Photo of a cardboard tunnel leading to the fort, plus a photo of a glowing Chinese food takeout container hanging inside the fort.

On the left we see the tunnel entrance (obscured in the other photos above). This is one of two ways in and out of the fort.

On the right is one of 10 battery-powered lanterns that hang inside the fort. We ran zip ties through the ceiling, then latched Chinese food takeout containers to them using paper clips. The paper clip allows me to activate and hang lanterns at my whim, rather than having them permanently anchored to the zip ties.

I’ll post a party recap by Monday, at the very least detailing two party games we devised, and revealing whether a glow party for 3-year-olds is a fantastic idea or a nightmare.


5 Responses to “Third Birthday: Building a Cardboard Fort, Part 2”

  1. Kevin says:

    Well done.

    June 8th, 2007 at 7:34 am

  2. judy says:

    I’m so excited about this party!!! That is aMAZING! Has your daughter seen it yet? Did she do a trial run? Is there any chance we’re going to get a nice little video from the POV of someone going through that fort/maze?
    Happy Birthday!!!!

    June 8th, 2007 at 11:29 am

  3. AJ says:

    Judy, you find me a POV toddler video camera and I’ll hit the company up for a review sample, or if I must, mortgage my home.

    The party ended after four hours. No tears. Lots of fun. I’m operating on four hours sleep. My inlaws arrive in a couple hours and when they leave on Sunday, my parents arrive for a two day visit. Woo hoo!

    I didn’t snap too many photos, but I’ll post an update when my brain clears. I’m off to make four trips to the recycling center to empty our garage of all the extra “well, we might be able to do something with it” cardboard we picked up in the past two weeks.

    June 8th, 2007 at 3:25 pm

  4. cary says:

    Your box story has jogged a memory from my son’s first ABC Block birthday party, for which I needed a lot of square cube boxes.

    See the results here:

    June 12th, 2007 at 6:23 pm

  5. christine says:

    AMAZING! how did you make that? wow…you must have saved up ALOT of boxes to make that! That fort look very fun!

    February 16th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Post a comment

(will not be published)