Refrigerator boxes are the best. This covered wagon fort was made by my wife, a preschool teacher, who has made plenty of forts like this for her own children. PVC pipe was used as the frame for a canvas covering. Brown paint, add some wheels and you got a great western covered wagon fort.
Step 1: The Box
Use a box cutter to cut a side panel. However, leave about four inches of the panel near the base (bottom of the box) so it will stay sturdy. Cut off the top of the box.
Step 2: Shape and Paint the Wagon Box
Cut the side wings near the front of the wagon becaue that is where the kids will sit. Cut a small window in the base. Reinforce the base (back of the wagon) with tape so the fort will remain sturdy. Paint it brown.
Step 3: PVC Parts
To make the frame for the canvas covering, she use 1/2 inch PVC pipe. PVC pipe is easy to cut with a hand saw. In addition to the PVC pipe, she used four 90 degree joints, six T joints and eight 45 degree joints.
Step 4: PVC Framing
Cut four PVC pieces 40 inches for the upright poles. Measure the width of your box for the length of the cross supports you will need. You will basically make a trapezoid shape for the top using the two 45 degree joints.
Step 5: PVC Joints
The tricky part is placing the T joint right next to the 45 degree joint on the top of the frame in the four corners. You need to cut a 1 inch piece of PVC pipe to place between the T joint and the 45 degree joint. The frame is not glued but rather pushed together and duct taped so it could be taken apart and moved easily.
Step 6: The Cover
We had an extra curtain from Ikea. It let light in but acted as a nice cover. It was stapled to fit the frame. He is a picture of the rough fitting for the covered wagon top.
Step 7: Covered Wagon
The frame was assembled by taping the PVC pieces together and using zip ties (see orange zip ties on the PVC frame) to hold the PVC frame secure to the wagon box. A small bench is places for the front seat and some small wooden items decorate the inside. The fire is tissue paper, sticks and rocks. Canteen is from the Salvation Army store. The kids will love this Covered Wagon Fort. Your kids will love it to and you can make it yourself.