All children can see the possibilities of a cardboard box. They can be rocket ships, submarines, secret forts and even castles.
Our friend and contributor Jessica Bentson created this cardboard castle tutorial that is ideal for storytelling, puppet shows and an array of imaginative play possibilities.
Storytelling and puppet play is a wonderful part of Waldorf school education and is something you can easily bring into your own home too.
This project requires using a sharp utility knife, so if you don’t have experience using one, ask someone for help or look up safety procedures on how to use one. Please note that any steps that require the utility knife are for adults only and not for children.
For this project you will need:
- A large piece of a cardboard box
- Utility knife
- Glue gun
- Ruler or something to help trace a straight edge
Sketch out your castle on the ugly side of your cardboard. (This will be the backside.)
Use a ruler or straight edge to draw the outline and the folding lines as pictured here.
Use my measurements as a guideline for your castle. Everyone will likely be working with a different sized piece of cardboard. I used a quilting ruler which makes it very easy to draw accurate lines, but you can freehand it. A wonky castle actually sounds even more interesting!
The only lines that need to be perfectly straight are the bottom of the castle and the folding lines.
Draw the crenels and merlons at the top. (Fun fact: the space between two merlons is called a crenel.) Draw one inch squares.
Next sketch out your windows and doors.
Once you are happy with your castle sketch, go over your final lines with a black marker.
Draw a dotted line on the fold lines.
If your cardboard is big enough, draw the “shelf” piece directly above the castle. It should be the same length as your castle piece and a ¼” narrower than the side of your towers. It also needs to include a long flap in the middle.
Now you are ready to start cutting.This step is for adults only!
I suggest cutting out the castle in the following order:
- Bottoms of crenels
- Sides of merlons
- Top of merlons
Now it’s time to remove some cardboard from all of the folding lines. Use your ruler to mark a cutting line ⅛” on either side of the folding line. Use your utility knife on those lines, cutting through most but not all layers of the cardboard.
Use your utility knife to shred and rip out the cardboard in between those cuts.
Glue the shelf piece into the castle, starting with the center flap and then the side flaps.
You may want to add some reinforcement glue along the edges.
And your castle is complete! Leave it as is or have fun painting it next!
Ready for storytelling or setting up for play!
More ways to make your castle fun:
- Create your own peg doll characters
- Include some puppets in your storytelling
- Paint it to make your own unique creation