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A young boy wearing a crown, with a Labrador and homemade castle and sword.

How to Build a Cardboard Castle

Princesses, dragons, knights, and castles – the stuff fairy tales and history are made of! So what better way to keep your kids occupied on a rainy day than by making a simple cardboard castle out of recycled craft materials? Your kids will love inventing their own dream castle and then using it to house their favourite heroes and re-enact battle scenes from history.

If the thought of making cardboard castles for kids is a little daunting, don't worry, we've got lots of pointers below. We've also got stain removal tips here for any crafting mishaps. Now, let's get started!


To make a cardboard castle, you will need:

  • Four empty toilet or kitchen rolls
  • An empty cardboard box
  • Grey paint
  • A black permanent marker pen
  • A pair of scissors

Instructions:

  1. Use the black marker pen to mark notches in the top of each toilet roll and then cut these out. These are now the turrets of the castle.
  2. Next, measure four equal rectangles of cardboard to match the height of the toilet roll. These will form the walls that connect the turrets together.
  3. Again, use the black marker to draw notches on the top of the walls to turn them into battlements. Cut these out.
  4. At both ends of each wall cut a narrow vertical slot from the bottom edge to three quarters of the way up.
  5. In each turret, cut two narrow slots close together either side of a 'tooth'. The length of these should be half of the height of the turret.
  6. Next, cut a door or drawbridge into one piece of wall.
  7. Now connect the turrets to the walls in the shape of a square, using the slots to hold the different parts together.
  8. To finish the castle, paint the walls and turrets with grey paint. Optionally, once the paint is dry, add details like arrow slits and brickwork.


Using Real Castles for Inspiration

Making a basic castle out of the materials above is lots of fun, but what if your child wants to know how to make castles with different styles of architecture, or how to make a castle out of paper? If you encourage your kids to experiment with construction techniques at home and combine these with observations from real life, they're bound to enjoy the experience all the more.

Many of the UK's castles are open to the public for visits (check out the National Trust's top 10). Visiting a real castle is a fun day trip for all the family, and there's no paint or gluing involved!

Did your kids have fun discovering how to build a cardboard castle? Did you explore any real-life castles? Let us know in the comments below.

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