My Pathetic Cardboard Box CastleWhen my daughter was in preschool, we used to go on virtual trips to different countries. When we got to Germany, I thought that we would focus on castles. I am not really crafty, so my cardboard castle was not very impressive, especially with that picture of Neuschwanstein Castle sitting on top of it. Partially, it ended up so plain because I was hoping to decorate it with my then 4 year old. She, however, had no interest in that, so my husband had a good laugh in the evening looking at my castle creation. That, however, gave him an idea to build Smarty a “real” castle for her Playmobil knights.
Designing a CastleMy husband has a gift I totally lack – ability to envision 3D objects in 2D space. His design tool of choice for many years is CorelDraw. He designed every element of the castle in CorelDraw first:
The castle pieces connect to each other with a system of “hooks” on the flat wall pieces that fit snugly into the openings in rectangular tower pieces. Smarty still has some difficulty assembling this castle by itself, but it’s very stable once it is put together:
My husband created a cutting plan first to make templates for his castle. Then he cut pieces out of MDF (medium density fibreboard). He also cut corner pieces for towers out of thin cardboard and glued it on top of MDF – both to strengthen the structure and to create a 3D “brick" look for towers.
MDF is a “thirsty” material, so several layers of paint were needed to cover the castle. But, once it dried, it looked amazing My husband also added a castle gate with hinges and a “bar entry” and made Smarty her own coat of arms that involved books and her favorite stuffed animal.
Castle PlaySince the castle is big, we don’t have it out all the time, but it’s great for play dates, especially with boys. Recently we pulled it out as an extension for our Tuesdays at the Castle book club, and Smarty had a blast bringing it to life. According to her, every castle “must” have a coffee maker, so the king can be in a good mood in the morning.
What DIY toys have you made for your kids? Also, if you are interested to see a cutting plan for the castle in more detail, drop me an email, and I will send it over.
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