King of the Castle

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I first spotted this homemade castle in Family Fun magazine months ago, and knew it was something I just had to make for Travis eventually!

Parents, it may seem like a lot of work, but the castle comes together remarkably easily in very few steps. My advice is to tackle one portion per day, so that it never seems overwhelming.

First, purchase (or reuse!) three large boxes. Use large (about 20×20 inches) for the two sides, and extra large (22×22 inchesĀ  – or more!) for the center portion.

For the center section, trace a drawbridge shape onto craft paper, and tape down to the largest box. Cut out the shape.

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To attach the drawbridge cutout, you’ll need two lengths of plastic chain (ask them to cut these to size at Home Depot) about 2 and 1/2 feet in length. Poke a pipe cleaner through the end of the cardboard further from the castle, and thread the pipe cleaner through; attach to one end of a chain. Repeat on the other side. Make two small holes next to the drawbridge cut-out in the castle box, and thread each chain through, securing with hot glue or tape.

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For the two side pieces of the castle, cut out window shapes, leaving the “shutters” attached. Peek-a-boo!

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You can use scissors or an x-acto knife to crenellate the tops of all three boxes. We taped one roof flat with the anticipation of adding a “bell tower” down the line – if we do, I’ll update this post!

Cut a side door in each side section so your kids can crawl from “room” to “room” within the castle; now tape all three sections together with a few pieces of duct tape.

Next up, we needed to apply a coat of paint!

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For some fun extras, we didn’t stop there! To make banners, attach pieces of triangular cardstock or poster board to dowels, and tape at the top of the castle.

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For ivy, hot glue leaves cut from green tissue paper or construction paper onto twine.

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For a torch, hot glue the bottom of a paper towel tube shut. Stuff with tissue paper, and then add gold or white tissue paper up top to stick out as flames. Position a battery-operated tea light just behind the tissue paper and your torch will really light up!

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That’s as far as we went, but there’s so much more you can do! Consider painting old shoeboxes and positioning below the windows as sills, stuffing with additional green tissue paper as greenery. You can also hot glue an old blanket or piece of cloth into the drawbridge opening, or hang strips of crepe paper as a “portcullis”.

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Inevitably, games in the castle involved Travis’s sword and our homemade shield. What else will you add to the castle for your king or queen? Please share in the comments!