After a friend introduced me to a TV show featuring French castles and chateaux (the French word chateau means castle), I became obsessed with the idea of how to make a castle - a cardboard castle. That's what this challenge is all about - teaching you paper craft techniques to make a fun castle of your very own.
I'll share free patterns, tips, and techniques in the upcoming weeks. My friend Jackie who writes the blog - A Cottage in the Forest will share her knowledge as well.
Here's my completed cardboard castle.
And here is a version made by Carol. Isn't it great? I love the paper she used for the icing and the terracotta-like shingles. It's beautiful.
But what makes a castle? What do you think of when you think of when you think Castle?
For me, it's stone work, stone walls, turrets, steeples, and crenels. I just learned about crenels and crenellations - gaps in the parapet to protect the castle against attackers. These form the idea of a castle in my mind. Those are the structural components of a castle to me.
Perhaps you consider the classic castle to look like the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. The real Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany inspired Disney's Classic castle.
Whatever your castle vision includes, they are very inspiring buildings for those of us who like to make miniature versions. So let's get started with Castle-making.
Here are some inspiring castles from my friend, Howard, from the Cardboard Christmas forum.
The first 5 videos are now available as a replay on my Paper Glitter Glue YouTube channel. You find them under the LIVE topic on my channel.
Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can get notifications of the Live videos.
Here are the list of Castle-Making YouTube Videos:
- Introduction to castle and chateau-making - YouTube video on Jan. 3rd at 8 pm EST
- Cutting out cardboard castles by hand - YouTube Live Recorded on Jan. 4th
- Cutting out cardboard castles with Cricut Design Space - Next YouTube Live on Tuesday Jan. 10th at 8 pm EST
- What makes a Castle? Turrets and towers. How to make Turrets and Towers - Oh My
- How to make steeples and tower toppers - Scheduled for Tuesday Jan. 24 at 8 pm EST
- Ways to make a stone surface or other textures on your castles and chateaux - Scheduled for Tuesday Jan. 31 at 8 pm EST
- Patterns for castles - Scheduled for Tuesday Feb. 7 at 8 pm EST
- Fancy Churches - Scheduled for MONDAY Feb. 13 at 8 pm EST
The first castle I ever made was Vlad's Castle for the 13 Days of Halloween challenge. I'll add two more free patterns that are more elaborate and not so spooky during this series.
Each topic will be covered in a YouTube video with all the links and additional information published in this post.
You can get the Make a Castle Pattern from my Paper Glitter Glue library, just subscribe in the form below.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Materials for the Make a Castle Challenge
General Supplies to Make a Castle
- Self-healing cutting mat
- Glass mat for painting, stencils. etc. - I LOVE my glass mat
- Craft knife - X-acto is the classic brand
- Craft knife - blades (recommended that you change blades for each project, though I am experimenting with Z-blades which are supposed to last longer and cut better)
- Painters Tape
- PVA Glue - for lighter materials I use Bearly Art Glue
- PVA Glue - for thicker materials like cardboard I use Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue, Turbo Tacky Glue, or Quick Dry Tacky Glue
Cutting Machines for the Make a Castle Challenge
- Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Explore Air 3 with Scoring Stylus
- Cricut Maker (original) or Cricut Maker 3 with Scoring Stylus or Scoring Wheel
- Fine Point Blade for lighter materials like cardstock, Deep Point Blade for thicker cardboard (30 pt or higher)
Cricut is the brand I am most familiar with, but there are other cutting machines - the Silhouette Cameo and the Brother Scan N Cut.
Paper-based Materials for the Castle
- Card stock - 65# card stock (176 gsm) and 110# (300 gsm)
- Cardboard - My favorite is 30 pt cardboard (0.77 mm) - easy to cut, but still makes a sturdy house
- Other thicknesses of cardboard - 22 point cardboard (0.5588 mm), 50 point cardboard (about 1.27 mm)
- Poster board is an option - most poster board is about 22 pt (0.5588 mm)
- Cereal box cardboard - also about 22 pt (0.5588 mm)
- Corrugated cardboard - for bases
- Single face corrugated cardboard
Ways to Decorate Castles and Little Houses
- Embossing folders like this
- Grit Paste - this is my favorite
- Texture Paste
- Paint - My favorite is Ranger's Distress Paint
- Acetate or vellum for window background
Instructions to Make a Castle for the Make a Castle Challenge
- Download the Make a Castle pattern #143 in the January 2023 section of the Paper Glitter Glue library
- Choose circular or hexagonal turrets. Hexagonal turret are much easier.
- Cut out the Castle pattern in either card stock or cardboard
- Decorate your Castle pieces - stencil or paint stone, glue on windows and the door
- Optional - glue on window backing, if desired, before assembling the castle
- Assemble the castle body.
- Make the turrets - Watch the turret video to understand how to make a circular turret.
- Glue on shingles to the castle roof and to the tower tops BEFORE you glue the towers to the castle.
- Glue the steeple to the tower before applying it to the castle body.
- Adhere the towers to the castle.
- Make the base.
- Glue the castle to the base.
- Decorate the base.
Subscribe to my Paper Glitter Glue newsletter to keep up with all my crafty inspiration and to get the password to download the Make a Castle Pattern.
Thank you for reading.
This is SO exciting Lucy! I've already told some people about this. Yay!
Thank you so much. I think it is going to be fun.
I am very excited to build a castle! Will it have fairies, dragons, princesses with glass slippers, dungeons and jewels. Looking forward to the story that reveals itself…
Yea! As a lifelong Francophile, I’m so excited to learn castle-making! Thank you!!
Me too (as a Francophile). I almost have the first pattern done. I am so excited about it. I will share the prototype in the first event.
I think I am going to have to use cereal boxes etc, as I priced the chipboard out and here in Canada it is $47.00 for the same pack you pay $20.00. Boy we sure get ripped off here!
On another note, great video I wish I had of know about the window tip (of the pin in the corner). I just finished making a Diagon Alley Booknook for my granddaughter for Xmas and while it was just the facades for the store fronts it sure was a pain cutting out all those little windows. Good thing Diagon Alley is supposed to be grungy LOL. The other tip about leaving the extra cardboard for strength and stability is invaluable.
I looked up cereal box cardboard and it's essentially 22 point cardboard so it works. Also poster board is about the same. So you could get a large sheet from a hobby store for a few dollars.
I learned the pin trick from Howard Lamey of the Cardboard Christmas forum. His work is so beautiful and he cuts everything by hand.