DIY Cardboard Castle Tutorial - Cost:$4

I have been getting lots of questions about how I made
this Cardboard Castle for my daughters' Storybook Princess Party..
So here's a full tutorial on how to make it yourself!
If you get free boxes, use paint you already have..
then you'll only spend $4(pack of zip ties) to make this castle!

I went into my dollar store and asked them if they had any extra boxes..
They were nice enough to let me choose the sizes I wanted and let me load up my car!
It always doesn't hurt to ask! You can also try places like Target or Home Depot..
(That's where I found boxes for my daughters' Sweetopia Village the year before!
Luckily I stopped by the day their trash compactor broke. :)

CAREFULLY cut out doors & windows using a utility knife.
I used extra cardboard to make a template..
and then traced that on both towers for my windows.
I cut out the drawbridge but left the bottom part connected so it could swing up and down.
You'll notice the stacked boxes...I cut out part of the bottom of one and top of the other so that they kids could fit in that space. (hope that makes sense!
photos below might help explain that.)
CONNECTING THE BOXES:
I would poke a hole with a pen through both layers of the boxes or sides of them if I was connecting that way.. and then thread a zip tie through it..and zip tight!
Just mess with it when you are putting the boxes together..
You will be able to sense where you need to add a zip tie to make it sturdy.
I didn't zip tie all 3 big pieces together (2 towers and 1 doorway)
because I wanted to be able to one day move it out of our play room....haha.
it's in the basement and ready to be moved up whenever we
decide it's time for a castle play date!
PS. I bought my zip ties at Target.
But you can buy that at any hardware store too.
Using scissors I roughly cut out rock shapes.
have fun with it! do more..or do less!
Random: For my church's VBS I made a roman village like this..
and used a darker share to shadow all the rocks when I painted them (with a sprayer)

For the drawbridge I poked two holes.. threaded some rope from my craft box and double knotted it on the outside. the strands lay inside for the girls to pull up to shut it!

I made up a flag design on my computer..with different patterns and colors.
then just printed them out..cut them..and sewed them together with white thread.
I now have 3 of the garlands hanging over the girls' play kitchen in the corner of their room.

I REALLY wanted to make clouds.
The quilting batting material was always calling my name!!
I kinda made it up as I went along.. but really just roughly sew them together. the looser the better.. and then just puff them out once you turn them inside out before stitching it closed.
I think these clouds would be so cute for a baby's nursery..
or for a variety of party themes.. toy story..noah's ark..etc etc.


This castle hosted plenty of tea parties and baby doll nap times.
The drawbridge was used a lot by the 3 yr old to keep her 1 yr old sister out.........
glad I didn't put a lock on the castle door. ;)
Here's a video of the cuteness in "action"


Hope that answers your questions..
just leave comments below if I missed something! :)

17 comments:

  1. Thank you thank you thank you! I pinned this a while back when deciding on my daughters 3rd birthday. We decided to do Strawberry shortcake for this year but I am ALREADY planning #4 for Princess and we are DEFINITELY doing your castle. It. Is. Awesome!

    Moore Babies

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  2. i couldn't accomplish this if i tried. another amazing party, natalie!

    thanks for the blog love ;).

    oooh and speaking of parties, i think i may be contacting you about your printables and some 1st bday party ideas!!

    cheers.

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  3. This is gorgeous! I made a very similar (outdoor) castle for my son's 4th birthday when he was really into knights, using free refrigerator boxes I got at a local appliance store. We used zip-ties, too, and were able to take the castle down, flatten everything and store it, and then bring it out again for several years!

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  4. Love it, thanks for posting. I will get my students to make this at summer school this year. They will have a bblast. You have just made 6 little boys very happy.

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  5. This is fabulous! What a great project!

    Had to share: http://minipiccolini.com/2012/02/4-diy-cardboard-castle/

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  6. Hey! Love the idea... i did this with my friend (were 21 lol not really kids!!) but it's no where near as good as yours!! Wow! Will have to try this with my little sisters they'd love it!!
    Thanks :D

    p.s our poor attempt is on my blog if you want to check it out...
    http://veryverysillyfunthings.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. Just stumbled across your site while searching for ideas for my daughter's 6th princess birthday party. Love your castle!! I may try it myself. Thanks for the tutorial and for all your information-- love especially how you did it on the cheap! My kind of gal!

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  8. My niece turns 2 this weekend and I'm making this castle for her party. I was trying to figure out how to make one when I came across your blog. Thank you so much for the unsight on how to create this fantastic little girl room decor piece. I can't wait to get started on it. I too love doing parties for my daughter and others. You've truly inspired me to begin dighing deeper and grabing a hold of my creative juices and giving them a good squeeze. I have photos of my daughters 8th birthday on facebook. lequita hicks and look under my pictures, I thinknher 7 yo party is on there also.

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  9. I remember my dad building a mini castle playpen for me and my brother as we were toddlers. Building one was more cheaper he said compared to the ready made ones. Back then he had wood-shack tools, nowadays it is tools online that are available.

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  10. I would love to create this castle for a Little Flowers group BUT I'd like it to be something we could put together and take down repeatidly for a game. How do you recommend I do that? My email is cotton17@insightbb.com. Do you think velcro would work?

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  11. How many boxes would you recommend? How big were the 2 front boxes eg. Washing machine box size?

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  12. I used around 8 boxes I think! From the Dollar Store so none of them are that big..so I had to stack them up. Attaching them with sip ties to get the height I wanted. Hope that helps!

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  13. Amazing! I'm going to give this a go for my daughter's 3rd birthday! Thanks for sharing your idea.

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  14. I'm attempting this for my daughter's birthday party this weekend. I was wondering what type of paint you used to paint the boxes?

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  15. Wonderful collection of the posts!! These will be definitely helpful for everyone.
    bubblegum casting

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  16. Love this Post! Gonna try them on my kids..:)

    Preschool Malaysia

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment! I love to read each one and check out your blogs! Have a great day!