With cardboard boxes, basic materials, and a few tricks (Velcro!) to make it collapsible (easy storage!), this play castle banishes boredom for good.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
— Two 20-by-20-inch boxes
— One 30-by-30-inch box
— Duct tape
— Roll of kraft paper
— Craft knife
— Plastic chain (available at Home Depot)
— Pipe cleaners
— Hot glue
— 2-by-3-inch Velcro squares
1. Turn the boxes into open-ended columns: Fold up the flaps on the top and bottom of each box. Tape in place.
2. Make a drawbridge: Draw a template for the door on the kraft paper and cut out. Trace it onto the lower part of the tall column. Cut out.
3. Cut a small hole on either side of the door opening — each should be just large enough for the chain. Thread the chain through and knot the ends inside the column. To attach the chain to the door, poke the ends of a pipe cleaner through the front of the door on each side. Twist onto the chain and secure with hot glue.
4. Cut interior and side doors so the kids can pass through.
5. Make windows that open and close: Draw a template on paper and mark the center line. Trace onto the boxes, and cut out, leaving the sides connected so they can open and close.
6. Cut notches across the top of the castle.
7. Attach the sides to the center box using Velcro.
Add extras to make your castle the best in all the land. Secure them in place with 7/8-inch Velcro squares.
Cut a shoebox in half, and hot-glue on paper leaves.
Make ivy with paper leaves, twine, and hot glue.
To make a torch, hot-glue one end of a paper towel tube closed. Wrap silver duct tape around the open end. Cut flame shapes from tissue paper; put double-stick tape inside the top of the torch. Stuff balled-up tissue paper and a battery-operated tea light into the top. Attach flame-shaped pieces.
Make window pulls on the shutters with wooden beads and pipe cleaners.
Make flags with cardstock and dowels, and then decorate them.
Adorn all the windows!
Duct-tape or hot-glue fabric inside the door.
You don’t need a huge fridge box — just get a big one from Staples!