The latest cardboard creation in our house has been a castle. Man was I so excited to make it. I’d been under the house and seen just how much cardboard I had stashed there and came to the realisation that I could really go crazy with this and it still have a huge stash of cardboard. Hooray!
This meant though that I really saw this cardboard castle as a bit of a rough draft. I cut things without measuring them, or drawing them on. I didn't measure anything at all. I just kind of went for it and figured I’d learn from the experience for next time. And I did.
One of the biggest things that set this castle apart from the other cardboard things I've done, is that it’s open. There is no roof. I've found that the kids really like to be able to see out, and play hide and seek by popping up over the edges and out the windows. They don’t care too much for the roof. Also, I wanted the cool turret/castle roof edge look which wouldn't have worked so well with a roof edge anyway.
The castle itself ended up with three sections, all of different heights. I did a drawbridge type portcullis gate thing for the front door, and the girls could pull it closed with a bit of rope, which was good. But because it was going up and down and being walked over, it came off fairly quickly. The girls didn't mind though because they just like to be able to get in and out when they wanted.
There was another door in the shortest section of the castle, which we referred to as the “Secret Door” because it stayed closed really well, and I didn't put any holes in it. It was really fun for Sophie to use it, and for her animals as well.
I did push open windows and just some window holes in the cardboard too, although they were less fun. When the three sections were finished and together, the castle stood most of the time with the bookshelves serving as the back wall, because I could tuck the two loose ends of the castle into the spaces between the bookshelves and the wall and the two bookshelves respectively which anchored it really well. It also meant that it took Hugo much longer to get at the bookshelves to everything off them, so such a win.
The girls loved to have picnics in the castle with their animals and read books there. We took them outside and gave them a paint job with some home-made paint (I'm so thankful it was home made because Hugo took one look at it and decided it had to be edible). I just had them do the inside walls, thinking I’d do a brick pattern on the outside ones with a sharpie, but then I ran out of time, and they didn't really care anyway. Maybe next castle.
All in all, the great thing about this castle was its flexibility. We could set it up anywhere, inside or out. It was such a win. I would love to do a big version one for a birthday party. Maybe with catapults.