I'm still working on the sewing things, but over the weekend, the house was clean enough that I got excited about something else. Something cardboard.
The first half of this term, I had pulled the Cardboard Rocket out of storage under the house for everyone to play in. I didn't realise it is a year old now! It was out for the first four weeks of term, and because it's so big, some other toys had to be put away to make space for it. Actually, the entire living room needed to be reorganised. Anyway!
The kids loved it, which was great, but unfortunately they were a little too robust in their affection for the rocket and I knew it probably wouldn't live much longer. Which was fine. It was fantastic and they loved it while it lasted, and it was only cardboard, so it was never going to last forever anyway.
With the rocket gone now (still under the house, but I think after I take the gadgets off, it will go out with recycling soon), there was lots of space in the living room, so I got excited about more cardboard. Enter the cardboard castle.
I'd been thinking about making another cardboard castle for a while actually, but they do take up space and are somewhat inconvenient given the amount of space they take up tends to be all of the space available in the living room. But, with Steve away in Seattle at the moment, I figured I've got one less person to inconvenience, so now was the best time! Also, the weather is already incredibly hot, even in October, so new play things for inside is a good since we can't really venture outside much. :(
All it takes is some nice cardboard, that you think of was walls and cut battlements into at the top. I also scored this one below so that it would fold nicely to be a corner.
And also add windows if you want/need them. I didn't bother with windows that actually open and close this time, because though the kids love them, they are too rough with them and they are usually the first things to go. Notice the girls in the background? They were eating popcorn as they watched Totoro.
Anyway, when you have your nice pile of cardboard walls with all the bits cut out, then you start to assemble them. Rachel insisted that we have an "open close" door, so despite my misgivings, they got one.
Assembly is pretty easy, hot glue gun and some sticky tape. I am really lucky with my cardboard, because not only do I get lots from obliging people like my parents who just bought four new chairs that all came in lovely boxes, I also live in a great community where strangers give me cardboard too.
What is this? I hear you say. Well! Someone posted on the community grapevine that they worked in a place that didn't recycle much, and since he was sad to see so much cardboard get thrown away, he was wondering if anyone would be interested in some. Yes please! He even delivered it in his car in the evening for me. So nice!
For the bits of cardboard that were just straight cardboard with no tabs (as in, I didn't unfold them from boxes), I used other bits of cardboard as braces for the corners. For one end of the castle, I used a wipes box that I put a brick into for weight, and then cut a slit for the castle to slide into. This end can go anywhere it likes, because the box keeps it stable and upright.
Then, because I designed it with turret/tower rooms, the castle zig-zags across and that keeps the rest of it upright. I can slide the other end between furniture if I like, to help stablelize it, or it can just stay free and help make the castle a different size or shape. Here it is as a wall across the living room:
And here it is more curved in the morning, to give the stuffed animals (that you can't see, sorry) more shelter inside.
Though the door is good and works, they often choose to go through the "secret passage way", which is the small flap on the bottom of the second picture above, on the far right, near Rachel. I don't know why, but crawling through that is apparently a more appealing way of entering the castle.