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How to Make a Medieval Castle with Working Drawbridge - Upcycle Crafting - Demo

Updated on September 12, 2014

Kid's castle made from a box and shelf paper

Source

Dreams of youth

I always dreamed of living in a castle, as a little girl, anyway. As an adult, I have remodeled enough homes to know it would be a job I would work on for the rest of my life in vain and bankruptcy.

So, I did a mini version to incorporate into this season's Halloween decor. It's not finished yet. This is just the main wing. I plan to add a maiden tower and a few other things as time progresses. Think of it as a doll house with a twist, or ten by the time I'm done.

For Halloween, I'm thinking to set up some paper dolls or action figures of maidens and knights. Then, I'm going to zombie them up. Fun! I'm taking it right through Thanksgiving and Christmas by changing up the paper dolls or actions figures.

I imagine this will take me several days all told.Tag along to check out how this, the first part of my castle came to be. It's made of an empty laundry soap box, some shelf paper, doilies and bling. It's all very common stuff, really. Mine is of course, girly. The directions will work for a much more macho version, too.

The doll figurine is older than I am. I got it from my grandmother when I was little. She had it for years before passing it on to me. God rest her.

Castle with the draw bridge open

Source

The gauntlet has been thrown.

This was instigated by a challenge. Mr. Vix declared I could not craft something that was not girlish, something boys would like to play with, too. Well, drat. It looks as if he is at least half right. He often is. Sh!

Don't you dare tell him I said that.

Anyhow, back to the castle. Okay, fine. I had to girl it up. I just had to. I got into it and while an insanely intimating fortress of War castle of mega doom is great for Halloween, how the heck am I going to take that into Christmas I ask you?

Yes, yes. I know. I owe him one. Fortress of doom next, after the completion of my sweet little princess tower of power additions. But first, let's scope on what will become the main hub of my castle, with draw bridge of course, moat and alligators optional. And, coming soon.

The gallery shows everything from the beginning to the end of castle construction.

Just click through the pictures to see how to build your own.

Here she comes, one Princess Power Castle, from a box.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Needed: 1 clean, empty laundry soap box, two small boxes, shelf paper, colored paper, doilies, pony beads, prong studs, glue gun, ribbon, 1 chain, Mod Podge and some bling.Mark the center point on the front of the lid and the upper box. We will use this to center our doorway. This is not required. No one said doors have to always be in the front. I wish I had installed a back door in hind sight, too.Trace out the opening for the draw bridge.Cut it out. An adult should do this step if using a razor knife, Exacto knife or tool other than scissors.Line the floors, walls, and ceilings with colored papers. Ribbon makes a great fake molding.Cover the castle with shelf liner. Do the box part first and then the lid.Cut, cover and glue down the roof.Do the overlap of the lid.Cover the drawbridge. I ran a scrap from some of the paper I used inside to make a kind of path way here.Cut out some small boxes. Cover and stack to make the turret.I cut doilies in half and colored alternating stripes of five colors for the inner top trim, the door way trim, and the bottom side trims. Whole doilies with the same pattern were used for the upper corners.Add some ribbon across the top, a stud and a cross charm.Pony beads stacked make the "stones" at the bottom.Pony beads and a dove charm are glued down to the turret. A dowel rod, colored black with a Sharpie marker was glued directly behind the turret. The chain that is glued to the front of the draw bridge is wrapped around the ends when open, and around Paper, ribbon and studs trim out the draw bridge entry way.Apply Mod Podge to the paper parts. A word of warning, the doilies I colored tended to bleed out when applying the Mod Podge. Be careful.
Needed: 1 clean, empty laundry soap box, two small boxes, shelf paper, colored paper, doilies, pony beads, prong studs, glue gun, ribbon, 1 chain, Mod Podge and some bling.
Needed: 1 clean, empty laundry soap box, two small boxes, shelf paper, colored paper, doilies, pony beads, prong studs, glue gun, ribbon, 1 chain, Mod Podge and some bling. | Source
Mark the center point on the front of the lid and the upper box. We will use this to center our doorway. This is not required. No one said doors have to always be in the front. I wish I had installed a back door in hind sight, too.
Mark the center point on the front of the lid and the upper box. We will use this to center our doorway. This is not required. No one said doors have to always be in the front. I wish I had installed a back door in hind sight, too. | Source
Trace out the opening for the draw bridge.
Trace out the opening for the draw bridge. | Source
Source
Cut it out. An adult should do this step if using a razor knife, Exacto knife or tool other than scissors.
Cut it out. An adult should do this step if using a razor knife, Exacto knife or tool other than scissors. | Source
Source
Line the floors, walls, and ceilings with colored papers. Ribbon makes a great fake molding.
Line the floors, walls, and ceilings with colored papers. Ribbon makes a great fake molding. | Source
Source
Cover the castle with shelf liner. Do the box part first and then the lid.
Cover the castle with shelf liner. Do the box part first and then the lid. | Source
Source
Source
Cut, cover and glue down the roof.
Cut, cover and glue down the roof. | Source
Do the overlap of the lid.
Do the overlap of the lid. | Source
Cover the drawbridge. I ran a scrap from some of the paper I used inside to make a kind of path way here.
Cover the drawbridge. I ran a scrap from some of the paper I used inside to make a kind of path way here. | Source
Cut out some small boxes. Cover and stack to make the turret.
Cut out some small boxes. Cover and stack to make the turret. | Source
Source
I cut doilies in half and colored alternating stripes of five colors for the inner top trim, the door way trim, and the bottom side trims. Whole doilies with the same pattern were used for the upper corners.
I cut doilies in half and colored alternating stripes of five colors for the inner top trim, the door way trim, and the bottom side trims. Whole doilies with the same pattern were used for the upper corners. | Source
Source
Source
Add some ribbon across the top, a stud and a cross charm.
Add some ribbon across the top, a stud and a cross charm. | Source
Pony beads stacked make the "stones" at the bottom.
Pony beads stacked make the "stones" at the bottom. | Source
Pony beads and a dove charm are glued down to the turret. A dowel rod, colored black with a Sharpie marker was glued directly behind the turret. The chain that is glued to the front of the draw bridge is wrapped around the ends when open, and around
Pony beads and a dove charm are glued down to the turret. A dowel rod, colored black with a Sharpie marker was glued directly behind the turret. The chain that is glued to the front of the draw bridge is wrapped around the ends when open, and around | Source
Paper, ribbon and studs trim out the draw bridge entry way.
Paper, ribbon and studs trim out the draw bridge entry way. | Source
Apply Mod Podge to the paper parts. A word of warning, the doilies I colored tended to bleed out when applying the Mod Podge. Be careful.
Apply Mod Podge to the paper parts. A word of warning, the doilies I colored tended to bleed out when applying the Mod Podge. Be careful. | Source
Duck Brand Smooth Top Easy Liner Shelf Liner for Kitchen Cabinets, 12-Inch x 10-Feet, Burlap
Duck Brand Smooth Top Easy Liner Shelf Liner for Kitchen Cabinets, 12-Inch x 10-Feet, Burlap

This is very similar to what I used for this activity.

It's strong, durable, easy to stretch and not so sticky as to be hard to work with. Best of all, it's so, so easy to clean. Thumbs up.

 

The main building component, other than the box is shelf paper. This simple covering, that's washable and durable, comes in a multitude of color and pattern opt

This product, the non adhesive shelf liner, is amazingly easy to work with. The traditional contact papers are fun, but they can be really hard to work with. They tend to wrinkle and bubble and are not forgiving in the slightest.

This product is different. For one thing, it's thicker and stronger. It stretches and actually clings to the surface allowing us crafty types to get a perfect line and no bubbles. This is the first time I have tried to build a doll house, much less one with shelf liner walls, but the more I worked with the stuff, the more possibilities I could see for it. I can't wait to try it again on some other projects.

The trim work is my favorite part.

Care to go to the ball?
Care to go to the ball? | Source

Castles have been the setting of choice for many a past princess.

Which location holds your favorite castle?

See results

The doilies steal the show, no doubt about it. I love the way they came out considering they came in a pack of 30 for a buck and usually wind up in the trash bag.

While made of paper, it's a pretty tough brand considering how thin they are and how delicate they look. After coloring on the alternating five colors, I went back over the entire thing with the lightest brown color used, then Mod Podged.

I really like how it kind of all run together softly. It's almost a foil look.

Like a new house, it's mostly naked. My poor baby here needs some decor, some furniture, a mirror no less to hang on the walls.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A cameo will work nicely I think. If added directly inside on the back wall, it will look like a hanging painting. That's the plan anyway.There's a boo boo on the side I will have to get to, but I like the double stack on the turret here. The lower part is actually open. I'm hoping for a tiny cannon or catapult to be housed here eventually. Hey! Defense is a thing with castles. SeriousI'm in dire need of some landscaping here. So much to get and do.Needed: Jester, weapons hall, towers, keep, moat, the list never ends. And, oh yea, furniture would be cool. Sleeping beauty is going to be snoozing on the floor. My poor princess, I beThe first unveiling upon drying of the mortor, also known to us modern folk as hot glue.As is proper in all Christiandom, a cross greets all visitors. To me, minus the drawbridge it looks kind of like a church. Hm. Maybe this will end up the cathedral wing as the castle grows. Food for design thought.Didn't you know? Dragons make the best lookouts. With his treasure sitting right here, just like a dog with a bone, no ones coming round without a whole lot of noise being made. ;)The princess has much to do and so is headed out to survey the grounds. She has to lay out plans for the moat. Royal work is never done.
A cameo will work nicely I think. If added directly inside on the back wall, it will look like a hanging painting. That's the plan anyway.
A cameo will work nicely I think. If added directly inside on the back wall, it will look like a hanging painting. That's the plan anyway. | Source
There's a boo boo on the side I will have to get to, but I like the double stack on the turret here. The lower part is actually open. I'm hoping for a tiny cannon or catapult to be housed here eventually. Hey! Defense is a thing with castles. Serious
There's a boo boo on the side I will have to get to, but I like the double stack on the turret here. The lower part is actually open. I'm hoping for a tiny cannon or catapult to be housed here eventually. Hey! Defense is a thing with castles. Serious | Source
I'm in dire need of some landscaping here. So much to get and do.Needed: Jester, weapons hall, towers, keep, moat, the list never ends. And, oh yea, furniture would be cool. Sleeping beauty is going to be snoozing on the floor. My poor princess, I be
I'm in dire need of some landscaping here. So much to get and do.Needed: Jester, weapons hall, towers, keep, moat, the list never ends. And, oh yea, furniture would be cool. Sleeping beauty is going to be snoozing on the floor. My poor princess, I be | Source
The first unveiling upon drying of the mortor, also known to us modern folk as hot glue.
The first unveiling upon drying of the mortor, also known to us modern folk as hot glue. | Source
As is proper in all Christiandom, a cross greets all visitors. To me, minus the drawbridge it looks kind of like a church. Hm. Maybe this will end up the cathedral wing as the castle grows. Food for design thought.
As is proper in all Christiandom, a cross greets all visitors. To me, minus the drawbridge it looks kind of like a church. Hm. Maybe this will end up the cathedral wing as the castle grows. Food for design thought. | Source
Didn't you know? Dragons make the best lookouts. With his treasure sitting right here, just like a dog with a bone, no ones coming round without a whole lot of noise being made. ;)
Didn't you know? Dragons make the best lookouts. With his treasure sitting right here, just like a dog with a bone, no ones coming round without a whole lot of noise being made. ;) | Source
The princess has much to do and so is headed out to survey the grounds. She has to lay out plans for the moat. Royal work is never done.
The princess has much to do and so is headed out to survey the grounds. She has to lay out plans for the moat. Royal work is never done. | Source

A detailed guide to pulling off all the tiny pieces for the inside.

Doll-house Furniture You Can Make
Doll-house Furniture You Can Make

The work, craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into high end doll houses astounds me. This was my first attempt, and it's a child's toy really, but I so admire those that can fashion such beauty in miniature.

Use this awesome resource to help pull off the fantastic. It's the details, the tiny little accent pieces that really make such doll houses come alive. From curtains to wall art, furniture to accessories. this will help you get your tiny house in show condition.

 
Something for that know it all mirror
Something for that know it all mirror | Source

Mirror of mayhem

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Why on you do they all call?

What do you know and how do you see?

Where did you come from?

How can you be?


Were you fashioned by dwarfs deep in the mountain,

or transmogrified by Merlin deep in the keep

sounding charms, incantations and magic mutterings thrown about?

Born in a mist of dark sorcery there can be not a doubt.


Mirror, mirror, hanging there on the wall,

are you my friend, or engineering a fall?

Your history is plainly recorded, there for all to see.

Every queen has fallen that ever conversed with thee.

Get thee hence you possessed glass of deceit,

or so help me, dragon flame you shall meet!

Vix a.k.a. Rhonda

Every princess needs a castle.

Back in the day, there were not near as many princesses as there are now.

Which princess holds your heart?

See results

Every dragon needs a hoard. Varion here is no exception.

Dragon treasure stash atop the castle turret
Dragon treasure stash atop the castle turret | Source

Use a pill box filled with shiny beads to make a tiny, ornate treasure chest. This one was another gift, this time from my mother, a long time ago. It's not as big as my finger, but I love it. Normally it hangs out on my dresser, but today it's coming to the party, to

o.And what's up with the crystal ball? Something is trying to come through. See the shimmer? Don't know what yet. We'll have to wait and see.

The standard

Adore banner flag on castle
Adore banner flag on castle | Source

How to make the standard

This is a temporary standard at best. Being such a newly constructed castle, it seems there has been no time to put proper thought upon the matter of the house crest.

Basically, I haven't picked one.So, a temporary flag must suffice. It's made by putting a sticker between two pieces of shimmer ribbon. After snipping off the ends to make a point, glue it to a Sharpie painted toothpick pole and voila.

Your kingdom is up and running.

Would you like to see how to build a Princess Tower to go with your castle? This is what we did the next day.

Princess Tower almost done
Princess Tower almost done | Source

Coming soon. It's almost done, now.

Brought to you by imagination.

The princess has to go about her royal duties.

The princess off to feed the dragon.
The princess off to feed the dragon. | Source

Someone has to feed the dragon. He gets cranky when kibbles are late. The fairies are just in the next room. Can you imagine the carnage if he decided to munch on them? It's best we let the princess be about her task.Have some fun and be creative. What have you got to lose, a box that's headed for the trash can? Try building a castle for your imagination to roam about. It's fun!

Please, sign the castle guestbook The princess will respond between dragon feedings.

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      5 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @MarcellaCarlton: Thank you. :) The idea for the tower came mostly from desperation. I wanted one to go on the castle and these items were all I had on hand. I'm really bad about not wanting to go anywhere sometimes to get more supplies. It ruins my fun crafty mood typically to have to deal with traffic. God bless and most happy squidding.

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 

      5 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Where do you all come up with such amazing ideas?

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