How To Build a Popsicle Stick Castle

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A craft stick castle can be a good school, Scout, 4-H or hobby project for one person or a few members to work on together. This castle project will need to be done in several sessions to enable proper drying of sections. You will have complete creative control on how large the display is and how many pieces to put into the structure. Be sure to read the directions completely before beginning the project to avoid mistakes.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 to 2 boxes craft sticks
  • White craft glue or wood glue
  • Wood, tile or foam core board base

Place a sheet of wax or freezer paper on the work area to protect the surface. Lay 3 craft sticks on the work area.

Start 1/4 inch down from the tip and run a line of glue down the center of each of the 3 sticks. Place a row of sticks horizontally across the 3 sticks. Remove any warped or uneven sticks.

Place 2 sticks at angles with 1 stick end glued to the other as shown in V section photo 1. Make three of these supports for each roof section you are making. Let dry thoroughly.

V Section 1
V Section 1

Set a piece of foam or a cardboard box on your work surface. Place the three V section frame pieces onto the foam or box to keep them stabilized. Glue sticks horizontally along the three V section frames 1/4 inch from the edge of the horizontal sticks.

Let the roof section dry thoroughly. Paint the sections to look like slate shingles, rocks or thatched roofing if desired. Set roof section on box section (instructions in section 2) to make sure it fits, then glue in place.

Glue a row of craft sticks vertically around the bottom of a cardboard tube or chip canister. Wrap rubber bands around the circumference of the tube and sticks to secure them in place while drying.

Glue a second row of sticks around the tube or canister above the first row. Secure with rubber bands. Repeat with a third row of craft sticks if needed. Let dry thoroughly.

Glue strips of decorative paper or ribbon around the circumference of the turrets if there are gaps between rows of sticks. This will cover the tube or canister and give the appearance of banners or rocks.

Trace around the bottom of the turret to make a circular pattern on paper. Add a 1/4 inch measurement around the entire circle to make a larger pattern.

Cut out the circle pattern. Trace around the pattern on to a sheet of craft foam or heavy decorative paper. Cut out the circle.

Turn the paper or foam circle right side down. Find the center and mark it with a dot. Cut a slit from the outside in to the center point. Grasp both sides of the slit ends at the outer edge and pull the circle into a cone shape. Secure inside with a piece of strong tape. Glue to the top of the turret piece.

Place 2 craft sticks vertically on the paper-protected work surface. Gently squirt glue on the end of each of the sticks about 1/2 inch from the tips.

Box 1
Box 1

Place craft sticks horizontally across the vertical sticks. Make sure to set them on to the glued areas. The ends should overhang as seen in box photo 2.

Box 2
Box 2

Continue making the box by alternating vertical and horizontal craft sticks for layers. Glue as you build. Keep the sticks lined up. Discard any crooked sticks to prevent misalignment. The box will measure approximately 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches. You can make it as tall as you want it to be. Let dry thoroughly.

Box 3
Box 3

Glue box to a dried base piece from section 1.

Paint box if desired.

Draw a rough sketch of what the castle should look like. It can be a copy of an existing castle or one from your imagination.

Assemble as many boxes, roof sections, bases, flat roofing sections and turrets as you need to match your sketch. Let dry 24 to 48 hours before castle assembly.

Place foundation foam core board, tile or wooden board on your work surface.

Arrange the premade boxes in various heights to match your sketch on the foundation piece. Test to see whether the turrets will fit next to the boxes.

Glue the boxes and turrets in place.

Place one open-ended box on its side in front of the center of the castle. Cut out a piece of craft foam sheet in a 4 1/2 by 1 inch wide strip. Glue 1/2 inch of the foam to one side of a flat base piece. Glue the other part to the bottom of the box piece. This will be the drawbridge.

Attach fiber or string to the drawbridge and the box section to give the appearance of ropes to lower the bridge. Glue the box up against the front of the castle and to the foundation piece.

Decorate the castle foundation board by painting in a moat. Add rocks and trees if desired. Add in toy or crafted figurines and animals.

Tips & Warnings

  • If this is for a project that instructs you to use sticks only, you can build a turret by wrapping wax paper around the tube or canister before gluing the sticks together. Let dry thoroughly then remove the form and wax paper. Treat the hollow turret with care.
  • Make sure sections are dry to prevent collapse.

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