How to Build a Log Cabin Model

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Log cabin models are great school projects for younger children because they are fairly simple for small fingers to assemble and customize. Whether used alongside a lesson about American pioneers or simply as an art project, this no-frills log cabin model is particularly good for primary-school-age children. However, as a razor blade is required for this project, adult assistance is recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Newspaper
  • School glue
  • Brown poster paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Heavy books
  • Tape measure
  • Cardboard
  • Razor blade
  • Lay three popsicle sticks vertically on a flat surface covered in newspaper, spacing them about an inch apart. Squirt a thin line of glue down each stick. Lay popsicle sticks horizontally across the vertical sticks, edges touching, to form a wall. Repeat five times to create four walls and two roof panels for the log cabin. Allow all the panels to dry completely.

  • Paint all of the panels with brown poster paint to give them the appearance of logs. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  • Apply glue to the long top edge of two of the panels and line them up to create a triangle, with the edges where the two panels meet, forming the peak. Press the edges together, holding them for about a minute. Gently set the roof down on its legs and place a heavy book along the outside edge of each side of the roof to bolster it while drying. Allow the roof to dry completely.

  • Measure the empty triangular sides of the roof with a tape measure. Use a razor blade to cut out two cardboard triangles to fit inside the gaps. Paint the triangles brown, allow them to dry, then stick them to the inside of the roof panels with a thin line of glue. Inset the triangles about 1/4 inch.

  • Use the razor blade to cut a rectangle into the lower center of one of the walls. This rectangle will serve as the door of the cabin. Cut out small squares on either side of the door to serve as windows, if desired.

  • Apply a thin line of glue to the shorter, vertical edges of one of the wall panels. Stick a wall panel to each edge to create a 90 degree angle. Make sure that the panel with the glue is inset slightly (about 1/4 inch) as that will give stability to the corners and allow that inner wall to line up with the cardboard triangles. Apply glue to the vertical edges of the final panel and slide it into place, about 1/4 inch inset and parallel to the first panel. Gently stand the cabin on a piece of newspaper and prop up the two outer walls with heavy books. Allow it to dry completely.

  • Gently set the roof on top of the cabin's body to gauge where the roof and walls will meet. Lift up the roof and apply a thin line of glue to each popsicle stick roof panel, then to the bottom of each cardboard triangle. Place the roof on the cabin base, pressing down gently. Allow the glue to dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never allow small children to use exacto knives. The blades are small, flexible and sharp, and are incredibly difficult for someone with small hands to control.

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