Storycastles is bought to you in conjunction with Stone and Water and Creeping Toad – our well loved artists you usually see at the museum at our regular craft activity sessions! Just because we’re closed at the moment, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, so, here’s the first in our online craft sessions…
Based in Buxton in the Peak District, we all collaborate and support each other as we can, working closely with the Babbling Vagabonds and The Green Man Gallery. If you enjoy this activity, try visiting the others for more ideas!
Over to Gordon:
Now, flex those imagination muscles, exercise your scissor fingers and your colouring thumbs and join us to build a castle, build a tower, build a landscape where adventures might happen…
You will need:
➤ A piece of cardboard: A4 or A3 white is best but this will work with cereal packet card as well or anything that you can cut and roll without it cracking
➤ A piece of stiff card as a base
➤ Felt pens or colouring pencils
➤ Sharp scissors
➤ Small ball of modelling clay
➤ PVA glue
➤ Masking tape
➤ Craft knife and cutting mat
➤ A magazine with pictures to cut out, or tissue paper or wrapping paper
➤ Barbecue skewers (one for each puppet character you want)
Here’s our step-by-step guide to making your creation:
Step 1. Getting ready
Use the ruler to draw a line maybe 2cm in from one of the long sides of the card (line 1). Take the rule in another 3 or 4 cm and draw another line (Line 2)
Step 2. Drawing the castle
Above Line 2 draw your castle: think of it as a castle unfolded so work your way right across the card. There might be towers and battlements, and another tower, and a hole made by a cannonball. There might be arched windows, a door, arrow slits. Use Line 2 as a guide and don’t draw the top of your building further down than that line. If you do, you might weaken the whole castle. Don’t draw below line 1 – that will be used for something else
(We’re writing as if you are making a castle. You don’t need to: you could make a palace, a strange wizard’s house, a mountain, a forest. The same techniques work for all of these!)
Step 3. Cutting out and colouring
Cut out the castle. Cutting out windows: you might recruit a grown up with a craft knife and a cutting mat, or if you sit your castle shape so the window you want to cut out is on top of that lump of modelling clay, you can safely push the pencil through the card and into the clay. Give the pencil a wiggle. This should give you a big enough hole to slide some small scissors in and then you can cut out the window yourself.
Colour the castle in: completely? Or just draw in stones and ivy and decoration? Up to you!
All done? No! add a little bit more! How about some glitter?
Step 4: all decorated and looking wonderful?
Now cut tabs along the lower edge of the castle, cutting up to Line 1. Do your cuts about 2 cm apart
Run some glue along one side of the castle, then roll the other side round so they just overlap. Carefully press into place. Maybe use a bit of masking tape to hold it together while the glue dries or staple it if you have a staple. Carefully, fold the tabs out so that your castle will stand on the table with its tabs spread out like little feet
Step 5. Stand that castle up!
Turn your castle upside down and put a small squidge of glue on each tab. Gently stand on the castle on the tough card. You might need to adjust things a bit so that it stands straight and proud. Then press the tabs down. More masking tape will hold them in place while the glue dries. Now, rather than having a castle standing in a muddy cardboard square, decorate the castle surround with scrap paper or torn up magazine pictures or whatever (we sometimes use green sponges for bushes, grey ones for stone). There might need to be a paper moat) draw your own crocodiles or piranha perhaps). Step back and admire! You have a castle!
Having a castle means you might need a story to tell. Use some of your left-over card (or find some more) to draw someone to send on an adventure. Stick them onto a barbecue skewer (if it is very sharp, you could snip the point off with a pair of scissors so it is less likely to stick in someone!)
We made an adventurous explorer. We added a dragon. Because this is an Easter activity this year, we thought our hero should go on a quest….They met a dragon. They found a treasure chest. A chest full of eggs! But are they chocolate eggs? Or do the hero and the dragon incubate the eggs to see who hatches out of them….
If you want some help with characters, take a look this attached PDF that you can print out of explorer children and some castle people.
You can also watch this activity on YouTube – with Gordon here: https://youtu.be/16xA6XpKbIs
We’d love to see your castles! Share them with us on our social media channels: