DIY Cardboard Castle Tutorial – Cost:$4

I have been getting lots of questions about how I made
this Cardboard Castle for my daughters’ Storybook Princess Party..
So here’s a full tutorial on how to make it yourself!
If you get free boxes, use paint you already have..
then you’ll only spend $4(pack of zip ties) to make this castle!

I went into my dollar store and asked them if they had any extra boxes..
They were nice enough to let me choose the sizes I wanted and let me load up my car!
It always doesn’t hurt to ask! You can also try places like Target or Home Depot..
(That’s where I found boxes for my daughters’ Sweetopia Village the year before!
Luckily I stopped by the day their trash compactor broke. :)

CAREFULLY cut out doors & windows using a utility knife.
I used extra cardboard to make a template..
and then traced that on both towers for my windows.
I cut out the drawbridge but left the bottom part connected so it could swing up and down.
You’ll notice the stacked boxes…I cut out part of the bottom of one and top of the other so that they kids could fit in that space. (hope that makes sense!
photos below might help explain that.)
I would poke a hole with a pen through both layers of the boxes or sides of them if I was connecting that way.. and then thread a zip tie through it..and zip tight!
Just mess with it when you are putting the boxes together..
You will be able to sense where you need to add a zip tie to make it sturdy.
I didn’t zip tie all 3 big pieces together (2 towers and 1 doorway)
because I wanted to be able to one day move it out of our play room….haha.
it’s in the basement and ready to be moved up whenever we
decide it’s time for a castle play date!
PS. I bought my zip ties at Target.
But you can buy that at any hardware store too.
Using scissors I roughly cut out rock shapes.
have fun with it! do more..or do less!
Random: For my church’s VBS I made a roman village like this..
and used a darker share to shadow all the rocks when I painted them (with a sprayer)
For the drawbridge I poked two holes.. threaded some rope from my craft box and double knotted it on the outside. the strands lay inside for the girls to pull up to shut it!

I made up a flag design on my computer..with different patterns and colors.

then just printed them out..cut them..and sewed them together with white thread.
I now have 3 of the garlands hanging over the girls’ play kitchen in the corner of their room.

I REALLY wanted to make clouds.

The quilting batting material was always calling my name!!
I kinda made it up as I went along.. but really just roughly sew them together. the looser the better.. and then just puff them out once you turn them inside out before stitching it closed.
I think these clouds would be so cute for a baby’s nursery..
or for a variety of party themes.. toy story..noah’s ark..etc etc.

This castle hosted plenty of tea parties and baby doll nap times.
The drawbridge was used a lot by the 3 yr old to keep her 1 yr old sister out………
glad I didn’t put a lock on the castle door. ;)
Here’s a video of the cuteness in “action”

Hope that answers your questions..
just leave comments below if I missed something! :)

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  • Stevie @ MooreBabies
    February 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you! I pinned this a while back when deciding on my daughters 3rd birthday. We decided to do Strawberry shortcake for this year but I am ALREADY planning #4 for Princess and we are DEFINITELY doing your castle. It. Is. Awesome!

    Moore Babies

  • Camille
    February 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    i couldn’t accomplish this if i tried. another amazing party, natalie!

    thanks for the blog love ;).

    oooh and speaking of parties, i think i may be contacting you about your printables and some 1st bday party ideas!!


  • Holly
    February 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    This is gorgeous! I made a very similar (outdoor) castle for my son’s 4th birthday when he was really into knights, using free refrigerator boxes I got at a local appliance store. We used zip-ties, too, and were able to take the castle down, flatten everything and store it, and then bring it out again for several years!

  • Sheila
    February 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Love it, thanks for posting. I will get my students to make this at summer school this year. They will have a bblast. You have just made 6 little boys very happy.

  • Mini Piccolini
    February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    This is fabulous! What a great project!

    Had to share:

  • restlessrisa
    July 30, 2012 at 12:20 am

    So COOL! I love it :)



  • Gabbyyy
    August 2, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Hey! Love the idea… i did this with my friend (were 21 lol not really kids!!) but it’s no where near as good as yours!! Wow! Will have to try this with my little sisters they’d love it!!
    Thanks :D

    p.s our poor attempt is on my blog if you want to check it out…

  • Alexa
    August 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Just stumbled across your site while searching for ideas for my daughter’s 6th princess birthday party. Love your castle!! I may try it myself. Thanks for the tutorial and for all your information– love especially how you did it on the cheap! My kind of gal!

  • lequita hicks
    November 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

    My niece turns 2 this weekend and I’m making this castle for her party. I was trying to figure out how to make one when I came across your blog. Thank you so much for the unsight on how to create this fantastic little girl room decor piece. I can’t wait to get started on it. I too love doing parties for my daughter and others. You’ve truly inspired me to begin dighing deeper and grabing a hold of my creative juices and giving them a good squeeze. I have photos of my daughters 8th birthday on facebook. lequita hicks and look under my pictures, I thinknher 7 yo party is on there also.

  • amira khan
    January 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I remember my dad building a mini castle playpen for me and my brother as we were toddlers. Building one was more cheaper he said compared to the ready made ones. Back then he had wood-shack tools, nowadays it is tools online that are available.

  • Anonymous
    February 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I would love to create this castle for a Little Flowers group BUT I’d like it to be something we could put together and take down repeatidly for a game. How do you recommend I do that? My email is Do you think velcro would work?

  • Anonymous
    July 6, 2013 at 7:30 am

    How many boxes would you recommend? How big were the 2 front boxes eg. Washing machine box size?

  • Natalie Catherine of
    July 6, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I used around 8 boxes I think! From the Dollar Store so none of them are that I had to stack them up. Attaching them with sip ties to get the height I wanted. Hope that helps!

  • Anonymous
    September 27, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Amazing! I’m going to give this a go for my daughter’s 3rd birthday! Thanks for sharing your idea.

  • Veronica Gutierrez
    February 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I’m attempting this for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend. I was wondering what type of paint you used to paint the boxes?

  • Micheal Hussey
    March 18, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Wonderful collection of the posts!! These will be definitely helpful for everyone.
    bubblegum casting

  • Melissa
    April 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Love this Post! Gonna try them on my kids..:)

    Preschool Malaysia

  • Misty Rouch
    September 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    awsome idea!!!! :)

  • syamsina
    April 15, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Hai there…greetings from Malaysia…tq so much for this tutorial…my daughter birthday is just around the corner…and yes…i definitely doing this with my husband…those are cheap yet so much fun…i love you!tq once again for sharing

  • Laura Lee
    May 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    My husband and I attempted this last weekend and almost have it finished! Took way longer than we expected, but it’s definitely going to be worth it. All we have to do is add some glitter to the details and we’ll be finished. Awesome project!

  • Lalitha
    April 6, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    This is beautiful.. Am definitely gonna try this for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party coming up…