Cardboard Tube Castle

Kinley and I worked together on every step of this cardboard tube castle project -- from the painting to the hot-gluing, the collaging to the bedazzling and we couldn't have been any happier with the final masterpiece. We actually made this palace fit for a princess during the summer, but it popped in my mind as soon as our new host (and crazy rad full-time dad) Heath chose Myths & Magic for his together art theme on our Instagram challenge this week and I had to share it.
Our castle is still sitting in Kinley's playroom and it gets more love than her giant dollhouse with bazillions of tiny accessories! She likes to pretend that it's a unicorn palace in the sky where all the unicorn friends slide down rainbows like Uni (the Unicorn -- if you haven't read it, you must!) and eat special jewels for dinner and make glitter angels ( you know like snow angels, but with glitter) and their mommas don't holler at them about it 😍 Who needs toys when you've got cardboard tubes?! We should rename them "imagination food"!

Need some of this fun in your life? To make a simple, but super fun castle of your very own, you and your little partner will need:
  • cardboard tubes (we used five paper towel tubes and four toilet paper rolls)
  • small shoebox
  • paint & paintbrushes
  • hot glue/glue gun 
  • wrapping paper or scrapbook paper
  • fun collage materials (sequins, ribbon scraps, old art projects you can cut up, tin foil, feathers, etc.)
  • glitter paint (totally optional, but come on, who doesn't love glitter paint?)

This was a two day project for us, and it worked out great because the night in-between left us plenty of time to dream about what we wanted our castle to look like.
Here's how we did it:

Day One:
  1. Paint all of the tubes.
  2. Wrap the shoebox with wrapping paper or paint it, and cut the slots to make the door if you want one.
  3. Make the cones for the castle turrets.
  4. When the paint is pretty dry, paint on the glitter if you want a shimmery castle, and then leave everything to dry overnight.

Day Two:
  1. Glue the tubes to the castle however you and your little partner like them.
  2. Plop the turret cones on top.
  3. The best part: DECORATE! Break out all the fun stuff and go bananas...there's no wrong way to fancy up a castle.

Recycling has never looked so pretty, right? If you make one of these castles, we would sure love to see it. It's so exciting to see your ideas out in the world making other art teams happy. Does the old heart good! Tag it #smockson if you post the finished product on Instagram or Facebook 💜

Happy crafting!
xo Cara

P.S. We took our castle outside today and it was like a brand-new toy! Magical plastic fairies were hiding in the trees and the unicorns were happy to munch on grass and moss and go on magical jewel hunts in the fallen leaves. Just another way to play! :)

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