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Because my school has a very low art budget - I ask parents to save
various plastic containers with lids, newspaper, and tubes from toilet
tissue, wrapping paper, plastic wrap, paper towels. the only item that I
have to purchase is the Ross art paste that mixes with water and paint.
We use these items to construct sculptured castles for the 3rd
grade.These are always the hit at the art fair and display well around
the community - plus it is a definate keeper.
We begin with a Castle video by David Mucalay (not sure of spelling). I
also go to the library and fill the tables with books plus I have a
collection of calendars with beautiful castle photos. By the time we
discuss our dream castle every student has a definate plan as to who will
visit their castle and what events will occur. Everyone is very eager to
begin. I will warn you that this project takes us about 8-10 weeks to
complete but our classes meet for 25 minutes twice per week (stinks but
We use these saved items plus flexible corrugated cardboard used for
packing and regular cardboard from the boxes cut into various sizes if
The corrugated cardboard is cut into strips appoximately 15" long by 6"
high and formed into a circle (becomes the keep) the top edge by be cut
jagged and windows, drawbridge, doors, etc. are cut at this time. Next,
it is attached to the cardboard square with tape. The tubes become
towers. Each student creates their own unique castle deciding how many
towers, do the towers have pointed roofs are are they open, how tall,
enough room on the base for a moat etc. As the castles are constructed
the students are to name each part.
After the castle has been constructed comes the papier mache using
newspaper and paste poured into the recycled containers.
Details and paint follow. Several like to make a fantasy castle painted
pastels and add glitter and candy but most are painted realistic. We cut
sponges into 1/2" sizes to sponge paint for bricks or rocks. We use yarn
to made a working drawbridge. If you have some modeling clay, the
students also like to build people and props to fit inside. I love it
when someone comes up with a new idea! This has always been my favorite
We follow up by making stuffed paper dragons - some stand, while other
fly over the castles suspended from the ceiling.
I hope you enjoy this!
Cherie in KC