How to Build a Chic Cardboard Castle

cardboard castle fun

We can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than building this colorful cardboard castle with your kids.

Our Amazon delivery boxes are piling up like crazy these days, so here’s a great way to put them to use.

Christiane Lemieux, the founder of The Inside, has shared this inspiring cardboard castle that was designed and built by her two young children.


The castle strikes a great balance between Christiane’s fondness for luminous colors which she is famous for and the unstructured design and patterns that have flowed from her children’s imagination.

Who better to exemplify the essence of color than children, whose design choices are not limited by boundaries or expectations but rather motivated by joy and creativity.

DwellStudio Cardboard Castle

We live in New York which poses some interesting challenges with kids. We don’t have a backyard so we improvise a lot.

The cardboard castle has become a great go-to indoor project for bad weather – in fact this castle was built in the middle of hurricane Irene! My kids love to plan and build the castle and then play in it for hours. This one is still standing and we have since added a jail and dungeon.

I love the cardboard castle project because the necessary tools are always readily available and it’s a great recycling story. Whether the box is small enough for animals or dinosaurs or big enough to crawl around in – the concept is the same and always very creative.

Here is what you need:

Tools & Materials

Household supplies and materials include
1. Scissors
2. Glue stick
3. Colored tape
4. Colored pens and markers
5. Large cardboard boxes

Step 1 – Collect your materials

For this particular castle – we used tape as the décor. My kids love decorating with tape. You can use stickers, paint, fabric or even leftover wallpaper and anything really. Grab some boxes and go.

materials and supplies

cardboard boxes

Step 2 – Design Cardboard Castle

We usually start with the front door. Isabelle and Will discussed it and decided to make it arched.
Drawing Pattern

Step 3 – Use Fabric

For this castle Isabelle decided that we should use some scrap fabric (luckily we have a lot!) from the office for curtains.
making curtains

Step 4 – Cut Out Windows

With some help from the parents – cut out windows.

Step 5 – Clean Up Edges

Clean up the edges
cutting the box

Step 6 – Start Decorating

Start decorating
decorating with tape

Step 7 – Mail Slot

The hole in box makes a perfect mail slot!

Step 8 – Tape It Together

Put all the pieces together make your castle as big as you like. Hang your window treatments too.

Step 9 – Have Fun

Move in and enjoy!
spiderman costume

You Might Also Like...

  • Carrie Jacobs
    14 Oct ’11 at 2:24 pm

    Absolutely love this project!!! Hope ours comes out as beautiful as this.

  • Megan
    13 Jan ’12 at 12:33 am

    Hi my name is Megan,
    At school, in History, i need to build a castle out of cardboard!!! Though i need a bit of help with ideas of how to do that!!! please please help me!!!
                   Megan (year 7) 🙂

  • Built by Kids
    13 Jan ’12 at 9:29 am

    Hi Megan!

    You’ll see the instructions above – that should help with your project.  Good luck!

  • Priojectieo
    19 Apr ’12 at 8:41 am

    Seems cool. Awesome! How long would that take to build?

  • Anonymous
    29 Oct ’14 at 11:20 am

    Do you have more thorough instructions? this is mostly instructions on how to decorate it but nothing on what you did to connect it. Like which part of the box was used to cut doors and windows? which parts did you tape together? It’s really not a how to unfortunately. I scrolled thinking I would come across the directions eventually but didn’t. Love the decoration suggestions just wish it was actually a how to build it.