Make: Graphic DIY Cardboard Castle Building Blocks

“I am sure that as a woman I can do a very good skyscraper, I don’t think that it’s only for men.” – Dame Zaha Hadid

Stand back, because we’re turning the whimsy up to 10 today. For the last few weeks, I’ve kept a fun secret, and am SO, SO thrilled to announce that our cardboard castle building blocks have joined a fabulously gifted group of lovely artists and designers to celebrate a full week of women in art!

My talented friend Arielle has put SO much time into pulling together a most excellent list of distinctive artists to highlight for her annual International Women’s Art Collective this year. To say I’m both extraordinarily humbled AND proud to cut cardboard among this innovative crowd is a total understatement!

ART CAMP's International's Women's Collective celebration of female artists on Instagram

Featuring projects inspired by timeless talents like Helen Frankenthaler and current greats like Shantell Martin, you’re in for a MASSIVE, eye-popping, art-laden treat with this series. You can follow along with us this week as Arielle reveals each project over on the ART CAMP website.

DIY Cardboard Castle Building Blocks

Our own graphic cardboard castle building project is a buildable ode to spring, and a handmade tribute to the trail-blazing Peruvian artist and activist Theresa Burga. The supplies don’t get any simpler, the opportunities for creative themes are boundless, and these collaged building blocks can be rearranged to create castle variations a-plenty.

With different spring icons, colors, and patterns on every side, the look of this castle actually changes as you walk around it. Twist and turn the boxes, stack them on different sides – infinite build options reveal themselves as you play! 

Teachers take note…this stacking STEAM-filled project has “collaborative class project” written ALLLLL over it.

Make your own set of bold, colorful DIY cardboard castle building blocks! Inspired by artist Theresa Burga, they're a fun kids art invitation to create and build! | barley & birch

To Make Your Own Cardboard Castle Building Blocks You’ll Need:

  • A Variety of cardboard boxes
  • Cardstock or construction paper
  • Paint and a Paintbrush
  • Masking, electrical, or washi tape
  • Scissors 
  • A glue stick
  • Gesso
  • Other art and craft supplies to add decoration

The bones of our cardboard castles are boxes & tubes you probably already have quite a few of at home, so start gathering, then head over to our post on ART CAMP for all the details.

Make your own set of bold, colorful DIY cardboard castle building blocks! Inspired by artist Theresa Burga, they're a fun kids art invitation to create and build! | barley & birch

In addition to supplies and instructions, you’ll also find more background information and imagery of Burga’s own playful sculptures, in case you want to take the inspiration in your very own direction. From play castles to real-life skyscrapers – a woman can do it!

One of the kids play castle arrangements made with our DIY cardboard building blocks

We’re big into playing with our art over here, so if these fanciful fairy-tale building blocks have you swooning, take a swing by our scrap wood process art sculptures, Memphis-style paper sculptures, cardboard box city neighborhood, or paper and cardboard BIG city landscape books.

For those of you who love the combination of art & play, you can’t miss our collection of over 40 functional art projects for kids!

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Amanda E.

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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