This Secret Castle Trinket Box craft is extracted from The Princess Craft Book by Laura Minter and Tia Williams published by GMC
Every princess needs somewhere to store precious things, and this one is extra special because it has hidden compartments to deter unwanted intruders. The top tier lifts up to store larger items, while the drawbridge opens to reveal a secret space for hiding precious jewels (shhh!). Little ones can get their royal hands messy by using papier-mâché and paint. Pop a mini polymer-clay princess into one of the turrets to watch over all of your favorite keepsakes.
- You will need
- An adult-sized shoebox with lid
- A medium-sized square cardboard box with lid, roughly 8 x 8in (20 x 20cm)
- A small square box without a lid, roughly 4 x 4in (10 x 10cm)
- PVA glue
- Strong glue
- Masking tape
- Blue, pink, and silver acrylic paint
- Pink and yellow embroidery thread
- 4 x cardboard tubes, roughly 5in (12.5cm) long
- 1 x small cardboard tube, roughly 2 1/2in (6.5cm) long
- Small amount of polymer clay in pale pink and purple (about a 1/2in/1cm cube of each)
- Black permanent fine-line marker
- 1 x piece of plain card, 8 x 12in (20 x 30cm)
- 1 x piece of corrugated card, 8 x 12in (20 x 30cm)
- Scraps of colored card
- Hook-and-loop tape
- Craft knife
- Sewing needle
- Paintbrush or glue spreader
Begin by making the turrets. Cut three circles from plain card, roughly 4in (10cm) in diameter. Cut these in half, then fold five of the half-circles and tape each one together to create cones a little wider than the ends of the cardboard tubes. Using strong glue, attach the cones onto the top of the five tubes.
To assemble the top of the castle, use strong glue to connect the smaller box onto the lid of the bigger box. Turn the smallest box so that the open side is underneath and tape it onto the lid of the medium box. Attach the turrets with masking tape; one on each corner of the lid of the bigger box and the smallest one in the middle of the small box. Cut a strip of square battlements (as shown) from card and, using strong glue, attach these along the lid of the medium box.
To make the drawbridge, draw a door shape onto the front of the bigger box and cut it out. From
the piece of corrugated card, cut a door shape that is 1in (2.5cm) bigger than the first door you drew, with an additional 1in (2.5cm) tab at the bottom to allow it to be fixed on. To attach the drawbridge, tape the tab onto the bottom of the box, under the opening on the front of the box.
For the secret compartment behind the drawbridge, cut a rectangle out of cardboard that is the same height as the bigger box and 2in (5cm) wider than the door. Fold over 1in (2.5cm) on each side to form two walls. Position the compartment behind the drawbridge and tape it in place. Add a top to the compartment by cutting out a piece of cardboard to fit, and use some masking tape to secure it in place.
Cover surfaces and put on aprons before you begin—this part can be messy! To make papier-mâché, tear up squares of newspaper and mix a paste of two parts PVA glue to one part water. Separate the different parts of the castle, then dip newspaper into the paste and place it down flat, covering the entire thing. Leave the papier-mâché to completely dry out overnight and repeat the process until you have three layers of newspaper.
Paint the inside of the box and the drawbridge silver, then paint the outside blue with pink turret tops. Finally, add a heart motif on the drawbridge in blue paint.
Once the paint is dry, cut a small window from one of the turrets with a craft knife, about 1in (2.5cm) high. Paint black windows onto the other turrets.
Glue a small piece of hook-and-loop tape to the top of the drawbridge and the wall to enable it to close. Thread a short length of pink embroidery thread onto a sewing needle, knot
the end, then puncture through the drawbridge and the castle wall to make the chains. Knot again at the end to secure.
To create your little Rapunzel, roll 1/ 2in (1cm) of purple polymer clay into a sausage with a slightly wider base to make the body. For the head, roll a pea-sized piece of pale pink polymer clay and press it onto the top of the body. For the arms, roll a thin piece of purple polymer clay to about 1in (2.5cm) long and attach two peppercorn-sized balls of pink clay to the ends. Cut in half and press in place on the body. Pinch the body at the bottom so that it is flatter, in order to glue it inside the window. Bake in the oven, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
To make Rapunzel’s golden locks, take some yellow embroidery thread and wrap it six times around a small book (about 8in/20cm). Gently ease the wrapped thread off the book then, holding the center of the thread, glue onto the top and back of the head. Once dry, trim the ends off and plait the hair. Secure the plait by tying embroidery thread around it. Rapunzel is then ready to be positioned inside her window using strong glue.
Why not add personalized flags, banners, or bunting made from card and string?
You could decorate the castle walls with painted flowers or glued-on paper bricks, too!
The Princess Craft Book
The Princess Craft Book is a brilliant new craft book from award winning Craft blogging pair Laura Minter and Tia Williams of Little Button Diaries. These creative mums have four children between them, and started their craft blog in 2013, sharing lots of fun ideas for projects to make for and with your kids.
The Knight Craft Book and The Princess Craft Book by Laura Minter and Tia Williams, are published by GMC (£6.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)