Like so many children around the world, Immy is in love with everything FROZEN! I purchased a set of small character figurines a few months ago, and ever since they arrived Immy has asked if I can make an ice castle.
It took a little bit of brainstorming and planning but I am excited to share our finished Ice Castle and snowy small world play scene with you, though I must apologise – ice castles are not that easy to photograph! So how did I do it? I created cylinders of different sizes from sealed laminating sheets to form the castle walls and features – in fact, when Immy saw some of the completed cylinders standing grouped together (I hadn’t told her that was what I was making at that stage, in case it didn’t work!), her comment was, “It looks just like an ice castle!” Here’s an overview for those who would like to have a go at making an ice castle of their own.
You will need:
- A4 or US letter sized laminating sheets, heat sealed with a laminating machine. I used ten sheets.
- Clear sticky tape
- Utility knife
- Hot glue gun
- Silver fairy stones or gem stones
- Cake board (or similar)
- Quilting batting (or similar)
- Masking tape
- Pine cones
- Silver spray paint
- Acrylic snowflakes (optional)
To make the main chamber of the castle, I taped two landscape-orientated laminating sheets together. I used sticky tape on both sides of the sheet, and did the same for all of the steps below. I cut a door from the middle of one of these sheets with the utility knife.
I taped each side of the door to the door frame to create a castle door that opens and shuts. I also then taped the two ends of this doubled laminate sheet together to form a large, short cylinder as the main chamber of the castle.
To make the castle balcony, I cut an opening near the top of a portrait orientated laminate sheet. From a separate sheet I cut a semi circle, the flat shape of the semi circle is the same width as the opening for the balcony. To make the balcony railing, I cut a rectangle from the second laminate sheet – the length of which is the same length as the curved side of the semi circle. I used the utility knife to cut inverted triangle spaces out of this rectangle.
To assemble the balcony, I taped the flat side of the semi circle into place along the bottom of the balcony opening. I taped one side of the balcony railing rectangle into position on the castle wall and then taped the long side along the semi circle (this was the trickiest part of this whole project), finally securing the second side to the castle wall.
I then cut away part of the sides of the sheet representing the castle wall to make it appear more pointed, just like Elsa’s castle. I rounded the top point so the laminate was not sharp. This portion of the castle wall was then taped to the main chamber of the castle, lining the balcony up with the castle door.
I used beads of hot glue to attache the main chamber to the centre of a square, silver lined cake board (35cm square).
I also taped six laminate sheet cylinders, 3 each side of the main chamber.Each of these cylinders was made from one laminate sheet and I cut each to a different height and shaped each so that the top slopes on an angle to give the castle a little of the the cold, jagged appearance.
I hot glued silver fairy stones around the outside of the base of the castle and also glued a few clear acrylic snowflakes (raided from our Christmas decorations) onto the outside walls of the castle – purely decorative so don’t worry if you don’t have or can’t find fake snowflakes.
I set the finished castle on its board onto a short, heavy box on the table we were using to create the small world. I wanted to give the castle some extra height, to represent it being up the tall, snowy mountain just like in the story.
I then cut a piece of white quilting batting to represent the snow, shaping it around the castle and draping it over the box and down across the table.
I secured the batting into place with a little hot glue along the edge of the castle cake board and masking tape loops on the reverse side to secure it to the table top.
I had previously spray painted some pine cones silver to represent trees and I scattered some more of the acrylic snowflakes across the ‘snow.’
We added our figurines and our snowy, mountain scene and Elsa’s ice castle were ready for playing.
And playing my girls have most certainly been doing! They both love the small world (though AJ hasn’t actually seen the movie – she just loves the Olaf and the snowflakes) and I love how it encourages Immy’s language and memory skills through retelling of the story, and creativity – as there are certainly many new stories to be created and told as well!
If you don’t have a set of Frozen character figurines (ours were via eBay), you could always make a set of peg dolls like those here at The Imagination Tree.
Do you have a fan of Disney’s Frozen in your house?