Introduction: Indoor Wooden Castle

Today for the world's biggest show and tell I have an indoor wooden castle. It's an 11 foot wide, 4 foot deep, 9 foot tall castle I built for my boys in our living room. Don't ask me how I got my wife to ok this, I'm not even sure.

I made it out of plywood, 2x4's, MDF, screws and paint for just a few hundred dollars.

After a few sketchup drawings, room measurements and some internet research on castles. I came up with this original design.

The build took a few weeks because I was designing and constructing during those precious few weekend hours during the boys nap time.

Step 1: Walk Through

Starting from the left you have a 12 inch step up to a double padded and carpeted platform. This serves two purposes. One, it gave me some storage space and two it keeps very little ones from trying to climb up where they should not be. This leads to two windows that are actually the steps to the upper level. A built in handle helps get us older "kids" up to the top level. (Picture 1)

The top level has a nice large carpeted play area that leads you across a bridge giving access to the tower with fireman's pole. (Picture 2)

In the tower foam padding lines the hole and side walls with a custom made pillow fitting around the pole at the bottom. (Picture 3)

After sliding down the pole you find two built in shelves in the tower for storage and a side entrance to the main castle hall. (Picture 4,5)

Inside the main hall we have a nice dragon tapestry covering the back wall and a medieval looking mirror. (Picture 6) Just inside the front door is a push button light switch that controls the inside string lights and outside torch lamps. (Picture 7)

The front has two plastic torches that actually flicker for a great effect. A wooden shield is attached above the main door which was saved from my childhood. The tower has two long thin windows resembling the archers windows used in real castles.

Step 2: Tools and Materials

Here is a list of the tools and materials I used for this project
Materials
4x8 3/4" wood sheets
4x8 1/8" sheeting
Baseboard trim
2x4's
MDF
9' metal conduit pole
Screws
Finishing nails
4 Shelving brackets
4 Corner brackets
Childrens foam padding - found online
Carpet with padding
Wood filler
Wood glue

Tools
Craftsman table saw with roller stand
Jigsaw
Drill with bits
Craftsman belt sander
Tape measure
Rulers
Hammer
Saw horses
Craftsman router
Craftsman table saw
Circular saw
Staple gun
Cutting shears
Clamps
Paint roller/brushes

Decorations
Flame torch lights from Ikea
Wooden shield
Medieval mirror from Ikea
Dragon blanket from Ikea
Christmas lights with switch
Dark and light grey paint

Step 3: The Build

I apologize that my building description is brief. I'm assuming if you are making this that you have some woodworking skills and have viewed the .pdf and sketchup drawings to see the dimensions and an idea of how it was constructed. One of my biggest challenges was getting it through my front door. I had to design the frame and walls in pieces and reassembled inside.

Begin by framing out the main room with 2x4's. Make the top and bottom following my drawings make note of the one top back piece that goes an extra 2 feet across the bridge area. Cut 4 2x4's to height and screw together the top and bottom frames. I'm sure you have been using proper eye and ear protection!
- Next cover the frame with plywood as seen in the photos and screw together using long wood screws. In order to use my plywood sheets efficiently the front panel is cut from three pieces. Glue, brackets and the top crown molding hold these pieces together. (Picture 1)
- Using a ruler, compass and jigsaw. Mark and cut out the window and door openings. Use a rounding bit on your router to smooth out both sides of the openings. It is difficult to get into the corners with the router so some hand sanding or dremel work may be required. I screwed in 2 temporary 2x4's across the bottom frame of the doors while I was building to help when moving it around.(Picture 1)
- When cutting the opening to the upper deck leave some space over the top floor level to account for the carpeting and padding. (Picture 1)
- Cut and router a handle to the upper level. Sizing it to your liking, but make sure you round it and sand very smooth.
- The floor for the top level is 3/4" plywood cut to fit the main area plus over the bridge. This can be screwed to the top frame every 12 inches or so.
- The top trim is made from mdf and using a jigsaw I cut out each 3 inch by 3 inch section. The ends are cut on 45 degree angles for a tight corner fit. Using a counter sink drill bit screw these to each of your panels and cover screw holes with wood filler.
- The top handrail is 1x4 cut to lenght with 45 degree angles. It was glued and nailed once inside the house. (Picture 2)
- The bottom trim is just standard pre-primed baseboard trim from the local home store. Using my brad nail gun I installed these pieces once inside.

- Building the step and storage unit is simply a 2x4 box with plywood top and side. I left the back and one side open since it would not be seen. The front was cut out with my jigsaw and rounded smooth with my router. I ended up cutting an opening in the main room for secret access to under the step.

- I was able to build the tower in one piece because of it's width. (Picture 3) Framed out with 2x4's as seen in my drawings I covered one side in 3/4" plywood and the other in 1/8 sheeting. I used MDF on the front angled pieces because I already had some, but there is no special reason. Setting my Craftsman table saw blade on an angle, I tried to cut the wood to make a smoother corner. But as you can see from all the filler, I didn't do a very good job. The firemans pole is secured to a 2x4 across the bottom and top using brackets. (Picture 4) The hole was cut as wide as the tower (2 feet) using a very large compass and jigsaw. (See picture of tools) The shelves where made from plywood cut to fit and I used 4 gray shelf angled brackets. (Picture 5)

- If you have the room or can take it outside like I did. I recommend putting it all together once before disassembling and installing. This gives you the chance to make sure everything fits and then sand, sand and sand some more. (Picture 6,7) It's also a good time to give it a coat of grey primer.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

- Assembly
Getting all the pieces inside and screwing everything together is definitely not a one man job. Once you have it all reassembled, including a few long screws into the bridge and tower. Add a few metal angle brackets on the top inside corners as you see fit. Glue and nail down the top hand railing trim along with bottom moldings. Shim as necessary.
-Painting
After a few coats of dark gray, paint the trim along the top and bottom to match the child safety foam corner pieces. My brother did a very creative and quite frankly fantastic job sponge painting the stone blocks. He just trimming the corners off of a normal sponge. My mother and I free hand painted the cloud, sun and bird background.
-Lighting
I stapled a strand of white mini Christmas lights inside along the top. I also installed two torch lights from Ikea to the outside, running their wires in and up to a small shelf. I rewired and attached a Christmas tree foot switch on the inside for easy access. (Picture 3)
-Extras
The wooden shield screwed in the front came from a renaissance fair I went to as a kid.
The safety foam padding was purchased online and stuck on with the double sided tape that came with it. I only had to cut a few pieces to fit and it has been a great extra feature.

If you are thinking about building something like this, and I think you should. Here are a few tips I can share from my experience. Use all nice plywood, the few dollars saved on the cheap stuff will cost you later in sanding and wood filler. Build it strong enough for kids and adults. Make all openings kid safe, either too small or too big to get their heads stuck. You will need a thick pillow or padding at the bottom of the fireman's pole. Screws are not good for holding carpet down. Lastly double or triple pad the flooring, your knees will thank you.

I hope you enjoyed my project and take these plans and tips to build something fun.

Comments

author
shruti.takhral (author)2014-10-01

awesome creation

author
jovad (author)2012-12-30

You make lovely things! Especially this castle and the prayer kneeler are nice...

author
Kallandra (author)2012-09-28

Wow, that is amazing! I'd love to have one of these for myself, 17 years and all. Absolutely brilliant, 10/10.

author
lobodawg (author)2010-02-09

I did it!! Took me 3 weekends to build and another week to collect the materials. Thanks for the plans. The sketchup helped a great deal. I've always wanted to build a dollhouse for my daughter, but she's 10 now and she has 3 younger brothers. Figure I'd better build this or I'd regret it for the rest of my life. For the fire pole, I found a 10 ft fence post works great and costs much less than an electrical conduit.

castle.jpg
author
lobodawg (author)lobodawg2011-09-03

Someone requested better pictures. Here you go!.

castle7.jpgcastle1.jpgcastle2.jpgcastle3.jpgcastle4.jpgcastle5.jpgcastle6.jpg
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Stryker (author)lobodawg2010-02-10

That looks great.  I'm so happy someone actually used one of my instructables.  Post more pictures if you have them I'd love to see more.

author
amylooraptr (author)2010-01-17

I really want to say that I will build this for my kids, but that's a lie, I will actually be building this in my new home for myself and my husband hahaha. I can't wait.

author
Sowee (author)2010-01-03

You really like to build things for your sons! Very cool castle!

author
-gabe- (author)2009-12-05

Hot damn! I would move into something like that if only my mom would let me build it. That's pretty sweet though

author
mcmatt11 (author)2009-09-16

That's frickin awesome!

author
Stryker (author)mcmatt112009-09-16

Thanks, it was fun to build and the kids love it.

author
diablopartain (author)2009-02-07

woe I like, you put a lot in to it. the detail is outstanding. I'm very impressed

author
Shinta786 (author)2009-01-29

wow, this is very nice. I'd never come up with such an idea. The kids must have loved this. BTW, do you have a video of your 72V bike?

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Stryker (author)Shinta7862009-02-02

Thanks it's a lot of fun. Sorry no good videos of my bike. I'll try to take some this year.

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porcupinemamma (author)2009-01-26

ahhhh yes-I make lists for my husband, but he just glares at me lol. Still a fab looking ible though:0)

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porcupinemamma (author)2009-01-25

would you make one for me too? I am technology challenged lol

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Stryker (author)porcupinemamma2009-01-26

Sorry my woodshop is closed for the winter and the wife has already got my spring to do list started.....

author
The Porsche Fan (author)2009-01-24

How do you vote? I'll vote for this

author
The Porsche Fan (author)2009-01-24

you convinced your wife? WOW that's impressive :) the castle is cool too haha

author
ichiwazaryu (author)2009-01-22

Cute, looks very doable

author
alkacojo (author)2009-01-14

Congrats on becoming a finalist in the contest. You deserve to win

author
radiorental (author)2009-01-13

Excellent instructable. Curious about the plywood you used... it looks sort of green in the photo - its not pressure treated is it??

author
Stryker (author)radiorental2009-01-13

Thanks. No it's not pressure treated, it must just be the lighting.

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porcupinemamma (author)2008-12-30

My son would have LOVED this when he was a young boy. Utterly fantastic!

author

I'm 26 and I want one, lol. Maybe I'll have to make one. . . for my kids, really... lol Very cool Instructable, Stryker.

author
junisponds (author)2009-01-12

very cool - looks like fun!

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teamcoltra (author)2009-01-11

I think this is EXACTALY what I need for my spare room that I couldn't think of anything to do with.

author
LaPorte_H (author)2009-01-11

This is awesome! Fantastic job. Wanna build one at our house?

author
bassclarinet23 (author)2009-01-10

Awesome idea! but I don't want my mom to murder me.

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phreakincool (author)2009-01-10

Awesome job! I wish I had kids young enough to enjoy something like this.

author
bedbugg2 (author)2009-01-10

thats amazing! great use of space.

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Rishnai (author)2009-01-09

I think it's great when people build things like this for kids. It's something your boys will remember and charish long after your wife wants her living room back.

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skunkbait (author)2009-01-09

Nice job!

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wonderbro (author)2009-01-09

Great instructable, great idea, great job

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GraceandMercy (author)2009-01-09

Lends to the imagination.

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nitrox027 (author)2009-01-08

That is awsome, I wish i had one even though i wouldnt fit -GREAT JOB 2 thumbs up

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grantdevine (author)2009-01-08

Wish I had one of these when I was a kid but failing that I can't wait to have kids of my own to build this for. I'm thinking knight costumes and big dragon marrionette puppets XD

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alkacojo (author)2009-01-08

I have seen this in person and it is unbelievably great. It totally makes the playroom. It looks great and is totally kid safe and friendly. The kids love it. There is a sliding pole in one part of the castle that is fun for the kids as well. Also you have to be a certain height as a kid to be able to climb up to the top part -small ones can get up there but it requires an adult's help. A lot of thought and imagination went into this build.

author
shadowninja31 (author)2009-01-08

woah! 5*

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omnibot (author)2008-12-30

I want you for a parent!!!

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qwerty29 (author)omnibot2009-01-08

me too

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roxygirl (author)2009-01-05

Love the castle; it's truly amazing; and that you did it all during naptimes!

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strykersuncle (author)2009-01-05

fabulous. it doesnt get any more fun than this

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porcupinemamma (author)2009-01-05

Fabulous! just added 5 stars!!

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alinke (author)2009-01-04

way cool! my wife would have kicked me out of the house for sure, your kids must love it

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DoubleDutchery (author)2009-01-02

You have some really lucky kids! This is AWESOME. Love your use of Ikea items--always wanted to buy those myself but could never justify how I'd get use out of them..nice touch.

author
Stryker (author)2008-12-31

Thanks for all the nice comments. I'm planning on adding a foam drawbridge looking door to front.

author
canida (author)2008-12-31

This is so cool! Nice job, your kids must love it.

author
Robotic_mage (author)2008-12-30

Awesome Job, I have a seven year old, and a two year old, and I just recently made a castle bed for the seven year old, but yours really turned out really nice. RoboticMage

author
DSawczuk (author)2008-12-30

My wife may ban me from this site :) Really cool project

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