Introduction: Elium Castle, the Castle Home of Eli the Magnificent

About: I used to be that curious kid that broke stuff by taking it apart to figure out how it worked. But I got smarter, and now I can sometimes put it all back together! My work and hobbies overlap through an intere…

Welcome to the really-quick-build for Elium Castle, the home of Eli the Magnificent.

Eli is about 6 months old, and is a Norwegian Forest Cat cross. He is a mostly outdoor cat and has thick fluffy fur to handle harsh winter weather. But he also loves his luxuries, and staying inside the garage as the temperature outside drops. So I decided to build him a proper small keep that he can slumber inside, and from whence he can survey his eminent domain.

Eli loves it. My boy does too. (And check out that sweet shirt he has!)

It's an easy project made with 'upcycled' cutoffs and and industrial garbage, and all together took me about 45 minutes to make with minimum tools. And Eli was there supervising almost every step of the way, as you'll see in the pictures. So here is how that went...


Discarded carboard core from rolled steel

2'x2' plywood cutoff


Circular Saw



Drill with driver bit and 1/4 drill bit.

Hand file

Safety Glasses

Step 1: The Tube.

There is a manufacturing plant just a few kilometers away that makes steel building cladding. The raw steel comes as rolls from their suppliers, and the inside of each of those rolls is a heavy, compressed and laminated cardboard tube. Once the stell is used, the cores are discarded. Each tube is about 3/4 inch thick, 21.5" diameter, and 42" long.

I had seen these stacked by their dumpster numerous times. So today I stopped in and asked for one. They laughed and said "Sure, it's all garbage." So I grabbed one and took it home.

I knew that Eli had a bed about the same diameter, and tested that fit once I got home. Yes, it fits like a glove inside the tube. Score!

Step 2: Making the Door.

I grabbed a bit of scrap cardboard, folded it in half, and freehand cut a taper to the top. Then I took that template and traced it onto the tube about 5" up from the bottom. I drilled the corners, then took a jigsaw and cut it out.

Eli investigated and approved.

Step 3: Cutting the Rings

I wanted the base and top to flare out to give the impression of a sturdy foundation and battlements. So I needed to cut off and split a few rings from the main tube.

I took my square, and drilled hole in the middle of the ruler. I adjusted the length to be about 4". Then I inserted a fine-tip sharpie into the hole and slid it around the tube. This gave me an even line. Once I had that done, I cut the ring off with a circular saw. Then I repeated this process and cut another ring, around 10" as well.

Step 4: Splitting and Fastening the Foundation Ring

I split the foundation ring, and then placed it over the base of the tower. Once it was in place, I used screws to fasten it. (This is really dense cardboard and screws hold well.)

Step 5: Battlements

Once I had the foundation ring on, I measured the gap in the back of it. I decided to make my battlement embrasures the same width, so the backside gap on the top ring wouldn't be as obvious. I then used that measurement and some simple math to figure out what I would need for the layout. It turned out to be 4.75" embrasures (gaps), and 5.5" merlons (the mini-walls).

I cut a template for that out of my scrap cardboard. Then I traced it around the top. I tried starting from my centre embrasure, but that screwed up the starting point and had to re-mark it. Oh well.

I drilled my embrasure corners, and then cut it all with a jigsaw again. I used a file to take the paper shreds off as well.

Step 6: Tower Floor

I traced the inside of the tube onto a piece of scrap wood, then cut that out. I marked screw positions partway up the tower, and sunk 3 screws into the tube 1/4" below that. I dropped the floor in, to rest on those as a temporary support. Then I screwed the floor in from the side and removed my temporary support screws.

Step 7: Complete

All I needed to do now was screw the battlements ring on, and the Tower was done. I put an old blanket in the top, and put his bed under it in the bottom.

At this point, it is complete. I might get some of that "stone texture" spray paint and shoot a coat on and then use a marker to simulate grout lines. But I need to wait for warmer weather before I can do anything like that in garage here. So maybe that might happen next summer.


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