Introduction: Photo Booth Castle for Highlands Kids

We wanted a photo-booth for our Summer Blast (VBS) promotion day. Our theme is more or less medieval, so I thought a castle might be fun. This is how I made Castle Kids.

Step 1: Supplies

1. Extra large boxes from Home Depot.
-At least ten
(I bought them all. Extra is good)
(~$1.90 ea. when I bought them.)

2. Paint (or stone patterned paper)
-6 cans of good black spray paint
-1 can silver spray paint
-1 can gold spray paint
-1 can dark brown spray paint
-1 qt. gray paint*
-1 tester size blue paint
-1 tester size red paint

3. Drop cloth (keep things clean)

4. Sponges: 1 large, 1 small

5. Some Paint brushes, roller tray and such

6. Packing tape (2 rolls)

7. Box cutter (with extra blades)

8. Velcro (for mobility)

9. Nice, but not necessary
- Rotozip or Dremel like routing/cutting device
-Spray Grip accessory

* I picked up a gallon because I wanted to be sure I had extra. It was way more than needed, but I will use it later for the upgraded version of this castle.

Step 2: Assemble Boxes to Get a Rough Idea

If you were able to find some paper rolls with a stone wall pattern, go ahead and apply those to one of your boxes and cut out your parts through the paper. If that doesn't work well, add the paper after you cut the boxes and cut the paper separately.

Step 3: Cut and Assemble

For the tower crenellations, I cut out about 5" in the middle of each flap.

Step 4: Cut Out Doors

Mark off the Door shapes and cut.
I left a cross piece across the bottom for stability, but it didn't last very long once the kids got in there, so whatever.

Step 5: Cutter

You could totally cut out the doors with a box cutter, Exacto knife, hacksaw, or keyhole saw, but I had this guy, soooooo, yep.

Step 6: Draw and Cut Windows

Same as the doors. Cut one good one and use it as a template for uniformity.

Step 7: Sand Rough Edges

This isn't necessary if your cuts are smooth, but it makes things nice and clean looking.

Step 8: Ramparts

Open 2 of your boxes so they lay flat in 4 sections, remove one section, cut the bottom flaps off, and cut 2-3" off of each side of each flap for the crenellations.

If you want an arch for your gate, this is a good time to cut that, or wait until the rampart is stuck to the towers (next step) and cut it in place similarly to the windows. I did it the second way.

Step 9: Velcro/sticky-ness

This is where the Velcro comes in.*
Use Velcro to connect the inner boxes to the outer towers and the rampart section to the the front and back of both.

*If you don't need to break this down and move it around, then just use tape or something. We are a mobile campus, so modality is essential.

Step 10: Reinforcement

At this point, I used some scraps to reinforce the inside corners. Fold your scraps into a corner piece that won't show through your openings and tape them in place.

Step 11: Castle Depot

If you are not planning to paint, stop here and enjoy Castle Depot as is.

Step 12: Paint It Black

Crank up your Rolling Stones and paint that thing black.
Pay extra attention to the logos and printed stuff on your boxes. I painted the back side and the inside portions that are visible from the front with a very light coat just for that extra touch.

Step 13: This Thing = Awesome

If you have ever spray painted a large area, you know that your finger gets both tired and painted from the prolonged spraying.
This thing makes that all better. I personally will not spray paint without one ever again if at all possible.

Step 14: Detail Stonework

Use your small sponge to detail the windows, gate, and crenellations.

Step 15: Major Stones

Add the large stones one course at a time using the larger sponge. Offset the stones kind of like a brick wall. If this were actual stones, that would make the wall much more stable than stacking the stones on top of each other. Do it right.

Then do all of your touchups and stones for the background pieces.

Step 16: Coat of Arms

Take one of you window cutouts and shape it into a shield. Then spray paint the edges silver, and let dry.

Draw out your border and quadrants with a sharpie and carefully paint one colored section at a time and let dry.

Once dry, use a colored sharpie to draw in your details.

Our quadrant symbols represent the 4 Core values of Highlands Kids.
From left to right:
1. Love God
because God is love and He first loved us!
2. Love people
because God loves all people!
3. Do your best
and God does the rest!
Because God gives us Joy!

Step 17: Finish

Once everything has dried, Velcro your coat of arms, step back, do a fist pump, grab you some props and enjoy your own personal castle!

If you want a draw bridge, grab one of you cut off sections from the ramparts and paint it brown in longwise passes of your spat paint to give a somewhat striped/wood grain appearance.

Step 18: Notes

As you may have noticed in one of the last pictures, the crenellations started to droop a little. This is mostly due to the humidity. I had to add some reinforcement to those pieces when we assembled the castle at our church campus.

This whole thing is really just painted cardboard, so it is not the most hardy or structures. You may want to use another building material, like 3/4" 4'x8' insulation panels or plywood and a frame with cut outs and the same paint pattern. You lose the 3rd dimensional nature of the photo booth this way, but would gain longevity. As this is supposed to last 6 weeks, I may have to go that route at some point. Thankfully, I have plenty of gray paint for later projects.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable!

Step 19: Bonus Points

Bonus points for doing the whole thing barefoot.