Ancient Chinese Pavilion From Cardboard




About: Hi, I am Yann, from Shanghai. I like to share my crafts tutorial created with my kid Teddy. Hope you are enjoying the fun of crafting and glad to see your great work. Many thanks to follow me.

Hello, and welcome to my first Instructable.

This tutorial shows how to build an ancient Chinese pavilion from Cardboard. Pavilion is my kid Teddy's most favorite architecture. We build this project together. I construct the architecture model while he paints it. Now I'd like to share our joys and looking forward to seeing your better work.

What you will need to make this project:

Materials and Tools:

- pieces of Cardboard

- kraft paper

- drinking straws

- steel ruler

- scissors

- glue

- utility knife

- mini hot glue gun

- acrylic paint (black / white / red)

- paintbrush and palette

A4-size template files:

Please download and print.

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Prepping the Ground Parts

Putting the template page 1 over on the cardboard and cutting the ground parts.

Step 2: Prepping the Pillar

Pick 6 drinking straws and wrap them up in kraft paper.

Using the scissors, cut out the pillars of a 10 centimeter length.

Step 3: Prepping the Roof Parts

Putting the template page 2&3 over on the cardboard and cutting the roof parts.

Step 4: Build the Roof Truss

Use drinking straws to skewer the positioning pieces and ceiling in the order shown.

Glue the 6 oblique beams on thee ceiling. Make a slit in the oblique beams about 1-cm long to match the positioning pieces, mind you.

Glue the kraft paper or small cardboard pieces around the top hexagonal parts to build the top of pavilion.

Step 5: Build the Eaves

Peel away one side sticky paper in cardboard.

Cut out 6 pieces of eaves parts according to the dimension shown.

Use the scissors to cut the eaves parts to match the truss.

Step 6: Finish the Roof

Prepping 6 pieces of eaves parts and glue them in place.

Step 7: Paint

The main colors I opt for include gray in ground, red in pillar and black in roof.

Teddy helps me to paint the model. You can paint whatever you want.

Step 8: Final Assembly

Glue the pillars in place as template file shown.

Glue the roof part above the pillars.

Glue the rail around the pillars.

Finally, trim the model and accept my congratulations on your completion.

Step 9: Tutorial Video

If you have some question or not to miss any details, It is advisable to watch the video tutorial. Enjoy!

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    11 Discussions


    6 months ago

    Hello Yann, I was so pleased to find this Pagoda project! I have a small carved Buddha figure that is carved of Cherry wood .It is about 3" tall and is very special and dear to me.I have always loved making miniatures and miniature buildings and have been building a miniature pavilion for the Buddha.But seeing your Pagoda I can't wait to make this instead! I ran into design issues using the thin wood pieces and wide tongue depressors when it came to the curvature,authenticity and design fabrication of the lovely curved pitch of the roof...Thank you for such a great solution and most excellent design that will be a great display for my precious little Buddha!I will drop a photo of my finished Pagoda when it is done,Thanks again!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    Yup, I use CNC to make the wood pieces come to the curvature in our own original wooden project. I think CNC is not friendly to most of us. So I simplified the project and make this tutorial to involve more people. I am very excised to hear this is helpful to you. Please feel free to post here if you have any question during your making. Looking forward to seeing your finished Pagoda. Thanks.


    7 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your project. Very nice. When I first saw the picture I thought "BIRD FEEDER" :) Bet this can be constructed with thin wood such as balsa, and wooden dowels, painted and protected with spar urethane so that it will withstand the outdoors :) You are also teaching your adorable son how to make things which to me is very important.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 months ago

    Yep, I would like to say this creation is simplified from another laser cutting project constructed with wood just as what you said. That project is very complicated and contains more details to show the charm of the ancient Chinese architecture. But I think laser cutting technology is very hard and not friendly to most of us. I want to make some creations to involve more people, especially kids. Cardboard is one perfect material. With this original intention, this account JoyanCrafts is created. I want to share the tutorial video and the template files for free in this account. I hope this can be helpful for everyone to round up the kids or friends for crafts. Not the cold model, but the creation with emotion. Thank you very very much for your understanding me.


    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank YOU for understanding that not everyone has or has access to a laser cutter or a CNC (? on abbreviation ) machine. I see things on this site that I would love to make but because of the machines involved I don't or I at least try to convert to conventional methods. You are correct about the emotion and heart in a project, it makes all the difference. :)


    6 months ago

    This is so creative and easy and convenient and cute and I could go on forever, that it deserves a vote and a favorite. It is done. Thank you so much for this very clever 'Ible.

    1 reply

    Tip 7 months ago

    Very nice.
    Instead of drinking straw, we can make straws with (junk) paper that are very easy to make. And, because it is painted, I believe that any junk paper could do the job. A white glue could be used too. So, no need for specifi stuff.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 months ago

    I agree, of course, you can use junk paper. I chose straws because we have lots of straws and I think it can make this pavilion stronger. Thanks.