Ireland Unit: Dublin Castle Model

One of the things I like to do with our unit studies is make a model or diorama of a major landmark or place. In 2015 I visited Ireland and loved Dublin castle, and thought it would make a fun project for my oldest and I.

First, we gathered some parts – I used a oatmeal container for the tower and a milk carton for the main part.

Then we added a couple of medicine boxes for the front (we had a few lying around because during this time my youngest and I were quite sick). I cut and glued each piece so that it would fit together as we looked at a photo of the REAL Dublin castle I took four years ago. I used a few extra pieces of the milk carton to construct a roof too.


As you can see I first trimmed oatmeal container so it wouldn’t be so tall, then I trimmed the milk carton to fit around the oatmeal container, used extra pieces of the oatmeal container for the roof and front, and used my medicine boxes for the front. I used a hot glue gun to keep everything together because it’s quick and my daughter didn’t want to wait for the glue to dry, lol.

Next we covered the whole thing in construction paper. I used a light grey/blue for the base (also because I didn’t have a darker grey and was unwilling to go buy more, lol)

My daughter loved to use the glue-stick, so I cut the paper and she glued it on. Teamwork! 🙂

We covered all the areas of the castle.

Tada! I think we did a good job! Starting to look like the real thing for sure!

After the glue dried well, I used puffy paint to line the cracks to add shadows and to keep the paper edges from curling.

Next came a really fun part. I wanted to create the illusion of the stonework, so I thought bubble wrap would make an amazing process art style with the look I was going for. Plus it’s so much fun to do!

I spread paint in one container and allowed my daughter to press a sheet of bubble wrap on it and then press it on our castle. it turned out super cool!

Next we painted a few sheets of paper and allowed it all to dry. After it dried we cut out 1.5″ strips and notched them to complete our masterpiece.

I used my glue gun so that this process went quicker.

Last but not least, we cut black construction paper to create the windows.

I absolutely love how it turned out!!

My daughter thought it was pretty cool. She asked if we could go see it next week – I told her we’ll imagine a trip there for now and when she’s a bit older (and I have some more money saved) we’ll go there.

What places have you visited or want to visit that you could make out of old parts laying around the house?

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