How to make a working cardboard drawbridge

Updated August 10, 2017

A cardboard castle is a simple craft project that children can make on a rainy day. Hours of fun can be had chronicling the adventures of knights, princesses and wizards. Making a cardboard castle is a simple enough process, but a working drawbridge adds extra excitement and play value. Adding a drawbridge to a cardboard castle takes only a few minutes and the same simple tools used to create the castle.

Mark the spot where you want the drawbridge to be on the wall of your cardboard castle or gatehouse. Draw an outline of the door using a pencil and ruler. This can be a simple rectangle or have an arched top.

Cut out the sides and top of the door using scissors or a craft knife. If your cardboard castle has an integral floor, do not cut the bottom; this fold will create a natural hinge for the door to open and close. If the castle has no bottom, place another sheet of cardboard under the castle to serve as a floor and attach the drawbridge to it with masking tape.

Punch two holes in the drawbridge, one on either side near the top. Punch another two holes in the wall, next to the door on either side of the opening. These holes should be at the same height on the door as the first two are on the drawbridge.

Push a length of string through the hole on one side of the drawbridge. Draw it almost all the way through the hole, then knot it firmly on the side of the bridge facing away from the door. Push the free end through the corresponding hole in the castle wall. Knot this end as well, making sure that there is enough room to lift and lower the drawbridge.

Repeat this process for the other side of the door and drawbridge. You should now be able to lift and lower the bridge by pulling on or releasing both strings simultaneously.


Young children should have the help and supervision of an adult when cutting.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • String
  • Masking tape (optional)
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About the Author

Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.