How to build castle models out of clay

Updated February 21, 2017

The castle's peaks tower over its smaller columns. Its bridge offers secure passage over a deep, mysterious moat, and colourful flags adorn the entry arch. If your child has a creative mind and a fondness for all things medieval, try building a castle model out of clay as a shared creative project.

Place a large sheet, or several sheets, of waxed paper over the work area. A hard, flat surface such as a tabletop works well for a work area.

Remove about a kilogram of clay from one of the tubs. If your child is helping, separate the clay into several pieces. Roll the clay, using a circular motion, to form spheres.

Place the spheres next to each other and flatten them to form the foundation for the castle. Ideally, the foundation should be about 5 cm (2 inches) thick, which allows for the placement of a moat.

Form the main tower of the castle by forming the clay into a large rectangle. Place the tower in the middle of the foundation. For added stability, insert toothpicks into the bottom of the rectangle before placing it on the foundation. The toothpicks serve to anchor the tower to the foundation.

Roll several chunks of clay back and forth, as if they were rolling pins, to form the castle's surrounding cylindrical turrets. Push several toothpicks into the bottom of these pieces and arrange them in a rectangle that extends back from the corners of the main tower. The arranged turrets create the castle wall and an interior courtyard.

Scoop a moat around the castle using a plastic spoon. The moat should be about 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep, but it can be as wide as the size of the foundation and placement of the castle allows.

Make an archway entrance by carving out an arch in the centre of the main tower. Form a small, flat rectangle from the carved out clay and place it across the moat to make a drawbridge.

Cut small windows into the face of the turrets and tower using a plastic knife.

Create the appearance of stone blocks by dragging a plastic fork vertically and horizontally across each building of the castle.

Allow the clay to harden for several hours. Once it is dry and firm to the touch, paint the castle using acrylic paint of your or your child's colour choice. Let the paint dry for about an hour.

Decorate the castle using craft glitter, pebbles and seashells and sequins. Your child can also include any toy soldiers, dolls or action figures in their creation.


You can make the castle as large or as small as the amount of clay allows. If you will be making very large castle, double the amount of clay used for the foundation. The needed materials can be found at any hobby or crafts store.


Although most sculpting clay is labelled as safe for children, use careful supervision to ensure that it is not ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Waxed paper
  • Self-hardening clay (several large tubs)
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glitter, pebbles, sequins and other decorative objects
  • Action figures or dolls (optional)
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About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.