How to Make a Pagoda

eastern pagoda image by Bohanka from

A pagoda is an architecturally specific tower divided into three main levels. Chinese pagodas originally were built to preserve sacred Buddhist relics, according to Earliest records show pagodas as first built between 188 and 193 A.D. The ruling class often used these towers, intricately designed and elaborately built, to show off their power, prestige and opulence. Make your own mini-statues or small hanging pagodas for festive holiday celebrations or events.

Paint each box red. Glue ornaments such as beads, lace, small bells and other festive embellishments to the pagoda. Set aside all three boxes for 30 minutes to dry.

Use sharp scissors to cut out a 4 by 6 and a 3 by 5 roof from the cardstock; these two sheets will be used as the overhanging roofs seen on most pagoda structures. Paint both sheets either black or gold. Set aside to dry.

Set the 4-by-4 inch box down as the pagoda base. Apply glue to the bottom of the 4-by-6 inch card stock and glue it to the top of the pagoda base. Glue the 3-by-3 inch box on top of the 4-by-6 inch card stock. Glue the 3-by-5 inch card stock atop of the 3-by-3 inch box. Glue the 2-by-1 inch box on top of the 3-by-5 inch cardstock.

Allow your pagoda structure to dry for 30 minutes.

Fold the origami paper over into a triangle shape. Draw in several small to medium-sized rectangle sections---be creative---only along the paper's side fold. Use scissors to cut out the sections. Reopen the paper to see the pretty design.

Pinch in the sides of the pagoda to transform the paper into the shape of a pagoda. You should see the pagoda begin to take the shape of an evergreen tree. Poke a hole at the very top of the pagoda with a sharp pencil. Set the pagoda aside.

Triple wrap the 6-inch string around the 3-inch square cardboard to make a tassel. Knot it tightly from the top of the cardboard and cut from the bottom of the tassel, freeing it from the cardboard.

Insert the tassel's top string into the pagoda's hole, making sure that the tassel goes all the way through the pagoda and hangs down about 5 centimetres from the pagoda's base. Tie the top end of the tassel into a knot to secure it over the pagoda. From the inside of your pagoda, glue the sides together and centre to maintain the shape you made.

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