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How to Make a Sugar Cube Great Wall of China

The Great Wall is well-known as one of the most recognisable symbols in China, as well as a major architectural feat. Created in the third century B.C., this superstructure spans 5,500 miles across on a base 15 to 50 feet high. Celebrate this awe-inspiring piece of engineering, and create your very own Great Wall out of sugar cube building blocks. Use other tasty treats to add mortar to your sugar bricks for a sweet structure.

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  1. Measure out a 2 feet-by-8 inch wide rectangle-shaped section of cardboard. Cut the rectangle out with scissors. This will be the base of your Great Wall.

  2. Draw a pattern for your wall onto the entire length of the cardboard base with a pencil. Make the pattern curve and bend to simulate the Great Wall as it bends through the countryside's terrain.

  3. Spread a layer of royal icing over the pencil line with a craft stick and your fingers, working in 3- to 4-inch sections. Firmly press on the sugar cubes. Make the wall at least three sugar cubes wide, using the pencil line as the guide for the central cube. Repeat for more sections.

  4. Add another layer of royal icing, again working in 3- to 4-inch sections. Press a second layer of sugar cubes onto the first, using the icing as mortar. Repeat for at least five layers.

  5. Create a rampart tower at least 6 inches in from the start of the wall. Choose a three-block long section of the wall, and spread on a thin layer of icing with a craft stick or your fingers. Press sugar cubes on top of the icing. Repeat this process until the rampart reaches the desired height. Build a second tower with more sugar cubes and icing layers at least 6 inches away from the first.

  6. Tip

    Add mountains to your wall. Use mounds of icing, or coat foam spheres with icing to make hills on top of the cardboard base. Position your sugar cubes to angle with the rolls of the icing ground. Paint your cardboard base prior to starting construction on the Great Wall. Use tempera paints to add green grass and plants. Build new sections of the wall at later dates. Extend this project over time by repeating the steps for more sections. Join each piece together at the ends of the cardboard with thick tape.


    Avoid working in large sections. The royal icing will harden quickly and lose the ability to hold the sugar cubes in place if not used right away. Although this project is made from food, it is not intended to be edible. Do not eat your Great Wall.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • White royal icing
  • Craft stick

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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