Make It With Me: Make A Castle Challenge Chateau

Have you made my Hiorne Tower? Ready to make another castle with me? While I am still working on my next castle pattern for Lucy Foxworth’s Make A Castle Challenge, I decided I would take a little time to make Lucy’s Chateau pattern. I am struggling a bit with the round turret of the pattern I am designing, so thought that making Lucy’s turrets might help me.

Update after making the chateau: round turrets are a lot harder than hexagonal or octagonal turrets. The round turrets alone move this from a beginner pattern to one I consider intermediate. Lucy provides an alternative hexagonal tower in with her SVGs. Use the hexagonal tower if you find the round towers too much of a struggle.

Lucy offers the pattern for free on her website Paper Glitter Glue. If you haven’t visited Lucy’s site you are missing out. This is Lucy’s 143rd pattern! Lucy started making miniature houses as a fundraiser for various charities. At first she hand cut all of her patterns and only published PDFs. Then Lucy took the same course I did on how to make SVG files – in fact I took it at her recommendation. She has been going back and converting all of her previous PDF files to SVGs. If you like making houses for your holiday village, she has a lot of buildings to add to your collection, as well as patterns for cards, ornaments, and other fun items.

Lucy’s pattern for her chateau was inspired by the 150-year-old Château de la Motte-Husson in the tv show Escape to the Château. Join along with me as I make the Make a Castle Chateau.

Make A Castle Chateau by Lucy Foxworth
Château de la Motte-Husson. Photograph: Ian Wallace

This Is How I Made the Make A Castle Chateau

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Make A Castle Chateau Specific Materials

Favorite Materials Supply List

Steps to Make the Make A Castle Chateau

  • Download the Make A Castle Chateau pattern from the Paper Glitter Glue website
  • Import the Make A Castle Chateau Pattern into Design Software
  • Decide on whether you want to resize the building
  • Make any adjustments to your pattern
  • Cut your stencil
  • Cut out the pattern – I use my Cricut Maker
  • Texture the pieces using your stencil and grit paste
  • Glue on window frames, then attach acetate windows
  • Assemble the main house structure
  • Assemble and attach the turrets
  • Glue on the stairs

How To Make the Make A Castle Chateau

Download the Make A Castle Chateau Pattern

First, download the Make A Castle Chateau pattern from the Paper Glitter Glue website. Don’t forget to unzip it. The pattern is available as a SVG (scalable vector graphics) and as a PDF. Lucy includes a 1″ square as well as a 1 cm square in with her SVG files. Scale the pattern so that the square is 1″ to make the building in the size it was designed. Of course the wonderful thing about SVG files is that you can easily scale them to make your building whatever size you would like.

Lucy designed a Putz back for her pattern, where the light hole is in the back of the building.

Import the Make A Castle Chateau Pattern into Design Software

If you are using a Cricut machine, remember to change the solid score lines in Cricut Design Space from cut to score and attach them to their shapes before sending them through your cutting machine. Lucy has a post explaining how to do so on her website. Lucy also makes her score lines red so that you can tell that they are intended to be score lines.

Decide on Whether You Want to Resize the Building

I had a hard time with this one. The Château de la Motte-Husson is 82 feet tall. It is a huge building, 160% taller than my to-scale Hiorne tower, which already takes up at lot of space. At first I thought I would increase the size 130% – a mid point compromise – but soon realized that would still make a huge building, one that would be 8.5″ wide and 10″ tall. I simply don’t have the space to store more large models. I decided to make up a quick model out of scrap cardstock at Lucy’s original size to decided how it would look. Here is the model between my Villa Torre and Hiorne Tower.

I actually thought it would work fine. though in the end I did make it a bit larger – I increased the size of the pattern to 110%, so that the 1″ square in Design Space now reads 1.1″. You can see a picture of my finished model at this bigger size between Villa Torre and Hiorne Tower at the end of this post. If you do decide to increase the size of the pattern like I did, the main body piece will no longer fit on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of cardboard. I used 12″ x 12″ Kraft Board.

Make Any Adjustments To The Pattern

Make any adjustments to the pattern before you cut out your pieces. Traditional Putz houses were popular in the late 1920s and 30s. To light them from inside, the backs usually had a large hole in them so that a light bulb could be inserted. Lucy followed that design with the Make A Castle Chateau. I, on the other hand, started my collection with the original Tim Holz Village Dies, where the light is inserted from the bottom. I decided I wanted to make my back solid instead of having a hole. Luckily, this is easy in Design Space. I took Lucy’s back, detached the score line, and then ungrouped the score line from the back. Highlighting just the back, I clicked the Contour button on the bottom right.

Click on the circle and it will be hidden. Close the contour window then reattach the back piece to its score lines.

If you are going to have your window frames on the outside of the building like Lucy made hers, no further adjustment to them are necessary. I decided that I wanted them on the inside so the windows looked recessed. Hence I lined up the window frames under the building and adjusted the size until I got them to where a little window frame would show inside each window opening. Then I duplicated enough for every opening.

Cut Your Stencil

Lucy provides a stone stencil pattern in her SVG files folder. I love using stencils with grit paste and always cut them as soon as I get them, even if I am not going to use the stencil right away. You can really change the look of a building by using different stencils. As soon as I cut a stencil I write on it where I got it. That way if I ever need to recut a stencil I know where to find it.

You will need to decide if you want to scale the stencil to make the blocks larger or smaller. I scaled down the stencil pattern in Design Space. Measure your widest area that you need to stencil and plan on making your stencil at least this large. In this case it is the back, as the main body does not need to be stenciled in the area where you will attach the castle front. In my case the back was about 6 inches wide. I made my stencil about 7 1/2 inches wide in case I wanted to use it on something wider. You may need to duplicate the stencil and attach them together, and then slice, to get the right size. Make a square or rectangle at least 1/4 inch larger from the shapes menu, place Lucy’s stencil pattern over it, highlight both, and click Slice. On the left is the stencil as Lucy made it, on the right is the stencil I cut.

I like using milky white stencil material to cut my stencils. You will find a lot more clear blank stencil material on Amazon, but I have absently put down a clear stencil and had trouble finding it. The 4 mil stencil material is easy to cut with your Cricut machine. For my Cricut Maker, I used a sticky green mat (it is important that it is sticky), the 4 mil Stencil setting with more pressure, and a new blade. If you find that not every piece cuts through completely, usually you can push a piece with a pin tool towards the back and it will snap out, but you may need to wiggle a few of them several times. Remember, if your machine doesn’t cut through completely on the first pass, do not unload the mat, but instead hit the “C” go button and it will cut over the previous cut lines a 2nd time.

Cut Your Pattern

Refer to the PDF files Lucy included for the name of each of the pieces you need to cut. Note that you will need to duplicate several of the pieces, like the round turrets and the window frames. Because I wanted to focus on stenciling my pieces using grit paste, I cut the following pieces first: the main body (1) , the castle back piece (1), the round turrets (2) and the castle front piece (3). For the front piece Lucy offers 3 choices. Cut three of whichever front you choose. I glued the 3 castle front pieces together before I stenciled them. I also folded on all of the score lines as sometimes they are hard to find after you stencil on the grit paste.

I like the two-tone look the Stonebridges achieved when they renovated the Château de la Motte-Husson and wanted to replicate the look. I ended up only stenciling below the first floor window height of the main body and the turrets, and below the 2nd floor window height of the castle front piece. For the rest of the building above that line I applied a texture paste so that it would have a lime plaster appearance. If you only have Tim Holtz texture or grit paste use that (or you might even mix the two together), but my favorite material for making walls look like plaster is Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Sand Texture Gel.

Texture the Pieces Using Your Stencil and Grit Paste

Tape your pieces down securely to your glass media mat using blue painter’s tape. Mask off any area where you do not want grit paste. Then tape your stencil down on top of it.

Use your spatula to spread on your grit paste in a thin, layer. The last jar of grit paste I had, I could remove the stencil immediately. I would rinse it off and move to the next piece I needed to stencil. The jars I have now are much wetter, so I need to let the grit paste dry for around 5 minutes before removing the stencil. Remove the stencil by peeling up gently from one corner in one smooth movement. The grit paste is supposed to take about 30 minutes to dry, but my current jar is taking longer than that.

Also, if you are like me and have dogs, have tweezers on your mat. It is amazing to me how much the grit paste attracts dog hair.

When your grit paste is dry, trim off any excess grit paste with your craft knife. This is usually the bottom of the building and the window openings. Then apply the sand texture gel above the stone area with a paint brush. Let dry. Paint your building. Place the turrets aside to make later.

Glue On Window Frames, then Attach Acetate Windows

Glue your window frames either onto the outside of the building, or on the inside, whichever look you prefer. Lucy made antique looking windows by brushing Ranger Glossy Accents onto the acetate, then gluing them into the window openings when dry. You can use vellum if you prefer. I decided not to glue on the door until I had made the stair and knew exactly where to glue the door.

Assemble the Main House Structure

Glue the Castle Center Front onto the main body, aligning the top edges and the window opening. Attach the Main Body to the back and glue the roof flaps together.

Glue the stair block together. Lucy used a piece of corrugated cardboard to make her stairs, but I did not have any, so I ran my piece of cardboard through a metal tube squeezer to corrugate it.

I glued the steps on top of the stair block, then placed it in front of the house to determine where I should glue on my door.

I glued on two sets of the stair railings on each side and painted the stairs. I found I needed to trim the tab that attached the railings to the stair block a little bit. I set the stairs aside and glued them to the building last as I didn’t want any chance of crushing them as I glued my turrets and roof onto the building.

Glue together the roof pieces. Lucy provides shingles for the roofs, but I liked the slate roof look of the Château de la Motte-Husson and tried to get this the best I could by using a textured graphite colored cardstock, then putting a metallic black wash over it. Below it, I used a strip of reduced sized shingles of a different color to help to create the decorative element that looks a bit like teeth and that I found out is called dentil molding. I cut even thinner pieces of this contrasting color to use as horizontal molding.

Assemble and Attach the Turrets

During one of Lucy’s videos she showed how to get round turrets that don’t crease. She spritzed her cardstock with a bit of water and wrapped them around empty toilet rolls that she had cut and rolled to the correct diameter. I had to use longer cardboard rolls for my turrets, and I found that if you are using Kraft Board or cardboard, you have to give both sides of it a good spritz so that the cardboard becomes fairly wet to become pliable. I wrapped my turrets around my rolls, secured them with painter’s tape, and let them dry overnight.

When dry, glue on your window frames and acetate or vellum.

Next, you need to cut two of each of the long strips and partial circles per turret. Glue the long strips to the inside edge of your turrets so that the tabs face into the inside of the turrets.

Glue one of the partial circles onto the tabs and into the inside of the turrets on either end. I ended up needing to trim the slice into the partial circle a little bit to get them to fit.

I glued each of the turrets onto the front of the main building. There is a little bit of the back of the turrets that extend above the main building wall. They are not easy to see, but if you are concerned that they are unfinished, it is easy to add a little rectangular patch above the height of the main buildings and paint it to match the rest of the turret.

Glue the turret roofs together and glue onto the top of each of the turrets. As the thin tips of the turret roofs can be delicate, one trick Lucy shared was to fill the inside tip with hot glue. This will help it to retain its shape. Once again I glued a strip of dentil molding to each of the turret roofs.

Lucy provides extra strengthening pieces to go on the inside of the front of the castle in her pattern, and if I had been using cardstock instead of cardboard, I would have used them. I decided I didn’t need to, but as any of you who make my patterns know, I like to add a bottom insert to my buildings. I measured out a rectangle and added one to the chateau. It helps to square up the building. Some people, including Lucy, like to build platforms into their bases that do the same thing. I upon occasion move my building from base to base (for example from a spring decorated base to a fall decorated base), and by having a bottom insert I get that flexibility.

Lastly, I glued the stairs onto the front of the building.

Enjoy making the Make a Castle Chateau! I would love to see your finished design. Please share a photo of it with me by emailing me at Jackie@acottageintheforest.com.

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