This is the second and last of the castle patterns I am making at Lucy Foxworth’s request for her Make A Castle Challenge. I had known that I wanted to explore hexagonal and octagonal towers, and had a chance to do both when I made Hiorne Tower. Exploring making round towers was next on the list, so I looked for a castle for inspiration that had a round tower. Once I saw pictures of the Marques Tower at the Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, France, with its round turret attached to a round tower, I knew I wanted to try to make it. This one was not easy to design, as the main roof of Marques Tower is designed to fit exactly on top of the tower without any overlap. I’ve always been good at math, but found myself particularly challenged, even with an online calculator helping me with the circumference, diameter, and arc lengths. Difficult as it was to design, however, it is easy to make.
Marques Tower is the only remnant of the former medieval castle of the Marques Family. The rest of the castle was torn down in 1515, leaving just the round keep of the old building with its adjoining round turret housing the stairwell. The owner at that time remodeled the tower, adding the large mullioned windows, the white stone dormers, and the bell tower.
There is a trick to making round towers that Lucy shared during one of her video presentations, and I used to make this pattern. So besides the material list, you will need to find items the right size to wrap your round towers around while shaping them. The turret fits nearly perfectly around the inner cardboard tube from one of my rolls of vinyl. For the large tower, I used a jar of dog and skin supplement I had around the house that had a 3 3/4″ diameter. I found you do not have to have a jar that fits exactly, just one that gets close and helps you round the towers.
I had also hoped to finish a fancy church pattern during Lucy’s challenge, but now suspect it will be March until I get that pattern released. I am still exploring church patterns, looking at pictures of churches for inspiration. Lucy is leaning towards making one that looks more like a cathedral, but I want a church that fits in a village. You can find Lucy’s videos regarding her Castle Challenge on her YouTube Channel. Lucy runs her own blog with lots of free house patterns at Paper Glitter Glue. She also has a Facebook group Paper Houses & Paper Crafts hosted by Paperglitterglue. The Facebook group is a lot of fun. If you are on Facebook I suggest you join the group.
This Is How You Make Marques Tower
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Marques Tower Pattern Specific Materials
- My free pattern for Marques Tower from the A Cottage in the Forest Library – get the password for free by filling out the form at the bottom of this page
- The French Bond Stencil from the A Cottage in the Forest Library – get the password for free by filling out the form at the bottom of this page. You will also need grit paste
- Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Sand Texture Gel if you want plaster looking walls.
- A spray bottle full of water – the kind you use to spray your houseplants or your laundry.
- A round tube approximately 1 3/4″ in diameter. I used the cardboard tube out of a roll of vinyl
- A round jar approximately 3 3/4″ in diameter. I used a jar of dog supplement that fit well, but I also eyed my jar of Skippy Peanut Butter. The jar size does not need to be exact, just close.
Favorite Materials Supply List
- Cardstock, Cardboard (Kraft Board), 30 point Chipboard, or Aluminum Can – your choice!
- Translucent Vellum or pictures to go in the windows.
- Glue – If using cardstock, I suggest Bearly Art Glue or Art Glitter Glue. For aluminum cans, I use Aleene’s The Ultimate Glue. For cardboard or chipboard houses, I like Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. I put it in a bottle with a thin metal tip.
- If using chipboard or kraft colored cardboard, start with a base of either Liquitex white gesso or black gesso as primer.
- Decorative papers (optional – for cardboard.)
- Multi-surface satin finish acrylic paints or Ranger distress inks (for cardboard or cardstock.) Both the FolkArt and the Craftsmart paint brands work equally well. If you use distress inks, make sure they dry thoroughly before handling the pieces or you will have stained fingers. I speak from experience.
- Glitter Gel Pens. I love these for coloring in small details. The company also carries another set with metallic, neon and fluorescent gel pens.
- Tim Holtz Texture Paste or Tim Holtz Distress Grit Paste to make brick or stone chimneys, walls or sidewalks. I actually prefer grit paste as it makes my stonework look rougher or more craggy than texture paste.
- Stencils to use with the texture or grit paste to make stone or brickwork. Be careful to buy or make stencils that fit the scale of your building. For brickwork I often use the Honey Bee Salvaged Bricks stencil or the Stretcher Bricks stencil I cut myself. For stonework I usually use either the Chimney Stone stencil I made myself, or the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Mini Set #28 Stencils.
- Bone folder (optional, but strongly suggested) A bone folder helps you make sharp folds when you are using cardstock or cardboard. I have found it even helps with aluminum cans. I now use my bone folder to deepen score lines all the time.
- A Cutting Machine like a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore
- A hand-held craft blade like an X-Acto knife or Cricut TrueControl Knife. I also have a hand-held knife called the Excel Knife. It is nice in that it uses the cheaper craft blades, but the blade doesn’t work its way loose like the blade in my X-Acto knife often does. You will also need a cutting mat or a glass media mat to cut on.
- Metal Edged Ruler with cork backing
- An Embossing Machine and folders.
Coming soon: My Full List of Favorite Supplies With Pictures and Links
Steps to Make Marques Tower
- Download the Marques Tower pattern from A Cottage in the Forest library
- Import the Marques Tower pattern into your design software
- Cut out the pattern – I use my Cricut Maker.
- Texture the pieces using your stencil and grit paste
- Curve your tower and turret
- Make the turret
- Make the main tower
- Make the stairs
- Assemble the building
- Make base and decorate as desired
How To Make Marques Tower
First, I want to apologize. A beloved uncle had a stroke while I was making the model for my tutorial. Texts were flying, I kept getting distracted, and when I got to the end I realized I hadn’t taken enough pictures of all of the steps to make Marques Tower. For the moment I will use words to fill in where pictures are lacking. Within the week I will make an all white model for my kit listing and will add in additional pictures as needed. If you need visual help to make the tower, you may want to wait until I get those pictures added.
Download the Marques Tower Pattern
Download the Marques Tower pattern from A Cottage in the Forest Library. Don’t forget to unzip it. The pattern is available in multiple formats – as a SVG (scalable vector graphics), DXF (drawing eXchange format), as a studio3 file for Silhouette, or as PDF file. I now include a 1″ square in with all of my SVG, DXF and Studio3 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.
Choose between whether you want a regular back with the light hole at the bottom of the building (this is the option I make below) or if you want to use the Putz Back, where the light hole is in the back of the building. Either way, for this pattern I use the same bottom with a hole in it, as you may need to reach up through that hole while you are making the top of the tower.
Import the Marques Tower Pattern into Design Software
As of this blog post, a Cricut Design Space update in 2021 broke the attached score and draw lines. You will need to go through the pattern in Design Space and change the score lines to Score and then attach them to their object. I am still designing so that if some day Design Space fixes their problem, score lines and drawings import as actual score lines and drawings attached to their object, though I have pretty much lost hope of that ever happening.
Here is a great tutorial from Jennifer Maker’s website on attaching score lines. I have started making all of my score lines red so that you can tell that they are intended to be score lines.
Cut out Your Patterns
Cut out all of your cardstock, Kraft Board or aluminum can pieces using my pattern. If you are using cardboard and don’t intend to stencil and paint your building, I suggest visiting Lucy Foxworth’s blog at Paper Glitter Glue where Lucy explores multiple other ways to decorate your cardboard house.
Refer to the PDF I included with the SVG pattern for the name of each of the pieces you need to cut out. If you are using cardstock you can texture your pieces using your embossing machine and texture folders if desired.
Texture the Tower Pieces Using Your Stencil and Grit Paste
I used the free French Bond Stencil I shared last week. I stenciled only where the stonework shows on the original Marques Tower, but I could have stenciled the entire building with stone work instead.
I normally paint on my “grout” color before I stencil on my stonework. This can be a bit of a problem if you are using opaque grit paste over non-white grout color, as you have to make sure you paint every stone completely. However, if you use the translucent grit paste you do not have to be as careful, and in fact it can help to give you more variation in the colors of your stones. This time I decided to stencil on my stones and then paint on the grout color, and then paint the stones, just to try a different method so I could report on it. I do not believe I will ever do that again! I disliked this method because:
- It is hard to get the grout colored paint into every crevice between the stones.
- My grout color was darker than my stones, so it affected my stone color. I had to paint many of my stones twice so that the grout color did not show through.
- The multiple layers of paint smoothed out the rough texture of the grit paste more than I liked.
- The grit paste soaked up my paint. It is going to soak up one paint or another, but I had custom blended the grout color and I didn’t make enough!
- When I paint the cardboard with my grout color and then lay down blue painter’s tape in the areas I want to block off, the painter’s tape removes easily, as long as I let my grout color paint dry thoroughly. This time, the painter’s tape pulled up some of my bare cardboard in spots.
You will need to stencil 4 separate parts, the turret, the lower tower, the upper tower, and the stair railings. First I stenciled the turret. Use blue painter’s tape to mask off the parts you do not want to stencil. I provide horizontal score lines where I would later add trim pieces. I stenciled above the lower horizontal line. After I stenciled the area shown, I moved the stencil down to add stonework around the door (not shown.)
Next I stenciled the Front Lower Tower around the windows.
The Upper Tower has to be stenciled in two parts. I glued the two pieces together, then placed my stencil so that the left side ended under one of the small windows. Once my stonework was thoroughly dry, I went back, lined up my stencil carefully, and stenciled the rest of the Upper Tower.
For the stair railings, on the inside (stair side) it is best if you do not not try to glue the stairway onto stonework. Hence I cut out my side stairs in blue painter’s tape to use as a mask.
This is one place where I forgot to take a picture. The picture above shows me stenciling the inside or stair side of the front railing piece. After it was thoroughly dry, I turned it over and stenciled the outside, but I had to mask off the part at the top where I was going to glue on the 2nd railing for dimension. When I masked off the front it looked like this:
Curve Your Tower and Turret
Glue the front to the back of the Lower Tower. Now you need to paint your stonework, as well as plaster and paint the rest of the walls before you curve your tower and turret. Anywhere I did not have stonework I brushed on the sand texture gel to give it the rough look of lime plaster. When that was dry I painted all of the stonework and plaster my grout color, then went back and painted my stonework. Look for my note above on why I will not do my painting in this order again.
Once I finished painting, I glued my door and the window frames onto the inside of the building. I used the solid door, but I do provide an alternative operable door for anyone who prefers a door that they can leave ajar.
Once the glue for the window frames was thoroughly dry, I sprayed each piece on both sides with my bottle sprayer, then gently wrapped the pieces around the tube and bottle I was using to curve the pieces. Wrap blue painter’s tape around them to keep them in place. I let them dry overnight. In Lucy’s video she sprays her cardstock lightly, but I have found the cardboard or Kraft Board needs to get fairly wet to become more pliable.
Make the Turret
Add the vellum inside all of the windows. Glue the bottom insert piece into the bottom of the turret, aligning the flat side with the flat side of the turret.
Glue the top piece into the top of the turret. It is designed to fit snuggly. I used a bamboo skewer to help nudge it into place. It does not need to be exactly at the top of the tower. It is designed to help the tower keep its shape.
Here is another place I forgot to take a picture. Gently curve your turret roof around a bamboo stick until it forms a cone shape. I used a medium weight cardstock for the roof instead of the heavier cardboard. If you are using cardboard, you may have to dampen the cardboard to get it to curve. Glue the cone together using the tab lines. As the thin tip of the turret roof can be delicate, one trick Lucy shared was to fill the inside tip with hot glue. This will help it to retain its shape. There is a circle that now gets glued into the inside of the turret roof to help it maintain the circle shape.
Once dry, glue the roof onto the top of the turret.
Make the Main Tower
Glue the Upper and Lower parts of the Tower together. There is a horizonal score line to show where they overlap. Since the upper part is glued on top of the edge of the lower part, if you had glued them together when flat the upper part would have been wider. Gluing together while curved, they should be the same or very close to the same width, though I make sure I line up the the windows before I glue and work around from there.
Add the vellum inside all of the windows, and glue the stiffening pieces for the upper windows (the pieces with the crosses) onto the inside. If you don’t want the crosses as trim, snip them off now. You may need to curve the stiffening pieces slightly by rolling them over the edge of a pen or bamboo stick. Glue the open edge of the Tower together.
Place the tower on a flat surface and push the bottom insert down to the bottom of the tower. This is the circular piece with the largest hole. There are no tabs to hold this piece. It is designed to fit tightly, but may be slightly too large. I used a piece of sandpaper around the edges to shave it down to the right size. Once correct, place a bead of glue on the inside of the bottom of the tower and push the bottom insert down until it fits. Let dry.
You now need to decide if you want a slit in the wall of the tower so that light can shine out of the turret windows. I did not add this as part of the pattern as I was concerned that it would affect the integrity of the building for people using a lightweight material. However, it is fine if you are using cardboard. I used my craft knife to cut a slit 1/4 inch to the right of the seam and no more than 1/2 inch wide.
Find the circle with the smaller hole in it and glue it in right below the lip of the top of the tower. Once again, it should fit snugly. It is important that the edge of the circle be behind the horizontal crossbar of the upper windows so it will not be seen. If you are having trouble getting it aligned, use your bamboo stick to push up through the hole in the bottom of the tower.
Use your bamboo stick to gently curve the tower roof and glue together on the tab line. There will be a circular opening at the top.
Once again a place I forgot to take pictures. There is a hexagonal bell tower that you should fold on the score lines and a hexagonal roof that is designed to go on top. Fold and glue each together. insert the Bell Tower into the top of the Tower Roof and glue in place. Reach into the cone of the Tower Roof to make sure all of the sides are glued tight. Glue the Bell Tower Roof on top. In one of Lucy’s videos she showed how to use chain to hang a bell inside a bell tower so it will still clang. Unfortunately, the only bell I had was slightly too wide for my tower.
You can now glue the Tower Roof onto the top of the tower using the tabs. If you find it too hard to maintain the circular shape of the tower roof, I include an alternative circle you can use to glue into the bottom of the Tower Roof like you did with the Turret Roof. When gluing on the roof, align the notches behind the upper windows. Glue the dormer roofs above each of the upper windows.
Make the Stairs
I filmed a video of how to make the stairs that can be found on my YouTube channel.
Once again I used a medium weight cardstock for the stairs. Glue the front and the back edges onto the stairs. Note that the front folds out to fit, and there is a gap between the two pieces in the back. Fold the stair piece on each side by accordioning the stairs.
Now glue each stair to the sides. I find it easiest to glue one stair at a time, starting with the top stair, and letting the glue dry before moving down to the next stair.
Glue on the front stair railings.
Now glue on the back stair railing. The pieces that you have stenciled will be closest the the stairs. There is a 2nd layer that you glue on that will be closer to the building. They include an additional piece on each side to glue onto the turret.
Assemble the Building
Glue the turret onto the tower. The left side of the turret aligns with the seam of the tower. Glue the stairs in front of the door in the turret. Add additional trim pieces below the roofs of the tower and turret and above the windows of the tower.
Make Base and Decorate as Desired.
While I like to make my model plain so that you can see all of it, I can’t wait to add some vines to Marques Tower, climbing up the left hand side between the two columns of mullioned windows. I did glue some beads and a flag I made out of washi tape to the top of the tower. Enjoy making Marque Tower yourself! I would love to see your finished design. Please share a photo of it with me by emailing me at Jackie@acottageintheforest.com
MAKER’S GALLERY FOR MARQUE TOWER
FREE CUT FILES & PATTERN FOR MARQUE TOWER
Download the Marque Tower Pattern
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