My daughter’s class have been following a project on castles this term. Luckily in the north west Highlands of Scotland there is no shortage of inspiration and a highlight of their project was a visit to Eilean Donan Castle (inspiration for Brave, seen in Highlander, Maid of Honour and a million tourist photographs every year ). The project was going swimmingly (from my point of view) until a letter came home in junior TMK’s school bag one day noting that as part of the project each of the children was to make a castle and bring it to school one month hence – for an exhibition for the school and all the parents to see…….

Directly after reaching for the gin…

knitting and gin-14

I reached out to my TMK colleagues for inspiration… Penny leapt up to the plate..” I’ve got just the thing she said…I’ll post you a parcel in the morning..” I was both intrigued and delighted!

Two days later the very best of TMK camaraderie and creativity arrived all neatly packaged up in brown paper.

Penny had crafted the basics of a castle (instructions below) for junior TMK to construct and accessorise to her heart’s content.



Kate and Castle LR WM-2

Kate and Castle LR WM-3

Kate and Castle LR WM-5

Kate and Castle LR WM-6

Kate was thrilled and set about deciding upon a scheme of placing turrets, designating rooms, positioning Sleeping Beauty just so, painting, making flags and imagining stories about the castle. On Monday morning this week she headed off on the school busy clutching her castle and yesterday afternoon I visited her class room to see all the castles. The variety (and sheer scale) of the castles was impressive – I loved all the individual styles and tales of granny or big brother who had helped with each project. I loved that Kate’s is both bijou (easy to store) and another example of team TMK UK’s collaborative crafting.

Castle construction:

Take a shoe box and cut a three sided flap  for a draw bridge. Add string to drawbridge.

Cut out the castelllations but leave the corners and a space at the back without.
Cut three toilet rolls in half and then cut slots at 90 degrees on four of them so they fit over the corners. One of the halves needs the slots at 180 degrees to go on the back. Castellate the toilet rolls.
Long matches (with the heads cut off by a responsible adult!) and freezer labels were used for the turret flags.
Put in a box and send to Scotland for creative final touches.
And it really is that simple!
Words and images Rosie Woodhouse at Love Skye Photography
Gin, inspiration and castle cutter-outer Penny Hardie at Penny Hardie Photography
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