Now that Christmas and Advent are over, I decided that it was time to transition our nature table over to a more general winter theme. It was hard to say goodbye to our Tomten and forest fairy, but it was King Winter’s turn. The king is a popular figure in Waldorf homes. He is a character in Elsa Beskow’s Ollie’s Ski Trip, and it’s also definitely worth checking out this scan of the 1859 verse published by Gustav Seitz (try as I might, I can’t find the name of the poet!). Our nature table looked a little sparse with just the king, though, so I decided to make him a castle.
We had piles of leftover cardboard from Christmas, so I found a box I thought would work well. Ideally, of course, I would have wood and a scroll saw, but without a wood shop, cardboard would have to do. I disassembled it and sketched a castle. I knew I wanted three arches, one each for my Holztiger penguin and walrus, and a central arch for the king. Otherwise, though, I didn’t have much of a plan, and I just free-handed it (the pencil marks are pretty faint, but if you squint, you can see them!).
After that, things got exciting! I decided to break out the new Dremel. I’m not necessarily one of those people who’s big on reading directions. Whoops. I’m not exactly sure what went wrong, but the little cutting attachment broke in half and flew across the living room. Note to self: buy protective eyewear. Also, maybe no power tools in the living room. Defeated, I broke out the X-Acto knife and got to cutting. This was not fun. In fact, it was pretty awful. It took forever and it was difficult to get the level of detail I wanted. I thought it looked okay when all was said and done, though.
Once I finished cutting, I simply gave the castle a couple coats of paint. I used the leftover flat white house paint that we used on the trim in the nursery. My original plan was to buy some purple and blue acrylics and do a bit of a wash over the white, but I reminded myself that this was supposed to be a free project, so I abstained.
The paint caused the cardboard to bow a little. Also, you can see where the board sort of creased on the main arch because I cut it too thin. I will keep this in mind for the future. After that, I just had to wait for everything to dry and set up the scene. I decided my backdrop needed a backdrop, though, so I hung a cheap curtain rod between two self-adhesive hooks and then draped some blue cloth over that. Ta-da! A far-from-perfect but free castle for our king.