When we found out we were doing a medieval theme for our event, we were quite baffled as to how to create a castle at a budget-conscious price. Thanks to the instruction of Joel Harmon from Bayside Church, whose construction team pioneered this method, the end result looked fantastic!
Our final process was a little different than what Bayside did, but it worked for our team!
First we started with the large 4’x8′ sheets of 2-inch thick styrofoam that is sold at Home Depot or Lowes. They come out to something around $20-22 each retail. The official name is “polystyrene.” Here’s Glen Nielsen, our event director, and me carrying the sheets in.
Our construction team began by gluing together the pieces.
Pretty soon our lobby was overtaken by drying styrofoam pieces.
Then they used a ruler and drew pencil lines for the bricks. The bricks were 12″x24″ each. They took PVC pipe glue and ran it across the pencil lines. The glue ate into the styrofoam, creating an indentation that looked like the mortar lines for brick.
Here you can see how they put the pieces on a table to process them more easily. Tony Rossetto was one of the construction team guys and I think he did most of the lines.
Here’s a closeup to show how the glue eats into the styrofoam.
Additional pieces were assembled. Here’s Bill Krause, who did a lion’s share of work in the construction area!
All the pieces were done and put on 2×4 frames.
Then it was time to create grout lines. This was done by spraying acetone on the styrofoam. The acetone eats away, creating a stone-like texture.
Here you can see a little better the texture that is starting to form to make the bricks look more like stone.
The next step was to spray water-based black spray paint into the grout lines.
A coat of grey latex paint was applied as the base. A roller works great for this.
Touch up missed spots with a brush…
More depth was added by varying shades of grey.
Here’s the original front of our church. 2×4 supports were put in.
The styrofoam was mounted on top of these supports. Railroad ties were placed and a rope hung. And here’s the castle!
We used the same process for the stage castle but they painted it brown instead of grey.
Here’s the finished castle!
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