How to Build a Log Cabin Out of Popsicle Sticks

    by Sarah Jackson

    About the Author

    Sarah Jackson has been writing freelance for almost four years, the majority of her work being featured on Adventure Journey, an online travel publication. She is currently in her final year of her M.S.W. degree at Temple University, with a B.S. degree from BYU.


    If you've been searching for a fun and (relatively) easy project to tackle with your kids, the answer may lie in Popsicle sticks. Yes, you read that correctly--Popsicle sticks. Put enough Popsicle sticks together the right way...and you can create a sturdy log cabin. Here's how.

    Things You'll Need

    • Popsicle sticks
    • Cardboard
    • Scissors
    • Knife
    • Glue
    • Duct tape

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    Set up your workspace. You'll want a sizable pile of Popsicle sticks set to one side and your cardboard directly in front of you. This cardboard will be your base.

    Use the scissors to cut out a 1 1/2-foot-by-1-foot rectangle from the cardboard. You've now created your cabin's base. Now set the base aside for a moment.

    Gather up 40 Popsicle sticks and arrange them into 20 pairs. With each pair, put a small drop of glue near the end of one Popsicle stick, then press the end of the other stick flat against it (with about an inch of overlap). Make sure they are straight. Allow the glue time to dry--at least an hour.

    Gather up 18 Popsicle sticks and arrange them into two groups of nine. Use the knife to cut a small, 1/8-inch groove half an inch from the end of the Popsicle stick on both sides, on the top and the bottom. Each stick should end up having four grooves each, all half an inch from the ends of the stick. Be sure the grooves aren't wider than the breadth of a Popsicle stick; ideally they should be slightly smaller--so that another stick can fit snugly and tightly into it.

    Fit a long, glued-together stick into the grooves of two grooved sticks. Put another long, glued-together stick into the grooves on the other side of the grooved sticks. You should have formed a rectangle, held together by glue and grooves.

    Repeat Step 5 until each of the 20 long, glue-together sticks have been secured in place in the grooves of the grooved sticks. You should have 10 long, glued-together sticks on each of two sides of your cabin, and 9 grooved Popsicle sticks on each of the remaining two sides. You should now have a log cabin-looking box with no top.

    Make the roof. This is done by gluing the ends of two Popsicle sticks to the top corners of one side of the cabin, then to the ends of each other, forming a triangle on one side. You may have to hold it in place for a few minutes until the glue has begun to dry. Repeat on the other side. You've just created the A-frame for your cabin's roof.

    Gather half of the remaining Popsicle sticks and use the knife or the scissors (if strong) to cut one curved end off of each stick, cutting straight across. You should now have two piles of Popsicle sticks--one in which each has one regular, rounded end and one straight end, and another pile of regular sticks.

    Line the long, glued-together Popsicle sticks on the top of the cabin, along the top-edge, with a little glue. Arrange the remaining Popsicle sticks on the roof so that the regular sticks rest easily on the cut ends of the cut sticks (put a small drop of glue on the cut end of the cut Popsicle sticks). Alternate between regular and cut sticks for each side of the roof, until the roof is finished.