Buddhist Temple

Create a miniature model of a Buddhist temple with layered roofs. As a class project you could make several temples as a re-creation of a Chinese mountain site. These incredible temples are reached by climbing thousands of steps, some temples are liked by sky-high bridges.

Buddhist Temple

Skill Level


Time to Make

2 hours + drying time for paint + glue

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

The temple is constructed from 3 boxes in different sizes with the lids adapted into the roof layers.

  1. Use a square craft box for the bottom section, a square mini craft box for the middle. Adapt a rectangular mini craft box for the top section by cutting and folding the ends into a square shape then sticking the sides with masking tape.
  2. To make a simple roof layer, cut the corners on a matching box lid so the card can be flattened. Stick the corners together at an angle with masking tape to cover the gaps.To make more a complex curved roof, cut the corners of the box lids to flatten the sides in the same way. Cut 18mm wide strips from the length of a cardboard tube to fit along each side of the box lids. Glue the curved strips in place so they curve outwards, trim the corners if necessary then cover any gaps with masking tape. Stick the corners together at an angle with masking tape.
  3. Make a pyramid shape for the top roof from a square craft box box lid. Divide the card into a diagonal cross from corner to corner then cut the box into make 4 triangular sections, leaving the sides flaps attached.
    Trim down each section along the diagonal sides to 4cm in length. Stick the 4 pieces into a pyramid with masking tape along the edges. Trim the corners and flaps if necessary so the 4 pieces fit together. Glue along the folded flaps then stick the pyramid to the top section for the temple roof.
  4. Paint the 3 boxes white, leave to dry then paint black windows or use a piece of thick card or sponge to print the windows. Paint the 3 roof sections white or grey or use different colours if you prefer. To make a striped roof pattern, paint each roof section pale grey, leave to dry, paint red stripes on top.
  5. Cut some pieces of gold cord for the roof edge. Squeeze glue along each edge then stick the cord on top. It’s easier to neatly fit the cord by cutting each piece slightly longer than needed, gluing down then trimming the ends. Glue thin red card strips to add pillars and details on the temple, or for a more 3D effect use painted cocktail sticks trimmed to fit.
  6. Glue the 3 roof sections onto the 3 boxes. Leave to dry. Glue the 3 temple sections together in a stack with the biggest box at the bottom.
Buddhist Temple Buddhist Temple Buddhist Temple

Top Tip

The roof shapes don’t need to be perfect, gaps at the corners can be covered with masking tape then painted. It’s easier to finish making and painting each section before assembling the temple.

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