card houses

Got Some Time? Build a Playing Card House

Design and build something really great with some playing cards that you have at home. Perhaps your family has some old decks that are missing one card – crummy cards that no one ever plays card games with any more. Those are perfect for this project. Or perhaps someone you know works at a casino and can get lots of their old cards for you to keep and use. (Casinos do not reuse them at casinos or someone might cheat!) Or perhaps your parent has some tucked away in a drawer that you can beg to have for your very own. Tell them that you want to become a card shark and play at a casino some day. Oh no, don’t say that. Admit that you want them to possibly fold and to use to make a card house. You won’t be giving them back.

Here are some interesting factoids about playing cards too, from (who knew?)

So, how to proceed now that you have some cards to build with.

Photo from the Cardstacker website

First, we highly recommend that you look up Bryan Berg. He is the world’s record holder on tallest card house builder. As an adult, he has made a career out of building card houses and he is known as “The Cardstacker”. Take a look at his website to see the structures. They are worthy of a career.  On his website you can learn interesting tidbits like it took over 1000 decks of cards to build his tallest structure. WHOA! You can try to model your card house on the work of Bryan Berg. However it might not be where you want to start.

Instead, try taking about 16 cards and see if you can build a traditional card house without folding the cards at all. Just use balance and the idea that triangles are the strongest geometric form. Try starting on a flat surface, like a floor or table, or otherwise try on a carpet, where you can possibly make the vertical cards stick better, without the horizontal cards at the bottom.


Card House

The next kind of card house can be built with cards that balance on each other with more strictly 90 degree horizontal and vertical surfaces. This is sometimes pretty tough to balance, but try it out. Use some triangles too, if that makes it work. Once you get the first cards started, it is sometimes easier as you go.

We will post more images as we go! If you make a great structure, please send a photo to us here.