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How to Build a Model Pyramid

written by: wahmbrenda • edited by: Noreen Gunnell • updated: 3/2/2012

Learn how to build a model pyramid that the pharaohs in Egypt would appreciate. Find instructions for two different methods on building your own pyramid, and learn a little more about Egypt in the process.

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    Making The Design For Your Pyramid

    You will need to start by gathering together some pictures of pyramids to base your design on. The pyramids were built from stone blocks, which is why you will also want to use something resembling stone blocks. It is also a good idea to sketch your idea on some scrap paper before starting out. Here I've outlined two methods for building your own pyramid, one using Plaster of Paris and another using sugar cubes.

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    Creating A Pyramid Out Of Plaster Paris

    In order to build a pyramid out of Plaster of Paris, you will need:

    • Plaster of Paris
    • An ice-cube tray
    • Petroleum Jelly
    • A knife or something to cut with
    • Sketch paper
    • A pencil or a pen
    • Sand paper
    • A level (optional)
    • Sand-colored paint (optional)
    • Paint sealer
    • A paint brush

    Once you have gathered all of your supplies together you can start making your stone blocks. In order to do this, coat your ice-cube tray with Petroleum Jelly and pour some Plaster of Paris inside. Wait until it hardens. While you are waiting, sketch your pyramid on a piece of paper. This will be what you use your blocks to build eventually.

    After you have built your pyramid, sand its edges with sand paper. This will make them smooth and help you to flatten them. You can use a level to ensure that they really are flat.

    When your pyramid is finally the way that you want it to look, add a layer of sand-colored paint to it if you want. Regardless of whether or not you paint it, you should use a sealant to seal it with. This will help protect it from wear and tear and allow it to last longer.

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    Creating A Pyramid Out Of Sugar Cubes

    In order to build a pyramid out of sugar cubes, you will need:

    • 10 boxes of sugar cubes
    • A hot glue gun with glue in it
    • A large square wooden base
    • Brown sugar
    • Elmer's glue
    • A cheap paint brush

    Start by making the pyramid’s base from the large wooden square. Use a really small amount of hot glue to attach the ice cubes to the square.

    In order to start the second layer, place a layer of sugar cubes over the seams that are located between the sugar cubes that make up your first row. This will need to be indented though, hanging approximately half of their width over the first row so that they are closer to the center. Continue with this pattern so that your pyramid will continuously get smaller as it gets taller. It is important to make sure that the glue dries before adding additional rows though. Eventually, when you reach the top there will be a place for just one single sugar cube in the last row.

    After you build the pyramid brush Elmer’s glue over the surface of your wooden base. Sprinkle some brown sugar over it, right up to the bottom of the pyramid. Then, after everything is dry, you can spray paint your pyramid with a sand-colored paint so that it will look more authentic.

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    A Final Word

    Now that you know how easy it is to actually build a model pyramid, you should give it a try. Any child who really enjoys hands on learning activities will be able to learn a lot about Egypt, pyramids and pharaohs from this one. Plus it really isn’t too difficult, so it should be something that you will be able to enjoy doing with your family.