Table of Contents
Construct the pipe frame
1. Construct the frame base circle
Cut a piece of 20 mm (3/4″) overall diameter flexible pipe 5 metres (16′ 8″) long and join one end of the pipe to the other end to create a circle.
Most flexible pipes are slightly enlarged at one end, so the smaller end can fit snuggly into the larger end. Wrap tape around the join so it cannot come apart. (If the pipe is not enlarged at one end, join the two ends together as shown in the following paragraph “Joining the pipe”.)
Lay the circle on the ground where you are going to make the elf cave. Build the elf cave on a tarpaulin or a plastic sheet because there is going to be a lot of dropped plaster!
Joining the pipe: Most flexible pipes are slightly enlarged at one end, so the smaller end can fit snuggly into the larger end.
If the pipe does not have an enlarged end, so the other end can fit snugly into it, join the pipes by first inserting a 200 mm (8″) long stick (just slightly thinner than the hole in the pipe) into both ends of the pipe. Pull both ends of the pipe together until they touch each other and then hold together with PVC adhesive tape.
2. Make the first two frame arches
Cut four pieces of 20 mm (3/4″) overall diameter flexible pipe 3.5 metres (11′ 8″) long. Bend one piece, creating an arch, so that both ends are inside the base circle and the arch is standing upright. Bend another piece in the same way but at right angles to the first and going over the top of the first. Tape the ends of the arches to the circle and the top of the arches to each other.