Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: Paper Houses by Kathy Martin

Kathy here and oh my, did you notice that it's less than two weeks until Christmas? The two week marker slipped passed me on Sunday! It's time to wrap up our presents and get those last minute gifts taken care of! So, I have a tutorial to show you how to make these little paper houses for gift giving.
The supplies you will need are:
Score Board (optional)
Scissors or X-acto Knife
Patterned Paper (card stock weight)
Craft Glue
Craft String
Accents (Buttons, Stickers)
Instead of giving you a template that would only give you one size house, I thought I'd explain how to create one so that you can make different sizes and shapes.
For this tutorial, I'm going to show you how I made the narrow house in the photo above. The first step is to determine what size house you want to make. I wanted a small square house that was narrow and a bit tall so I decided on a width of 1.5" per each side and a height of 4", keeping in mind that will include the eave of the house. Once you decide on the size of your house you can cut your paper.
1.5" x 4 sides + .25" (tab for gluing closed) = 6.25"
My paper was cut to 6.25" wide by 4" tall
Once you have your cut piece of paper, use your score board to score the measurements of each wall as I have done in the photo below. You can do this step with just a ruler and bone folder if you don't have a score board.
Notice that I made a score line every 1.5" so that I have four sides for my house? And at the end I left a .25" tab for gluing the house shut? Now turn your patterned paper counter clockwise once so you can make a 1.25" score from the top of your paper which is for the eave of your house.
With your score marks in place it's time to measure and cut the eaves of your house. At the top of your first side, measure half the length of that side which is .75". Then with a ruler, create a line between point A and point B shown in the photo above. This is where you cut your paper. Repeat this step for the third side of your house as shown in the photo above. For the two remaining sides, you do not need an eave, so you cut that piece out.

Now you can fold your house into a square and secure it shut by adding some craft glue to the patterned side of the tab and tucking it inside the last side of the house. For the roof I measured the length between points A and B which is 1", doubled that for each side and add .5" so that each side had a .25" overlap. I used a border punch to create the scalloped edges which can be done with decorative scissors, freehand or left straight. Add a little craft glue along each eave to secure your roof.
At this point, it's time to accent your house. I kept mine fairly simple since I wanted plenty of the patterned paper to show. With a Tim Holtz die, a Big Shot die cut machine and a Doodlebug button I created a rosette for my little house (as shown in the photo above). You can use stickers to decorate your house or any other accent you can dream up.

These little houses can be made into ornaments too for teachers, neighbors and coworkers! In the photo above, I made a little hole in the center of the roof with a tiny punch and threaded some Doodle Twine through it with a large needle. Then I secured the twine hanger with a knot at the end before I glued the roof onto the house. Get creative with these houses and tuck a surprise inside or a gift card! This year I think my son and I will make paper gingerbread houses instead of the real thing that's messy and hard to work with!

In the photo above I took my three little houses and attached them to a wreath I bought at Target's Dollar Spot section. In addition to the houses, I added a bow and some of Santa's Workshop tags. There are many other ways to decorate with these houses...add a few windows before you glue them together, then you can place some battery operated lights inside for a light up village! What will you create?

Please take a moment to leave Kathy a kind comment or visit her blog for more of Kathy's inspiration!! 


  1. Kathy, those are the cutest houses!

  2. Those are so cute!!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. These little houses are so darned cute. Thanks for the how-to!

  4. These are just fab. Brenda B

  5. Very cute! Love coming here for ideas!

  6. So, so, so, so cute! Love these little houses, and what a fabulous tutorial! I love that Kathy gave us the instructions instead of a single template. Now we can all recreate a ton of houses in any shape and size we can dream up! Love the idea of tucking a small treat inside, and LOVE the decorated wreath idea!
    Genius project, Kathy!


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