Here is the third glitter house from my "DIY Christmas Village" step-by-step tutorial series. My goal is to create several different houses in order to build my own Christmas village set - you are welcome to join me in my journey!
Making handmade Christmas decorations is a popular and great craft idea, and I am sure that you will have as much fun as me creating a modern version of old vintage Putz houses!
The current project will allow you to make a cute Swiss style ALPINE CHALET.
If you missed the first tutorials, you can find them all here.
Materials you will need:• Free printable template (+ letter size paper & printer to print it)
• Cardboard sheets
• Corrugated cardboard / old box
• X-acto knife / utility knife
• Cutting mat
• Metallic ruler
• Masking tape
• Vellum / tracing paper (translucent paper)
• Glue stick
• White craft glue
• Glue brush (or old or cheap brush)
• Acrylic paint
• Cup of water (to wash your brushes)
• Plate or palette (to mix / pour the mediums)
• Fake snow - you can buy it (Snow-Tex, True Snow, etc.), or you can make it
• Palette knife or stick
• Mod Podge (UPDATE: I am now using Liquitex Acrylic Fluid Gloss Medium instead of Mod Podge, as I found that Mod Podge was yellowing. Liquitex Medium is non-yellowing. You may also use any non-yellowing medium or finish.)
• Shaker or spoon (to sprinkle the glitter)
• Plate to collect the glitter leftovers
• Cotton ball
• Faux wood pattern adhesive liner (otherwise, you can simply use paint)
• Miniature accessories (sisal trees, etc.)
• Flicker light (battery operated LED tea light candle)
• Christmas music (to get you in the mood :)
Step 1 - Cut + Fold the Pieces
First, you will need to download and print my free printable template here.
The template is for a 4 x 2.75 inches house, on an 8 x 6.5 inches base.
Since I already explained and pictured in depth the folding & cutting steps in my first tutorial, and since the method is essentially the same for all houses, I will simply resume the steps here. But you can refer to the pictures in my first tutorial if you are not sure how to proceed.
Using masking tape, fix each page of the template to a cardboard.
Take an x-acto or utility knife, a metallic ruler and a cutting mat. Make sure that your x-acto blade is new, to provide the sharpest and cleanest cut possible.
The cut lines are the solid lines. Start with all the holes (windows, light hole).
Continue cutting along all the other cut lines. You can use scissors for these instead of the x-acto, if you prefer. Don't forget the cut lines between the glue tabs.
*TIP: If you plan to make several houses based on the current template, use the cut cardboards as patterns to trace all your houses before proceeding to the next steps. This will save you time (and paper).
*OPTIONAL: if you will be using faux wood adhesive liner to make the wooden walls, use the house's cut templates to trace and cut the shape you'll need into the faux wood liner. I found mine at the Dollar Store, but you may also find this at your local hardware store or on Amazon (look for adhesive liners for shelves and drawers).
Another option is to paint a faux wood pattern on a cardboard sheet and once dry, cut pieces from it that you will glue on the house later.
Otherwise, you can simply use brown (or any color) paint and apply it to the house at Step 4 - Paint the House.
Scoring will allow you to make an easy, clean and crisp fold.
Take the first cut cardboard piece and its cut paper template. Based on the paper template, trace the fold lines on the BACK of the cardboard piece with a pencil. Do the same for all cardboard pieces.
Using an x-acto and metallic ruler, make a LIGHT score line along the fold lines. Do not press down hard with the x-acto - you only want to slightly and gently slice a thin layer of the cardboard fibers.
Once all scoring is done, gently and slightly fold along the score lines towards the opposite side of the cardboard (towards the front of the piece).
Now make the "real" folds, toward the back of the piece. Press firmly all along the folds.
All of the pieces are now done:
Step 2 - Frost the Windows
For this step, you will need: vellum paper (or any translucent paper of your choice), pencil, scissors and glue stick.
Working on the back side of the pieces (the side that will be inside the house), trace and cut pieces of vellum paper to cover the window holes of each side/wall of the house.
The light hole on the back wall should NOT be covered with vellum paper - it must remain an open hole in order for you to be able to insert a LED flicker light later.
Carefully glue the vellum pieces to the cardboard with glue stick. Make sure that the vellum is glued flat and without any wrinkles.
Step 3 - Assemble the House
For this step, you will need: good white craft glue (I personally love Crafter's Pick The Ultimate, or Aleene's Original Tacky Glue), glue brush (or an old or cheap brush), and plate to pour the glue.
Working one glue tab at a time, apply a thin layer of glue on the tab with the brush. Then carefully align both parts together and firmly press down all along the tab and hold until you feel that both parts are bonded enough to stay together.
For this house, I proceeded in that order:
1. Walls of the house
2. Flaps supporting the roof (the rectangular flaps go under the triangular ones)
5. Corrugated cardboards for the slopes (I simply cut freehand curvy shapes from an old box - you can shape and stack them the way you want)
6. House on the base
Do NOT glue the balcony and the cutouts for the doors and windows yet - we will need to paint them first, this will make our job a lot easier.
Let the glue dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
In the meantime, choose your paint colors and accessories (optional), and set up your work station for the painting step.
Step 4 - Paint the House
For this step, you will need: acrylic paint, paint brushes, palette and cup of water to wash your brushes.
I painted the ground white (snow!) and the house in cream and red, but of course you can use any color you want.
I also painted the stand of the sisal trees in white.
Painting the cutouts can be messy, so I worked on a piece of paper for that part - just make sure to move the pieces to a clean spot quickly after painting them, so they do not stick to the paper when the paint dries.
Let the paint dry completely.
*OPTIONAL: if you are using faux wood adhesive liner to make the upper walls, it is now time to put it on the house. Otherwise, you can simply paint that part directly on the house.
Step 5 - Add the Accessories
Glue the cutouts for the window frames and the doors to the house. I personally prefer to use a thin layer of white glue for this, but you can use glue stick if you prefer.
Then, glue the balcony and the accessories with white glue.
*OPTIONAL: Besides using sisal trees, I decided to make a tiny bird feeder - I used small wood slices cut from a fallen branch from my backyard to make the stand and plate of the feeder, a small branch tip to make the post, and poppy seeds to mimic black sunflower seeds. I cut bird shapes from cardboard and painted them red and black, because I wanted them to be red cardinals. I cut two small slits in the top wood slice to insert the birds. I fixed everything together using white glue.
Step 6 - Add the Snow
For this step, you will need: fake snow and a palette knife (or stick or brush).
You can either buy synthetic snow - DecoArt Snow-Tex, Aleene's True Snow, etc. - or you can make it yourself using my fake snow recipe.
I spread the snow in that order:
1. Ground, stand of the trees, around the house at the foot of the walls
2. Edges of the windows
3. Roof and chimney
4. I also added snow to the sisal trees, to make them more snowy
Let the snow dry completely.
Step 7 - Add the Glitter
Now it's time to make your house sparkle!
For this, you will need glitter. I use Hemway Ultra Fine Craft Glitter - Iridescent White, but you can use any glitter you want. I prefer white glitter since I think it is more "snowy", but you can use colored glitter if you prefer.
You will also need: non-yellowing medium*, paint brushes, a shaker or spoon to sprinkle the glitter, and a plate to collect the glitter leftovers.
•UPDATE: Instead of Mod Podge, I am now using Liquitex Acrylic Fluid Gloss Medium, as I found that Mod Podge was yellowing after some time. Liquitex Medium is non-yellowing. You may also use any non-yellowing medium or finish.
Begin applying the medium with a brush on the ground. Work one small area at a time.
Then, sprinkle glitter on the medium, and shake excess glitter into the plate.
Continue applying a coat of the medium/glitter mix on the rest of the yard and on the house (walls, window frames, doors, roof, etc.). Don't forget the snow on the window edges and accessories.
Do NOT apply on the vellum windows, as the medium will wet the vellum and make it wrinkle.
Collect the glitter leftovers to reuse them for the next house.
Step 8 - Add the Final Touches
Use a cotton ball to add a smoke effect to the chimney.
Insert a battery operated LED tea light candle in the house - do NOT use a real candle!
And voilà! We now have another glitter house ready to be placed under the Christmas tree :)
Ready to make your next house? Go to my tutorial #4: