DIY Christmas Village - Putz Glitter House - Tutorial #1 - Simple Cottage

Christmas Glitter Houses

DIY Craft - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Tutorial # 1 - Simple Cottage - Free Printable Template Included

Piles of cardboard sheets have been sitting on my shelves for some time, and I was wondering what I could do with them.

Then I was thinking about making Christmas decorations, and I remembered the old vintage Putz houses we had under the Christmas tree when I was a kid, and I thought - what a great craft idea!

So I decided to use those cardboards to make my own Christmas village this year, and to share my crafting journey in this blog.

I have already made a fun list and sketches of different glitter houses I want to create, but I thought I should begin with a simple one first - hence this "Simple Cottage" tutorial.

This is the very first of a series of step-by-step tutorials that will show you how to create cute glitter houses - and as time goes by and more new tutorials are added, to eventually build your own Christmas village set!

So let's begin our project...

 

 Materials you will need:

Free printable template (+ letter size paper & printer to print it)
• Cardboard sheets
• X-acto knife / utility knife
• Scissors
• Cutting mat
• Metallic ruler
• Masking tape
• Pencil
• Vellum / tracing paper (translucent paper)
• Glue stick
• White craft glue
• Glue brush (or old or cheap brush)
• Acrylic paint
• Paintbrushes
• 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
• Glitter
• Shaker or spoon (to sprinkle the glitter)
• Mod Podge
• Plate to collect the glitter leftovers
• Cotton ball

Optional:
• Paper edger / decorative scissors or punch
• 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 3.5 x 2.5 inches house, on a 6 x 4.5 inches base.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Print free printable template
Then, using masking tape, fix the first page of the template to a cardboard.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Fix page to cardboard with masking tape
Make sure that the page is fixed flat and leveled with the cardboard. I like to put masking tape at all four corners, then on all four edges, to make sure it won't move when cutting the individual pieces.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Put masking tape on all four corners and edges
Now it's time to begin the cutting. You'll need an x-acto or utility knife (whichever you are most comfortable with), a metallic ruler and a cutting mat. Make sure that your 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, etc.). Then, continue cutting along all the other cut lines. Don't forget the cut lines between the glue tabs!
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Cut windows and light hole with x-acto knife
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 folding steps. This will save you time (and paper!)
Once all the cutting is completed, take the first cut cardboard piece and its cut paper template. Fold the paper template along the fold lines (dotted lines). Then place and align the folded paper template on the cut cardboard piece, with the folded paper tabs on top (upward), like on the picture below.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Fold paper template - Place on back of cardboard piece - Trace fold lines with pencil
Yes, this means that you are now working on the BACK of the cardboard piece - this is what we want for now, because we are going to make some light scoring on the back. This will help us make an easier and cleaner fold.
Keeping the paper template well aligned with the cardboard, trace the fold lines with a pencil.
We now have the back of our cardboard piece with all fold guides visible.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Fold lines all traced with pencil on cardboard
Using an x-acto and metallic ruler, make a light score line along the fold lines. Do not press down too hard with the x-acto - you only want to slightly and gently slice a thin layer of the cardboard fibers.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Cut score lines on back of cardboard with xacto
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).
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Slightly fold along score lines
Now make the "real" fold, toward the back of the piece. Press firmly all along the fold. We now have a clean and crisp fold when looking at the front of the piece!
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Final fold is crisp and clean
Complete all the folds - you now have the first piece of the house done!
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - First piece of the house folded and cut
Repeat the required cutting/folding steps for each piece until you have all of the pieces done.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Complete folding and cutting for all pieces
You are now ready to proceed to the next step!

Step 2 - Frost the Windows

For this step, you will need vellum / tracing paper (or any translucent paper of your choice), a pencil, scissors and glue stick.
Working on the back side of the pieces (the side that will be inside the house once assembled), cut a piece of vellum paper about the size the piece, and place it on the piece in order to be able to see the window holes through the vellum.
With a pencil, trace a contour line around the window holes of each side/wall of the house.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Trace vellum paper to make frosted windows
IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.
Cut all pieces of vellum paper and carefully glue to the cardboard with glue stick. Make sure that the vellum is glued flat and without any wrinkles.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Cut vellum paper and affix with glue stick

Step 3 - Assemble the House

Now it's time to put the house together! You will need a good white craft glue for this. I personally love Crafter's Pick - The Ultimate! glue.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Assembling house with Crafters Pick Ultimate white glue
Start with the walls of the house. Working one tab at a time, apply a thin layer of glue with a brush (I use a glue brush, or you can use a cheap or old brush), on the glue tab and also on the portion of the wall where the tab will be glued.
Then carefully align both parts together and firmly hold until you feel that both parts are well bonded. I found that when working with thin layers of good glue (instead of putting one thick coat), the bond gets secured rather quickly and I only have to hold the parts together for a few seconds.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue walls of house together
Once the walls are well bonded together, glue the flaps that will support the roof. Glue the triangular flaps over the rectangular ones.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue flaps of the roof
Take the piece that will be used as the base, place the house where you want it to sit on the base, and trace the house contour on the base with a pencil. I left more space in front of the house than on the back, because my "yard decor" will be placed on the front, so I want more space there.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Trace contour of house on base
Apply thin layers of glue under the glue tabs at the bottom of the house, and inside the contour line on the base.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Apply glue on bottom of house and base
Put the house on the base and press down firmly. I use a stick or the handle of a brush to apply pressure on all corners and along the tabs from the inside of the house (through the hole in the roof and the light hole).
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Press down to stick house to base
Now it's time to glue the roof!
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue the roof
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue the roof and hold
Assemble the chimney. Don't glue it to the roof yet.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Assemble the chimney
Cut a pretty border on the two pieces of the fence. I like to use a decorative punch or decorative scissors to have a cute fence in no time, but it is optional. You can use regular scissors to cut the pattern of your choice - or you can simply leave it as is if you prefer a straight fence.
For this house, I used the decorative punch on the left:
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Cut fence border with decorative punch or scissors
Glue the fence to the bottom of the base.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue fence to the base
Make sure that the fence is well aligned with the base and press down the edges and corners of the base to make it bond with the glue tabs of the fence.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue fence to the base and press down
Glue the chimney to the roof.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue chimney to roof
Yay! Your house is now assembled. Do not glue the cutouts for the door and windows yet - we will need to paint them first, this will make our job a lot easier.
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Assembled - Door windows frames and sisal trees
Let the glue dry completely before proceeding to next step.
In the meantime, you can choose your paint colors and cute accessories (optional) - I selected 3 small sisal trees for mine. You can also 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 house in that order:
• White: the snowy ground, the fence, and the stand of the sisal trees
• Color 1: the walls and the underside of the roof (I find it much easier to paint that part of the roof in the same color as the walls)
• Color 2: The top of the roof and the chimney + the door and window frames (I worked on a piece of paper for that messy 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).

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Paint the houseDIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Paint the house - 2DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Paint the house - Underside of roof

Let the paint dry completely.

Step 5 - Add the Accessories

Glue the cutouts for the window frames and the door 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 sisal trees to the base with white glue.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Glue accessories - Windows Door Sisal Trees

Step 6 - Add the Snow

For this step, you will need synthetic snow. You can either buy it - DecoArt Snow-Tex, Aleene's True Snow, etc. - or you can make it yourself.

I personally make my own fake snow, since it is quick and easy - and a cheaper option.

If you want to make your own snow, you can find the recipe here.

I use a small palette knife to spread the snow, but you can use a stick or other tool. The homemade snow dries rather quickly, so make sure to work with a small amount at a time and to keep the rest in a well-sealed container.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Fake snow with palette knife

Begin spreading the snow on the ground, on the feet of the trees, and around the house at the foot of the walls.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Spread fake snow on the ground
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Spread fake snow at the foot of the walls

Add fake snow to the edges of the windows.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Add fake snow to windows edges

Then add snow to the roof and around the chimney.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Add fake snow to roof and chimney

I also like to add more snow to the sisal trees, to make them more snowy.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Add snow to sisal trees to make them more snowy

Let the snow dry completely. In the meantime, you can get your materials ready for the next step.

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 Mod Podge, paint brushes, a shaker or spoon to sprinkle the glitter, and a plate to collect the glitter leftovers.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Ready to sprinkle the glitter

Begin applying the Mod Podge with a brush on the ground. Work one small area at a time.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Apply Mod Podge to ground with paint brush

Then, sprinkle glitter on the Mod Podge, and shake excess glitter into the plate.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Sprinkle glitter on Mod Podge
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Shake excess glitter into plate

Continue applying a coat of the Mod Podge / glitter mix on the rest of the yard and on the house (walls, roof, door, etc.). Don't forget the fence, and the snow on the trees and the window edges.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Apply Mod Podge and glitter to fence
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Apply Mod Podge and glitter to snow on sisal trees
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Apply Mod Podge and glitter to snow on windows

Collect the glitter leftovers (I use a funnel to put them back in my shaker, but it is optional).

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Collect glitter leftovers

Our house is now all glittery, sparkly and frosty!

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - House is now all glittery and sparkly

Step 8 - Add the Final Touches

Use a cotton ball to add a smoke effect to the chimney.

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Add cotton ball to chimney for smoke effect

Insert a battery operated LED tea light candle in the house - do NOT use a real candle!

DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Add battery operated LED tea light flicker candle
DIY Craft Tutorial - Christmas Village Putz Glitter House - Simple Cottage - Insert LED flicker candle into light hole

And voilà! We now have our first glitter house ready to be placed under the Christmas tree :)

DIY Craft Tutorial Cardboard Christmas Village Putz Glitter House Simple Cottage Front View
DIY Craft Tutorial Cardboard Christmas Village Putz Glitter House Simple Cottage Side View
DIY Craft Tutorial Cardboard Christmas Village Putz Glitter House Simple Cottage Illuminated Light View



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