Happy Wednesday! I have been hard at work making winter wonderland crafts to help make my house merry and bright this holiday season. Although Halloween has yet to pass, I can’t help but dig into my Christmas papers and supplies and start creating projects for Christmas. I can use to dress up a holiday mantel, table, or even use as a centerpiece.
Miniature paper houses are one of my all-time favorite crafts to make. Miniature villages spark the imagination and, when done in festive holiday colors, spark loads of holiday cheer. I die cut these houses from patterned paper and glitter cardstock using my Cricut Explore™. These cut files can be found in the Cricut Explore Cut List as part of the Winter Woodland cartridge.
I had so much fun setting up this tea light winter village. I kept the details on the houses at a minimum so the patterned paper and structural details would take center stage. I placed the houses on cut logs and added some faux snow to bring the village to life. I placed little bottle brush trees throughout to add some pretty detail to the village.
No village would be complete without a schoolhouse and a large house on top of a hill. TIP: When resizing the cut files, start with the house with the widest cut. Since I was using 12″x12″ paper, I maxed out the width at about 11.75″. I quickly learned that not all houses are scaled the same. I resized my houses based the size of the front door (about 1 1/2″ tall) so that they would all stay to scale.
This two story house with dormer windows is my favorite out of the whole village. It looks like it came straight out of an old-fashioned Christmas movie. If this were my house, I would pick the bedroom on the east side of the second story.
The stripey church looks so inviting! I added vellum inside the doorways of the houses so the tea lights would be well disguised. The houses do not have floors making it easy to set the houses over a tea light. Each building also has a contrasting door. Although I was tempted, I refrained from adding too many extra details to the houses so they wouldn’t distract from the glowing lights.
I die cut each roof from white glitter cardstock to make them look as though they were covered with a fresh layer of snow. Even the tiny doorways and dormer windows have glittery roofs. Adhering the chimneys to the glittered roofs required a bit more patience. Just hold those babies on while listening to your favorite song and you’ll be good to go.
The best part of these houses is that they can each be lit with a single battery operated tea light. The houses look great lit during the day, but look especially stunning at night. The addition of vellum to the windows softens the glow and makes the houses look warm and inviting. I accidentally left the tea lights on all night a couple of nights ago and was pleasantly surprised when I walked into the otherwise dark dining room the next morning. So pretty.
Tips and Tricks
I learned a few things along the way as I die cut and assembled many houses, but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” See? See what I did there? But really, I did learn some stuff about paper crafting.
Add vellum inside the windows and doors before you fold and assemble the houses. Cut pieces of vellum so they overlap the windows about 1/4″ on each side and adhere with a tape runner.
The cut files for these houses leave small perforations along the lines to be scored (blue arrows). For shorter lengths, these work well for creating a fold. To create a fold along a longer length of paper, place the scoreline along a sharp edge and create a crease by folding the paper over the edge.
After you have created creases in your paper, make a nice, crisp fold by pressing each fold with a bone folder.
Use a quick-dry liquid adhesive to assemble your houses. It is just a little bit messier than using a tape runner, and you have to be a little more patient, but your houses won’t pop apart at the seams. I like Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive for paper projects because it binds quickly and doesn’t warp the paper.
Sometimes it is hard to get a good seal between paper layers when making 3-D projects. As I was making these houses, I discovered that using a pair of long needlenose pliers to press seams together worked perfectly. The pliers make light work of assembling smaller objects like the chimneys and gables.
I just love looking at this little village! I may have to break out the Christmas decorations early this year.