Today I want to share with you my village of Christmas glitter houses, or Putz houses, as they’re sometimes known. I made them last year, and couldn’t wait to get them out of the box this year 😉
They’re all made out of old cereal boxes. I found a great site with step by step instructions and free patterns! If you’d like to make your own village, check out Big Indoor Trains. The houses were originally set up around nativities, train sets, or Christmas trees. Howard, at Big Indoor Trains, has a great history, if you’re interested. The original houses are still available at antique stores, or on ebay, but you can also create your own version.
I have to say, this was a very time consuming project. I made several smaller sets for my family and friends last Christmas. They are simple to make, but involve many, many steps, and lots of time waiting for glue, paint or glitter to dry between steps. I just love how they turned out though, and hope to add one more house each year.
All three of these houses are based on Howard’s “Cottage” plans, which you can get here. The only variations are with the colours, fences, and door designs. He also includes a pattern to turn the cottage into a church.
I found these little people at Dollarama this year, they’re the first I’ve found that seem the right scale for the houses.
After cutting the houses out of cereal and other old boxes, they are glued together. I found this great, inexpensive set of exacto-knives at Dollarama.
A tip I can pass on is to use clothes pins to hold the seams of the houses together at various stages, while the glue dries. After they are all dry, and the bases have been made and covered in white paper, it’s time to paint them. I used various craft paints, again just from the dollar store. I wanted mine to all be quite light, so I ightened the colours by mixing the paint with some plain white.
The houses take several coats, and when it’s all done, it’s time to add glitter! I used Martha Stewart’s “crystal coarse glitter” in brillo. It is quite transparent, and doesn’t really alter the colour of the paint. I would like to try using some different glitters. Perhaps silver on the roof, or a more coarse glitter on the roof, and maybe a coloured glitter on the house itself. Maybe next time…
After the houses were glittered I added cellophane to all the windows. For the church, I used red cellophane, reminiscent of stained glass. Next, I added the snow. Howard uses white paint, but I went with a textured snow called Snow-Tex. I was pleased to see that the houses hadn’t yellowed at all in one year, and I really liked the raised effect the Snow-Tex adds. Try to add it to the places you think snow would actually accumulate on houses. You spread it on with a small knife.
After all that, it was time to add a few little finishing touches. I made wreaths for several of the doors with pipe cleaners and fine satin ribbon.
Howard has several suggestions for different fences. I found them quite hard to cut out, so I came up with this variation, using a hole punch.
I also used the cute little picket fence, which I found at the dollar store. My tip to you is, if you’re considering this project for next year, get to the dollar store as soon as the Christmas stuff comes out to get the best selection of trees, fences, and people.
After I finished making 21 of these little beauties last year, I made one more, and I have to say it might be my favorite. It’s the “Little Charmer” and the pattern can be found here. It lives up to it’s name!
I’ve added various bottle brush trees, and a few bushes that light up at night.
Here it is at night, with the lights on and the candles lit.
Merry Christmas from my village to yours!
This post is linked up at Blue Cricket Designs, Deck the Halls at Tinsel & Company, Tidy Mom’s Holly Bloggy Party, Just a Girl’s Show and Share, 505 Main, Tatertots and Jello, The Shabby Nest , Beyond the Picket Fence, Under the Table and Dreaming, and FOLK.