Make Your Own Gingerbread Tudor

For this month’s design, I set myself a challenge: I needed to make a house that was easy enough that children could build it as I am teaching another class in December. At the same time, I wanted to design a building that could look quite different depending upon how you decorated it. I also wanted a building that made me think of Christmas. When mentioning all of this to a friend, she suggested I design a classic half-timber Tudor style building.

Read More

Make Your Own Little Crooked House

It is time for a new Halloween building! I decided I wanted to make something very different than the realistic looking buildings that I have a tendency to design. I also thought about how precise you have to be in making many of these buildings and decided I wanted to make a house where wacky angles and a lack of precision were celebrated. Hence, the Little Crooked House. If you find yourself lining up the steps or the dormer windows, you are making it wrong! I would really love to see pictures of just how wacky you make your house!

Read More

Make Your Own Beach House

While it is still summer I wanted to add a summer-themed house to the collection. My Beach House is not based upon any real building, but instead a recreation of an aluminum can house I made back before I bought a Cricut Maker, roughly based on a picture of a dollhouse I found on the internet. I used the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling die to make the original building, but I had to cut the platform out by hand so I only made it once as it was a fair amount of work. For my SVG I’ve made several changes to the house to make it look less like the Village Dwelling.

Read More

Make Your Own Corner Store

I thought it was time to add another store to the village. I love having the houses in my holiday village surround a downtown park lined with businesses. And once again I wanted a real building for my model, so I found a picture of a cute corner store in England that I thought could be used for any kind of shop. While I wanted to make a little bodega like the ones I see when I visit my son in NY, I believe this building could easily adapted to make a coffee shop, little liquor store, or even a restaurant.

Read More

Make Your Own Holly Manor With Bay Windows

Last year after my friend Hollie opened a craft boutique locally where she sells my kits on commission, she asked me to design more beginner kits for the store. Holly Manor was the first of these designs, and is very easy to make. Yet almost immediately I had people who read my blog asking for bay windows for the building – an element I consider Intermediate instead of beginner. So I decided to make two story bay windows that you can add to Holly Manor.
Even if you made Holly Manor previously you can add on the bay windows as a later addition. The only other addition I made to the house is a deeper porch with roof instead of a step to the front door.

Read More

Guest Designer Cheryl Sablotny: Make Your Own Moss Lodge

It has been almost a year since I last shared a pattern from a guest designer. I really enjoy working with other designers and wish that more were interested in sharing their patterns. I understand their hesitation, though. First, it is a lot of work to design a pattern to share or sell. I have made as many as 15 drafts of a building before being happy with the design. Also, when you know you are going to share a design you have to measure and be precise – you can’t just make a little change with your scissors and move on. You have to go back and revise your pattern for every little change – sometimes over and over again! Lastly, most designers I meet that don’t have their own blog or sell their patterns are only interested in making their pattern once for their own village and then moving on to the next building. Cheryl and I have spent most of this month working on the pattern and the models for Moss Lodge.

Read More

Make Your Own Cheryl’s Place

Recently, I received a request to design a L-shaped house with a porch in the L. Since I also needed to design another beginner kit for the local shop where I sell my pre-cut kits on consignment, I decided I needed to keep it fairly simple. So no bay window, no stairs (only a step) and no multi-angled intricate roofs. Like Holly Manor, while there are multiple roofs in this design, they fit together fairly simply.

I built the white Kraft Board model for the local store first. Then, for the first time since breaking my arm, I built an aluminum can model.

Read More

A Question of Scale

I frequently get asked questions about the scale of my designs, especially in regards to my kits. Sometimes this is due to people wanting to buy accessories to go with their houses. Other times they are concerned on whether the houses will fit well with a train layout, or vintage Putz Houses. With the new Tim Holtz Village Dies, another question is how much to shrink my patterns so they are the same scale as the new dies.

Read More

Make Your Own Holly Manor

In October my friend Hollie opened a craft boutique locally where she sells my kits on commission. We quickly realized that, unlike on Etsy where my intermediate and advanced kits sell best, the people coming into the store are usually first time Putz-style house builders. Hollie has asked me to design at least two more beginner kits for the store. Holly Manor is the first of these. And yes, I did name it after her – with a twist on the spelling – since she requested the design.

Read More

Make Your Own Ivy Cottage

I have finally finished a pattern for a new house! I know you were probably expecting something Halloween-themed since it is October, and I had so many ideas before I broke my arm, but it seems sort of late for them now. I shall save them for next year. I had been working on this pattern before I broke my arm and really wanted to finish it. The front was the basis for a favorite custom house that I made last year.

Read More
Scroll to Top