Cottages

Introducing Putz House Monthly

Also, wherein I make my first cardboard house and glitter it! Instructions and supplies on how to glitter your own Putz house below.

A few months ago, I met Teri Hanson of The Covered Chipboard through an online Facebook group. Teri also designs Putz-style buildings, and back in October I reviewed her pattern for the Halloweenie Town Dead Inn. Teri approached me with the idea for a joint venture to produce high quality Putz-style kits for people who do not have cutting machines. Shortly thereafter we decided to also offer SVGs of the patterns for people who want to cut their own. Teri’s vision was for us to take turns to produce original and exclusive patterns that would be different than any of the kits or patterns you can find on Etsy. Thus Putz House Monthly was born. Each month we will take turns designing a house or a shop building. The building will be available for only that month, and then the kit or the pattern will be retired for at least a year. Though each of the kits or patterns can be purchased on a monthly basis, we also offer 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions. Only with the 12 month subscription can you have access to any of the previous months kits and patterns. At the end of 2021, we will have produced 6 houses and 6 shops that YOU will have built and decorated for your village.

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Pinterest Pin Picture for Jolly Farmhouse

Make Your Own Jolly Farmhouse

A couple of weeks ago I promised to remake the Halloween farmhouse as a Winter Holiday Farmhouse. Everything always seems to take me longer than expected, but hopefully you will like one of the reasons why: I have learned how to make SVG patterns that import into Cricut Design Space with the score lines as score lines instead of cut lines, and with those score lines already attached to their shapes! This not only makes patterns so much easier for you to make, but also for me to design as I no longer have to make separate files with solid and dashed lines. It was a bit of a learning process, with a fair amount of trial and error since I didn’t have anyone who would teach me this new design technique, but I did have a file with the new technique and reverse engineered it.

I will now go back to my previous projects and redesign them using the new technique. Look for version 2.0 for each of the October 2020 or earlier files in the next couple of weeks.

For the Jolly Farmhouse I took the basic shape of my Halloween Janky Farmhouse, changed the style of the popouts, the doors and window frames, and added a porch with steps to the front door. I also included a file for the “snow” in case you want to to use glitter cardstock to add it as an accent. I use HTV (iron on glitter vinyl) that I iron onto aluminum for mine. Lastly, I included a file for a farm fence.

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Pinterest Pin Picture for Janky Farmhouse

Make Your Own Janky Farmhouse

Who else wishes the Halloween season lasted all year? Though many of the houses I make for Halloween can be used for other seasons, I just find that they are more fun to decorate for Halloween. I decided to sneak in one last Halloween house before moving on to winter holiday houses.

The Janky Farmhouse is another collaboration of Shabby Shimmer Designs and A Cottage in the Forest. Again, my pattern is not an exact replica of the sketches Shabby gave me. I changed the proportions a bit so that would size well with the Tim Holtz Village. Shabby also used reproduction Putz windows and had a Putz-style back (round hole in a blank back.) I provide Halloween themed window and door frames, and also offer two options for the back – either the traditional flat Putz back with a hole, or backs with windows and doors so that the Janky Farmhouse looks like it belongs with the Tim Holtz Village and the other buildings I design.

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Make It With Me: Halloweenie Town Dead Inn

I have another designer that I would like to introduce you to. Recently, Teri Hanson of The Covered Chipboard shared her finished building and posted a link to her pattern for the Halloweenie Town Dead Inn to a Facebook group I belong to. I reached out to her about making and reviewing her pattern for my blog, only to find out that the Halloweenie Town Dead Inn is the the first of at least 6 buildings Teri intends to make for her Halloweenie Town! Like myself, Teri loves Halloween and could easily make Halloween houses all year long.

Teri is a long-time designer but is new to making smaller village buildings and SVG files. I had a few problems with the pattern and she has been wonderfully responsive in providing an update. And then she went even beyond that update to add an option just for people like me who have a smaller cutting area (like an aluminum can.) I look forward to making and sharing many more of Teri’s Halloweenie Town buildings.

Join along with me as I make the Halloweenie Town Dead Inn. As usual I will be scaling the Halloweenie Town Dead Inn to fit with the Tim Holtz Village dies.

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Make Your Own Abandoned Mansion

I love browsing through miniature houses on Pinterest, Etsy, and Facebook. It is one of my favorite pastimes while I am using my stationary bike, and helps the hour pass by quickly. Many crafters base their designs on old Putz houses from the 1920s and after. While I am not a glitter kind of girl, I still enjoy seeing all the various styles people make. A lot of them are fairly simplistic, but there are more elaborate designs. Recently, I saw a post in a Facebook group where the poster had recreated a disintegrating cardboard Putz house that she thought was probably from the 1950s. Her husband had sketched out a rough pattern on graph paper and she wanted to share the pattern with the group, but she wasn’t sure how to do so. I thought it would be interesting to take someone else’s complicated design from sketch to finished SVG so I volunteered.

Thus the Abandoned Mansion is a collaboration of Shabby Shimmer Designs and A Cottage in the Forest. My pattern is not an exact replica of what she made. I changed the proportions a bit so that would size well with the Tim Holtz Village. Shabby also used reproduction Putz windows and had a Putz-style back (round hole in a blank back.) I provide Halloween themed window and door frames, and also offer two options for the back – either the traditional flat Putz back with a hole, or backs with windows and doors so that the Abandoned Mansion looks like it belongs with the Tim Holtz Village and the other buildings I design.

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Spooky Halloween House

Make It With Me: Habitat Spooky Halloween House

We are getting closer to Halloween…and miniature haunted houses! Both a good friend and one of my sisters goes crazy decorating for Halloween so I try to introduce at least one new Halloween house each year that they can add to their collection..

This year, in addition to a pattern I am still in the process of developing, I decided to add a haunted house designed by Lucy Foxworth and offered for free on her blog Paper Glitter Glue. If you haven’t visited Lucy’s blog you are missing out. Lucy started making miniature houses as a fundraiser for various charities. She made this one, based upon an actual vintage home in a historic district in Upstate SC, for a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser.

Join along with me as I make the Habitat Spooky Halloween House. I will be scaling the Habitat Spooky Halloween House to fit with the Tim Holtz Village dies.

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Fish & Chips Pinterest Pin

Make Your Own Fish & Chips Shop

Perhaps it was the year I spent living in England when I was a teenager, but I am extraordinarily fond of fish & chips. So when a customer reached out to me, explaining that their family owns a fish & chips shop in Dublin and that they wanted a replica to join their existing Lemax village, I was up for the challenge. This replica was demanding as it is a different scale than I usually work with and really reached the maximum size I could make with aluminum cans. I actually offered to make it from cardboard instead of cans but they liked the uniqueness of the aluminum cans (thank goodness, as I can’t paint.)

Of course I also had in the back of my mind that I could scale and simplify the pattern a bit, and offer it here when I was done. While the building itself is a fairly basic rectangle, it does give me the opportunity to introduce some new elements like exploring different ways to make shop signs, printing and drawing on vellum, and joining together two story buildings of different material or textures. And of course, the picnic tables with patio umbrellas are just the cutest embellishment.

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Country Cottage by acottageintheforest

Make Your Own Country Cottage

The Country Cottage was the first house I designed myself, so it seemed appropriate that it would be the first building pattern I offered. It has long remained one of my favorites. I originally cut the design by hand, then graduated to using Cricut Design Space once I got my Cricut Maker. Now that I have learned how to make SVG files I can share the pattern with you. Included with the SVG file in my library is a PDF pattern as well as a DXF file.

Over time the pattern has changed as I learned more about house styles and the characteristics that define those styles. With the Country Cottage, I specifically changed the window and chimney styles.

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Cape Cod House #3 aluminum can house

What A Difference A Fence Makes

Until Sizzix released its addition to the Tim Holtz Village dies in the spring of 2016, my village was very boring. I could make a house, or I could make a church that looked like the house with a bell tower on top. My friends and family loved them both, and wanted their own, made of their personal favorite cans. That quickly got tedious. At the same time, I was still digging through trash cans trying to find enough aluminum cans to make these two buildings. I was ready to throw in the towel.

Thankfully, the Village Bungalow die was released and changed everything. Although it had only 5 new elements on it, it was a game changer. Suddenly I could add fences and gabled windows to my buildings. I dove into creative research and my buildings went from being merely structures, to creations.

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First aluminum can house

At The Beginning

I started my village with the Tim Holtz Village dies when they were first released in 2015. Now maybe you are already thinking, “How does this relate to me, I am just here for the SVG patterns and don’t have a manual die cutting machine,” and are about to click away from this post. Not yet, unless you want a village where both giants and Lilliputians live! You will want your handmade cottages to look like they belong together in a unified village. On this website I am going to resize all SVG patterns to fit with the Tim Holtz cottages. Thus you will have a consistent starting size, and then you can make your buildings larger or smaller to fit your needs. I like this size not only because it is where I started, but also because the traditional S gauge train layout works well around my new village, as do little 25mm wargame models.

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