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.

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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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Manual And Digital Cutting Machines

Manual vs Digital Die Cutting

Before I go any further, I think a quick discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of manual and electronic die cutting machines is warranted. All dies are patterns. Physical dies are made out of metal and require a manual die cutting machine to press the sharp edges of the die into whichever material you are cutting. Digital patterns require an electronic cutting machine which controls the knife that cuts your material. If you are like me, you will soon develop a love-hate relationship with both. I’ve never actually pitched either of my machines across the room, but I have certainly thought about it.

The Tim Holtz Village dies are physical and thus require a manual die cutting machine like my Sizzix BIGKick, while any SVG, Studio or DXF file you buy or download off of websites (including this one) are digital and require an electronic cutting machine like the Cricut Maker.

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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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