Technique Tutorials

Tips and Tricks for Making Buildings & Accessories

This is the 2nd of my technique tutorial series covering what I teach in person during classes at a local store. The first of the series was a listing of my favorite tools and supplies. Once again, you may want to check back with this tutorial periodically as I will update it any time I learn a new tip that helps me build a house or if I remember any that I use, as until now I haven’t written them down. I too am always learning new ways to do things. Many of the tips and tricks I list below came from suggestions by students in my classes.

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My Favorite Tools and Supplies

Since the classes I teach in a local store are too far away for most of my followers, I have been asked if I would be willing to write a series of technique tutorials. When I first started my website I still made most of my houses out of aluminum cans, so didn’t share how to paint or glitter a house as I really didn’t know how. Over the last 3+ years I too have had to learn how to paint, glitter, texture, etc.

In my class I start with a list of supplies. This list is ever changing as I discover new items, so check back often.

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How to Carve a Foam Base

I have been wanting to carve a foam base for one of my models for a long time, but I have been very intimidated. I bought an electric foam carving kit over a year ago and hadn’t even opened the package. Recently one of my subscribers sent me a picture of a base she had carved and when I asked her what she used to carve it she explained that she uses only a pencil and craft knife to carve her bases. Well, I can do that!

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How to Re-Stick Your Machine Cutting Mats

The question of how to keep your mats sticky comes up over and over again. This is of particular interest to those of us who use cardboard or cardstock to make our 3D houses. One of the reasons I prefer to use white Kraft Board or Cover Cardstock is it sheds less than kraft chipboard, but all paper products leave a little bit of residue on the mat every time we use it.

Over time I have developed 3 steps I use to keep my mats sticky or to re-stick my mats. I’ve tried many other suggestions I have read about online, but these three steps work for me consistently. I no longer have to throw away my mats, except when they are so old and I have used them so many times that they begin to crack.

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Use your Cricut Machine to Texture and Cut Your Building

I have learned a new technique that can be used to both texture and cut your building using your Cricut machine using either a debossing tip or a scoring stylus. This is of particular use when the pieces of your pattern are too large to go through your embossing machine. I use this technique to make my next pattern, Hiorne Tower.

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How To Make A Partially Revealed Brick Tudor

When I shared my post with the Gingerbread Tudor, I showed two different ways to paint the Tudor house. During my quest for inspiration for the design of my first Tudor house, I saw a few pictures of very old real buildings with partially revealed brick exteriors and decided that I wanted to replicate the look. I hope to design more Tudor houses in the future and want to explore different ways of painting and decorating them. While I am going to use the Gingerbread Tudor pattern for my model, the same techniques can be used with any pattern.

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