I am so excited about this post! This week I am honored to be able to share the pattern for Meg Danforth’s Lafayette Square.
As I have mentioned before, I belong to a couple of Facebook groups dedicated to making miniature houses. Several times, people have made buildings and expressed an interest in sharing their patterns, but weren’t sure how to do so. Facebook does not allow sharing of SVG or Zip files, and one of the groups doesn’t even have a files area to share PDFs. Hosting a blog is very time consuming, as I have found out over the last year, and certainly is not for everyone. I have twice before volunteered to help, the first time taking Shabby Shimmer’s hand-drawn patterns (Make Your Own Abandoned Mansion and Make Your Own Janky Farmhouse) and converting them to both PDFs and SVGs. The second time I took Steven Leeds’ PDFs of Putz Houses and have been converting them into Cricut Design Space ready SVGs and hosting them on my site (North Pole: The Wonderful Putz Houses of Steven Leeds and Glitter Town: More Putz Houses From the Creative Mind of Steven Leeds.)
What is so exciting this time is that 1) it’s a Victorian, which are always my favorite, 2) Meg makes gorgeously detailed buildings, and 3) Meg is a ringer with Inkscape and makes her own SVGs! Plus Meg has done all of the hard work of sizing the pattern to fit with the Tim Holtz Village dies.
I asked Meg to write a little something about herself and her pattern:
I came to putzing by way of that infamous Martha Stewart Christmas Village wreath. I had made several seasonal wreaths using purchased putz house kits, and was looking for tutorials to improve my glittering skills when I stumbled across Rhonda Ashby Coulter’s Christmas Notebook blog, and from there the many talented crafters—like Jackie!—who generously share their ideas for designing, constructing, and embellishing tiny houses. I’m still working on perfecting my glitter game; meanwhile, every flat surface in my house has been taken over with putz houses.
My main project this year is a putz holiday village to go under the tree next Christmas. I have a digital subscription to the Putz House Monthly Club and have been supplementing with some buildings of my own design. Jackie’s February release, a San Francisco-style Painted Lady, put me in mind of another set of Painted Ladies: those surrounding Lafayette Park in my sweetie’s hometown of St. Louis. These restored Victorian mansions come in a stunning array of colors, perfect for putzing. I selected three shades of blue for mine, with an accent pop of picked raspberry. I can’t wait to see your versions!
Is anyone else, like me, imagining making a whole row of these houses in different colors, some with the curved window frames of Meg’s pattern, other with rectangular frames like the house on the left in the picture above? I made my model out of cardstock, and I am already eyeing my supply with the thought of making a 2nd house.
I am adding two different files to my pattern library. The first is a zip files of Meg’s SVG files. I have made no changes to these, except to add one score line I felt was helpful when I made my model.
The second file includes the DXF conversion of the files, as well as a PDF for anyone who wants to make the house but does not have a cutting machine. I have also included a “Papers” file for anyone who wants to make the house of of cardstock and wants the basement to be a different color like in Meg’s and my models. You can use it to cut the basement areas out of paper that can be glued onto your cardstock. Lastly, I have including a “Putz” back with a hole.
Want To Be A Guest Designer And Share Your Pattern For A Building Or Accessory?
Just reach out to me to work out the details. While finished SVGs make me extra happy, I would also be willing to convert PDFs or (gulp) – hand drawn patterns. Those take me the longest to make and share, however! My main requirement is that you allow me to share the finished files for free on my blog for a minimum of a month.
This Is How You Make Lafayette Square
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Lafayette Square Pattern Materials
- The free pattern for Lafayette Square from the A Cottage in the Forest Library – get the password for free by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.
- Cardstock, Kraftboard and/ or 30 point Chipboard or Aluminum Cans – your choice! For my model I decided to use solid-core textured cardstock, but I look forward to remaking the house soon out of aluminum cans. Meg made her model out of a combination of white and black Cricut Kraftboard and 30 point Chipboard.
- I cut my accent trim pieces out of Cricut Holographic Vinyl.
- 65 lb White Cardstock for the window sashes
- Translucent Vellum
- Glue – If using cardstock, I suggest Art Glitter Glue. For aluminum cans, I use Aleene’s The Ultimate Glue. For cardboard houses, I like Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. I put it in a bottle with a thin metal tip. When gluing paper onto cardstock, I like to use ZIG 2 Way Glue
- A Cutting Machine like a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore or, if you are going to make the pattern from the PDF an X-Acto knife or Cricut TrueControl Knife. I know the Cricut TrueControl knife looks expensive next to an X-Acto knife. I have both on my work desk, the X-Acto for aluminum cans and the TrueControl Knife for cardstock and cardboard. I really like the TrueControl knife because the blade doesn’t twist loose while you are working. I am constantly having to tighten my X-Acto knife.
- An Embossing Machine and folders (optional)
- Double sided adhesive tape – 1/8″ (optional)
- Bone folder (optional) A bone folder helps you make sharp folds when you are using cardstock or cardboard. I have found it even helps with aluminum cans. I now use my bone folder to deepen score lines all the time.
- Decorative papers (optional – for cardboard) I glued decorative paper to the basement of my house to give it the two-tone look.
- Multi-surface satin finish acrylic paints or Ranger distress inks (optional – for cardboard or cardstock.) Having finally used both on a cardboard house, these work very well. I had trouble finding some of the colors I needed in the FolkArt paints and used the Craftsmart brand instead. They went on just as smoothly. With the distress inks, make sure they dry thoroughly before handling the pieces or you will have stained fingers. I speak from experience.
- Iridescent extra-fine glitter and Spectra Sparkling Crystals Glitter, clear (mixed 50/50)and Modge Podge (optional – for cardboard to make a glitter house.) I like to apply the Modge Podge with a foam brush to one side of the building at a time, glitter, then move on to the next side.
Steps to Make Lafayette Square
- Download the Lafayette Square pattern from A Cottage in the Forest library
- Import the Lafayette Square pattern into your design software
- Cut out the pattern – I use my Cricut Maker
- Texture the pieces if desired (necessary if using aluminum cans.) I use my Sizzix Bigkick
- Glue on window frames, doors and trim
- Add windows sashes, then attach vellum windows
- Assemble the house structure
- Glue shingles onto the roofs
- Make Attic Dormer Windows
- Make Stairs
- Make base and decorate as desired
How To Make Lafayette Square
Download the Lafayette Square Pattern
Download the Lafayette Square pattern from A Cottage in the Forest Library. Don’t forget to unzip it. The pattern is available in multiple formats – in one file as SVGs (scalable vector graphics), and in a second file as DXF (drawing eXchange format) or PDF. The second file also includes a Putz Back SVG as well as a “Papers” file for anyone who wants to make the house of of cardstock and but wants to cut separate paper to glue onto the basement to be a different color.
I would suggest downloading both files as the PDF can be helpful in determining the names of each of the pieces that you need to cut out.
In addition, Meg includes a PDF instruction file which is a MUST READ. Meg color codes her SVGs by material type.
Import the Lafayette Square Pattern Into Design Software
Meg has changed and attached the score lines so you don’t need to worry about attaching them if you use Cricut Design Space!
Once you import all of the files, you may want to change the colors of the pattern pieces. As mentioned above, Meg color codes her SVGs by the material type she uses to make her model. Since I was making mine out of cardstock, I changed the colors to correspond with the colors of cardstock I wanted to use.
Refer to the PDF included with the second file for the name of each of the pieces you need to cut out.
Texture The Pieces
If desired, texture each of the house shapes using your embossing machine and texture folders. Since I was using already textured cardstock, I decided not to texture any of my pieces.
Glue On Window Frames, Doors and Trim
If using accent paper, glue it onto the basement. If you are painting your building, Meg provides a score line to show you where to paint.
Glue on the window frames, doors and the trim. You can add them after you put the building together, but it is much easier to add before the building is constructed. Note that each row of window frames are different than the others.
Add Window Sashes, Then Attach The Vellum
Glue the window sashes onto the back of the pieces.
Use glue or the 1/8″ double sided adhesive tape to attach vellum to the inside of the building pieces. Again, this is much easier while the walls are flat. If you use glue to attach the vellum be careful not use too much it can bleed into your window space and ruin the look.
Assemble The House Structure
Glue the back onto the sides.
Glue Shingles Onto the Roofs
Starting at the bottom of each roof piece, glue on the shingles. Meg added score lines to each of the roofs to help with the placement. Once again, this is easiest while the roofs are flat. I ended up using 11 of the 16 shingle strips.
Fold the roof railing directly under the posts. Then glue the roof together, trapping the folded part of the roof railing between the roof tab and roof top.
Add the flashing. I found it helpful to curl the flashing with my fingers before gluing to the roof. I forgot to take a picture at this step, so here it is after I glued on the attic dormer windows.
Make the Attic Windows
Add the window frame, window sashes and vellum to the attic dormer windows.
Fold and glue the dormer pieces together. Fold the dormer peak pieces together, and glue on the attic window dormer roofs, flush to the back of the peaks.
Glue the attic window dormers onto the roof, then glue on the attic dormer window roofs. Glue the roof onto the building.
Make the Stairs
Fold the stair treads
Starting with the top stair, glue the stair treads into the stair tread sides. I like to glue each stair onto both sides, then move down to the next stair. Then glue in the back and bottom.
Repeat with the two stair sides, then glue the stair treads between the sides. Glue beneath the door.
Make Base and Decorate As Desired
Meg includes a base piece and instructions in her PDF for how she makes her base. Here are her instructions:
Finally, I’ve included cutting files for a base and a foundation. To make the base, I like to cut one piece from chipboard and two from corrugated cardboard (Amazon boxes work especially well), hot glue the layers together, and then cover them with recycled packing paper and mod podge like I’m wrapping a present. I learned this technique from Lucy Foxworth of PaperGlitterGlue.com and it’s by far my favorite.
For extra stability, I cut one each of the foundation piece in chipboard and corrugated cardboard, glue them together, and then glue the foundation unit onto the base, matching the holes for the tea light. The foundation is sized to fit just inside the walls of the house without putting pressure on them. If you run a bead of craft glue around the edge of the foundation, it will help to hold your house securely to the base and also give it some structural integrity.
Meg includes a file for a fence. I haven’t yet decided on a base for my Lafayette Square as I am thinking of making 3 or 4 houses that go together on one longer base, much like the picture of the real Lafayette Square houses.
Enjoy making Lafayette Square! I would love to see your finished design. Please share a photo of it with me by emailing me at Jackie@acottageintheforest.com.
FREE CUT FILES & PATTERN FOR Lafayette Square
Get the password for the library with the free Lafayette Square pattern and SVG/DXF/PDF files here by filling out this form:
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