Making DIY pre-cut kits out of my designs is new to me in 2021. When Teri and I started Putz House Monthly, it was Teri’s idea to offer a kit in addition to the SVG pattern for sale. She thought there would be people who didn’t have a cutting machine but who would enjoy making more challenging kits than what were currently offered on Etsy. I had no inkling that there would be so much interest in more intricate kits and assumed we would only sell a few kits per month. As sales of our kits took off, particularly on Etsy, I have also slowly been adding kits from my older patterns, to both Etsy and my website. Even though I offer the free patterns on this website in PDF form, several people have emailed me to say that they physically find it too challenging to cut out the patterns by hand. I am glad the pre-cut kits have filled a need.
Meanwhile, 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. Only two of the ten kits I have designed and sell at the store are for beginners. 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.
I went back through which elements of my designs people have emailed to say they find particularly challenging. The first is bay windows. I actually think this house would look outstanding with bay windows, but I reluctantly left them off. The second item people find particularly challenging is stairs. I love stairs and enjoy adding them to my buildings, but this design didn’t call for them, so that was easy. The last item people have found challenging are multi-angled intricate roofs. Though there is more than one roof in this design, there is really only one way they can be glued on, and the design itself should help people add the roofs without having to worry about centering them.
I built the white Kraft Board model for the store first. I really wanted to make another model out of aluminum cans for this blog post, but working with cans is very time consuming, and I have several deadlines pressing on me. So I decided to make the model for this blog post out of Christmas cardstock.
This Is How You Make Holly Manor
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Holly Manor Pattern Materials
- My free pattern for Holly Manor 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, Cardboard (Kraft Board), 30 point Chipboard, or Aluminum Cans – your choice! For this blog post model, I cut everything from Christmas patterned cardstock. The model for the store was cut from white Kraft Board.
- Translucent Vellum
- Glue – If using cardstock, I suggest Art Glitter Glue. For aluminum cans, I use Aleene’s The Ultimate Glue. For cardboard or chipboard houses, I like Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. I put it in a bottle with a thin metal tip.
- A Cutting Machine like a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore or, if you are going to make the pattern from the PDF, a hand-held craft blade like an X-Acto knife or Cricut TrueControl Knife. I recently bought a new type of hand-held knife called the Excel Knife. It is nice in that it uses the cheaper craft blades, but the blade doesn’t work its way loose like the blade in my X-Acto knife often does.
- An Embossing Machine and folders. I didn’t emboss any of my pieces for this model.
- Bone folder (optional, but strongly suggested) 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 didn’t use any here, but you could use a paper with either a brick or stone pattern on it.
- Multi-surface satin finish acrylic paints or Ranger distress inks (for cardboard or cardstock.) I didn’t use any here, but having finally used both on a cardboard house, these work very well. Both the FolkArt and the Craftsmart paint brands work equally well. If you use distress inks, make sure they dry thoroughly before handling the pieces or you will have stained fingers. I speak from experience.
Steps to Make Holly Manor
- Download the Holly Manor pattern from A Cottage in the Forest library.
- Import the Holly Manor pattern into your design software.
- Cut out the pattern – I use my Cricut Maker. Texture if desired.
- Fold the body of the house.
- Glue on the window frames and doors. Attach vellum windows.
- Glue together the body of the house.
- Add the bottom insert.
- Glue on the roofs.
- Add the steps and chimneys
- Make base and decorate as desired.
How To Make Holly Manor
Download the Holly Manor Pattern
Download the Holly Manor pattern from A Cottage in the Forest Library. Don’t forget to unzip it. The pattern is available in multiple formats – as a SVG (scalable vector graphics), DXF (drawing eXchange format) or PDF file. Currently, I do not have a Silhouette or Brother Machine to test the corresponding files. If you have problems using those files please let me know so I can troubleshoot what might be going wrong. I do now include a 1″ square in with all of my SVG files. Scale the pattern so that the square is 1″ to make the building in the size it was designed. Of course the wonderful thing about SVG files is that you can easily scale them to make your building whatever size you would like.
Import the Holly Manor Pattern Into Design Software
As of this blog post, a Cricut Design Space update broke the attached score lines. You will need to go through the pattern in Design Space and change the score lines to Score and then attach them to their object. I am still designing so that if someday Design Space fixes their problem score lines and drawings import as actual score lines and drawings attached to their object. Fingers crossed that it happens sometime this year, though I am losing hope.
Cut out all of your cardstock, Kraft Board or aluminum can pieces using my pattern. Refer to the PDF I included with the svg pattern for the name of each of the pieces you need to cut out. Texture your pieces if desired.
Fold the Body of the House
Fold each of the body pieces towards the back or inside (mountain folds), except the front, which will have both mountain and valley folds, as shown below.
Glue on the Window Frames and Doors. Attach Vellum Windows.
Glue all window frames and the doors in place.
Glue the vellum in place if you are using it.
Glue Together the Body of the House
Glue the body together. Glue the sides together first, then the roof flaps.
Add the Bottom Insert
Check the fit of the bottom insert piece, adjusting any of the fold lines as necessary. You may need to trim the corners. Glue in the bottom insert piece now as it will help to help to stiffen and square the walls of the building. I like to lower it in from the top. Once I know the fit is right, I run the needle tip of my glue bottle between the bottom insert and the sides, making sure each side is glued securely before moving on to the next.
Glue together the front and back roof stabilization pieces. I find it is best to lay the building on its back and let gravity square up the front before I overlap the pieces and glue.
Glue on the Roofs
Glue down each of the side roofs.
Fold the center roof. Center on the side roofs and glue down. There is a score mark on the inside of the side roofs to aid in placement.
Glue on the Gable Roof, the Front and Back Steps, and the Chimneys.
Make Base and Decorate As Desired
I’ve included a fence pattern in with the SVGs.
Enjoy making Holly Manor! 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 HOLLY MANOR
Get the password for the library with the free Holly Manor pattern and SVG/DXF/PDF files here by filling out this form:
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