Make Your Own Retro Ice Cream Stand

For a while now I have been receiving requests to make more buildings that would fit in with my Mid-Century Modern House. The house tends to be one of my most popular downloads as well as a best selling DIY kit. There are other places to find free Mid-Century Modern house patterns, however. Lucy designed a house with a butterfly roof that you can find on Paper Glitter Glue, where she includes both SVG and PDF files. Miss Mandee also has a free SVG and PDF for a Mid-Century House on her website. Be aware that you will need to adjust both patterns to be the same scale as my patterns. Lucy’s pattern is designed in a smaller scale (closer to 00), while Miss Mandee’s is a larger scale (closer to 0 Scale.)

Another website that has free PDF patterns for Mid-Century Modern Houses is Retro Renovation, a site “started in 2008 to research and share products and inspiration to remodel, renovate, and decorate your house in authentic mid century style.” Unfortunately the site stopped publishing in 2001, though it remains online for historical information. At one time the site had PDF patterns for 13 Putz-Style Mid-Century Modern houses, but some have been retired. All that remain are patterns for 6 houses and a Shasta Trailer. I believe these patterns were also designed in a larger scale (closer to O.) Refer back to my blog post A Question of Scale to determine how much to resize your patterns.

Picture from Retro Renovation website

In addition my Detached Garage would work well with any of the Mid-Century Modern Houses.

I still am interested in designing additional Mid-Century Modern houses. For example, my neighbor has a very unique Butterfly Roof house that I have been eyeing as inspiration. But it is clear the dearth of patterns is for shops for your Retro Village. A search of real building flooded me with ideas. With how hot it has been outside, however, a Retro Ice Cream Stand seemed perfect.

I quickly discovered that there used to be a chain of Ice Cream Stands called Dairy Isle. From the Roadside Architecture website: “The Dairy Isle chain was established in Wooster, OH in 1951. These ice cream stands featured giant ice cream cones piercing the roof at the front of the building. The building design was created by Clarence S. Shank and patented in 1952 and 1957. The buildings were shipped as prefabricated kits and assembled on-site by the owner. There were more than 160 locations built. More than 40 locations represented at this page still exist. While most of them were apparently built in Ohio, there are plenty of examples elsewhere in the Northeast, Midwest, and a few in the South.”

 Image courtesy of

Most of the Dairy Isle buildings that are still in existence are no longer called Dairy Isle. My favorite name change was to Coneheads, so I used that for my model.

This Is How You Make The Retro Ice Cream Stand

Size of the finished building as designed will be approximately 3 1/2″ W x 6″ D x 5 1/4″ H. These measurements include the height of the cone, but do not include the size of the base. I consider this a beginner pattern.


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The Retro Ice Cream Stand Specific Materials

  • My free pattern for the Retro Ice Cream Stand from the A Cottage in the Forest Library. Design #75. Get the password for free by filling out the form at the bottom of this page
  • Cricut Acetate, or clear report covers from Office Depot or The Dollar Store if you want to have clear windows. The Cricut Acetate is designed to be cut by your machine, and has a film on both sides that you remove after cutting the shapes. Since the report covers do not have a film protecting them, I would suggest you cut those by hand.
  • Double sided adhesive tape – 1/8″ I have now made multiple Ice Cream Stands, and it is too easy to knock out the glued in acetate windows. Double sided adhesive tape should hold the acetate better.

Favorite Materials Supply List

Steps to Make The Retro Ice Cream Stand

  • Download the Retro Ice Cream Stand pattern from A Cottage in the Forest library
  • Import the Retro Ice Cream Stand pattern into your design software
  • Cut out the pattern – I use my Cricut Maker.
  • Fold the building. Glue on Window Frames and the acetate windows.
  • Assemble the building
  • Glue in bottom insert
  • Glue in the Print and Cut store background
  • Add the roof
  • Add the ice cream cone and signs
  • Make base and decorate as desired

How To Make The Retro Ice Cream Stand

Download the Retro Ice Cream Stand Pattern

Download the Retro Ice Cream Stand pattern from A Cottage in the Forest Library. It is design #75. Don’t forget to unzip it. The pattern is available in multiple formats – as a SVG (scalable vector graphics), DXF (drawing eXchange format), as a studio3 file for Silhouette, or as PDF file. I now include a 1″ square in with all of my SVG, DXF and Studio3 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.

Choose between whether you want a regular back with the light hole at the bottom of the building (this is the option I make below) or if you want to use the Putz Back, where the light hole is in the back of the building.

Import the Retro Ice Cream Stand Pattern into Design Software

As of this blog post, a Cricut Design Space update in 2021 broke the attached score and draw 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 some day Design Space fixes their problem, score lines and drawings import as actual score lines and drawings attached to their object, though I have pretty much lost hope of that ever happening.

Here is a great tutorial from Jennifer Maker’s website on attaching score lines. I make all of my score lines red so that you can tell that they are intended to be score lines.

Cut Out Your Pattern

Cut out all of your cardstock, Kraft Board or aluminum can pieces using my pattern. If you are using cardboard and don’t intend to paint and glitter, I suggest visiting Lucy Foxworth’s blog at Paper Glitter Glue where Lucy explores multiple other ways to decorate your cardboard house.

I include a Print and Cut background for your store if you want to use clear acetate windows instead of vellum.

Refer to the PDF I included with the SVG pattern for the name of each of the pieces you need to cut out. If you are using cardstock and don’t intend to paint and glitter the building, you can texture your pieces using your embossing machine and texture folders if desired.

Fold the Body of the Building. Glue on Window Frame and Door.

Fold the building front and back and the window trim on the score lines. Do not fold on the side tabs of the back, as those score lines are for placements.

Glue the trim onto just the front of the building, leaving the sides of the trim unattached.

Fold back the sides of the front and clip down the roof but don’t glue it. Then glue down the side window trims.


Unfold the front roof, turn over and tape the acetate windows into the inside of the building. Glue on the door onto the back piece.

Assemble the Building

Glue the back of the building to the front, using the score lines for placement.

Glue in 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. Align the notch in the bottom insert with the door. Glue in the bottom insert piece now as it will help to help to stiffen and square the walls of the building. 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 In the Print and Cut Store Background

I include a print and cut file with an interior ice cream store scene for if you use acetate windows. I made the scene by combining images I found using my subscription to Creative Fabrica. I also include a blank svg in case you want to make your own. If you use my scene, the file is called Ice_Cream_Scene.png. Upload it into Cricut Design Space using the Complex File Type.

On the next screen click “Apply & Continue” without changing any of the options. On the Select Upload Type screen select “Print then Cut Image”.

Once you have imported the scene onto your canvas, you will need to change the size. I tried and tried, but could not get the png image to import in exactly the right size. Click on the Ice Cream scene and change the size to 3.38″ wide by 2.23″ high.

Glue the scene into the building right behind the side windows. Glue down the roof tabs.

Add the Roof

Fold the upper roof piece. Glue the tabs to make a rectangle. Fold again and glue the edges together.

Glue the lower roof onto the underside of the rectangle, aligning both slots on one edge. Glue the roof onto the building.

Add the Ice Cream Cone and Signs

Before cutting the cones decide if you want score or pen lines. I used a Cricut pen to draw lines on kraft colored Kraft Board. Glue the cones to each side if the middle piece, then glue on the ice cream.

Insert the cone through the slit in the roof and use a thin line of glue at the juncture of the cone and the underside of the roof. If you used thick Kraft Board like I did, it is a tight fit inserting the cone into the slot. I ran my craft blade up and down the slot a few times to make it a bit wider/ looser.

Add signs. I cut the “Coneheads” letters out of vinyl on my Cricut and applied them to the sides of the cone. I printed various other ice cream related signs I found using a Google search onto a 4 x 6″ label and cut them out to place on the windows. You can also print them out on regular paper and glue to the windows.

Make Base and Decorate as Desired.

There are so many fun decorations you can use for an ice cream shop! I am going to make the picnic table and garbage cans from the 3D Take-Out Embellishments to add to my ice cream stand.

Enjoy making the Retro Ice Cream Stand yourself! I would love to see your finished design. Please share a photo of it with me by emailing me at


Retro Ice Cream Stand by Sandra Engstrom
Retro Ice Cream Stand by Jim Earl


Download the Retro Ice Cream Stand Pattern


Get the password for the library with the free Retro Ice Cream Stand pattern and SVG/DXF/PDF/studio3 files here by filling out this form:

If you have any trouble subscribing please contact me at

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