I have had several requests in the last few months to update the Halloween-themed Abandoned Mansion so that it can fit into a Christmas Village. Of course I had hoped to have the pattern finished before Christmas, but alas, that was not in the cards. At first I had intended to just a simple change of the windows and doors and planned on leaving the rest of the building the same, but then Lucy Foxworth of Paper Glitter Glue told me of her Make A Castle Challenge and the next thing I knew I was making a hexagonal tower!
Lucy’s challenge is all about teaching you paper craft techniques to make a fun little castle or chateau of your very own. Every week starting Jan 3rd, 2023, Lucy will be releasing a video with a different castle-making topic. These include:
- Introduction to castle and chateau-making – YouTube video on Jan.3rd at 8pm EST
- Cutting out cardboard castles by hand
- Cutting out cardboard castles with a Cricut
- What makes a Castle? Turrets and towers. How to make round turrets
- How to make steeples and tower toppers
- Ways to make a stone surface or other textures on your castles and chateaux
- Patterns for castles
- Fancy Churches
If you read this blog post after Lucy has already made her videos, you can find them all on her YouTube Channel.
Lucy had contacted me asking if I would make a simple castle or chateau for her challenge, and that will be the next pattern I work on. While discussing it, however, we talked about towers, including round, hexagonal and octagonal towers. Sometimes towers are attached to a building by only one of the tower’s sides, but I wanted to know how to attach a tower into a corner of a building and have it extend above the roof line. Thus the tower would switch from a square back for where is was attached to the building to a hexagon above the roof line. Neither of us had made a building like this before. So instead of making a simple square tower for this pattern, I had to change it to a hexagon and experiment. I am sure there is more than one way to have a tower change shape above the roof line, but this is the method I arrived at after some trial and effort.
I include a file for the square tower and front with the updated windows and doors for anyone who still wants to make the house with the square tower. Refer back to the instructions for the Abandoned Mansion if you are going to make a square tower.
This Is How You Make the Villa Torre
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Villa Torre Pattern Materials
- My free pattern for the Villa Torre from the A Cottage in the Forest Library – get the password for free by filling out the form at the bottom of this page
- Cricut Extra Fine black pen to draw the panes on the vellum. It drives me crazy that you can’t buy the black pen by itself. If you think you will use many different colors in other projects, it may be worth buying the 30 pack of various colors.
- Cardstock, Cardboard (Kraft Board), 30 point Chipboard, or Aluminum Can – your choice!
- Translucent Vellum or pictures to go in the windows.
- 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.
- If using chipboard or kraft colored cardboard, start with a base of either Liquitex white gesso or black gesso as primer.
- Decorative papers (optional – for cardboard.)
- Multi-surface satin finish acrylic paints or Ranger distress inks (for cardboard or cardstock.) 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.
- Glitter Gel Pens. I love these for coloring in small details. The company also carries another set with metallic, neon and fluorescent gel pens.
- Tim Holtz Texture Paste or Tim Holtz Distress Grit Paste to make brick or stone chimneys, walls or sidewalks. I actually prefer grit paste as it makes my stonework look rougher or more craggy than texture paste.
- Stencils to use with the texture or grit paste to make stone or brickwork. Be careful to buy or make stencils that fit the scale of your building. For brickwork I often use the Honey Bee Salvaged Bricks stencil or the Stretcher Bricks stencil I cut myself. For stonework I usually use either the Chimney Stone stencil I made myself, or the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Mini Set #28 Stencils.
- 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.
- A Cutting Machine like a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore
- A hand-held craft blade like an X-Acto knife or Cricut TrueControl Knife. I also have a 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. You will also need a cutting mat or a glass media mat to cut on.
- Metal Edged Ruler with cork backing
- An Embossing Machine and folders.
Steps to Make the Villa Torre
- Download the Villa Torre pattern from A Cottage in the Forest library
- Import the Villa Torre pattern into your design software
- Cut out the pattern – I use my Cricut Maker. Texture if desired.
- Glue on window frames and doors, then attach vellum windows
- Make the tower
- Assemble the house structure
- Add bottom insert & roofs
- Attach chimney and steps
- Make base, including fence, and decorate as desired
How To Make The Villa Torre
Download the Villa Torre Pattern
Download the Villa Torre 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.
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 and Bottom, where the light hole is in the back of the building.
Import the Villa Torre 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 and draw lines to Score and Draw 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, 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 have started making all of my score lines red so that you can tell that they are intended to be score lines.
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 glue glitter or decorative papers onto your house, I suggest visiting Lucy Foxworth’s blog at Paper Glitter Glue where Lucy explores multiple ways to paint and texture your cardboard house. I used greyish-brown cardstock and a stone looking embossing folder. I then used three colors of Rangers Distress Inks on my embossed stonework.
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 using your embossing machine and texture folders if desired.
Glue On Window And Door Trim. Attach Vellum Windows.
For the front and back doors, sandwich the paned vellum between the attached front door/ holes for light and the glue-on doors. Cut the diamond paned vellum in half for the front doors. Be careful not to smear glue into the window pane areas. You can color several of the panes with glitter gel pens to give them a stained glass look if you want to.
Glue on all of the rest of the window trim. You can add them after you put the building together, but it is much easier to add while the walls are flat.
Glue the vellum in place if you are using it.
Make and add the Tower
Fold the Tower piece and glue together the back seam.
Check the fit of both the tower bottom insert piece, and tower top piece, adjusting any of the fold lines as necessary. You may need to trim the corners. Glue the pieces into the top and bottom of the tower.
Glue the bottom part of the tower onto the Inside Bend piece.
Glue the small gem shaped Tower Roof Corner piece onto the top of the corner where the tower is glued onto the Inside Bend.
Assemble The House Structure
Fold and glue each Popout to a side, wrapping the tabs of the Popout to the back of the side.
Fold and glue the two backs together.
Glue the sides onto each side of the backs.
Glue the Inside Bend to the sides, completing gluing the building together.
Add Bottom Insert and the Roofs
Check the fit of the bottom insert piece, adjusting any of the fold lines as necessary. You may need to trim the corners. I like to lower it in from the top. 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 down the right side of the Main Roof, fitting the notch around the tower. Depending on how thick your material is, you may need to trim the notch a little, but it is designed to fit snuggly. There is a small cut on the back that slides into the back of the building. Once dry, glue down the left side of the Main Roof. With this type of roof, the tabs of the building are bent in just slightly to hold the roof. You may need to turn over the building and insert something through the holes in the bottom insert to push the tabs against the roof. I use a long wooden knitting needle, but chopsticks would work too.
Attach the Smaller Roof, again fitting the notch around the Tower. The peak of the small roof should be near the peak of the main roof, and the two roofs should meet in the back.
Glue on the two Popout Roofs and the Tower Roof.
Attach Chimney and Steps
Glue on the Chimney and the Steps.
Make Base and Decorate as Desired.
There is a fence pattern included with the Abandoned Mansion SVGs that would work with the Villa. I’m also imagining rows of grapevines behind the house.
Enjoy making the Villa Torre! I would love to see your finished design. Please share a photo of it with me by emailing me at Jackie@acottageintheforest.com or tagging me (@acottageintheforest) on Instagram
MAKER’S GALLERY FOR THE VILLA TORRE
FREE CUT FILES & PATTERN FOR THE VILLA TORRE
Get the password for the library with the free Villa Torre pattern and SVG/DXF/PDF files here by filling out this form:
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