I had promised Lucy Foxworth that I would make a church pattern with a tower during her Make A Castle Challenge. Little did I know that after designing both Hiorne Tower and Marques Tower, as well as building Lucy’s Chateau I would be so burned out that there was no way I could get the pattern done during her challenge. I needed a few weeks before I was ready to even think of designing again. I know Lucy is working on a cathedral with towers, but I was more interested in making a church that would fit in with the rest of my village.
Having explored designing with hexagonal, octagonal, and round towers, I was ready for a nice simple square tower. I found several churches that I could have used for inspiration, but settled on the Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church in Hanalei, Hawaii. There are two fabulous snorkeling beaches on the north shore of Kaua’i that we really enjoy when we visit, and we drive past the Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church every time we go snorkeling at those beaches.
Wai’oli Mission Hall was established by American Christian missionaries in 1834, with the current Sanctuary Hall built in 1912 in the American Gothic Architectural style. The square belfry tower houses the old Mission Bell acquired in 1843. The shingled church was restored in 1992 after sustaining significant damage from Hurricane Iniki. The building as well as the adjacent Mission Hall are listed on the state and national registers of historic places, and has had a continuous record of service since 1834.
This Is How You Make The Village Church
Size of the finished building as designed will be approximately 8 3/4″ W x 8″ D x 8 1/2″ H. These measurements do not include the size of the base. I consider this an intermediate pattern.
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The Village Church Pattern Specific Materials
- My free pattern for the Village Church from the A Cottage in the Forest Library. Design #70. Get the password for free by filling out the form at the bottom of this page
- Stained glass images printed on vellum for the windows. I include a stained glass printable that you can use. These images are allowed for commercial use. However, if you are going to make a church for personal use only, there are many fabulous stained glass images you can find on the internet. Try typing “stained glass” into Etsy, and you will find many images of stained glass looking window clings that are gorgeous.
Favorite Materials Supply List
- 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 Bearly Art Glue or 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 or Distress Crayons (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 Village Church
- Download the Village Church pattern from A Cottage in the Forest library
- Import the Village Church pattern into your design software
- Cut out the pattern – I use my Cricut Maker.
- Make the tower
- Assemble the building
- Add the roofs
- Make the stairs
- Make base and decorate as desired
How To Make The Village Church
Download the Village Church Pattern
Download the Village Church pattern from A Cottage in the Forest Library. It is Design #70. 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 Village Church 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 shingle your building, I suggest visiting Lucy Foxworth’s blog at Paper Glitter Glue where Lucy explores multiple other ways to decorate your cardboard house.
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 shingle the building, you can texture your pieces using your embossing machine and texture folders if desired.
Make the Tower
Note: I decided that I wanted to shingle my church like the actual Wai‘oli Hui‘ia church. While I had a nice color of green for the shingles, it was a very thin cardstock, not sturdy enough for the walls. None of my other sturdier green cardstock was darker than the shingle color, and I didn’t want to use a light color and have it potentially show. Hence I used a sturdy black cardstock for my walls as I had lots of it. Fair warning: shingling the building was a lot of work. I cut about a page and a half of the longer shingles for the walls.
The doors of the tower are operational. If you are going to have them open, you may want to find and print out images of church interiors that you can glue onto the back walls of the tower.
The wider and longer shiplap pieces end below the window trim (see picture of church below) I include an SVG of the shingles in my files, but not for the shiplap as they are easy to cut with a paper cutter.
Fold on each of the score lines. Plan out the shingles so they will meet on the edges of the buildings. Glue shiplap and shingles onto the tower.
Glue the louvers into the inside of the building, as well as any interior church pictures you might want to use. **Note: I had no problem cutting the louvers (twice) on my Maker, using a sticky mat, a new blade, and 65# cardstock and using the 65# cardstock with “less pressure” setting. A friend of mine could not get them to cut nicely on her Explore so used the pdf to print them out on her printer instead.
Glue in the pieces used to make the indented detail in the tower walls. If you are using shingles make sure the shingles on the inner piece match up with the shingles on the walls.
Attach the doors and door trim and the stained glass vellum.
Glue the tower together and glue in the floor. Remember that you will be able to see the floor if you keep the church doors open so you will want to have it finished in some way. Glue the floor just below the doors with the tabs pointing down to the bottom of the tower.
Assemble the Building
Glue the louvers into the inside of the front and back overlay pieces. Glue on the louver trim.
Attach the doors, door window and trim, and the stained glass vellum to the front, sides, and addition. You can add them after you put the building together, but it is much easier to add while the walls are flat. The addition doors are not made to be opened.
Glue the building walls together.
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. Note there is only one hole for a light in my insert below, but I decided that I needed two after I built the church and tried to light it. The pattern has two holes in the bottom insert piece.
Glue the tower piece into it’s place, and the front and back overlay pieces onto the front and back.
Glue the addition’s bottom insert into the addition.
Glue the addition onto the main building, then the addition roof.
Add the Roofs
Glue the main roof onto the building. You may have to trim the area around the tower if you added shingles. Glue the tower roof together.
I shingled my main roof while it was attached to the building, but shingled my tower roof before gluing it onto the tower.
Make The Stairs
Fold the addition stairs and glue them together. I filmed a video of how to make miniature stairs that can be found on my YouTube channel. **Note: if you really have trouble folding stairs, my friend Cheryl came up with a great alternative. She cuts little square wood dowels to size and glues them together to use instead.** Fold and glue together the addition stair posts and glue them on either side of the stairs. Glue under the addition door.
Fold each of the tower steps. I found it is easiest to glue the front strip on each of the steps by turning them over and pulling the strip towards yourself as you glue around the corner.
Glue the steps on top of each other. Fold and glue together the tower step posts and glue them on either side of the steps. Glue under the tower doors.
Lastly, Glue the peaked trim under the peak of the roof on the front and back overlay pieces.
Make Base and Decorate as Desired.
I carved a rock wall base out of foam for my church. Find the tutorial on how to carve your own foam base here.
Enjoy making the Village Church yourself! I would love to see your finished design. Please share a photo of it with me by emailing me at Jackie@acottageintheforest.com
MAKER’S GALLERY FOR THE VILLAGE CHURCH
FREE CUT FILES & PATTERN FOR THE VILLAGE CHURCH
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Get the password for the library with the free Village Church pattern and SVG/DXF/PDF/studio3 files here by filling out this form:
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