Make Your Own Victorian Firehouse
This kit is for personal use ONLY. Please do not copy, distribute, or sell any part of this design or the instructions without my permission. Pre-Cut & Digital Victorian Firehouse @2021 Jacqueline Smith
Once again I turn to the fascinating buildings of the San Francisco Bay Area for inspiration. My firehouse is based upon San Francisco Fire Department Engine Company No. 33, built in 1896. In 1921, Engine Company No. 33 was the last of the SFFD engine companies to bid farewell to their horse-drawn fire engine. The ceilings of the original fire house are twenty feet high and the hose drying tower is sixty feet high. Though the original firehouse was built entirely of redwood, I thought the model would also look lovely made out of brick.
Please read all instructions prior to beginning the project. Instructions are given for both the digital and pre-cut versions. If you are new to making houses, make sure you read and understand each step before placing your glue.
I consider this an intermediate pattern.
Before you start your new kit, think about how you will want to decorate it. You can paint the house, paint the house and glitter it, glitter just parts of the house like the roof, use the kit pieces as a guide to cut out decorative paper that you can glue onto the house, or just leave the building white for a modern look. If you leave any portion of the house as unpainted cardboard, I suggest spraying with a matte acrylic sealer like Krylon or Modge Podge Sealer.
Suggested Material List . . .
- Pre-cut kit has been cut from White Kraft Board. This is equivalent to 120 lb cover cardstock or cardboard. I use 65 lb cardstock for the white sashes around the windows.
- Materials for Digital version: White Kraft Board, Cardboard or Quality Cardstock. Cricut fine point pens in the colors of your choice and/ or gold Cricut foil and foil tip.
- Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue. I put it in a bottle with a thin metal tip. If you are new to making kits, you may want to use Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue as this allows more time for you to reposition your pieces if you make a mistake.
- Bone Folder – A bone folder helps you make sharp folds when you are using cardstock or cardboard. While the kit comes pre-scored, I strongly suggest you make the scoring lines deeper with a bone folder.
- Multi-surface satin finish acrylic paints in your color choices. I find that if I use the multi-surface paint I do not need to gesso the cardboard first. Two coats are usually required.
- To glitter the house: Extra fine glitter or extra fine iridescent glitter and Spectra Glitter Sparkling Crystals (mixed 50/50) and Modge Podge. 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. You may like your building glittered with only the extra fine glitter, but I liked adding a slightly chunkier glitter to it too.
- To make the snow: Woodland Flex Paste, Woodland Soft Flake Snow, and Hemway White Ultra Sparkle Glitter. Apply the flex paste and sprinkle a combination of the soft flake snow and Ultra sparkle glitter over it while it is wet. Use a little Modge Podge on a brush to add more of the snow mixture once the flex paste is dry.
NOTES . . . (read before starting)
- Due to variations by each builder you may find a trim piece a tad longer than needed. If this happens, simply trim it down to fit.
- DO use the cutting guides in the kit/files to identify all of the pieces! It’s always a good idea to lay out all of the pieces before you start so that you have everything in the correct place.
- The color coding of shapes in the guide are only used to help you identify pieces. Digital users should change these colors inside their software to suit their own needs.
- The “SFFD” and “Engine Co. No. 33” will import into Cricut Design space as drawings attached to their particular pieces. If you would like your fire station to have a different name, delete the drawing in Design Space and attach text in the same location. For the “Engine Co. No. 33” I changed the drawing to the Cricut Foil medium tip and used gold foil.
- The middle sash lines can be delicate. If you use the sash pieces, be careful where you hold your building. If one breaks, repair with a tiny dot of glue.
Cutting Guide …
For reference, the front piece is 4.12 x 7.066
Your kit will include either the Regular Back, Regular Bottom Insert, and back window trim and door, OR the Putz Back, Putz Bottom Insert, and a strengthening ring for the Putz hole, depending on which option you chose when you purchased the kit.
The SVG files were created in a way that combines elements to help with possible confusion on trim pieces. If you will be using various materials to create the project and need to separate these, simply “Ungroup” the selection.
Let’s get started . . .
The following instructions are to show you how the building should be constructed. I show the order of construction without any paint or glitter. Think about how you will finish the building and if any parts will need to be painted or finished before being glued in place. I have taken many of the pictures using colored cardstock to aid in seeing each step.
Digital users should think about what colors they want to cut pieces from. Change the shape colors inside your software program to cut pieces from the colors you decide upon.
There is no wrong way to paint, glitter and glue. Personally, I like to paint the trim and walls when flat, then glue the trim onto the building, add the vellum, and then glue the building together. I then glitter the completed building. However, I know people who glitter the building while flat before gluing it together. I suggest you try different methods until you find out what works best for you. Tutorials for various ways to decorate your house can be found on the A Cottage in the Forest Website
Constructing the Building
1. Put aside the Tower pieces for now. Fold your building towards the back or inside (mountain folds.) Glue the separately cut doors to the doors of the trim piece with “SFFD” drawn on it, trapping vellum between the two pieces. Next, glue the trim piece to the front of the building, aligning the window holes. I find gluing on the trim easiest while the building is flat.
2. Glue the window frames in place.
3. If you are going to use the window sashes, glue them onto the back of the pieces now.
4. Glue on the molding piece above every 2nd story window. The top of the molding is flush with the top of the trim around the window. Glue the crosshead trim piece onto the top of the molding. Glue the vellum on the inside of the windows.
5. Glue the top and middle trim on to each of the sides of the building, centering the trim as it is intentionally a little long. Glue the thin trim strips on top. The two thinnest trim strips are glued onto the top and bottom of the middle trim piece, while the thicker trim strip is glued at the bottom of the top trim piece. .
6. Glue the rest of the trim pieces, the sign, and the door onto the front of the building. The back door can be glued on now too.
7. Glue the four sides of the building together, cutting off any excess trim as necessary. The top flaps are folded down and glued together to give the building more structural strength.
8. Place the bottom insert inside the building. The corners and the folds may need to be adjusted slightly. Glue in place.
9. Fold and glue the toothed trim pieces onto the smaller of the two roofs.
10. Center the small roof over the bigger roof and glue together.
11. Glue the roof onto the building.
12. Place a dab of glue along the slanted edges of the toothed trim pieces and glue the edges together. Smooth the toothed trim back towards the building.
13. Glue the trim pieces onto the tower.
14. Glue the interior tower pieces in place.
15. Glue the tower into a rectangle. Attach roof, then corner trim pieces.
16. Glue tower onto building.
This building can be built from a variety of materials and finished with any method you are used to. Have fun decorating yours!
Examples for Inspiration
Painted Victorian Firehouse by Lisa Jackson-Urepia