Make Your Own Victorian Gabled Octagon House

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 Gabled Octagon House @2021 Jacqueline Smith

I am fascinated by these historic Octagon Houses. We do have one in San Francisco, but while I was researching more about it, I saw a picture of a Gabled Octagon House which is a private residence in Ohio. I had to make it. At one time there were more than 2000 Octagon Houses in the United States, but according to one site I found online, there are only around 100 remaining. The Ezekiel B. Zimmerman Octagon House in Ohio appears to be the only one with a gabled roof.

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 advanced 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.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Suggested Material List . . .

  • Pre-cut kit has been cut from White Kraft Board. This is equivalent to 120 lb cardstock or cardboard. I use 65 lb cardstock for the white sashes in the windows.
  • Materials for Digital version: White Kraft Board, Cardboard or Quality Cardstock. 
  • 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)

  • The horizontal score line that runs through the middle of 5 sides of the building area is NOT a FOLD LINE but a guide to help in placement of the porch roof.
  • 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 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 For reference, the front piece is 7.28 x 5.032

Your kit will include either the Regular Back, Regular Bottom Insert, 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, porch and roof pieces for now. Fold your building towards the back or inside (mountain folds.) Glue the doors, window trim, and shutters to the front and back of the building, aligning the window holes. I find gluing on the trim easiest while the building is flat.

2. If you are going to use the window sashes, glue them onto the back of the pieces now.

3. Glue the vellum on the inside of the windows.

4. Glue the sides of the building together.

5. Place the bottom insert inside the building. The corners and the folds may need to be adjusted slightly. Glue in place.

6. Fold the tower towards the back or inside (mountain folds.) Glue on the window trim.

7. Add the window sashes to the back of the tower, then the vellum. As you attach both, glue down starting in the center of the tower, then curve around with the bend of the tower. Glue the edges of the tower together.

8. Fold the tower roof into peaks and valleys as in the picture below.

9. Glue the two tower roof pieces together, then glue onto the tower.

10. Fold the building roof into the same peaks and valleys as in the picture below.

11. Glue the two building roof pieces together. Then glue the tower onto the top of the roof so that the tabs are glued to the inside of the tower.

12. Glue the roof onto the building.

13. Fold the porch, gluing together the small tabs on the front of the porch. Glue the porch onto the front of the building. If you would like to stiffen the porch, cut one or two pieces of the Under Porch out of cardstock and glue them into the bottom of the porch. You may have to trim them slightly to get them to fit. I include two pieces cut out of 100 lb. cover cardstock in the kit.

14. Glue the Under Porch Roof to the bottom of the Porch Roof, then glue the roof onto the building at the horizontal score line. Fold and glue the columns together, then glue at each corner between the porch and porch roof.

15. Fold and glue on the chimneys if you would like to add them. The building my design is based upon originally had four small chimneys, one on each gabled roof.

This building can be built from a variety of materials and finished with any method you are used to. Have fun decorating yours!

Scroll to Top