Make Your Own Painted Lady

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 Pained Lady @2021 Jacqueline Smith

I live in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. For my first Victorian building I was inspired by the colorful Victorian homes I see on my walks. This design is based upon a home on Alameda Island.

Please read all instructions prior to beginning the project. This is particularly important for this 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.

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Suggested Material List . . .

  • Pre-cut kit has been cut from White Kraft Board. This is equivalent to 120 lb cardstock or cardboard. Several pieces are cut from 100 lb cover cardstock where the 120 lb is too thick to make delicate folds. I also use 65 lb cardstock for the white sashes around the windows.
  • Materials for Digital version: White Kraft Board, Cardboard or Quality Cardstock. Black Cricut extra-fine point pen.
  • 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)

  • This building needs to be glued together in a specific order.  I suggest reading through all of the instructions once before you start gluing.
  • The horizontal score line on the sides and back is NOT a FOLD LINE but a guide to help in placement of the trim.
  • 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 grill work on the front door vellum will import into Cricut Design space as a drawing.  If you do not have a pen, you can change it to print and cut.
  • The middle sash lines are very delicate. If you use the sash pieces, be careful where you hold your building. If one breaks, repair with a tiny dot of glue.

The following pieces are cut from 100 lb cover cardstock: stair treads, corner & heart trim pieces. The window sashes are cut from 65 lb or lighter cardstock. All other pieces are cut from Kraft Board.

Cutting Guide …

For reference the front piece is 3.606″ x 5.134″

Your kit will include either the Regular Back, Regular Bottom Insert, and 5 window frames, a door, and trim 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.

Digital Version Note . . .

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.

The porch railing must be cut from thick material to maintain its shape. If you will be cutting it out of patterned or 65 lb cardstock, cut twice and glue the pieces together.

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. If you are using patterned paper or cardstock to create the two color walls as I show in my example, use the Painted Lady Half Wall file to cut your paper. Glue onto the corresponding piece. If you have the kit, or are painting the walls, I provide horizontal score lines on the sides and back to determine where the break in pattern should be.

2. Take note of how the parts are folded in the images below. All of the folds in the pieces below are made towards the back

For the Sides, there are folds that are both valley and mountain folds. Fold on the lines before gluing on the window frames and trim as the trim can make some of the pieces stiff and harder to fold.

3. Because the fold lines are so close to the windows, when you fold the Sides use a bone folder to deepen the score lines and a straight edge to help make the folds.

It may help to score on both side of your Kraftboard or cardstock.

4. Put aside the Bay Window, Peak and Porch Railing pieces until step #8 below. For the rest of the pieces, glue the window frames and the front door in place. Do not glue on the back door or the horizontal trim at this time. The trim around the window on the Sides should be flush with the top of the pieces.

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

6. Glue vellum in place if you are using it.

7. Glue together the basement and each of the parts of the Sides that pop out.

8. Gently curl the Bay Window and its window trim into its finished shape before gluing the trim onto the window. You can also glue the other trim pieces onto the Bay Window at this time, gently curving each piece into final shape before gluing onto the Bay Window.

Glue the trim down from right to left, but don’t glue down the trim the last 1/8 at the very left, as you may need to trim it later. Gently curve the Bay Window vellum before gluing on the vellum. Then glue together the Bay Window tabs.

9. Glue trim onto Porch Railings and Peak.  The Porch Railing and its trim should be gently curved into its final shape before gluing on the trim, like you did with the Bay Window. Glue the Peak tabs to the body to form the triangular shape.

10. Glue the front and the back onto the sides. When you get to the front right seam, glue the Porch Railing tab between the front and the right side above the middle score line.

11. Place the Bottom Insert inside the building.  The corners and the folds may need to be adjusted slightly. I found it easiest to lower it in from the top and push it down onto my work surface.

12. Glue the basement onto the front, flush to the bottom.

13. Test the placement of the Curved Porch and the Bay Window. You will want the porch railing to wrap around the outside of the Curved porch and attach to the Bay Window to the right of the windows.  The Curved porch will be glued down first, and then the Bay Window.  You can glue the Bay Window so it overlaps the Curved Porch, or before you glue them down you can mark the placement of each and cut off any excess Curved Porch as I show in my picture below. Either way works fine.

14. After gluing on the Curved Porch and the Bay Window, glue the Porch Railing to the Bay Window. Place a dot of glue between the curved Porch and the Porch Railings that extend down below it.  Once they have dried, trim off any excess.

15. Fold and glue on each of the corner trims. The two that are solid fit on the back. The trim with a cut part way up goes on the front left.

The trim with a piece missing goes on the front right.  At this point, you may want to cut the trim on the left side of the Bay Window that you did not glue all the way to the edge so that it is flush with the corner trim. Next, glue on the horizonal trim on the sides and back, placing the trim beneath the horizontal score line. Trim to be flush with the corner trim. Glue on the back door flush to the bottom of the building.

16. Hold the main roof over the building to visualize the next step.  Using glue, it is possible for you to suck in the sides so the building will be square.  However, if you are concerned that it may be too difficult to do this, you can cut a 2nd bottom insert out of cardstock and insert it as I show in the picture below. I include 2nd bottom insert in the kit for this purpose.

17. Glue the larger heart trim pieces into the peak of the main roof on the front and the back. Glue on the Main Roof, then the Side Roofs and the Chimney.

18. Glue together the half circle porch roof, curving the rounded portion, and glue above the porch. The back edge of the roof should fit right underneath the Main Roof. Pinch the Porch Roof so it tucks up against the Bay Window on the left hand side.

19. Glue the Peak onto the top of the Bay Window.  Glue the heart trim piece into the peak of the Peak Roof, then glue the roof onto the Peak On the right side of the roof there is a little extra “wing.” As you glue on the roof, gently curl and push this piece down until it bridges the area between the peak roof and the porch roof. You may need to trim this piece a little bit.

20. Fold the stairs treads. 

Starting with the top stair, glue the stair treads into the stair tread sides. I like to glue each stair onto both sides, then move down to the next stair. Then glue in the back and bottom.

21. Repeat with the two stair sides, then glue the stair treads between the side. I have included pieces to clad the front of the stair sides if you think you need them. Top the stair sides with the trim, then glue beneath the porch.

Here are three finished buildings…

This building can be built from a variety of materials and finished with any method you are used to. These Victorian homes are often painted in multiple complementary and contrasting colors. Have fun decorating yours!

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