December 29, 2019

Most Viewed Posts of 2019

This post is going to be short because actually I did not do
much blogging in 2019. Amazingly, I did have two blog posts
that each had well over 30,000 views so I think those deserve to
be recognized in a end-of-year roundup of blog posts. 

Number Two Most Viewed Blog Post

This post showed how I attempted to inject more green color
into my home decor as we were moving from Winter into the
Spring season. Two other blog post that were an off shoot of 
this main theme that showed more specifically  how to use 
many views as the overall moss post but are good tutorials. 

Number One Most Viewed Post

This post shows a unique way of enjoying orchids top to 
bottom. I was attempting to "kopy kat" a magazine article
about displaying orchids but found that I liked the interesting
roots of the orchids as much as the blooms. This post shows
a way to be able to keep the orchid happy (temporarily) 
without covering up the roots entirely.

Thanks very much to those of you who have visited my blog
in 2019 even though I have been sporadic in posting. 

December 28, 2019

Make Little Paper Houses

For whatever reason you might want little paper houses,
here is an easy way to make simple ones. 

I wanted to make little paper houses initially as a cute way 
to gift Christmas money (putting bills on the roofs).

In the photo above I used a house template that I downloaded
 off the internet. The houses were cute but time-consuming to
put together. I did some more searching for something 
easier and came across instructions for easy paper houses
on the "Mac and Moof" blog. 

Those instructions are the ones I used to make more Christmas
 cash paper houses and even other size houses for various
Christmas decorating projects. You can spend a little time 
making them or embellish them more if you want. They are
not just for Christmas but any time of year for fun.

I don't know how to make line drawing templates to post
on the blog that you can download. These paper houses are
so easy that I'll just show you the measurements that I used
on top of pictures of the templates. You can take it from there
and make the size of paper houses that suit your needs. 

To make these paper houses... is the template...

Each side of the house is 2" wide (blue lines).
Dotted lines are fold lines.
Add a 0.5" tab to glue or tape it together. 
Total length of template/paper is 8.5".

Total height of template/paper is 3.25".
Leave every other (two) sections full height.
Draw a horizontal line 0.75" down from the top on two
 "sides" (non-gable) of the house. Cut straight across
these two sections. Their height will be 2.5"

Find horizontal center of taller sections. 
On this template that would be 1". Draw a line up to top.
From center top draw a line down to edge of adjoining 
sections (see red arrows). Cut these angled lines.

You do not have to add cut out windows and a door but
if you want to you can. It is easier to do while the paper house
is still fairly flat. Scissors work but a craft knife is better.

 Only cut the top and one side of the door to leave a "flap".

More time-consuming (but cute) is to tape or glue vellum 
paper over the cut-outs.

I made the big mistake of using regular glue on some of the
houses. When the glue dried the houses were warped. 
Only use glue that won't crinkle the paper. I used Zip-Dry glue
after that and it did not crinkle/wrinkle/warp the paper houses. 

Crease the house on the four fold lines. 
Join the ends of the house with glue or tape using the tab.
Place the tab to the inside so it will not show. 

Add a thin line of glue along the roof lines.

Place the roof (for this house a paper rectangle 2.5" by
3" crisply folded in half) on top of the house and glue.

Also not-necessary-but-cute is to place a battery-operated
 votive candle inside the house for a warm glow.

Here is the Christmas cash village in Brooklyn...

...and Chicago (money already spent)...

After I enjoyed making the money-gifting houses I thought
of more ways to use paper houses for Christmas. A wreath
that I remembered from a Martha Stewart magazine used
little houses on it.

The houses her staff used were more intricate but I hoped 
to achieve a similar look with the simple little paper houses. 

I live in Alabama where we do not have snow at Christmas
so I just left that part of the Martha Stewart wreath off.

I already had lots of little bleached trees and a borrowed 
wreath so all I needed was to make some paper houses. 

I made the wreath houses a little taller and narrower than the
money-gifting houses to make putting them on the wreath easier.

I could bend two tips of the wreath into a semi-circle to hold up
the light-weight and narrow paper houses.

Here are the dimensions of the wreath paper houses...

Total length of template/paper 8.6".
Gabled ends of house 3.75" (tall green line).
Sides of house 2.75" (short green line). 

Wide gabled ends of house 3" (long blue line).
Narrow sides of house 1" (short blue line).
Tab to join ends of house 0.5".

To make gable measure center of tall sections.
On this template 1.5" (yellow star).
Draw a vertical line from star to top of template.
From the red arrow at top, draw an angled line down
to edge of side roof line (two red arrows) and cut. 

Add windows and door as desired while house is flat.

Follow directions for folding and joining same as smaller
houses noted earlier in post. 

The roof dimensions for wreath houses are 1.25" by 
4.5". Fold sharply in center and glue on to house. 

I did not cut out the windows and doors on the wreath houses.
I just cut out contrasting paper rectangles to suggest them.
I did draw on the doors and windows for embellishment but
clearly not very well. Kinda wish I had left that off. 

To keep the paper house and bleached bottle brush theme
going in the dining room I made larger houses for the 
hutch behind the table. 

Since these are not going to be seen from behind (and I am
cheap...they only use one sheet of scrapbook paper) these 
houses are only three-sided. If you want to make them four-
sided you could tape or glue on additional paper to the length. 

Here is the template for the larger paper houses
(forgive the bone print card stock...I was trying to use up
paper that I probably would not use in the future)...

Front of house 6" wide, sides 3" wide (blue lines).
Gabled front of house 9.5" high (long green line).
Sides of house 7.5" high (shorter green line). 

To draw gable, find horizontal middle of center section
(on this template 3" at yellow star) and draw a vertical
line to top. Then draw angled line down from middle top to
 edge of adjacent roof line (red arrows). Cut along angled line. 

Use template to draw and cut house out of decorative 
paper. Fold along black lines to make corners of house. 

Cut windows and door or add paper rectangles as desired
while paper house is still fairly flat. 

Put glue on top edges of house and add a roof. For this size 
paper house the roof is 3.25" x 8" sharply folded. 

Different house...just showing backside...kinda like a
hospital gown. 

Using these houses as examples you can experiment and
find just the right size (paper) house for you.

I had fun making these paper houses and I hope you will try
them too sometime. They are cheap and easy and you won't feel
bad if they give some joy and delight and get tossed away. 

If you want to save this post to Pinterest, here is a good image...

Christmas Home Tour 2019

Well I am very tardy in posting pictures of my Christmas
decorating this year but I am going to do it anyway. It will
allow me to be able to look back on the post in the future
and maybe someone can use the ideas for Christmases to come. 

Here is the front of the house...

  The decorations are some I have used in recent years but
much more pared down as we given away a lot of decor
items in anticipation of putting our house up for sale soon.

The front door...
Click for tutorial DIY Burlap Christmas Tree

The wreaths on the windows...
Click for tutorial Make a Christmas Mesh Wreath

A new decoration for this year is the large wreath over the
buffet in the foyer/dining room. 

The wreath is inspired by the Martha Stewart magazine
cover from a few years ago. Her staff used official "Putz"
houses on the wreath and cotton for snow. 

I didn't really want snow because it rarely snows where I 
live so I left that off. I didn't want to buy anything else I
would have to get rid of (like Putz houses) before we move so
 I made easy and inexpensive little paper houses for the wreath.

I borrowed the large wreath. 

I have lots of  little bleached Christmas trees so I wanted to
 use them everywhere I could this year because I don't know if
they will make the downsizing moving "cut". 

I made the houses skinny so they could nestle into the greenery.
The bottle brush trees also were easy to push into the wreath. 
If you want to make some here is the tutorial Make Little Paper Houses

More little trees on the dining room table...

...along with bottle brush wreaths...

...the hutch behind the dining room table...

...also has trees and more paper houses.

These houses were made on a larger scale to be more visible
behind the wavy glass of the hutch. 

I'm opening the doors of the hutch to cut down on the glare so
 you can see the houses each made from a sheet of scrapbook paper.

I kept the colors of the houses neutral so they would 
blend in with the bleached trees. 

From the dining room we'll move into the living room.

Coffee table...

Fireplace mantel...

The bookcase on the left side of the mantel...

The bookcase on the right side of the mantel...

On the kitchen table are little bottle brush critters that are
 similar to the bottle brush trees.

I used epsom salt in the wooden bowl to mimic snow.

The kitchen counters hold trucks painted to look vintage in
differing vignettes.

(psst...the largest board is hiding the kitchen tv. It is made for
about $5 with foam board and contact's the tutorial)

The trucks used to be displayed in bedroom/office but the large
bookcase they sat on is gone now. The room still has a
 sleeper sofa in it with colorful Christmas pillows. 

If the house sells we will be in a new town next Christmas!
Thanks for visiting for my Christmas Home Tour 2019. 

If you would like to save this to Pinterest, here is a good image...

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