I got a late start on building Putz Houses (also called Glitter Houses) last year. In fact, I didn’t even start making some on my own until we were snowed in back in early January of this year (That’s when I wrote Parts 1 through 5). I got so obsessed with wanting to do them that I loaded up on boxes of holiday greeting cards from after Christmas sales at Dollar General. Although the appeal quickly wore off and I still have boxes of cards left, I’ll probably still hit the 50% off bins again this year when the holidays are over.
You’ll find my posts about Putz House building back then here, including photos of the first houses I built which didn’t turn out too bad. I listed the Christmas ones on Etsy but ended up selling all of them to a coworker by the end of January. I made the first four from holiday greeting cards and they were a much simpler design with no bases like the one pictured on the left in the foreground.
I highly recommend you start with these types if you want to get into making these yourself. They don’t take long to make. You can easily build on their designs and embellish them with ornaments, chimneys, awnings, and glitter if you wish. But best of all, since they are made from cards you don’t have to paint them.
A true glitter house is made from plain cardboard. You are supposed to paint it and build a base for it. And of course, add glitter and embellishments like the one pictured on the right. Notice the details of the windows, the fence, and the bottle brush trees.
These are usually made from cereal boxes or thin sheets of cardboard based on blogs I’ve read. You have to pay close attention to the type of paint you use so that it goes on even and does not warp or wrinkle the cardboard. Some people even add colored cellophane to the windows!
I only attempted to make one of these more traditional styles before the season wore off and I got too busy doing other things as the new year carried on. You’ll see it in the photo above in the background. It was also made from a greeting card but notice it has a base. The base was a thin piece of cardboard which I covered with a piece of matching greeting card.
Notice my base is not as thick as the one on the traditional house. But my window is a bit more detailed, and I added two bottle brushes to the exterior. I added a fence around it which is also made from a greeting card. I purchased a hole punch that makes a fence pattern. Mine also has a front entryway which is a separate piece, unlike the more simpler house which is all one piece except for the awning, roof, and chimney.
Obviously, these traditional houses take more time and patience. They have more pieces which require more gluing, and the end result is much heavier thanks to the base. I’ll eventually try one of these again once I’ve had my fun with the greeting card houses.
I got the greeting card house idea (and the template) from the Christmas Notebook Blog. Her template is printable and I like the idea that it’s all one piece. The house even has a floor and a foldable piece for the roof. You cut and glue a larger piece on top to give it an overhang, but the one piece floor and roof give your house more support.
The only concern here is that your greeting card has to be big enough to accommodate the pattern, but you can easily eliminate the floor or part of the under-roof piece if needed. I used this template this weekend for a new house and left the floor off because I plan to put the house on a base (and my card wasn’t big enough for all of it). That’s another great thing about this craft is that you quickly learn how to make them your own or how to work with what you have. And since it’s just cardboard, you can easily fix it or start over.
The website Little Glitter Houses is a great place to start for templates and to learn all about this fun craft. It is where I started and I have found this site mentioned on several other blogs. It’s also where I got the template for my “fancy” house above. The template is called The Little Charmer. After I was done for the year I turned to Pinterest where I had already started a board devoted to nothing but Putz Houses. You’ll find both blogs I just mentioned there, especially different versions of the patterns found on the Little Glitter Houses site.
Today I kept finding one style of house over and over again that I liked so I searched the web for its pattern only to find it was a pre-made cardboard house that folks picked up at Hobby Lobby last year and decorated themselves. I’m determined to make my own pattern like it this year! But for now, I’ve got boxes of cards to use up and I’m okay with that. It’s a fun, time-consuming hobby to do this time of year when it’s too cold to be outside. Once I’m done studying or doing chores, and I want to get away from the computer, I build putz houses!
More to come…