Tiny Holiday Houses

Last year, I was attending one of my favorite monthly events (Long Beach Flea Market) and came across these little cardboard houses. I guess if they were in original perfect condition, they would be worth a lot of money, but lucky for me I found a box of damaged ones for like $20 or so. Each of the houses were in various levels of disrepair. I thought they were super cute and that there was a lot of opportunity to have fun with them as I fixed them.

I’m not always the best at completing projects like this, but in this case, I really enjoyed troubleshooting the structures, adding new walls to stabilize the homes and seeing what the various types of papers do when in use as roofs and ground coverings. I also ended up experimenting with clear glue and all sorts of glitter. So much, in fact, that I had glitter in my house and in my other rooms (and on me) for months after I put everything away.

Since I fixed these, I picked up some Tim Holtz house dies (haven’t used those yet) and this year I hope to make more using those. Just loved these little houses, especially as I changed out from winter house to tropical holiday houses. I can see so many fun possibilities with these things.

Some of the houses I got in the lot.  Some were in fairly good condition, but most either were crushed, torn, stained, separated from their bases, and generally in bad shape.
Example of a house that was separated from it’s base.

Some of the houses, like this one, had box-like bases that were still in good condition, with original sparkle paint and foliage attached, but the house was crushed.
Showing how the house was crushed.
Roof separation on this one, which wasn’t that hard to fix.
Close up of the roof separation. I ended up just using hot glue and holding them together.
Church had a few issues, most of which was in the base.  I decided to use foam tape, layer it, and fill it into the base to push the floor up, making it more level and adding support.

I took the base apart further in order to add the support below.  From this you can see the foam tape layers and how thick I put them together.
Once I fixed the base, I used clear glue and covered the outside of the base with it.  I then added glitter and fake snow, sprinkling it on liberally.

I experimented with just using clear glue and glitter for the roofs, and white white acrylic paint with glitter and applied it to the edges of the roof to fake snow.

This one just had the glue and glitter, I punched holes into the base to add the trees.  These trees are vintage cake picks I bought off Ebay.
Added the wreath which was a 3-dimensional sticker from Michaels.
This house has a major structural issue, so I straightened out as much of the wall as i could and then, added another piece of cardboard to the inside of the home, gluing it and clipping it down with the bull clip as it dried.  I needed to cut out holes for the windows and adjusted the inside to fit in tight and flush.
What the outside of the broken home looked like after I slipped the support cardboard inside.
All dried and read to be mounted to a base.
Another house, but on this one, I decided to use this sparkly paper foam I bought randomly at my local scrapbook store.  They had this stuff in different colors and it was like fun foam, only it had adhesive on one side.  I decided to use it for the “lawn” and for the roof.
Close up of the foam.
I cut out the lawn to fit the base.
More cake picks I had, vintage, but this time palm trees.  This house was going to be my California/Hawaii Christmas house.
I punched holes in the base after the “grass” was adhered down.
I placed the picks where I wanted them, cutting off excess trunk.  Used hot glue to get them stuck in.
Another tree cake pick.  I had a lot of them.
Pretty much finished. I thought about creating a stand for it like a few of the home bases I had, but ended up leaving it as is.
My white snow house, using the white sparkle foam for roof and “lawn.”

I’m looking forward to taking these out this year, and adding to my collection using my dies.


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