Introducing Ebonywood Mansion - a miniature haunted house with an owl weathervane on the front tower that's perfect for Halloween decor. A bat with outstretched wings guards the front entrance and smaller bats fly about the twin chimneys. The free paper pattern - the Front Tower Clockhouse - to make your own Halloween Mansion is available in the Paper Glitter Glue Library in the January 2020 section. Also, it is the same pattern as the Haunted Schoolhouse.
What are some of the design features on the paper house, Ebonywood Mansion?
- Siding - dark embossed wood siding
- Lighter colored roof shingles, windows, door for contrast
- Twin chimneys
- Bats about
- Owl weathervane
- Pumpkins - Halloween and Fall decor requires pumpkins
- Distressed cardboard base
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- Front Tower Clockhouse Paper Pattern from the Paper Glitter Glue Library
- Cutting Mat
- Craft knife, scissors
- Glue - Aleene's Fast Grab Glue
- Tim Holtz Embossing Folder - Lumber 662718
- Tim Holtz Sizzix Dies:
- Acrylic Paints:
- Alcohol Inks - Ginger and Mushroom
- Vignette Accents - the bat
- Game Spinner
- Polymer clay pumpkins - orange Sculpey
You'll find detailed instructions on how to build the house on the Haunted Schoolhouse post. I included a sheet of general instructions on the PDF pattern download as well.
Embossed Wood Siding for Ebonywood Mansion Halloween House
First, let's talk about the siding. As is true for most of my houses, the basic structure is cardboard. But to give it more dimension I used the Tim Holtz Lumber 3-D embossing folder on card stock. Then the cardstock was applied to the house after distressing it will layers of color. Cardboard won't work in the embossing folders because it is too thick.
Since the Haunted Schoolhouse had white crackle paint siding I chose darker colors for this house. Unfortunately, because the surface is painted so dark, the embossing doesn't show up quite as much as I like. But when you touch the little paper house it has a nice texture to it.
Whenever I paint wood, I layer the colors starting with a lighter color then add successive layers of darker colors. Generally, I start with Fossilized Amber Distress Paint or an ochre color, followed a lighter brown then a darker brown. The final two colors on this siding are Ground Espresso and Black Soot to give it extra spook factor.
To adhere the cardstock I used collage medium because it works so fast and adheres paper really well.
Contrasting Colors for the Roof Shingles, Door and Windows
What is my favorite color for contrast with a very dark surface? Tumbled Glass. It's a aqua-turquoise color that I just love. And because my most popular little cardboard house (Stone Stenciled Clock House) is painted with the same color scheme I decided to use it again.
Sometimes a little house, even a Halloween house, is supposed to be kind of pretty. Sometimes it is not. The Stone Stenciled Clock House is kind of pretty even as a Halloween house, but Ebonywood is not designed that way. For that reason, I heavily distressed the windows and the shingles and the door with Black Soot distress paint.
My favorite way to distress things is to use the dabber top on the distress paints because it makes the greatest striations in the paint. So I edge most of the elements on my houses with a contrasting color using the dabber tops to apply the color.
Twin Chimneys of Ebonywood Mansion Paper House
What do you think of the twin chimneys on Ebonywood? Personally, I think they are slightly too tall. In the Front Tower Clockhouse pattern I mentioned that you can cut them down if you like. One reason I added the weathervane was to give more height to the front tower. On the downloadable pattern I made the steeple taller like the Haunted Schoolhouse. Remember that the pattern is in the January 2020 section of my free library.
Often I draw the bricks on the chimney, but I didn't do that here. I would have liked it better if I had. I should have done that. Oh well.
But at least I did remember to add the chimneys which I forgot for the Haunted Schoolhouse. And the other good thing is that the twin chimneys are pretty straight can be a little challenging.
Bat Everywhere on Ebonywood Mansion Halloween House
I have been trying to incorporate this incredible metal bat on one of my houses, but I just couldn't figure out how to do it. Unfortunately, it is too large to go across the front of any of my houses, so I had the devil of a time finding a place for it. That is, until this house. The cardboard base screamed for a bat in the front. Also because my chimneys were kind of boring I glued several small die cut bats to the chimneys. They aren't very prominent, but they are fun to discover as you look at the house.
The Best Part of Ebonywood - the Owl Weathervane
Now this is the best detail on the entire house, I think - the Owl Weathervane. It was a total afterthought. Looking at the house, I realized the chimneys were too tall. To remedy this situation I had to do something. I considered adding bats flying around on wires attached to the chimneys. But that wouldn't work because the chimneys don't have holes in them so there was no easy way to attach the flying bats.
Next, I thought of just adding a bead to the top of the steeple, but that looked out of place. It just didn't match the house. Finally, I thought of a weathervane. Usually when I add an element like this I add it during the construction phase of the house which wasn't possible this time.
How to Make the Owl Weathervane
In any case, I poked a small hole in the top of the steeple and tried out several variations. Eventually I came up a plan to use an eye pin (from jewelry making) and glued 3 layers of the Moonlit owl to the pin. Then I threaded a small black bead and a game spinner to the bottom and tested it on the house. It worked. But there is a major problem - there is no way to really anchor the owl to the house. Someone would pull the owl out. They can't even help it. I understand that after making these miniature houses over the past couple of years.
What to do? My solution is to bend the wire at an angle and insert it in the pinhole at the top of the steeple. It's not really secure, but it works for now. But I do like the Owl weathervane. It seems appropriate for Ebonywood to have an wise old owl looking out for the property.
Pumpkins for Ebonywood Mansion
Because the house is dark, it needed some color. One way to add color on dark, spooky Halloween houses is with PUMPKINS. The orange complements the darker colors so well. To make these pumpkins, I just roll a little ball of polymer clay and cut some lines in the sides to mimic the pumpkin sections, add a green stem and bake. I distressed them a little with some brown alcohol inks so they wouldn't be too in-your-face orange.
Now for the base on the Ebonywood Mansion Paper House
Just as the house needed color and contrast for the windows and roofing, the base needed it as well. I struggle with color so I actually went online to read about complementary colors. I chose the orange and yellow as complementary colors for the aqua on the windows. First I painted the base layer with Fossilized Amber distress paint - my main ochre color. Then I applied streaks of Carved Pumpkin and Black Soot. At the very end I streaked a little Tumbled Glass as well. The Tumbled Glass paint looks white in the photos, but not on the house.
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Thank you for stopping by to read about Ebonywood Mansion
So that's it - Ebonywood Mansion, another house in the Halloween Houses for Habitat series. All of them will be sold a week or two before Halloween with 100% of the money going to Habitat for Humanity. At least I hope all of them will sell.
I added this house to this month's A Vintage Journey challenge - Autumn Splendor. You should see the beautiful entries this month. They are certainly worth a visit.
Have a great day.