Learn How to Make this Easy Mini 3-D Paper Doghouse with this free pattern. You can even customize it with a photo of your own pet.
This 3-D paper doghouse pattern was inspired when I was chosen as a guest designer for the Frilly and Funkie challenge “Home Sweet Home”. Well, you know I love to make houses, but I needed to make a quick and easy project so this Mini 3-D Doghouse was born. And what makes a home sweeter than the family and pets we share it with? It is definitely easy to make and you can customize it for your very own favorite dog or cat.
Here’s a similar miniature doghouse using the Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs stamps and dies as well.
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Materials to Make Your Own Mini Doghouse
- Strathmore Mixed Media Paper
- Corrugated Cardboard for the base
- Brown packing paper for the base
- Black Gesso Paint as primer
- Distress Paints:
- Distress Pens:
- Archival Ink Jet Black
- Sizzix Thinlits Die – Alphanumeric Cutout, Upper
- Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Crazy Dog Stamps and Sizzix Framelits
- 3-D Mini Doghouse Pattern – my free pattern in the Paper Glitter Glue library
- Cutting Method – either an automatic cutting machine like a Cricut Maker or Silhouette Cameo or a craft knife and a craft cutting mat (my favorite cutting mat). This pattern is designed to be very easy to cut out by hand.
Summary of Steps to Make the 3-D Paper Doghouse
- Download the free pattern from the library
- Cut out the pattern
- Prime all the cardboard pieces for the house
- Paint the wood siding and shingles
- Glue the house together
- Add the siding to the house
- Glue the shingles to the roof
- Glue the roof to the house
- Cut out name for the dog
- Make a base for the house
- Make the stamped dog image and cardboard support
So let’s get started making the little cardboard doghouse.
1. First, download the free pattern from the Paper Glitter Glue library
The doghouse paper template is available in the library in 2 formats – a printable PDF format and as an SVG pattern for automatic cutting machines. If you have the password for the library, then you can access the pattern right away. Otherwise you can subscribe to my newsletter by just filling out the form below and you will immediately get the password to the library so you can download the pattern templates.
Also I always draw the score lines in red to help delicate them. So when you see red on the box where you choose cut, draw, or score, choose score.
Below are some screen shots of the pattern pieces with the score lines already marked.
The first screen shot shows the main front doghouse with some shingles.
The second screen shot shows the back inset piece, the roof and more shingles.
And finally, this screen shot shows the cardboard cut outs to make the siding for the miniature cardboard doghouse. These pieces are slightly reduced in size so they will fit on the side of the doghouse with minimal trimming.
2. Now cut out the 3-D Paper Doghouse
For the people who cut patterns and templates by hand, this is a very simple pattern. It’s a great little cardboard house to make with kids because it is easy to cut out and construct.
Here you see the simple front piece cut out. Basically, it’s a rectangle with a doghouse doorway.
And here is the back piece of the doghouse. It fits inside the side walls of the dog house.
These two pieces will make the wood siding for the cardboard doghouse.
This is way the cut out shingles and roof piece look. Stagger the shingles when you glue them on.
My automatic cutting machine is a Cricut Explore Air 2 which does an incredible job of cutting out the pattern, but not the greatest job scoring the lines. I always have to go over them. If you have a Cricut Maker, it has a scoring wheel which does a much better job on the score lines. Still as I said, this is a very simple pattern so hand scoring the few lines on the cardboard pattern isn’t a big deal.
Manually improved score lines on the front piece shown below.
3. Next prime all the Doghouse Pattern Pieces with Gesso
Why gesso? And why black gesso? Because for this project the main pieces are recessed and in shadow. Even the siding works best with black gesso prime to give dimension to the white-washed wood siding.
Please note that I painted the inside white so the little dog would show up better and that I painted over the black splotches as well.
Oh, try to remember to paint the gesso primer in the direction of the wood grain. It works so much better that way.
4. Now paint the siding and the shingles
This is such an easy way to make cardboard look like wood. Just paint over the black primed pieces of cardboard with a lighter color. I chose Picket Fence white paint so the little doghouse would look like it had been whitewashed. You might have to paint 2 layers to get the coverage you want. Try to leave a little bit of black showing to show the wood grain.
White paint over the black gesso makes the siding look like wood.
For the shingles. I paint them the same way. Prime with black gesso, then paint Hickory Smoke Distress Paint on top, followed by some splotches of Weathered Wood Distress Paint which is a blue-grey color.
5. Glue the Doghouse together
Because this is a simple house, it is easy to glue together. Most of the little houses I make are from one piece of cardboard, but since this pattern is bigger, I make an inset back piece. The back piece has two tabs on it that fit inside the sides of the doghouse. Just glue them in place with a strong glue like Aleene’s Fast Grab because it really does hold better.
I use binder clips to hold the bottom and a couple of pieces of painter’s tape to hold the upper sides together.
6. Next, add the siding to the Mini Doghouse
Now cut the pieces of siding into strips. I did this on my guillotine cutter at about 1/2 inch intervals. Also you get much more dimension if you edge each piece of siding with black.
Paint the side of the doghouse with glue. For this step, I actually used a slightly less thick glue, Aleene’s Quik Dry. It’s much easier to get out of the bottle and I don’t need the major holding power for the doghouse siding.
Then, just smush the siding pieces in place on the cardboard doghouse. Sometimes you have to trim the pieces a little bit so they don’t extend past the sides depending on how closely you space the siding. The pattern for the siding is 2-3% smaller the sides of the doghouse to try to alleviate that problem though. Dab off any extra glue that might ooze through the edges of the siding.
7. Glue the shingles to the roof
You can glue the shingles on now or after you have glued the roof on the doghouse. But for me on this house, it’s easier to glue the shingles on before adhering the roof piece. If you have complicated rooflines or a chimney, you need to wait until the roof is glued on because you’re going to have to fiddle with the shingles. It’s just not necessary for this project.
8. Now glue the roof to the house
Using some painter’s tape to hold the roof in place, apply a thick layer of glue to hold the roof on.
9. Cut out the name for your dog
I used a new upper case Alphanumeric font from Tim Holtz called “Cutout” which is perfect for the doghouse. The dog is named Duke because it is one of the most popular dog names at this time. In case you are wondering, Lucy has just moved into the number 2 spot for girl dogs.
Adhere the letters to the front of the doghouse.
10. Make a simple cardboard base for your 3-D Paper Doghouse
Since I don’t have to add lights or anything to this house, I just hot glued 4 layers of cardboard together, covered them with brown paper. Then paint with colors of your choice. I used a mixture of Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, and Evergreen Bough Distress Paints to make the doghouse lawn.
You can read about making cardboard bases for other houses like Putz houses and little glitterhouses here. They are made exactly the same way except I don’t need to cut a hole in the base for an LED light.
11. Now make your Doggie
For this step, I used one of Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs stamps and dies. First stamp the dog in Archival Ink on heavy mixed media paper, then color with Distress pens. Funny enough, the color that looked best to me was one called Tea Dye. I colored the nose with Black Soot and the collar with Barn Door. Just a tiny blob of a silver Distress crayon for the dog tag. And that completes the front of the dog.
Next, cut out several more dogs that you don’t have to stamp. Glue them together with collage medium. I chose that glue here because it dries so fast and doesn’t warp the paper. I probably used about 5 layers of paper to make the dog.
And finally, make a little stand so Duke can sit easily in front of the doghouse. You could glue him to the doghouse, but I just like the idea of being able to move Duke around. Also if you want to cut out a picture of your own dog, this is a fun way to display a photo of your doggie.
Cut a small piece about 2-2.5 inches wide as the main part of the base. I actually used some scrap cardboard leftover the front piece of the doghouse. Cut 2 little slits in the base about an inch or two apart. Then cut 2 more pieces with slots in them to hold up the main part of the base.
Put these pieces together as shown to function as the stand. Now glue your doggie to the front. Duke stands up nicely. Sometimes you have to play around with it a little bit to make sure the dog balances well. Different dies for the Crazy dogs need different sizes of the base so you can fit the feet around the support pieces.
So that is how you make a 3-D Paper Doghouse – well, it’s really cardboard, but the basic material is paper. I hope you will try one.
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