Your Best Guide to Making Putz Houses – Delightful Little Glitter Houses
What is a Putz House?
Recently I posted one of my little houses on a crafty-oriented Facebook Group and someone asked me a startling question – What is a Putz house? Perhaps I need to start off this blog post with a brief explanation of what a Putz house is. The name for Putz houses evolved from the German word “putzen” which means to clean or to decorate. And the name was gradually acquired by the little houses that were placed around the nativity scene for Christmas decorations in the early 1900s. Yes, these adorable little houses have been around for about 100 years. Designs and materials have varied dramatically over time.
You may also see them called glitter houses or little cardboard houses.
How do you make Putz Houses?
Would you like to see more inspiration and instructions on making Putz or paper houses?
First, here is a summary of how to make a Putz house or glitter house or little cardboard house
- Pick out a pattern for the little house that you want to make
- Cut out the pattern – by hand or with the help of an automatic cutting machine
- Construct the house elements and the house – windows, bay windows, towers, shingles, doors, etc.
- Decorate the house – painting, glitter or other decor
- Make the base for your little house
- Glue your house to the base
- Complete the house with scenery – trees, fences, floral elements, more glitter – the fun stuff
Next, here is a comprehensive list of the tutorials on my blog, but after that I’ve listed the best places on the web to read about making little houses. As I find new information, I will update this post so you will have a list of the best information on where to learn how to make Putz houses.
Tutorials below are listed in order as you need them to make your Putz house:
- Tools you need
- How to make a pattern
- Free patterns on my blog
- How to make various bases for your houses
- Finally, some of the different texture effects I use on the glitter houses
- Where to find more information on making Putz houses
8 Essential Tools for Making Your Glitter House
I made a list of the 8 Essential Tools that you need to make your own paper house. I wrote it as a blog post as well as a list available free on the Paper Glitter Glue library. Just sign up for the newsletter and you will get instant access to the library and can download the list as well as all of the patterns and tutorials below.
Paper Glitter Glue Tutorials for Making Putz Houses
Below are a number of patterns that you can find on my blog. There are at least 30 patterns for making little houses in the Paper Glitter Glue library.
Patterns and How to Make Patterns:
Easy Paper Houses – A greater starter home for a Putz village
And here are instructions on how to make and simplify your own Putz house patterns and templates:
To make your own 3-D templates and patterns including SVGs (scalable vector graphic files for automatic cutting machines) this is the course I recommend – A CUT ABOVE by JenniferMaker.
It is the only course I know of that specifically helps you make 3-D patterns which you can save as PDFs or SVGs. It is expensive, yes, but it helped me immensely. I wrote a blog post about taking the course here.
Based on number of pins in Pinterest this is my most popular pattern – this variation on the Irish Cottage.
You might like to make the Sea-Worn Beach House.
You may like the Fairy House Tree Stump House
The pattern for this house is on my blog, but the tutorial on how to make it is on JenniferMaker’s blog. I created this project as a guest project for JenniferMaker.
Here is another very popular pattern – the Christmas Farmhouse.
12 Houses for Christmas – 12 Free Patterns to make little Christmas Houses for a tree or a tiny village
13 Halloween Houses – Free Patterns for you to make cool little Halloween Houses
And here is the blog post for the Abandoned Italianate Mansion which I also called the Faded Mansion.
The pattern to make this little Putz house is available in the paper glitter glue library for free, of course. It’s under the name of Faded Mansion.
How to Draw a Steeple Pattern for Your Little Houses
Sometimes you need to make a steeple to fit a specific tower or roof on your little house. You’ll find instructions in the post listed below.
Instructions for How to Make a Base and Add Light to Your Putz House
There are a number of ways to light up your little house. The most common way is through a light bulb in the hole in the back of the house. That’s the traditional way for making Putz houses light up. But even in the 1930s people started cutting holes in the bottom of the houses so they could insert the bulb underneath. That’s the way I make most of my houses with a hole in the base for lighting. However, I almost always include the hole in the back for tradition’s sake.
How to Make a Rusted Roof for Your House Tutorial
One of my very favorite ways to make a roof for a Putz house (particularly Halloween houses) is with metallic tape and alcohol ink to add a rusted patina to the roof.
How to Make Unique Bases for Your Little Houses
You don’t always have to make a traditional base for your little houses. There are lots of options for making bases for Putz houses. One thing I love to do is make a book base for the house. And you can do a lot with ribbon rolls as well to make Tree Stumps as the base of the house or as a pedestal to put the house on.
How to add different Textures to Your Houses
Although these are not traditional techniques for Putz houses, you can make lots of different textures on your houses – bricks, stones, slate, or peeling crackled wood.
Most of my houses are made for Halloween since I sell them to raise money for an October fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. They are not traditional Putz houses, though they are made exactly the same way – just with different decor.
Additional Resources on the Web to Make Putz Houses
Many of the websites listed below are more traditional in the decor of the little houses with wonderful instructions. You will find them informative and seriously inspirational.
Excellent Tutorials for Putz Houses
Howard Lamey is an incredibly generous builder of Putz houses meaning that he shares his patterns and knowledge freely. His website is littleglitterhouses.com where you find instructions on how to make them. It’s not regularly updated, but the basics are incredible. When you go to Pinterest and search for Putz houses or glitter houses – you’ll see that many are made are by Howard or from one of his patterns.
The Cardboard Christmas forums are an absolute wealth of information for making putz houses. And as a bonus, one of the original members is Howard Lamey who posts regularly and shares his knowledge and patterns there as well. You do not have to be a member to read ALL the posts there. Sign up if you want to be a member and ask questions or reply to posts. There is a nominal cost of $1/month which was initiated to prevent fake sign-ups. It is well worth it.
An additional website associated with the Cardboard Christmas Forums is the Papa Ted’s Place where the incredible history of the little houses is preserved. Paul Race hosts both of these sites which is a real gift to the putz-makers of the world.
Rhonda of Christmas Notebook makes lovely glitter houses. She has many tutorials on her website demonstrating steps in making the houses. As of this writing, she regularly updates her website. She is very active making lots of beautiful Putz houses.
I stumbled upon Cassie Stephen’s blog by accident. She is an art teacher in Nashville, TN so the projects are beautifully artistic as you would expect. I am including her website because in one little party, she demonstrates the simplicity and appeal of making the little houses.
Even Facebook can help you find out about how to make Putz houses
Paper Houses and Paper Crafts Hosted by Paper Glitter Glue Private Facebook Group
I have a private Facebook group that you can join to ask questions and post photos about making your paper houses. Here is the link to Paper Houses and Paper Crafts Hosted by Paper Glitter Glue.
Glitter and Putz Houses – Another Private Facebook Group
Another group you can join is the Glitter and Putz Houses which I am a member of. Actually I inherited the administrator’s position for this Facebook Group as well.
That’s about it for now. I will keep this post updated so you can always find new information from my website here. I hope you find this information helpful in your putz house building journey. Let me know if you have any other sources you like to go to. Or let me know if you have any questions, I will be glad to answer them (assuming I know the answer, of course). Lucy
Your Best Guide to Making Putz Houses – Delightful Little Glitter Houses
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