The church my husband grew up in is celebrating their sesquicentennial this weekend. A friend (and member of the church) asked if I would make a Putz-style replica of the church for the celebration. It sounded like a fun project and I am glad to say that I am happy with the way it turned out. There are a few things I wish I’d done differently or wish I could change, but I am very happy with the outcome.
When first asked to consider this project, I decided to replicate the original church building without the two additions to the church. It gave a better proportion to the finished piece and also emphasized the early days of the church.
My friend sent me a few pictures she had taken of the church, and also sent me this vintage photo from 1962. DH thinks this may have been taken the day ground was broken for the first addition to the church. This photo helped me a lot with some design details, including the style of the original door.
As I began the project, I realized I would need more reference photos and some measurements would be handy, so DH and I went over one day and did just that.
The project was a bit different than my usual Putz house. It was going to be larger and it was duplicating an actual building, so that made the project more complicated than creating a simple design from scratch. It took me a while to figure out just how I would construct the building. I finally came up with a large pattern that included a floor and the walls. The bit sticking out on the right is the flat roof of a portion of the church. It folds up and over the walls.
I added a corrugated cardboard “ceiling” to this part of the pattern to give the building stability and strength.
After adding pale yellow plastic window panes, I mixed some paint to achieve as close a color match as I could to the bricks. I used a picture on my computer for comparison.
Adding sand to the paint gives the building a nice Putz-like texture. I painted it on side to side to get some lines in the paint for a more brick-ish look.
The vintage photo from my friend showed me that the original clapboards were scalloped in a fish scale design.
The fish scale pattern was easy to replicate with scallop scissors which, thankfully, I had on hand.
I wish I had taken more pictures of the process of construction. I usually get so involved in a project that I forget to take enough pictures, and that certainly happened during this project! At this point, the structure is done and it is ready for a few embellishments.
I wanted to keep the embellishments very simple so they wouldn’t detract from the church building.
I have many friends in this church congregation and I am happy I was able to contribute to their celebration of 150 years as a local congregation. May God grant them many more years in which to serve Him.