a new Christmas tree shop

I made the base for this Putz a few months ago. I finally got around to making a pattern to mimic the shop pictured on the card.

Christmas Tree Lot

So cute! I love this card. So many nice details.

Christmas Tree Lot

The colors for the Putz are taken from the colors on the Christmas card.

Christmas Tree Lot

The sign was printed on glitter paper and framed in white twigs.

Christmas Tree Lot

Five small bottle brush trees and three handcrafted wreaths decorate the front of the Christmas shop.

Christmas Tree Lot

I really like the window above the sign. The shutters were made in one piece with the window frame.

Christmas Tree Lot

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

toy store putz

I have been wanting to make a toy store Putz since January. Yesterday, I finally got around to it. I drew the pattern, then cut and constructed the Putz. I had the embellishments in my stash, so it was easy to put together.

The base measures 6 3/8″ wide x 3 1/2″ deep. The Putz is 4 3/4″ tall as measured from the bottom of the base to the top of the roof. 

ORIGINAL Teal and Yellow Toy Store Putz

The base is made from an upcycled Christmas card. The colors on the card inspired the colors of the Putz. 

ORIGINAL Teal and Yellow Toy Store Putz

When tilted, there’s the surprise of the card underneath.

ORIGINAL Teal and Yellow Toy Store Putz

The front of the shop is decorated with two bottle brush trees, gifts and toys. The gift packages are glass beads.

ORIGINAL Teal and Yellow Toy Store Putz


The trees are decorated with red beads, faux snow and iridescent glitter. 

ORIGINAL Teal and Yellow Toy Store Putz

I designed the sign in MS Word and printed it on glitter paper. The photos don’t show how well the sign actually glitters.

ORIGINAL Teal and Yellow Toy Store Putz

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

periwinkle and green putz house

I made this Putz house to feature the picket fence. The tutorial for making this fence is here: Making picket fences for Putz houses

The base measures 6 1/4″ wide x 4″ deep. The Putz is 4 3/4″ tall as measured from the bottom of the base to the top of the chimneys.

Light periwinkle and dark green Putz house

The base is made from an upcycled Christmas card.

Light periwinkle and dark green Putz house

The colors on the card inspired the colors of the Putz. 

Light periwinkle and dark green Putz house

A hole in the back allows the use of a small LED light string for lighting the little glitter house.

Light periwinkle and dark green Putz house

A handcrafted wreath hangs over the front door. Icicles hang on the left and right sides of the roof. 

Light periwinkle and dark green Putz house

Two puffs of smoke are included for the chimneys.

Light periwinkle and dark green Putz house

The bottle brush trees are painted the same green as the roof, then glittered with fine, dark green glitter. When the paint is dry, I dabbed them with faux snow and sprinkled them with iridescent glitter flakes.

Light periwinkle and dark green Putz house

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

tiny mini schoolhouse and neighbors combination putz

The little bitties are fun to make. Because they are so small, I can put two on a base for a little village scene. This is the one I just finished.

TINY MINI schoolhouse and ivory/green Putz house

Or a country scene like this one with a farm house and a tiny barn. It was the first combo I made.

TINY MINI Putz house and barn

The second one was a house and a covered bridge.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

It was inspired by the Christmas card used to make the base.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

The base for the third combo measures 6″ wide x 3 3/4″ deep. The Putz is 2 3/4″ tall as measured from the bottom of the base to the top of the belfry.

TINY MINI schoolhouse and ivory/green Putz house

The base features a peaceful, country village scene.

TINY MINI schoolhouse and ivory/green Putz house

I choose the colors for the Putz buildings from the colors on the Christmas cards I use to make the base. I could have pulled in the pale orange of the sky and the grey of the snow, but I am really partial to that ivory color on the church, so chose that instead.
The ivory is Apple Barrel 21378E Vanilla Ice Cream.
The red is Americana DA508 Dark Scarlet. My favorite red.
The green is Apple Barrel 20221E Kiwi with a few drops of Apple Barrel 20413 Holiday Green to bring down the intensity of the spring green Kiwi.

TINY MINI schoolhouse and ivory/green Putz house

The back of the Putz have the traditional holes that allow for the use of an LED light string for lighting the buildings.

TINY MINI schoolhouse and ivory/green Putz house

The schoolhouse measures 2 1/2″ wide, 1 1/4″ deep and 2 1/4″ high. 
The house measures 1 3/4″ wide, 1″ deep (counting the eave overhang) and 1 3/4″ high.

TINY MINI schoolhouse and ivory/green Putz house

The handcrafted wreath is 3/8″ wide. I used two, red, seed beads to mimic a bow. A tiny bell hangs in the belfry.

TINY MINI schoolhouse and ivory/green Putz house

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda


making picket fences for putz houses

After making this Putz house, I decided to write a tutorial about how to make the picket fence. It’s not hard. Just takes a little time. But after you have made a few, it becomes easier and quicker.

Green and Red Putz House

Supplies needed:

  • popsicle sticks
  • X-acto / craft knife
  • scallop scissors
  • zigzag scissors
  • straight scissors
  • posterboard
  • hot glue gun
  • wire cutters (for trimming wood)
  • tweezers
  • nail file
  • paint
  • glitter tray (optional)
  • paint brush
  • glitter

Popsicle sticks are made of birch, so are more durable than craft wood items made from balsa wood. But a fence could certainly be made from balsa craft items. I do have craft matchsticks that would make a great fence, but they don’t seem as hardy as the popsicle sticks. Also, when the popsicles are cut into thin strips, sometimes there’s a bit of a wonky wave to it and, in my opinion, that just adds some downhome, homemade flavor to the fence.

To make the long boards for the fence, I use the wide (jumbo) popsicle sticks. They are 6″ long and 3/4″ wide.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Using an X-acto knife, score a line about 1/8″ from the long edge of the stick.
The first score line is the most important. Make it slowly to keep it as straight and even as possible.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Score the line two more times, pressing a bit more on the third cut. Cut slowly, to stay in the first cut made. It should come apart easily on the third cut. Cut again, if it doesn’t come apart.

making picket fences for Putz houses

I made seven “boards” from one popsicle stick.

making picket fences for Putz houses

The pickets could be cut from popsicle sticks, as well, though I made mine from posterboard. The advantage of posterboard is that you can make a lot of pickets in a short amount of time. I did try cutting a few pickets from the wood and it did make good pickets. See the picture below. I used a wire cutter to nip a point on one end and that worked well. But it would take a long time to make enough and they would be a bit bulkier than the pickets made from posterboard.

making picket fences for Putz houses

UPDATE / Aug. 6, 2019 To make a fence for this Putz church, I did use popsicle stick pickets, but didn’t clip the tops to make a point. I used my wire cutters to cut the pickets to the height I wanted and I was happy with the finished product. Leaving the tops of the pickets flat saved a lot of time. It’s more of a post and board fence, rather than a picket fence. Setting the pickets closer would change the look of the fence.

MINI Light Green and Grey Putz Church

BACK TO MY ORIGINAL POST / To make the pickets, I cut a strip of posterboard 5/8″ wide and about 12″ long. I used scallop scissors to cut one edge of the posterboard strip. The remaining strip was about 1/2″ wide, which is a good size for fencing for a Putz house. If I were making fencing for a miniature house, I’d trim that down to about 1/4″ or 3/8″ finished width. Depends on how mini the house was going to be.

Proportion is important, but don’t feel boxed in by that. Sometimes an out-of-proportion fence can be charming on a Putz house. Do what makes you happy!

making picket fences for Putz houses

The scallop scissor gives the pickets a nice rounded top.

making picket fences for Putz houses

To make pointed pickets, use a zigzag scissor.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Turn the trimmed strip so it can be cut from the top of the picket down. I eye-balled the cuts, but a pencil line can be drawn if that’s helpful.

NOTE: The right scissors can make all the difference in crafting. My favorite pair for fine work are my bonsai scissors. And, no, I don’t do bonsai. These are just great scissors that cut cleanly, handle beautifully, and feel good in my hand. They make my crafting experience a better one than it would be without them.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Check the base you plan to use and decide how long the back fence should be. If it is to go all the way across, I like to leave 1/4″ to 3/8″ space at each end so the fence isn’t sitting right on the edge of the base. That also leaves some space for applying enough hot glue to hold the fence in place. I put extra glue on the corners, then cover it with faux snow to make snow drifts, as can be seen in this picture.

Country Rose Putz house

Line up two “boards,” keeping the space between them as even as possible. Hot glue pickets to either end. That will stabalize the board and make it easier to work with as more pickets are glued on. I put the glue on the picket and place it on the boards, rather than putting the glue on the boards and laying the picket on top.

making picket fences for Putz houses

I lined up the fence section with the 1/2″ marks on the cutting mat and glued a picket at each 1/2″ mark. If you look closely at the picture, you can see that the ends don’t line up exactly on the marks, but I don’t think it’s enough spacing to matter.

making picket fences for Putz houses

If the spacing needs to be exact, glue the pickets at each mark, then trim off the excess boards when the fence is long enough. If 1/2″ marks aren’t a good spacing for the fence you want to make, figure out what is and mark that spacing on the boards with a pencil so the pickets can be glued to the right places.

making picket fences for Putz houses

The ends are trimmed. I use my old wire cutters for trimming the boards. Works great.

making picket fences for Putz houses

When the pickets are hot glued to the boards, the glue may be blobby on the back.

making picket fences for Putz houses

I move the clean, hot tip of the glue gun back and forth over the blob of glue until it melts and smooths out.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Much better.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Make each section of fence needed to complete the base. Note that the back fence has pickets at each end. The other pieces don’t. When it is time to glue it all together, the ends without pickets will be against a picket on the adjoining section.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Paint the fencing in the desired color. I use my “Putz mixture” paint for the fence. It adds texture. The paint is one part paint to one part white glue. I add a few drops of Floetrol (paint conditioner) to the paint to make it glide on smoothly. I also add clean, white, playground sand to the mixture to create a vintage-style texture.

Exact measurements for making my paint mixture can be found in this tutorial:

How to make a Putz house, part 2 of 3.

I like to use two coats of paint. Here’s the first coat. Let it dry completely before applying the second coat.

making picket fences for Putz houses

While the second coat of paint is still wet, sprinkle the fence section with fine glitter. I do one section at a time, and I do both sides of each section at the same time. Apply the glitter over a glitter tray so the extra glitter can be easily returned to the container. If you don’t have a glitter tray, use a piece of clean paper to catch the glitter. Let the fence dry completely before gluing it to the base.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Close-up of the fence detail.

making picket fences for Putz houses

When the paint is completely dry, and before I glue it to the base, I use my needle nose tweezers to clean the spaces between the boards, removing hot glue “hairs” and to define the space by rubbing the tips of the tweezers in the spaces between the boards. It sharpens the corners which gives the fence a more refined look. Before:

making picket fences for Putz houses

Use tweezers or a toothpick to scrape the edges to remove bits of paint and debris that may be clogging up the space between the boards and pickets.

making picket fences for Putz houses

In this close-up, you can see the messy corners.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Neat and tidy.

making picket fences for Putz houses

All done.

making picket fences for Putz houses

As you can see in the above picture, the bottoms of the pickets are a bit uneven, so I sand them to make them more even. When sanding the fence, I do an inch or so of the section at a time so the fence doesn’t bend or break. I use a 100/180 grit nail file for sanding. The 180 side does a great job.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Now the bottom of the fence section is smoother and more even. This will make it easier to glue to the base.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Before gluing the fence to the base, decide if the pickets along the back will face in or out. Your choice. Using a few dabs of glue, hold the fence in place until the glue hardens. Then add more glue to any place that needs reinforcement.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Personally, I like the pickets facing out. When the back is well fixed, attach the sides, with the end with no picket glued to the back section. The front sections are attached last.

making picket fences for Putz houses

Once it is set, I like to add some extra glue to the corners. This can be covered with faux snow to make a snow drift when the fence is snowed. It gives the fence extra strength.

making picket fences for Putz houses

I also add some extra glue to the inside of the corners.

making picket fences for Putz houses

The fence can be made in different styles. The pickets could be made thinner, they could be placed closer together, they could be made taller or shorter. Use your imagination!

making picket fences for Putz houses
making picket fences for Putz houses

Please ask if you have any questions about the process for making picket fences. I hope you give them a try!

You can see more of my Putz houses and Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

putz with a picket fence

I have made several MINI and TINY MINI Putz houses lately, so I went back to an ORIGINAL size this time.

Green and Red Putz House

The base has a beautiful picket fence on it.

Green and Red Putz House

I used colors from the Christmas card to paint the Putz house.

Green and Red Putz House

The card on the base has a large wreath, so I added two wreaths to the house. Here’s a link to my tutorial for making mini wreaths.

Making mini wreaths and garlands

Green and Red Putz House

The bottle brush trees are painted white, dabbed with faux snow and sprinkled with clear glitter.

Green and Red Putz House

I am writing a tutorial for making the picket fence.

Green and Red Putz House

Add a puff of smoke and you’re ready for Christmas Eve.

Green and Red Putz House

You can see more of my Putz houses and Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

orange and grey putz house

I woke up early this morning and started on this Putz house. I cut the pattern from poster board, added window panes, painted and assembled it in about four hours. I didn’t know I could make one that quickly. I did have the base ready beforehand. I keep a box of bases already made, so I can get right to putzing when I begin a new house.

Tutorial for making Putz bases from greeting cards

The metal cover over the round window is a flattened bead cap.

Orange and Grey Putz House

The base is made from an upcycled Christmas card.

Orange and Grey Putz House

The colors on the Christmas card dictated the colors I used on the Putz house.

Orange and Grey Putz House

The bottle brush trees are decorated with pearl beads, mother-of-pearl stars, faux snow and iridescent glitter.

Orange and Grey Putz House

It’s a cozy, winter evening and the house is ready for company!

Orange and Grey Putz House

I used the same pattern to make this tiny-mini Putz house.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

And this tiny-mini, as well. It always surprises me how much difference just the color can make in how the house looks.

TINY MINI Grey and Red Putz House

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

mini putz church

I drew the pattern for this little Putz church with inspiration from a vintage Christmas postcard that I saw online.

MINI Pale Yellow and Dark Red Putz Church

When I make a Putz church, I like to use a nativity card for the base. This one inspired the use of yellow and red on the church building.

MINI Pale Yellow and Dark Red Putz Church

I chose a darker red than the card uses because I wanted the colors to be more subdued than the ones on the card.

MINI Pale Yellow and Dark Red Putz Church

The church sets at an angle on the card, leaving room for two bottle brush trees and a tiny deer in the church yard.

MINI Pale Yellow and Dark Red Putz Church

The little deer is only 1/2″ tall. The front door has three steps down to the sidewalk.

MINI Pale Yellow and Dark Red Putz Church

I rounded the corners of the fence to soften the lines a bit. The gate posts are made from wooden skewers cut to about 1/2″ tall.

MINI Pale Yellow and Dark Red Putz Church

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

schoolhouse putz

I finished this schoolhouse this weekend. It’s listed in my Etsy shop.

Red and Brown Putz Schoolhouse

The card I used for the base features a little school building and snowy day activities.

Red and Brown Putz Schoolhouse

When one of my Putz houses is tilted, the card is a little surprise on the bottom. I try to coordinate the colors on the card and the colors of the Putz house.

Red and Brown Putz Schoolhouse

The back of the Putz has the traditional hole that allows for the use of an LED light string for lighting the house.

Red and Brown Putz Schoolhouse

The belfry has a gold bell.

Red and Brown Putz Schoolhouse

The bottle brush trees are decorated with colorful beads, faux snow and clear glitter.

Red and Brown Putz Schoolhouse

If you see a Putz on my blog or in my shop that you would like, but prefer it in another color, just ask. I’m happy to make one just for you at no extra charge for the color change.

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

tiny mini covered bridge

This Putz of a tiny house and covered bridge went to a good home right after I made it. I may have to make one for myself because I loved it so much.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

The Christmas card, which I used to make the base, inspired the layout of the Putz. I had a pattern for a house I could use, and I drew the pattern for the covered bridge.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz
TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

The back of the house has the traditional hole for the use of an LED light string for lighting the Putz.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

To make the river, I painted the bottom of the riverbed dark blue. When it was dry, I covered it with Stampin’ Up Crystal Effects. It’s an old bottle, but the product worked perfectly. I don’t know if it’s still available, though there are other products that would work as well. I left it to dry overnight.

TINY MINI covered bridge
TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

I made the tiny wreath on the house from an evergreen chenille stem.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

A few bottlebrush trees, decorated with faux snow and glitter complete the scene.

TINY MINI Blue House and Red Covered Bridge Putz

You can see more of my Putz houses and Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda