a putz house with a problem

A few days ago, I drew a pattern for this Putz house, using the house on the Christmas card as the inspiration for my Putz house. This photo shows the paper mockup I always make with a new pattern before cutting it from poster board. It’s the best way to see if all the parts fit properly. Much easier to fix it at this stage than after cutting it all from cardboard.

paper house

I had the feeling, when I painted the house, that there wasn’t enough contrast between the roof and the house. When done, I decided I was right. Once a Putz house has been painted with textured paint and the glitter has been applied, there is no painting over it. It makes a messy surface if attempted. So, I had to set that project aside overnight, while I pondered what to do. Throw it out and start over? Try painting the roof, even though I knew it wasn’t a good option?

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

The next morning, I decided to cover the entire roof with snow. An easy fix. I applied the faux snow using a plastic squeeze bottle. I covered one side of the roof first, smoothed it with a palette knife and then sprinkled it with clear glitter.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Then the other side, the chimney, and the roof of the little bump-out.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

After it dried a bit, and I knew I was happy with the fix, I attached the porch roof.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

I applied a thin line of hot glue to the edge of the roof and quickly stuck it to the house, holding it in place till the glue dried. A matter of a few seconds.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Then it was time to snow the porch roof. I outlined the surface first, being careful to keep the window frames clear.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Then filled in with more snow…

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Smoothed it with a palette knife…

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Glittered it…

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Done. And then it was on to landscaping. The fence pictured on the card is set on an angle, so I decided to mimic that with my Putz fence. I set the house at an angle and ran the fence along the side of the house. The floor of the porch is made out of painted and glittered 1/4″ foamcore.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

I painted the two-rail fence and glittered it. My tutorial for making this type of fence is here: Board fence for your Putz

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Next, I glued down the house, the porch, the porch posts, and the fence. The porch posts are made from dowel rods cut to size, painted and glittered, then attached with hot glue. When using hot glue, you have to quickly check from all sides to be sure they are straight before the glue hardens.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

To continue the sidewalk off the porch, I painted brown on the surface of the base and glittered it.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

The trees were speckled with faux snow and glittered, while the snow was still wet, with very fine iridescent glitter.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Then it was a matter of finishing up the snow in the landscaping. I use Aleene’s True Snow. There is plain True Snow and Glitter True Snow. The glitter snow doesn’t glitter, but I get it anyway because it is cheaper than the plain. Go figure!

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

Last of all, I added a tiny deer to the yard.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

This is the first Putz house on which I completely covered the roof with snow. I like the look and plan to make more Putz houses with snow covered roofs.

Blue Putz with snow covered roof

This Putz house has been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

my favorite tools and supplies for making putz houses

A lot of people enjoy making Putz houses and we all use our own methods and favorite tools. Following are my personal favorite tools and supplies for the craft of making Putz. If you have other favorites, please share!

Cardboard / Poster board
I buy white poster board at Walmart for use in building Putz houses. I like the regular weight for the walls and window frames. The package I buy doesn’t give a thickness or weight. I also like the kind labeled “heavy weight” for the roofs. The heavier weight prevents the edges of the roof from warping as it dries after being painted.

You can certainly use cardboard from cereal boxes, cracker boxes, etc. It’s a perfect weight for making Putz houses.

building a base for Putz houses

Scissors
I have three kinds of scissors I use most often. First, an 8″ pair of scissors for rough cutting (like cutting pattern pieces apart). My middle daughter put these in my Christmas stocking one year. How perfect is that??

Christmas scissors

Second, my favorite scissor for putzing is the small craft scissor Fiskars 5-inch Microtip, for cutting small pieces and for cutting fine detail as needed.

Putz houses

The third kind of scissors I like to have on hand are Decorative Scissors. These are great for cutting fences. I use the zigzag, wavy, and scallop designs most often, but there are many others I like, as well.

scissors

Click here to see my tutorial for making Putz fences. Tutorial for making Putz fences

constructing a fence for a Putz house

Hand punches are useful, too, but not necessary when you are pulling together the basic tools needed for putzing.

Putz fences

Decorative scissors can also add a nice detail to a roofline or awning.

dark blue and brown Putz house

Or a widow’s walk or balcony.

teal and dark red Putz house

Craft Knife / Xacto Knife and #11 replacement blades
I love the one from Martha Stewart, but it can be difficult to find. It may not be in production any longer. Find a comfortable Xacto knife. Preferably one with a cap for covering the blade when not in use.

Putz house

Self-Healing Cutting Mat
A 12-inch by 18-inch cutting mat is a good size to start with, if you don’t have one. It will protect your work surface and also will prevent premature dulling of your knife blade. Don’t set hot things on the mat or place it on warm surfaces. The heat can cause it to warp and make it difficult to use. Even a computer, left running on top of a cutting mat can warp it.

Red and green Putz house

Acrylic Ruler
My favorite, use-it-every-day, acrylic ruler is a 4″x4″ square. It’s perfect for quick measurements, isn’t so long that it gets in my way, very handy when cutting pattern pieces. I use the 5″ and a 12″ square quite a bit, too, as well as an 18″ by 3″ acrylic ruler, but the 4″ one is my go-to. I find one with 1/8″ marks is very handy.

cut straight edges

Fine-nose Tweezers
These go by several names. Fine-nose tweezers. Needle-nose tweezers. Jeweler’s tweezers. I use my fine-nose tweezers every day. I can’t imagine putzing without them. They are great for picking up and placing tiny window frames, beads, etc. They are essential for picking off those annoying hot-glue hairs that seem to magically appear on projects. These tweezers make my top five need-to-have tools. I actually have three of them so I am never without one.

Putz houses

window frames

Pencil
I like a .5mm mechanical pencil. Use what is comfortable for you. Drawing patterns, marking construction pieces, etc.,…a pencil comes in handy.

building Putz houses

Bone Folder
Use this tool for creasing crisp folds in paper, cardstock and poster board.

ivory and grey Putz house

building Putz houses

Scoring tool / Ball Stylus
Scoring a fold line helps the paper or cardboard fold more easily. I like the fact that mine is green. It is easy to pick it out when I’m looking for it, whether it’s in my tool organizer or on the craft table.

building Putz houses

White glue
I use Elmer’s Glue to mix 1:1 with acrylic paint for painting Putz houses.
I also use Crafter’s Pick for an extra strong bond when assembling Putz houses and when applying window panes on the inside of the houses.

Putz house

Clamps
When clamping glued pieces together, I like to use clothespins, magnets and hair clips.

Putz houses

construction of a Putz house

Acrylic paint
Craft paint, acrylic paint, even house paint, can be used when making Putz houses. I like to make my Putz bases from greeting cards and I match the colors I use on the Putz with the colors of the greeting card.

Santa card for Putz house

Here is a link to my tutorial for making bases from greeting cards. Greeting card bases

Glitter
If you’re just starting the hobby of building Putz houses, I would suggest you start with two basic glitters. A fine one and a coarser one. Both in clear. I use Recollections Extra Fine Glitter “Snow.” For the larger glitter, I use Spectra Glitter “Clear”.

The glitters in this picture are different brands than I use now, but they are the same size as the glitter I use every day.

two sizes of glitter I use on my little glitter houses

This photo is looking down onto the roof of one of my Putz houses. I use the fine glitter on the painted parts of the house and the larger glitter on the snow.

glitter test

If you love to Putz, you will probably collect a nice stash of glitters, in different sizes and colors. I have a drawer full of clear, white and iridescent glitter in a variety of sizes.

glitter drawer

And a drawer of colored glitters, also in a variety of sizes.

glitter drawer

Glitter Trays
When using glitter, it is handy to have a couple of glitter trays. I have a larger one and a smaller one, and I use them every day. Be sure to buy one with a lip over the opening. It’s much easier to pour the glitter without spilling it if the tray has a lip (see the black tray below).

glitter trays

snowing a bottle brush tree

Sand
I use sand in my paint to give my Putz houses a vintage-style texture. We had a bag of white playground sand on hand, and I filtered it to use. If you want to use sand to give your Putz texture, use a fine sand. You can find sand at home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes. I keep mine in a quart jar on my craft desk and refill as needed.

white sand

Circle Template
Useful for many circle sizes. I use mine to mark the hole in the back, to draw a frame for that hole, and for rounding the tops of Putz windows and doors.

circle template

Material for use as window panes
I use yellow transluscent plastic folders for covering the windows. This creates a warm friendly glow when the house is lit with a small LED light.

Vellum or cellophane can be used. There are also sites online where you can buy reproduction window and door replacements to resemble vintage Putz houses.

Putz house

Yellow Highlighter
When I draw a new pattern for a Putz building, I use a wide stroke yellow highlighter to mark MASTER across the top of the page. When I’m ready to make a new Putz, I make a copy of the pattern in black and white, on regular printer paper. The yellow highlighter doesn’t show up on the copy and I am always sure of which pattern NOT to cut!

drafting a putz pattern

Patterns
You can google < putz house patterns > and click IMAGES. A lot of images will come up. Click on any you would like to look at and click VIEW PAGE.

I like to draw my own patterns of vintage Putz houses I find pictures of online. Once you have made some Putz houses from patterns you find, you can use them to help you design buildings of your own.

Printer / Copy Machine
The printer is useful for making copies of the patterns I want to use. I often reduce the size of a pattern by 15-20% to better fit the card I want to use as a base. And sometimes the cats find this machine amusing.

Buttercup and the printer

Tool-go-round or Turnabout
My desk is usually a mess of tools and supplies. Everything I am using stacks up and takes up space. But it’s still my happy place!

my happy place

To keep my tools in reach but organized, I use a “turnabout” that I bought years ago from Pampered Chef. It sits about 18″ to my right, on my craft counter, as I work. It is a space saver and is SO handy. I depend on it every time I sit at my desk. I can’t imagine crafting without it.

The Pampered Chef version is great because it rotates, it has multiple compartments that are tall enough for pens, scissors, etc., and it has three tiers. I don’t know if it is still available from Pampered Chef. I saw two on Amazon, but they were expensive. When I bought mine, I think it was $25, which, at the time, seemed like a LOT of money. Worth.Every.Penny.

If you’re interested in using a rotating tool organizer, a DIY version could be made by gluing containers of various sizes to a lazy susan. Or, you can google < rotating tool turnabout > or go to Ebay and search < Pampered Chef Turnabout >.

I have enough tools and supplies to write another blog post, but the ones above are the ones I find most useful. If you have any questions, please ask! I am happy to help.

You can find my Putz tutorials here: Putz Tutorials

~~Rhonda

a little putz on a long card

I have been eyeing this Christmas card for a long time, thinking about putting a Putz house on it. A few days ago, I got it out and drew a pattern inspired by the little house on the card.

Grey and Green Putz house with deer

I added extra windows because the house needs to light up well.

Grey and Green Putz house with deer

I make all my bases from greeting cards. When the little house is tilted up, there’s a surprise on the bottom of the base.

Grey and Green Putz house with deer

A bit of a nail file made a great step for the front door. The rest of the sidewalk is just painted on the base and sprinkled with glitter.

Grey and Green Putz house with deer

It’s hard to tell in most of the photos, but the house is set at a bit of an angle to the base.

Grey and Green Putz house with deer

Grey and Green Putz house with deer

This Putz house has been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

my latest putz houses

Here are a few Putz I’ve made in the past week.

Green and brown Putz house with double roof

This Putz is one of several mini ones I have made. I like the smaller size and plan to make more of them.

Green and brown Putz house with double roof

The card base for the above Putz…

Green and brown Putz house with double roof

This double-chimney Putz is a new pattern I drew last week.

Lilac and Teal Putz House

Lilac and Teal Putz House

This is the base for the above Putz house.

Lilac and Teal Putz House

A mini version of the above house…

Mini Lilac, green and gold Putz house

And its base…

Mini Lilac, green and gold Putz house

The next mini house I made was this one.

ivory and grey Putz house

It’s base is a small Christmas card.

ivory and grey Putz house

ivory and grey Putz house

These Putz houses have been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

my latest Christmas tree lot

I drew a new pattern for a Christmas tree lot yesterday and finished the Putz today. It is smaller than my other Christmas tree lots.

Merry's Christmas Tree Lot Putz

The base is made from a Christmas card highlighted with gold foil.

Merry's Christmas Tree Lot Putz

Each tree lot I make gets a different name. This is Merry’s Christmas Tree Lot.

Merry's Christmas Tree Lot Putz

A lantern charm hangs from a pole.

Merry's Christmas Tree Lot Putz

In the lean-to, there’s a pile of wood ready for the stove.

Merry's Christmas Tree Lot Putz

The lights are on. Come on over and pick out your tree!

Merry's Christmas Tree Lot Putz

This Putz Christmas tree lot has been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

two new putz houses listed to etsy

I listed two new houses to Etsy. I made the following one a few weeks ago, and for some reason I don’t remember, it was set aside. Yesterday, I was sorting my stock and realized it hadn’t been listed. So, I took care of that as well as listing a house I finished yesterday.

Red and Grey Putz House with three trees

The colors are derived from the card that I used to make the base of the Putz.

Red and Grey Putz House with three trees

My original pattern didn’t have chimneys, but I decided to add them and am glad I did. I love the way they finish off the look of this house.

Red and Grey Putz House with three trees

The colors turned out well. I like this combination a lot. To compliment the grey, I brushed artificial snow on the bottle brush trees and sprinkled them with vintage silver glitter.

Red and Grey Putz House with three trees

The second house I listed is a smaller-than-usual Putz house in a pretty light green color.

green and brown Putz house

The Christmas card I used as a base is one of my favorites.

green and brown Putz house

A tiny deer stands near the front door.

green and brown Putz house

I used a post and board fence to reflect the one on the Christmas card.

green and brown Putz house

I reduced the original pattern by 15% and I like the smaller scale a lot. I’m going to try some of my other patterns in this smaller scale.

green and brown Putz house with a deer

These Putz houses have been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

yellow and teal putz house

This Putz house is one of several two-story patterns I have.

Yellow and Teal Putz House

The vintage Christmas card has some great colors

Yellow and Teal Putz House

Because there was some red on the Christmas card, I wanted to use some red on the Putz, so I dusted the bottle brush trees with red glitter.

Yellow and Teal Putz House

A tiny snowman greets visitors at the front door.

Yellow and Teal Putz House

The base measures 6 1/2″ wide x 4 7/8″ deep. The house is 4″ tall as measured from the bottom of the base to the top of the roof.

Yellow and Teal Putz House

The lights bring the house to life.

Yellow and Teal Putz House

This Putz house has been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

red and teal putz barn

I found a Christmas card with a barn picture that I just had to use.

Red and teal Putz barn

I haven’t made a barn with a silo before.

Red and teal Putz barn

The roof is made from corrugated cardboard to simulate a ridged metal roof.

Red and teal Putz barn

The fence is made from heavy-weight poster board and wooden skewers.

Red and teal Putz barn

The cow’s name is Merry.

Red and teal Putz barn

I added extra windows because lighting a Putz is what it’s all about.

Red and teal Putz barn

This barn is a smaller scale than I usually make. I wanted to fit both the barn and the silo on the card.

Red and teal Putz barn

This Putz barn has been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

blue and yellow putz church

This Putz church is the second one I made from this pattern. I drew the pattern with inspiration from a photograph of a vintage Putz church. You can see the first church here: Yellow and Green Putz Church

This church features a metal, free-swinging bell in the bell tower, two bottle brush trees and a miniature deer.

blue and yellow putz church with deer

I made the wreath from a piece of wired chenille. The chenille stem is about 1/2″ wide. I trimmed it back to 1/4″. The bow is made with a piece of tiny wired cord.

blue and yellow putz church with deer

I love the color combination on this card.

blue and yellow putz church with deer

The tiny deer in the church yard is 3/4″ tall.

blue and yellow putz church with deer

We’ll leave the lights on!

blue and yellow putz church with deer

And the door open!

blue and yellow putz church with deer

This Putz church has been listed in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda

red and tan putz barn

The newest Putz barn is finished and I’ve listed it to my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

Red and Tan Putz Barn

Just for fun, here’s a picture of it “pre-snow.” The barn and the fence haven’t been glued down yet, either.

Red and Tan Putz Barn

Corrugated cardboard makes a great ridged metal roof.

Red and Tan Putz Barn

I drew the pattern for the barn without the inspiration of a barn pictured on a Christmas card, so I used this Christmas card for the base and used the colors of the card for the barn.

Red and Tan Putz Barn

Detail of one of the bottle brush trees. I used Aleene’s True Snow on the tree and dusted it with irridescent glitter.

Red and Tan Putz Barn

Red and Tan Putz Barn

Putz are so appealing when the lights are on…

Red and Tan Putz Barn

Red and Tan Putz Barn

This Putz barn has been listed to my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

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!

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!

~~Rhonda