After making our paper Christmas tree, I had a few odd scraps of handmade paper left over. Some pieces were big enough to use in another craft, but a few wouldn’t cut it. I hate throwing things out, so I made a plan and used them to create a little paper house with a miniature thatched roof.
Kinda cool, right?
It’s just big enough to fit a battery-operated tealight and rests on rusty nails. The rusty nails serve two purposes; they act as silts for the little house and support the paper walls.
If you don’t have rusty nails, you can use wooden skewers instead. It’s all about using your imagination and what you have on hand.
What you need
To make the paper house with a teeny, tiny thatch roof, you’ll need the following:
- Handmade paper scraps
- Battery-operated tealight
- Sharp side cutters
- Scrap wood. I used ice cream sticks, toothpicks, and left-over balsa wood
- Jute twine for the thatch roof
- Rusty Nails
How to make a paper house with a miniature thatch roof
Whenever I make tiny things, I sketch my idea first. That way, I stand a better chance of getting the perspective right. This little paper house was no exception; I’m glad I did too. The sketch helped so much with figuring out how high those rusty nail stilts should be in relation to the house. You’ll find many more miniature-making tips in this cutting board repurpose tutorial.
The floor and walls
To start, you’ll need a base or floor for the paper house to rest on. If you have a sketch, use that as a guide to cut a platform from balsa wood. A sturdy piece of cardboard will work too.
Grab a few rusty nails (or skewers). Keep in mind the nails support the floor and the paper walls. If you don’t have nails long enough, skip the stilts and use them as wall supports.
Cut the rusty nails with wire cutters using the drawing as a guide.
Gently push the cut nails into the balsa wood or cardboard base.
Adjust the height of the stilts and apply a drop of glue to hold them in place.
Pro tip: ensure the bottom of the stilts line up so you don’t end up with a wobbly house.
You should end up with something like this. The silts are below the balsa wood, and the wall supports are sticking out on top.
Cut, or tear the paper walls using the distance between and the height of the rusty nails as a guide.
Here’s another view to give you a better idea of how I cut my walls.
You should have at least four walls, maybe more if your paper house is fancy.
Adding doors and windows
There are many ways to make windows and doors for a little paper house. You can draw or paint them directly onto the paper or use wooden craft sticks. I did a combination of both. The door is a tongue depressor.
I cut the tip off and scored it with a craft knife to distress before staining the tip with our rusty nail muti.
I drew the hinges and doorknob with a marker, but you can get creative and use charms, beads, or twigs. The windows are also hand drawn.
Once happy, glue the paper walls onto the rusty nail supports. Glue toothpicks along the roof line to provide extra support for the next step, adding the roof.
Making a miniature thatch roof
In a big world, the house style dictates your roof covering. The same is true in a miniature world. You can make tiny roof tiles using craft foam or cut up a tin can if a metal roof is more your thing. I chose a thatch roof to complement the rustic paper-textured walls. I could have used coconut fibre if the house was a little bigger. This one is only 15 cm x 10 cm (4.5″ x 4″), and there’s no way I’m cutting and aligning all those teeny, tiny fibres. I don’t mind cutting twine, though. So if you have a miniature house and want to make a thatch roof like this one, this is how you do it.
Cut a strip of cardstock a little wider and longer than the paper house. Fold the cardstock using the shape of the walls as a guide to make a roof.
Cut equal lengths of the twine and glue it down on top of the cardstock roof. This first layer disguises the cardstock and bulks it up a little. If you’re using thicker cardboard, you can skip this step.
Cut thin strips of cardboard. I used a toilet paper roll. Tape the strips down, leaving a gap of about 2 cm (1”) between each strip. Going in the same direction, glue pieces of twine onto the cardboard strips. Try to glue the twine as closely as possible without overlapping the pieces.
Once the glue dries, flip the glued twine over and cut it into sections, as shown below.
Thatching the miniature roof
Glue the twine sections onto the roof, starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top.
Each twine section should overlap the one below it to create layers of “thatch”. Wait for the glue to dry completely before gently teasing the ends of the twine sections.
To make the ridge at the top of the roof, glue the cut pieces of twine onto a strip of cardboard. Trim the ends to neaten it up.
Fold the cardboard in half lengthwise and glue the ridge on.
For fun, curl a piece of twine around itself and glue it to the front and back of the miniature thatch roof.
Lift the roof and pop a tealight inside for a warm, inviting glow.
Have you made any paper houses?
If you like to make a paper house with a miniature thatched roof, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring
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And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, these beauties may appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.