Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tutorial on mini houses: Part One

I now give you, a tutorial on how to make a nifty mini house out of a creamer container!



Perfect for your jacabob, ursabob, matroshka dolls or other small softies or friends you have wishing they had a place to sleep at night!

You will need:

1 creamer container or mini milk container (preferably one you wouldn't be able to recycle on your own, so you can be saving the environment by keeping it out of a landfill. I really like the ones with screw on tops for this sort of project).

1 x-acto blade or similar sharp craft knife

1 cutting mat

a small scrap of cardboard

a paint brush for glue (you can use a nice one if you're careful to clean it out before it dries)

a dry paint brush for pushing down bumps and bubbles

scissors (sharp please)

a metal ruler

white glue (sobo or elmers, any sort of normal paper craft glue is fine)

a pencil

two large scraps of nice paper (wrapping paper, or something else fairly large is best)

various small scraps of whatever for decorating

Step 1:

Clean your container well. I rinse mine out as soon as I finish them. Then I put in hot water and a bit of dish soap, plug up the hole and shake it. I repeat and rinse well until fully cleaned out. You can use a bit of bleach if you want.

Step 2:

Let it dry fully. I leave mine out overnight in a warm place.

Step 3:

Prepare a surface to work on. I have a cutting mat set up on my worktable. Make sure it's well lit and that you have everything you will need.



Step 4:

Select the paper you would like to use as the outside of your house. And select the paper you would like to use inside. At this point I did a few doodles of how I wanted my finished house to look and got my supplies together.







Step 5:

Carefully cut off the top of the container using the metal ruler to ensure you're making straight cuts



Step 6:

Wipe out the inside with a clean dry cloth just in case there is any water residue still inside



Step 7:

Lay out your outside paper nice side down. Take your container and center it. Use your pencil to outline the bottom of the box. Then flip the box in each of the four directions and outline each side. You're sort of making a geometric flower design with four rectangles coming off of the main square. Remove the box, and draw about a 1/4" flap to the top and bottom of your left and right rectangles. Then draw a 1/4" flap to the ends of each rectangle. Make all the corners diagonal. See picture for clarification.







Step 8:

Now take your bottom part of the container and flip it over. Push down a little on the bottom so that instead of bulging out a little it's more flat. Take a bit of glue and squeeze it out onto the square of the paper. Take your brush and brush it out so it's a thin coat, just on the bottom. If there is excess wipe it off.



Step 9:

Center your cut out flower, right side up, and carefully glue down the center square over the glued part of your container. Use your clean, dry brush to push out any bubbles or bulges. And make sure that each flap will actually line up with the sides. Then glue down the two sides with the flaps, and then the two sides without the flaps. Finish by gluing the final four tabs over the top edges of the box. Be careful to only use a thin coat of glue. Brush out all bubbles as you go. If you use thinner paper (like I did) you may have overall bumps and wiggles. Next time I make one of these I'll use thicker craft paper.

Note: (My wrapping paper had a rip, so I mended it with another scrap of the same design)













Step 10:

Lay out your inside paper nice side down. Take your container and center it. Use your pencil to outline the bottom of the box. Then flip the box in each of the four directions and outline each side. This are the exact same steps as seen in step 7, only we will not be making any tabs. When you cut this shape out, cut just a hair inside each line that you drew. The inside has a tendency to be just a bit smaller than the outside.





Step 11:

Fold your new geometric flower along the square edges, and pop it inside your box. Without glue. See if it will actually fit when you do it for real. I had to trim the top bits after pulling it out again.





Step 12:

Put a thin layer of glue on the inside of the box. I got bold and did the whole thing at once, and ended up having to redo the bottom. Next time I do this I will just put glue in the center bottom, and then glue the sides after. If there are spots you miss you can always add more paper collage or paint over them. Use your clean dry brush to get any bubbles or bulges out before it dries.





Top part and decorating tutorial coming soon!

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