I’ve always had this wild fantasy that I would become one of those people who collect and make elaborate Christmas villages. I just love the idea of making perfect make-believe Christmas towns and being able to look at them all season long. The first time I ever walked into a Department 56 store I almost died. Alas, those things are expensive and I’m not a millionaire (Yet.) (Kidding.)
However, to fill the Christmas village hobby void I started making DIY Christmas village houses, otherwise known as Putz houses! Porcelain versions became popular around the 70s, but cardboard versions were very popular in the mid-20th century. Just my style.
Traditional cardboard putz houses were just that – traditional. Most were the standard cottage or a-line box. I have a love affair with mid-century modern architecture, so I sketched my designs pulling inspiration from some of my favorite architects and homes I grew up around in Palm Springs and LA. Then when I started to render them to be printables, a quick little internet search for putz houses led me to one of the best retro blogs out there called Retro Renovation! I’m so glad it did because they have some pretty amazing and inspiring Putz house patterns and tutorials! Great minds! Check those out immediately.
Anyway, this is a pretty easy and straight forward craft that can be done a few different ways. I personally printed the patterns out on cardstock and used hot glue to assemble them. You can also trace the pattern onto cereal or gift boxes. To color them you can digitally fill the pattern in with color before printing, or you can use paint, crayon, or colored pencils to fill it in. Then use cardboard pieces for the roof and base. Whatever works for you!
After assembling the walls and roof, I covered a piece of cardboard in white felt and attached it using hot glue. I applied a hefty amount of white glue to my roofs and piled on the buffalo snow.
You can use miniature trees and accessories like cars, animals, and snowmen to bring the scene to life, and as you can see every house has a tree up in the window.
For this one I used paper straws to hold up the carport.
And for this house I cut light shapes out of scraps of felt and glued them on.
So fun! Get out your exacto knife and start cutting!