Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Putz/Glitter House

What is a Putz? 

Technically the German word putz means something "to put," but in German-American vernacular, it means something like "putter around." That relates to the subject of this web page because German-Americans and related cultures have been setting up little villages around the Christmas tree or Nativity for at least a century and a half. And generally, once the houses and accessories came out, family members (usually the mother) would "putz around" with the pieces until they were "just right.

"For many years, the "putzers" would use toy wooden houses or house-shaped cardboard candy boxes from Germany. But the advent of 8-bulb electric Christmas light sets brought about a new kind of putz house - Japanese-made cardboard houses decorated with sparkly materials and/or fake snow and equipped with translucent (usually cellophane) windows that glowed when you stuck a C6 light through a hole in the back. For over thirty years, mass-marketers like Sears-Roebuck offered fairly simple versions of these, usually in sets of eight.

Collectors collect these old Christmas decorations, but you can make your own future collectible Putz/Glitter house and buildings for a whole lot less.

Depending on what you already have in your Craft Stash, you can make them for pretty much nothing.
About all you really need is a cereal (or other) box, school glue, acrylic paint, clear glitter and some embellishments.

I had everything but the pink paint I used for the fence, which I bought at Walmart for 50¢ (52¢?) for a small bottle.

I'm not going to do a whole tutorial here about how I did mine, because, to be honest, I'm not too good at reading directions.
I read like the first line, then the rest is, "blah blah blah".

So, I made a lot of mistakes in making mine.
Mostly, there aren't any mistakes in crafting - you "customize" your version - but in this particular instance, I cut the windows/doors after I'd glued it together. I didn't put cellophane in the windows/door. My fence doesn't look great. There's no hole in the back for lighting.

Instead, you should visit Little Glitter Houses.com for more detailed and correct directions.

This particular house is called the Little Charmer, but there's an easier version called The Cottage, to start with (of course I didn't start with the easy version!). 

The website provides pdf files of patterns for you to print. I found that printing directly from the webpage didn't work, and I had to Save and open the pdf file for them to print the right size.

I used a cereal box to cut out the main parts like the walls, roof, chimney, entrance.

I used thicker cardboard from a shipping box and cut triangles to go inside the pointed parts to reinforce the roo(ves), and the house base.

Eventually I used the thicker cardboard for the fence, too, but I ought not have.

I painted the entire thing white as a base coat, then after it dried, I painted the house blue, the chimney red with white "snow fall", and the fence a light pink. Touched up any white parts that needed it.

After the paint dried, I glued the house to the base.
I used my paintbrush to spread glue on sections at a time and sprinkled on the iridescent glitter.
The glitter looks different colors in the picture, but it's not.

Then I added my embellishments, stuff I already had in my craft stash, and a dude and a girl showed up in the front yard. 

Check out more Putz/Glitter Houses on Pinterest.

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