Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting a head start on Christmas gifts!

My friend and I are taking a few weeks' break from our Wednesday challenges since she has quite a lot going on the next several weeks.

So today I thought I'd share my most recent project, one that I'm totally excited about: I've started making my Christmas gifts. Please don't hate me! :)

I was browsing through my local Dollar Tree last week and saw these cute house-shaped boxes:

They reminded me of the house box template from Papertrey Ink (called Home Made), but these are made a lot sturdier than a cardstock house could ever be. They are also a lot larger. These measure 5-1/2 x 5-1/2 x 7"! (There were several different sizes of these house boxes, but I chose the largest one.)

Well, I bought one to see if I could do anything with it. I wanted to make something for our church board members with the theme, "from our house to yours". I wanted to make it look like our house. Here's what I ended up with:

If you want to get technical, our house is about twice as wide as this (proportionally), but I had to adapt it to the square house box. Our doors aren't red, either, although I'd love to paint them red! I had to make it something that wouldn't blend in with the white house, so I chose red. Of course, there's no ribbon running all around our house, either ... :)

I asked my kids whose house it was, and they knew immediately. Success! I looked all through my files and couldn't find an outside picture of our house for you to compare it to, so you'll have to take my word for it. :)

Here's the side (complete with our side door) ...

... and the back ...

The other side looks pretty much the same as the back, but there's a window up on the side of the upstairs, just like the other side. I keep uploading the wrong photo, so I'm not going to bother with that one!

Once I made that one, I just had to make more! My husband was going out visiting the next day, and I had him stop by and get me three more house boxes to complete the board member gifts.

I made another one exactly like the first one, but then I had to switch ribbon. So the other two look like this:

I was awfully proud of myself for figuring out those dormers! The design has eluded me for over a year. For some reason, it came quite easily when I sat down to design it this time. (Probably because I wasn't too concerned about it. If I didn't get them designed, I was just going to leave them off.)

Don't ask me how I did it because I honestly can't remember. I do remember that I first drew the front of the dormer onto graph paper. I know another part of it involved finding the pitch of the roof (laying it down on the paper and actually drawing the angle) so it would sit flush against the roof. Other than that, I don't remember how it all came together. It makes senses mathematically, I do know that.

Anyway, a few more particulars about how this was done ... First of all, I considered covering it with white cardstock. Then my common sense kicked in. Just paint it! So I did. I used regular acrylic paint, and it took anywhere from 2-3 coats, depending on how dark the design was underneath (and how much paint I used on each coat). One small bottle should easily do four houses.

I used my large Marvy tree punch for the bushes, punching so that I eliminated the trunks.

The windows are just rectangles of cardstock glued together with lines drawn for the window panes. Nobody will miss the fancy window stamps (that look nothing like my windows anyway).

Once I got it figured out, each house took about an hour, including painting time. However, I was making things assembly-line-style, which makes those windows and doors go a lot faster.

I'm not totally sure what I'll be packaging in these boxes, but I'm leaning toward something homemade - like cookies or fudge. The box is part of the gift, so I probably have the hardest part behind me.

If you make one of these, be sure to let me know. I'd love to see yours!


Rhonda said...

that is so cute! your version is much nicer than Dollar Trees.

and what? you don't have a big ribbon tied around your actual home, not even when you decorate for Christmas?

Inger said...

Wowwww this is amazing Sophia!!!
Very beautiful work! :)


Diana said...

Those are soooooooo cute! You did an amazing job with your creations! I don't think I've seen the boxes yet in our DT, but I'm gonna keep watch for them, for sure. Thank you for sharing this lovely idea.

I think all *real* houses should have huge ribbons on them for the holidays. :D

Wani said...

These are really great!