How to make a paper mache Victorian house

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How to make a paper mache Victorian house
Make your very own Victorian model from paper mache (Getty Thinkstock)

Paper mache Victorian houses make great Christmas ornaments or gifts for family and friends. And with the whole family pitching in, they can also make a great craft project. You don't need to be an artist to make a paper mache house. You don't even need a lot of skills either. With the right materials and with a little time and effort, you'll be able to build your own paper mache Victorian house.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Large cardboard box
  • Ruler
  • X-acto Knife
  • Black felt marker
  • Glue
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Newspapers
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes

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Instructions

    Measure the house

  1. 1

    Take your cardboard and measure the length of your design. For a sizeable Victorian house, measure about 39 inches (100 cm) in width and 11 inches (28cm) in height.

  2. 2

    Divide the design into four panels. This should be about 8 1/2 by 9 inches by 8 1/2 by 9 inches in length each. This is where you will fold the cardboard to create the base of your house. Use a black felt pen to mark the measurements where you will fold your design.

  3. 3

    Draw two triangles where each panel is 8 1/2 inches long. These will be the bases for your roof. Each side of the triangle should be at least 6 inches in height where the point meets.

  4. 4

    Measure and draw two panels for your roof. Each panel should be 9 1/4 inches in length and at least 6 inches in height.

  5. 5

    Measure and draw the base for the house. The measurements should fit the length and width of the house's foundation: 8 1/2 by 9 inches.

    Assembling the Victorian house

  1. 1

    Cut out your designs with an X-acto knife.

  2. 2

    Fold the foundation of the house where you've made the marks.

  3. 3

    Assemble your Victorian house before gluing. This will give you an idea of whether you'll need to make adjustments so that everything fits together.

  4. 4

    Put down some old newspapers on a workbench or on the floor. This will keep your work area clean when you begin gluing and painting your Victorian house. Begin assembling and gluing the house together. Start with the foundation by gluing both ends. Allow some time for the glue to dry before assembling the rest of the house.

  5. 5

    Assemble the roof by gluing the panels together while the foundation dries. Let this dry as well. Once the foundation has dried, glue on the bottom or base of the house. Make sure the base is firmly secured, then allow to dry. After the base has dried, glue the roof panels onto the top of the house. Again, let dry.

  6. 6

    Let the Victorian house rest for a day before you begin the next step.

  1. 1

    Measure out a cup and a half of flour, then add water for the paste. Stir until the mixture is well blended. This should have the consistency of pancake batter.

  2. 2

    Take some old newspapers and tear them into strips. The strips don't have to be of any particular size or width. If the strips are too long for the length of the house, you can always tear them off as you go along, then use the remaining strips as more covering.

  3. 3

    Dredge the paper strips into the paste. Make sure they are well covered in the paste. Apply the strips onto the Victorian house. Flatten the paper against the surface. Make sure bubbles or lumps don't develop. You want the surface to be as smooth as possible.

  4. 4

    Continue to paste the Victorian house until the entire house is covered. Don't worry about making a mess or putting on too much paste. The more paste you use, the more it acts as an adhesive for the paper strips. If you run out of paste, simply add more flour and water to the mixture and continue.

  5. 5

    Let house rest for a day or two to dry completely before painting.

  1. 1

    After the papier mache has dried, cut or sand away any imperfections, such as strips of paper sticking out from corners or edges of the house.

  2. 2

    Take out your acrylic paints and begin painting your house. Choose whatever colours you want. Begin with the first coat along the house and roof. Allow the paint to dry before continuing on to the next step.

  3. 3

    Use the black paint to paint in sidings and ornamental designs. Next, paint the bay windows on either side of the front. Paint the front entrance and door.

  4. 4

    Let the entire house to dry.

  5. 5

    Take another piece of cardboard and glue the bottom of the house to it. This will create a base for your house. You can also use a smaller box as a pedestal for your house.

Tips and warnings

  • Check online for designs of Victorian houses. You can get a lot of ideas for ornamental designs for your house from photographs.
  • Be creative. If you want to do a psychedelic Victorian house, then by all means, do it. Let your imagination run wild.
  • Use crazy glue or hot glue when assembling the house. This will cut down the time you'll need for the glue to dry.
  • When painting the windows and doors of your house, take some construction paper, draw and cut out door and window shapes, tape it to the house, then fill in the shapes with the paint. This will allow you to create even-shaped windows and doors.
  • Use lace or any other cloth designs for your Victorian house. They make lovely ornamental decorations for the house.
  • Go to the crafts store and pick up plastic trees and bushes and glue them onto the base. This will create a lovely environment for your papier mache Victorian house.
  • Papier mache Victorian houses make great Christmas gifts or ornaments for your tree.

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