How to build a model church

Written by karen frisch
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How to build a model church
Make sa white church model from styrofoam.

Models of churches can be as simple or as detailed as you like. You can make the traditional church with the white steeple pictured here, or modify the directions to make a replica of your own church. These directions are for a church made of styrofoam or foam board with windows of coloured tissue paper, but if you have the tools you might choose to make a church out of wood.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick styrofoam in flat rectangles
  • X-acto knife
  • Plastic sheet protectors
  • Tissue paper
  • Black marker
  • Toothpicks or straight pins
  • Wire cutters
  • 1 styrofoam cone
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Make the sides of the church with two 12.5 by 17.5 cm (5 by 7 inch) pieces of styrofoam. Use the X-acto knife to carve three 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inch) windows with arched tops into each side. Measure so each 2.5 cm (1 inch) window is 2.5 cm (1 inch) from either end, with 2.5 cm (1 inch) in between each window.

  2. 2

    Cut plastic sheet protectors into six pieces slightly bigger than the 2.5 by 3.7 cm (1 by 1 1/2 inch) windows on the church sides. Glue bits of tissue paper in various colours to the plastic to make stained glass windows. Outline each piece of tissue with a black marker for emphasis. Use straight pins, shortened by cutting off the ends with wire cutters, to hold the windows in place on the walls of the church. Set the walls aside.

  3. 3

    Make the front and back of the church with two 12.5 by 17.5 cm (5 by 7 inch) pieces of styrofoam. Make the bottom part a 12.5 by 12.5 cm (5 by 5 inch) square, cutting the edges off the remaining top so it forms a triangle. Cut a 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inch) square in the front end. Save the pieces you cut out to use as doors later. Set all pieces aside.

  4. 4

    Cut two 12.5 by 17.5 cm (5 by 7 inch) pieces of styrofoam to form the church roof. Set them aside.

  5. 5

    Assemble the church using toothpicks or straight pins (cut off the tops with wire cutters) to hold the styrofoam pieces together. Attach the sides to the front, then add the back. Angle the two halves of the roof on top, leaning them against each other. Secure all pieces by pressing them together. Make sure the ends of pins or toothpicks are firmly embedded so they don't stick out.

  6. 6

    Take a 17.5 cm (7 inch) tall piece of styrofoam that's 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep and 5 cm (2 inches) wide. This will form the church entrance that supports the steeple. Cut a 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inch) opening in the front so you can see inside the church.

  7. 7

    Carve the styrofoam cone into a pyramid with the X-acto knife, replacing the curve with four flat sides to make the steeple. Attach the steeple to the 17.5 cm (7 inch) church entrance with pins or toothpicks.

  8. 8

    Tape the doors to the front of the church so you can open them. Add the 17.5 cm (7 inch) tall entrance to the front of the church with pins or toothpicks.

Tips and warnings

  • Place the toothpicks or straight pins as close to the centre of the styrofoam as possible when you push them in. It makes them less likely to poke through the wrong spot. To add detail, buy miniature dollhouse shingles at a craft supply shops for the roof.

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