How to make an adobe indian home for a school project

Written by natalie o'hara
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How to make an adobe indian home for a school project
Adobe was also used to make churches and other community buildings in the American Southwest. (crosses and adobe image by John Sfondilias from

Adobe houses were the traditional homes of many Southwestern Native Americans and Southwestern landowners in the United States. Originally, adobe was made with a mixture of clay, water, and a stabilising medium such as straw, grass, or manure. This created a strong mixture that could be shaped into building bricks or used as plaster for house interiors and exteriors. Adobe also helped to keep houses cool and comfortable in the hot sun of the Southwest.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Air-drying clay or modelling medium
  • Small cardboard box
  • Cardboard base
  • Hot glue
  • Box cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Sand
  • Model cactus

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  1. 1

    Buy air-drying clay or a modelling medium such as Play-Doh or Model Magic. These come in earth tones, such as red, brown and tan, all of which can be used to create a lifelike model adobe house.

  2. 2

    Find a small cardboard box in the size you would like your house to be. If you can't find one, you can hot-glue small rectangular cardboard pieces together into a box shape.

  3. 3

    Cut small windows and a door into your cardboard structure using a box cutter. Refer to adobe house images to decide on the size and shape of these cutouts.

  4. 4

    Gather small pieces of wood, straw, or grass to mix into your clay or modelling compound to ensure a more authentic-looking adobe structure.

  5. 5

    Roll out your modelling medium into a thin layer.

  6. 6

    Spread your clay or modelling compound over your cardboard structure, smoothing out any bumps and ensuring the compound sticks to the cardboard. Cut any excess clay off with your box cutter and discard.

  7. 7

    Locate the windows and door you previously cut into the cardboard structure and use a box cutter to cut corresponding spaces in the modelling medium.

  8. 8

    Use darker-coloured modelling clay to make model "beams" that jut out from the roof of the adobe house. Look at pictures of adobe houses to model your beams appropriately

  9. 9

    Roll out a darker colour to create a different-coloured roof with another colour modelling medium. Lay this roof on the top of your model adobe house.

  10. 10

    Hot-glue the structure to a cardboard base for your project.

  11. 11

    Add desert details around your structure if desired, such as a model cactus or sand, both of which can be found in craft stores.

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