A creative way to decorate your home at Christmas time is to make cardboard houses for the holidays. Whether you want to make one house or a variety to create a village, you can work with used cardboard and basic supplies to create this inexpensive craft on your own or with children. While you can create a simple cardboard Christmas house in less than an hour, you'll likely spend more time on more intricate or realistic cardboard houses.
Decide how large to make the cardboard house in length, width and height. Cut out a cardboard base large enough for the length and width of the house plus leave 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) on each side.
Measure and cut out two pieces of cardboard for the sides of the house that are the desired length and width. Adjust the height to be 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) shorter than the desired finished height.
Measure and cut two pieces of cardboard to be the front and back of the house based on desired length, width and height. Mark the centre point along the top edge of the front and back for later.
Stand four wall pieces up along cardboard base and glue each piece down to the base and along the sides where they touch. Allow the glue one hour to dry. Cut from the marked centre top of the cardboard on a diagonal toward both sides to form triangular peaks for holding a roof.
Measure along the open diagonal area on each side of the house to determine how large the roof needs to be. Cut cardboard for the roof either as one piece that bends in the middle like a book, or cut two pieces so you'll have one for each half of the house with a seam down the middle.
Set the roof cardboard over the wall units and glue the roof to the wall areas. Add glue along the seam of the roof line if you used two pieces of cardboard. Let the glue dry for up to two hours until the house feels stable, adding new glue as needed.
Paint, apply chalk or use coloured pencils on the house to decorate it as desired. If you are making a village, plan to decorate a few "houses" to look like village buildings such as churches, post offices, schools and others you prefer.
Add other decorations around the base of the house--such as gluing down cotton balls for snow, standing up fake trees, or gluing toothpicks to look like fences. Add any other decorations as desired.
- "300 Ways to Make the Best Christmas Ever"; Kristen Birkeland, Leslie Dierks, Mimi Tribble; 2004
- "Home Made Best Made"; Christopher Cavanaugh; 1998
- If you want to incorporate lights, cut out a few window panes with an X-acto knife to create holes in the walls and place clear or coloured Christmas lights inside the houses.
- Getty Thinkstock