Monday, September 28, 2015

Tim Holtz Vintage Dwelling altered into a Halloween House

I finally received my Tim Holtz Vintage Dwelling die which I pre-ordered in July, I think. It's a pretty good die that actually makes a nice little house. I always alter things because, as you know, I am a rule-breaker. Here are some photos from my first attempt with this die.

The photo above shows the die on the book base with polymer clay pumpkins, a polymer skeleton hand made from a Martha Stewart mold, and a Tim Holtz spooky tree.

You can see the little clay ghost that I made on this side. I also altered the Tim Holtz branch tree a little bit to make the bottom flat so it will stand up ok.

This view shows the green tinted windows and the scary cat on the side.

I used a Tim Holtz Idea-ology skull and crossbones above the front door.

Ok, so here is how I made this house. The roof on the house die does not have any overhang at all. I adhered the roof that came with the die and overlaid it with a sheet of black card stock that had been embossed with the Tim Holtz "Batground" embossing folder. This piece of card stock overhangs the house by about 1/2 inch on each side. I also extended the gable roof and didn't make the porch on the vintage dwelling. Those are the alterations on the house.

The book base is made from a Spellbinders European tapestry embossing folder that was distressed with picket fence distress paint. Basically I covered 2 pieces of cardboard for the front and back of the book and glued them to a stack of smaller pieces of cardboard which were covered with a tea-stained paper to look like the side of pages. The spine of the book is cardboard covered as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rusted Tin Roof on a Halloween House - Tutorial

When I made Jack's Halloween house I cut out another house from the same pattern.  I didn't want the house to look exactly like Jack's house because why would you want TWO Jack's houses. I decided I needed to do something very different so this is my first attempt at a rusted tin roof. I think it looks pretty good and it was pretty quick to do as well. It didn't take nearly as much time as the shingles on Jack's house did.

Here is a photo heavy tutorial on how to make a rusted tin roof. I'm working with the porch roof since that was the last roof that I did. I had to make sure the first ones were successful before I took photos for a tutorial.

Step 1. Cardboard porch roof and metallic tape. The 3M tape is a real metallic duct tape that you can find at Home Depot, Lowe's or other hardware stores.

Step 2. Peel off the backing of the metallic tape and tape to the cardboard piece.

This is what it looks like taped. Since this is a spooky house and a rusted tin roof it's ok for the tape to be a little lumpy and not very smooth.

Step 3. Score the cardboard and tape. Again, it's ok if it's not perfectly straight because it's an old rusted roof.

Step 4. Add alcohol inks to color the metallic tape.

Step 5. Smear the ink with your finger. I guess you could use a brush, it just didn't occur to me to do that.

Step 6. Add more inks in different colors to look like the variation you see in a rusted roof. Also if you look at images online that show these roofs, the bottom of the roof is much more deteriorated than the top. 

Step 7. I applied Silver Mixative to make the shiny metallic tape a little more dull and to smear the colors a little better.

Step 8.  Looks pretty rusty to me - time to let it dry thoroughly before the final distressing paint is applied.

Step 9. Streak black distressing paint on the edges and wherever you think it needs some aging. 

That's it. Then I glued it to the porch roof support and then added the porch columns and base and now we have completed the Rusted Tin Roof House. Well, almost completed - it still needs a base, some kind of fence, a new front door and whatever additional decor I come up with. I have already included a witch inside the front window. 

Front view of the Rusted Tin Roof House

Close-up of the witch in the window. She is stirring her cauldron. It is a retired Martha Stewart punch that I was able to find on ebay.

Porch side view of the Rusted Tin Roof House.

Clockside view of the Rusted Tin Roof House.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jack's House - Probably the last Halloween House of the Season

Ok, this is probably my last Halloween house of the this season because I've got to get them completely ready to sell on  October 1st.

This is the only house that I've made specifically for one person. My friend, Jack, is an absolute Halloween fanatic. He has a storage area in his house called the Meat Locker for the gruesome halloween props that are stored there. I planned on making a gory house for him, but it didn't quite work out that way. I just couldn't do the bloody details that I thought of. For example,  I planned to make one of the windows a guillotine with blood dripping from the window, but once I started on the house that did not fit my creative vision even though Jack would have liked it. So overall I feel I did make a creepy abandoned house that looks scary enough. See what you think.

The first view is the mostly undecorated version. It has the spooky tree in the back and the "bone chimes" hanging on the porch, but no other embellishments around the house. Some of the details I really like about the house are the crooked shingles, the 13 hour clock which I found somewhere on the internet, the coffin door, my first porch with a pretty successful porch railing, the fence and the fall-colored base. I am particularly happy about the fence. I made that by combining 2 different fences - the Tim Holtz "On the Fence" die and a retired Martha Stewart Fence paper punch called "Creepy Fence" edge punch. I really like that I was able to make the gate look like it is coming off its hinges. For the first time I cut a square in the cardboard base and inserted the fence posts in the base for more strength. This fence is pretty stout.

Alright, here is the slightly decorated "Jack's House".

I scattered fall leaves about and put the stand-up skeleton cut out from scrapbook paper in the front. I am considering making a grave somewhere, but I didn't leave much room for it on the sides. Do you think it would look too weird in the front yard? I mean, it is a halloween house.

I hope you are enjoying some beautiful fall weather. It is getting much nicer here. Our nights are cool at least and the days are not nearly as hot - only 80 instead of hitting 90 each day.

Thank you for reading.

Edited on Saturday, September 26th. I decided to take some side views of the house because the house looks pretty cool that way too.

You can see the "bone chimes" better on this view. The tree has not been permanently installed yet. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Triple Gable Gothic House on a Book Base

This house is called "Triple Gable Gothic". You may recall a photo of it in one of my earlier posts.

I felt like it was a little boring. The roof is made out of glittered paper rather than cardboard with glitter which is more substantial and what I use now. The front of the house, despite the balconies and the arched windows, was just a little blah. So I decided it needed a more interesting base so I made a book as the base.

The body of the book is a stack of corrugated cardboard cut to the same size wrapped with paper that has been tea-stained and scored to look like old pages. The cover of the book is made with 2 pieces of cardboard larger than the pages covered with card stock that has been embossed. I used Spellbinders embossing folder called European Tapestry. The spine is a piece of cardboard that I curved and covered with paper. The embossing on the spine of the book is an Anna Griffin strip embossing folder, I think.

The "Happy Halloween" stamp is a Tim Holtz stamp. I made my pumpkins out of polymer clay and the tree is a Tim Holtz die from Sizzix that is kind of hard to find. I've used it on a lot of my houses.

I am very happy about how this particular house turned out. More houses to come. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why Taking Photos is a Challenge for me

Just one of the many reasons it is hard for me to take good photos.

Fuzz Parker in the way

Fuzz Parker blocking the shot
Fuzz Parker still in the way
Fuzz Parker fur in focus
It's not just my photography skills that make it difficult for me to take good photos. Sometimes the cats are involved.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Making of Black Hat Inn Cardboard Halloween House

Since the Black Hat Inn is one of my more popular houses, I thought I would go over some of the details involved in making it. I got a lot of ideas from the Cardboard Christmas forum and posted some of this same information there. 

I wish I could remember what gave me the idea to make the hat but I really can't. I have a lot of white cardboard rolls from work that are leftover after we give out stickers. Maybe I was just trying to think of some way to use them. In any case, I got the idea to make a witch hat house. And it was actually pretty easy, roll up a cone of cardboard, secure it and attach it to a cardboard base with a hole in it so the lights can shine through the windows.

Black Hat Inn primed with gesso
I had to cut triangular windows which wasn't very easy to cut on a cone shape, but because the dormers cover them up, they can be kind of crooked and it doesn't matter. The dormers are simple triangles with little flaps in back to attach them to the cone. I chose to make triangular windows and dormers so I wouldn't have to worry about the narrowing curve from the bottom of the dormer to the top. I worked out really well. 

Here's the hat painted black - the first time. I had to repaint it several times because I kept getting gesso and other stuff on it before I finished.

The painted hat on my desk
The hat being test fitted for the base

Above you see the very raw form of the base and the foundation to make it look like a tree stump. I also painted the door to look like wood. It's got a tiny brad to function as the door knob. I was really happy the curved door turned out so well.

Now the base is starting to look like a tree stump. I did not glue the door on at this time because there is still a lot of painting to do. Somehow during the painting process the cardboard base started curling upward so I later glued it on a bigger piece of cardboard to keep it flat.

See why I had to keep repainting the hat. 
Now it's really beginning to look like a tree stump.

And now for the final product with the spinning witches and the Black Hat Inn banner, free parking sign and the ghost doorman welcoming you to the Black Hat Inn.

I think it looks better in person as I am not a very good photographer and my photo background is pretty bland. Overall, I am very happy with this little cardboard house. I may try to build one more before the October Head Start sale. If I do build another one I don't think I will make it an Inn, I think it will be single residence. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

More Halloween Houses now with bases

Ok, finally I am putting my little houses on bases so they can be sold.

They look so much better with a base. The ones I am going to show you today are houses on circular bases. Some of these are my very first houses.

This is the Little Skeleton House. It's designed to be not so scary for kids. The windows are opaque so there is no hole in the back to install a light. I made the candy and pumpkins at the base out of polymer clay. This base is an actual ribbon roll.

The next house is the Spider house. It remains one of my favorites even though I made it months ago.

I really struggled with the Bat Wing House. I put down wires under the paper to function as the wing bones. They did not want to be glued down. Then, before I decorated it and put it on a base it was very boring, but I think it looks pretty good now. Neither of these views show the tree that the owl is attached to. I used some Graphic 45 Rare Oddities halloween paper to for the base. The punched out bats are from EK Success punches. The tree you can't see is the Tim Holtz tree that I've used on other houses and the owl is from the Tim Holtz Sizzix strip die called Halloween shadows.

Finally, here are the Candy Corn Houses completed on their bases. I used some of the Graphic 45 Rare Oddities paper here as well. The cylinder is covered with a Reminisce halloween paper. It's the same paper I used on the roof. This is Candy Corn 1.

Ok, I made 2 houses from the Candy Corn 2 pattern. I didn't really like them by themselves, but they are much improved now that they have a landing pad.

And finally Candy Corn 3 - the final design shown on it's base. I made this base so you can take off the lid and put the LED candle inside because there is no hole in the back to let in light.

I had to shave the top of the cylinder a little bit to make sure it was easy to get on and off. Also I waxed those areas to make sure the pieces don't stick. The black scallop is where the candle goes. 
Don't you think they look better? I have several more that need bases and I've got 2 new really cool houses in the works. That makes 23 if I get all of these finished by October 1st. Not what I was hoping for, but a pretty good number of houses.

Thank you for looking at my crafting stuff. Have a good day.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Candy Corn House - Evolution of an Idea

You know I've been working on my cardboard houses to raise money for our Head Start School. One of my ideas was to make some houses that were not too spooky for kids. I thought - what about a Candy Corn house? That might be cool. I wanted it to be simple to make so I just did a simple gable house covered with paper in the colors of candy corn. I like it. I thought it looked pretty good. I messed up on the windows so I outlined them with orange and white baker's twine. I like the door. But the house did not scream "Candy Corn" to me so I moved on to version number 2.

Here's the second version with a rounded top and angled sides.

I thought that this is better because it looks like candy corn, but the roof was all stuck down to the sides and looked kind of funny. I messed up on the windows again. I am only now learning how to cut windows better. I really like the angled chimney though.  Also it is very difficult to make angled sides turn out square. You can see that it does not lay flat on the base. So version 2 is pretty good, but not there yet. Also I covered the house with paper, but I could paint it just as easily so that's what I did in the 3rd version. 

Candy Corn No. 3 - much better. It looks like a house and clearly says "I'm a Candy Corn". I was also able to cut the windows much better as well. The square base sits nicely and the overhang gives you a better idea that it is a house. 

I'll talk about the challenges of making bases for these little houses in another post.