Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Putz Plan Progress

Please join me on my new blog - where this project is included with more already added. Thank you. I hope to see you there.

Just a brief post to show you a major design detail in making a putz house. This is the first house I am making this year for the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser which happens in October. It takes me quite awhile to get these houses done. I want this one to be very special and generate a lot of money at the auction.

As I mentioned in the last post, it is based on a real house known as the Wilkins House in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. I don't intend to do a true reproduction of the house partly because it would be seriously difficult and would become tedious. This is my hobby and it is supposed to be fun. I just like to make the houses.

But that doesn't mean I don't put a lot of thought into making a house. This one will probably take the entire month of January. Imagine if I tried to do a reproduction!! I'd only get one house done every 2-3 months.

Here are a couple of other views of the real Wilkins House. This one is from the Greenville Journal.

Wilkins House Greenville Journal
Wilkins House - angled view. This view shows the Conservatory very well. You can see all the gorgeous detail on the house, the balusters, 8 columns in the front, molding, quoins, and ornate chimneys. It also shows the apartment built on the back for the owner to live in. 

Old Photo of the Wilkins House from It's kind of fuzzy photo, but here I just want to show the front facade that helps me decide what proportions to use. 
Putz prototypes for the Wilkins House Cardboard house
These are the second and third prototypes I've made for this house. The first one I threw away because it was too big.
Ok, so what are the decisions I am making here? I'm trying to convey the IDEA of this house within the size constraints of a putz house. I don't want it to be so big that someone has to do major rearranging to display the house.  In my opinion that limits the width of the house to 5 inches or less. The 5 inch width was the first prototype that was discarded because it just didn't look right. The prototype on the right is 4 inches wide, but I didn't think it gave me enough space to include many details and it looks too tall, too slim. The left handed prototype looks better to me. It measures 4.5 inches across the front and 2.5 inches on the sides. I think I can fit the double windows on each side of the front tower as well as the quoins - the delightful stones on the edges of the walls.

I also increased the depth of the front tower to help give me space for those quoins as well. I know by comparing the houses that the proportions aren't the same, but I think with paint and the architectural details, people will be able to tell right off what house this is based on. And most importantly, I think this will make a very attractive little cardboard house on its own, even if someone has never seen the Wilkins House.

I don't think I told you that I intend to make 2 houses from this pattern - one for Christmas and one for Halloween. The Christmas house will have the brick color painted with a cranberry Christmasy red while the Halloween one will be painted with a more orangey red. That way I am using this time-consuming pattern twice and both houses will auctioned off for Habitat. I just think it will be fun to have the putz decorated for two of my favorite seasons.

That's it for now. Maybe tomorrow I will actually cut out the cardboard for the base structure. Then many more decisions about adding details.

Thank you for stopping by. Stay warm.


  1. Hi Lucy! This is a very challenging and exciting project. What a gorgeous and inspiring house to work from. I love your plan for making a Christmas version in addition to your usual Halloween style. I also wanted to thank you for posting about this project. I have been in an artistic slump and reading about your project has started to get the wheels turning for me. I so appreciate how you share your thoughts, trial and error and plans, as well as your progress and finished projects. Happy New Year!

    1. Laney,
      I'm glad that this post inspired you. I don't think creativity is a straight path, the jigs and jags along the way often make it more interesting which is why I post more of the process than a lot of blogs do.

      I hate to hear of you in an artistic slump. It's kind of tough time of year - illnesses, COLD weather and less light do make it challenging. I'm glad I could help in any way.

  2. OOPS! Somehow I missed this post. I am pleased to see you are making some progress on the Wilkins House prototype. It's so interesting to see and read about your thought process. I'm thrilled to be along for the ride; thank you for sharing! I also learned a new word today to wow my architect husband with and to use in Scrabble-quoins. Thank you! Hugs!

    1. Quoins is a really good word and a cool design element I think. Yes, it's perfect for scrabble. I hope you get an opportunity to use it.