Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Spring Mansion - Evolution of a Putz House

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

I've making a house based on the Wilkins House, a beautiful home in my hometown built in the Italianate style. The goal is to make 2 versions (one Christmas and one Halloween) that will be auctioned off at the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser in October. Last year my little house that was auctioned was sold for only $80. I am hoping that these houses will sell for much more. In other words, I want these Wilkins House putz houses to be spectacular. (By the way, the sale of all of the other Halloween houses brought in an additional $1300 for Habitat.)

I've talked about this project in 3 previous blogposts:
Next Putz House for Habitat
Putz Plan Progress
Wilkins House Putz Progress Prototype 4

In order to make such a complicated house in miniature I needed to do a mock-up that evolved into the Spring Mansion. The design ended up being so different from the inspiration that it took on a life of its own. It is named the Spring mansion because it's not spooky like my Halloween houses, the lawn is a spring green, the house colors are nice and crisp like springtime, so the house became the Spring mansion.

This article is not about the Wilkins House, but about a new house - the Spring Mansion.

Spring Mansion cardboard putz house
Spring Mansion on a sunny day

I am very happy about a number of things with this house. I love the colors - the house itself is painted with a Tim Holtz Distress Hickory Smoke; the chimneys, porch and stairs are painted with Distress Pumice Stone paint. The roof shingle color is Faded Jeans in the same line of Distress paint, distressed on the edges with some Black Soot Ink.  Mowed Lawn, of course, is the color of the green base. The trim is painted with a thick white gesso. And always, I love these windows. They are die cuts from the Village Manor by Tim Holtz and Sizzix. I just think they are so cool. Most importantly is that they are so cool and I don't have to cut them by hand.

I have been experimenting with some of the trim. The balusters on the Wilkins House are vase-shaped which I know I cannot cut by hand and I don't have a die to cut this shape. As a result I had to look around for something that might be interesting and function as a baluster. The fence was my first attempt. It's made from Tim Holtz Thinlet called Lace. I was going to use it on the porch to form the balusters, but the scale is too big. 

Next, I found some offcuts from a fence on the Tim Holtz Village Bungalow that I thought my work. So what you see on the porch is the upside down offcut from the top of the fence. The trim around the house is the bottom of the fence. Here is a photo from the Sizzix website to help you visualize what I am talking about. I neglected to take photos when I was making these pieces.

Sizzix Village Bungalow
Sizzix Village Bungalow - Offcuts from the fence to make the trim around the house and to make the balusters  for the porch
I think the offcuts work pretty well. The problem - I didn't glue on the railing evenly. You will see in the upcoming photos. 

Spring Mansion putz glitterhouse
Spring Mansion angled side view

Notice the wonky fence lines. Usually I do a better job matching up edges and gluing them together. My cabinetmaker brother suggested that I miter the edges. Miter cardboard? I think he was joking for the most part.

Spring Mansion putz glitterhouse
Spring Mansion side view which shows the fencing pattern better
The photo above shows how the lace was modified to make a fence, but you can also see that I didn't glue the railing pieces on evenly where the front of the fencing on this side is shorter than the back of the fencing. That will be rectified on the next house.

Spring Mansion top view rooflines putz house
View of the rooflines on the Spring Mansion

Spring Mansion putz house roof view
Bird's eye view of roof on the Spring Mansion

I do love the rooflines on this house. This part worked out well because the edges of the hipped roofs came together so nicely. It doesn't always happen so easily. I also like the grey chimneys. I drew the mortar lines by hand. 

Roofline overview of Spring Mansion putz glitterhouse
Looking down on the house where the rooflines come together 

Despite the wonkiness of the fence and the porch, I still love this house. I like the colors and the overall design of the house. It's a good starting point for the real Wilkins house, don't you think?
I'll go over lessons learned and improvements in the next post. 


  1. This is a lovely house and it does look like Spring! How fun that the prototype grew itself into a new house! The balusters and fence look good and very intricate. I'm sure the Wilkins House will look fantastic!

  2. Thank you, Laney. I just didn't want to waste the prototype so I finished it even though I was kind of slack with the fence and railing.

  3. I love the details! This house is so intricate!

    1. Thank you, Lynn. I like this house pattern, but I had to modify it for the real Wilkins House because I needed more space for the decor. But I will redo this house as a Halloween house in the future.

  4. Just one word...WOW! I would love to live in a house like this, even with wonky railings and all! Now I see the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, knowing your brother is a cabinet maker!

    1. Thank you, Sara. The next house (the real Wilkins house) is going to be better because of the experimentation on this house.

  5. Lucy...I am so glad that you stopped by my blog and left a sweet comment! I found your blog! I LOVE little houses and yours are truly works of art! My word! I was reading through some of your posts and you are so talented! The amount of time and effort that goes into each one is astounding. I really appreciate all of that because I KNOW how much time it takes to do them RIGHT! For you to come up with your own patterns is also amazing! Lucy, you are a talent! Thanks so much for sharing and for the wonderful charitable work you're doing.

    1. Thank you, Candy. I appreciate you coming to my blog.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and glad you did so I can come scope you out too! I LOVE your house, and the fact it's for charity makes me love you too! AWESOME!!!!

    1. Thank you, Anita, for coming to see my blog. It means a lot to have comments from such incredible crafters.