Christmas Cottages

I posted the picture above on Instagram and Stacy, an online friend from Blissfully ArtJournaling (one of my Yahoo groups) was interested in some close up images so I thought I would post it here so she (and anyone else interested) could see them.

I will state upfront – this is not our original idea. Nope, like many crafters we got our inspiration from another crafter. In this case the inspiration came from Gillian’s project on Snazzy’s DT: Design Team Project #2 ... A Christmas Cottage.

As soon as I saw this my first thought was “I want one!” And my second thought was that this would be a fun project for me and my daughter to work on together. 

So off I went in search of house shaped shadow boxes. 

I have no idea about the house shadowbox Gillian used, but I found one I liked that are made by Kaisercraft. 

I sent my daughter an email with links to the inspiration house on Snazzy's blog and to the Kaisercraft shadowboxes I thought we could use. And, as expected, she was just as excited as I was to make one of her own.

So, I  ordered two of the Kaisercraft Beyond The Page MDF House Shadow Boxes from (actually, through their eBay store). Here is the shadowbox on their retail site:,
But you can find them available on many sites, just search for “  Kaisercraft Beyond The Page MDF House Shadow Box

First thing we did was play with different configurations since we knew we didn't want their pre-designed config. For one thing, we knew we wanted to put a Christmas tree in a cubby and none of the cubbies were large enough except the attic, and we didn't want our Christmas tree in the attic. Once we had our configs determined we altered some of the tabbed pieces and used E6000 to glue all the sections in place.

Next up we painted the entire house with a spruce green – I can't really give a reference for the paint since I just used a little of this and a little of that until I achieved a color we liked. Two coats of green. Once dry we added one coat of what we are calling Chicken Coop Cream. We call it this because it is a cream color paint that my daughter & her husband used to paint their chicken coop building. We don't know the actual color name or even the brand of paint, it was cream colored and we needed cream colored so she poured some in a pickle jar and brought it to my craft room. I'm now the proud owner of half a pickle jar of Chicken Coop Cream Colored paint. :D

When the cream paint had dried we scuffed up some edges for that rustic look. The day we wanted to scuff up the paint my DH was out running errands and we had no clue where he might have some fine grain sandpaper, so, not to be delayed we did what any decent crafter would do - we improvised - we scuffed with nail files - the coarse large version nail files. Worked perfect.

June 22, 2013

Next up we started covering some of the walls, floors and ceilings with Christmas themed scrapbook papers. This actually took longer than we expected because of the process in finding complementary papers and pleasing positioning. Fortunately I have tons of Christmas paper as well as one pack of the Teresa Collins Christmas Cottage paper, which was wonderful since we both wanted a lot a variety in our houses.

After we had papered as many surfaces as we liked (we did not paper every surface) we started adding embellishments. Some are Tim Holtz and some are Teresa Collins Christmas Cottage Collection and some are just . . . whatever we find that we like.

We also used Spellbinder dies to cut the red circle around the clock we have in our large cubby (the one my daughter has her Christmas Tree set in) and the red scalloped medallion in the attic of my daughters house. We also ran some gold vellum through the Xyron and attached it to white cardstock before cutting out the gold cross (again, Spellbinders die) that my daughter has in her shadowbox. Oh, and the wreath located in the attic of my house is a Spellbinder die. I cut the wreath from a forest green paper and colored the embossed parts with some Gelly Roll Metallic Gel pens. I then attached the wreath with pop-dots for dimension.
My Christmas Cottage - Aug. 24, 2013

My daughter's Christmas Cottage - Aug. 24, 2013
That’s where we are to date. Now we are looking at dollhouse miniatures to add. My daughter wants a mini violin and we both want some cookies & milk for Santa and some tiny gifts. Hopefully we can find a miniature nativity to add also. No telling what all we will add before we call them done. This has been so much fun so far! LOVE love love crafting with my daughter! :D

This is a slow project for us – we get together maybe once a month for craft day (her life is too full for her to have much more free time than that /: ). But we decided early on that we would work slow and not rush it. We planned for it to be an extended project, so it’s all good.

I will post pictures of the houses again when we get more cute stuff to fill the spaces.


  1. So much fun!! Thanks for post the link where you found them too!

  2. What a fascinating process! I have always wanted to decorate a dollhouse but don't have the room to store it. This could be a wonderful alternative. I love the papers you chose and the way you've decorated it so far. I'm looking forward to seeing your next steps.

  3. Thanks Stacy & Teri. It has been so much fun. I'm going to hate finishing!


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