Spirit House (or) Shrine – Part 1

What is a Spirit House?  Well, there’s a number of different ways to answer that question depending on location, religion, culture and time, just to name a few.  But for me, this is my view point (in a nutshell):  ” A spirit house is a dedicated structure to honor the guardians of the land. It is a place to tune into the present moment and pay respect to Mother Earth.”

And also, it’s a ‘house’ which is one of my favorite shapes to work with – they always come with the feeling of security and home.

This is going to have many separate blog posts so check back often as I will get them up as fast as I can.  LETS START NOW


FOAM CORE BOARD  The board I’m using is 1/4″ and can be found in poster board size sheets for about $3.  This is what I’ll be building my house out of.  I use a hot glue gun to glue it all together.


Being a rabid Tim Holtz fan, I pulled a few items out of my stash that I thought would be fun to incorporate into this house.


I made the first deer I tried look very realistic and quickly realized that that was not the look I was after on this particular project so the next one had more of a fantasy aspect.  Don’t get me wrong, not a planner here.  I’m one of those artist’s who basically has no idea where a project is going to go – but I generally know if something’s going to work or not as I go from one stage to the next. We all need to work in our own way at our own speed – I just know that I’m happy when I’m crafting!


I did add an all over tinting of Bundled Sage to the deer, sorry though, I forgot to get a pic.  But you’ll see the final results a bit later own when it gets put into place.


The old photo cards are going to make wonderful doors, the neat part is they are decorated on the back, too.  Next to them is a small white board because I learned a while back that though I ‘think’ I can remember the dimensions I want I usually can’t so my white board lets me write them down as well as add little drawing for clarification if needed.  Then it’s wipe clean and on to the next step and I don’t have a piece of paper with 15 different measurements scribbled on it and wonder which one is the one I need?


I cut the width to match the photo cards and went about half again as high for the upper/peak section.


I knew that I would want to put a ‘shelf’ above the door tops that would ‘officially’  separate the bottom from the peak so if you look close you can see an additional 1/4″ plus of area before the roof angle starts.  1/4″ is the thickness of the foam core board so you want just a little more room than that to glue in your shelf.  REMEMBER this piece is actually the back wall of the shrine, the doors are the front.


Time to attach the first wall.  I chose to make my shrine two inches deep but you can make yours however deep or shallow you wish.  When cutting your wall piece don’t forget to take into account that top shelf area.  As you can just see in this picture (right under my thumb) the space where that shelf will go.  But the bottom end is lined up even.  Run a thin bead of hot glue and press your wall into position and hold until the glue cools.  NOTE:  You can glue the walls to the top side of the back wall like I have done, or you can glue them to the outside edge of the back wall – just make sure you do it the same for both sides or you’re going to have a wonky house!


Yea!  Two walls on and my house is standing for the first time.


The roof is next.  Just a little tricky here because there’s so many ways to make the peak and  how much eve you have.  This is the easiest IMHO.  See how the right section is butted up under the left?  So, that’s about 1/4″ less overall length on the right roof panel and I wanted my eves to jut out about an inch.  Just line them up cleanly and glue.

Part 2 – coming soon.

Come on, Craft On with me.




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