Spirit House (or) Shrine – Part 2

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE – 2017 was an interesting ride.  I started it with a broken left shoulder – but that didn’t keep me from crafting, actually  it was more the case of crafting kept me sane while I healed.

2017 was also my best year yet with my Etsy online shop ‘Old Raven’. This was my third full year as a shop owner and though I’ve been searching for the best words to describe my experience there I can’t seem to come up with much that doesn’t sound like a string of cliches (so forgive me, but) on this eve of 2018 I look back at a year of great satisfaction.  I put a lot of effort into rehab-ing my shoulder and almost one year to the day, I can be happy with the ROM I’ve gotten back – all in all, a fully functioning shoulder and arm.

My shop – such a struggle to get it up and running – to learn all the rules, take the chances of exposing your art to the eyes and critiques of the world and master the ins and outs of the US Postal Service!  I’m so proud to be able to say I’ve shipped my art all over the world, I’ve expanded my inventory to select Vintage and Antique items and even carry a  number of Kaisercraft products in my ‘Supplies’ category.

It’s been a lot of hard work and without the unfailing support (and incredible patience) of my husband, I’m not sure I could have made it – but, yes, I’m very satisfied.  Here’s to the next challenge: 2018 – I’m ready!

Now on with The Spirit House


At the end of Part 1, I had just put the roof on – this is how the back side looks.  If you glue on a flat non-stick surface you’ll get a nice smooth lineup with your pieces.


Next comes the ‘shelf’.  Remember those lines I drew in pencil?  This is when those become important – they make it so much easier to tell if I’m lined up as I set this piece in it’s place.  If you make a mistake and need to redo a section you can (carefully) hit it with a heat gun until the glue is soft again, pull out the piece, remove as much of the old glue as your can and then re-glue it and set it in again.


Now I’m going to work on the base.  I like to add drawers to my houses, not only do they add more personality to the work but they also provide areas for someone to keep special/sacred items important to their connection to the shrine.  I’ve chosen to make this base a bit larger (width and depth) than the house which is 2″ x 9″ so I’ll cut two 4″ x 11″ panels which will be the top and bottom of the base.


I’m keeping my walls at 2″ tall.  I ran out of board so I used two pieces for the back wall and just glued them together.  On the front of the two side walls notice that they’re a bit short from the front edge?  That’s just a bit over 1/4″ short because I want the drawer fronts to be flush with the top and bottom of the base when those drawers are shut (you’ll see).


Tops on now.  But, this looks pretty wide to me and sense I intend to put two drawers in I’ve decided to add a support panel right in the center.


This is what the back side of the base looks like right now.  Maybe a little rough, but not to worry – this is going to come out great.


A quick tutorial on how to make a drawer from scratch. I like to use about 1-2mm thick Kraft board or chipboard.  I’ve measured the inside dimension of the base where I’ll be putting these drawers and then I knock about an 1/8th of an inch OFF that figure.  You want to be sure the drawer has plenty of room to slide in and out without rubbing on the sides or top.


Once you’ve got your figures – draw the lines on the chipboard.  I’m showing this  drawer on my nonstick craft sheet but I’m doing all the cutting on a cutting board – never cut on your nonstick sheet or it will get ruined.


Using an X-acto or a similar sharp tool, lightly score your lines – DO NOT CUT MORE THAN HALF WAY THROUGH YOUR BOARD.  These score lines are for making it easy to fold up the sides to form a ‘box’ or drawer in this case.


Next I cut out the outside corner sections.  When I fold up the sides these pieces will need to be gone to make the box shape.


Flip the board over so the scored lines are to the outside and carefully fold along the scoring until your sides are folded up into their proper position.  For the cleanest look for gluing, I use Aleen’s Craft glue, on this type of project I just stick with the hot glue gun.  Glue one side at a time and hold the sides in place until they cool.


Wonderful – it fits!  Now I make another one just like it.


I measured the drawer front (that was the top figure on the white board) and the last big X2 means I made two of them.  I glued them on with the hot glue.  To get the right position I put the drawer in the slot leaving it out just a bit then pressed the foam core piece to the front where it needed to be to fit and then ran a pencil line off the top of the drawer on the foam core board so I would know where to place it once I got the glue on.


This shot should help you to see what I mean.


These are going to fit together well and later I’ll be adding some kind of drawer pull so it’s easy to get them open.


No matter what type of finish you intend for your house, I would recommend an all-over coat of gesso primer.  Paint, paper, ink – whatever, is going to adhere better with that primer than the somewhat slick surface of the foam core board.  Also, it adds a bit of texture, too, as well as an overall continuity.

That’s it for Part 2 – Part 3 is coming right up.

Craft On



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