Etsy Shop · How to's

Putz (Miniature) Houses

Hello Everyone!  Are you keeping busy?  It’s such a surreal time – sometimes it feels like the clock has stopped ticking all together and then at other moments I’m think I just got up and the day has already gone and I’m not sure what I got accomplished today.

Okay, that’s not going to work for me…time to make myself a bit more accountable for each day during this crisis and make sure that I’m still making the most of life whether it’s taking my daily dog walks and enjoying the outdoors regardless of weather and social circumstance, or working in my craft room creating something new or replacing something that has sold, or listing in my shop and making new blogs.  No more slacking!

Today’s offer is Putz Houses.  There’s quite a bit of info regarding the ‘history’ of Putz houses but in a nut shell:  These little houses became popular holiday decor (particularly Christmas) around the mid 1920’s.  Japan made most of the miniature houses for the American market and they ranged from individual houses that you could collect and create small villages with or there were house ornaments for the tree.  Germany may have been responsible for the name as “(very loosely translated) putzen = decorate or putzing = taking your time to decorate”, and Germany is known for their miniature house offerings, too.

These tiny houses are in many of our Christmas memories and cherished Putz House collections are passed down from one generation to the next.


Here we go with my first Putz House creation in this group of projects.  I’m calling this one Evergreen House because the paper I used here has a collection of different evergreen sprigs popular during the Christmas Holidays.  I’m especially pleased with how my first attempt came out.

This house and the other three houses I’ll be showing are in thanks to Tim Holtz and Sizzix, who’ve designed and produced a variety of dies, both steel and thinlets, that you can mix and match the die cut pieces so that you can make quite a few different houses just by adding or leaving off things like porches, dormers, second story additions, etc.

I’m going to show you most of the steps I went through to make Evergreen House.  If I’ve missed showing something that you have questions about just put those in this blog’s comments and I’ll try to clarify the missing details.


This is the Sizzix Bigz XL die #660992 Village Dwelling.  I will use this ‘base’ house to make three of these Putz house projects.



This is Sizzix Bigz L die #661591 Village Manor.  I’ll use parts from this die in conjunction with the Village Dwelling die to make my Evergreen House.



I prefer to use chipboard over heavy craft paper for my house projects.  Here I’ve cut out the two house pieces and the roof section.  I’ve also sponge smudged all the edges with Archival Coffee ink.


Once I had the lower section glued together using Aleene’s, I ran the paper that I wanted for the walls through the die cutter and glued it on. I painted and edged the extended entry way and window pieces before I put them on the house.



Remember, you can save yourself a lot of paper, especially when you’re cutting the wall covering pieces, if you pre-cut the paper to just cover the area you need for that section of wall.


Also, before I added the paper die cuts to the house walls, I added the window ‘glass’.  This is acetate, which you can buy or you can upcycle some of those plastic pieces like vegetable containers, sealed product coverings, etc. that normally wind up in your recycle bin!

I used Staz On ink in mustard and white to give the windows a little color.  The yellow gives them warmth from the inside and the white on the out side of the glass is supposed to look like frost on the windows.  A bit of glue around the edges works fine and you can glue them to the inside of the paper or to the inside of the chipboard, I’ve done it both ways and it works fine.


Finish adding the paper and windows all around.


The next step is the second story.  I painted the roof in rose gold acrylic and edged the wall portion after I glued them together.


I used Coffee and Library Green to edge the ‘copper’ roof to give it a bit of a patina of age.  I didn’t have copper paint, hence the rose gold.  We’re at “Stay-At-Home” status here so my crafting projects will be made from materials I already have in my craft room stash or if I can stand to wait (not really my strong suit) items I order online.

Someday we’ll look back on these blogs and remember the strangeness of it all.


I chose to add the decorative chimneys to this house, as well.  The next step is the shingles for the lower roof areas.


This Bigz die is just for shingles.  There are three different patterns to choose from.   Once I’ve decided and cut my shingles, I always do my edging before I start to glue the shingles on.

The final step for Evergreen House was the wrought iron fencing up on the top.  I’ve covered how to make this miniature fencing in my December 25, 2019 post featuring my   Antique Toy Ship project.

So, it’s been just a quick tutorial on these little houses but I’m always here to answer questions.  I’d like to also say that there are lots of videos/YouTube pieces featuring these Holtz/Sizzix dies and how to use them.  Seeing other crafters versions and creativity is always inspirational to me, check out a few, bet you agree.

Here’s some closeups of the finished Evergreen House.  I may end up frosting this with ice and snow before I get it listed in my Etsy shop, Old Raven.  We’ll see.


This is the biggest house I made.  I’d like to have added a few more Christmas accents but nothing else that I had on hand felt right so I’ll leave it like this for now.


I love the possibilities for construction options with these dies.  Google Tim Holtz/Sizzix house dies to see the entire collection currently available and start getting ideas.


These little houses look good from every angle which I particularly like.  Can’t you just picture this on cotton ‘snow’ surrounded by frosted pines?  Yeah, I think I’m going to have to add a sprinkling of ice and snow to this.


Those double chimneys look great and really make this house special.  I’m certainly going to do another one of these only as a Haunted House for Halloween.


Aside from the fact that I don’t care for those black empty windows on miniature houses, this is why I added the colored acetate panes.  Battery operated tea lights.  Two just fits inside.


Doesn’t that look homey?  In a darkened room the light carries all the way up to the round window in the Widow’s Walk section.  This little house was a ton of fun.

I’ll cover the other houses in the next blog, so stay tuned.


Bell’s is good with the ‘Stay-At-Home’ order but Smokey is not quite so compliant.  She shamelessly goes in and out her cat door with zero remorse to prowl the neighborhood in aimless wandering but with her anti-social personality I’m sure she’s keeping her ‘social distancing’.

Thanks for stopping in.  Stay well everybody. – Kriss





4 thoughts on “Putz (Miniature) Houses

    1. I took a look at your blog and the picture for the Two Bedroom Miniature was amazingly detailed but sadly, I couldn’t get to your listing off the link. I also couldn’t find a link to your Etsy shop – I’d love to see it.
      Thanks for taking a look at my blog post on Putz Houses – hope you enjoyed it!


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