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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

SANTA'S CARBON FOOTPRINT INFOGRAPHIC!

   Santa knows whether you’ve been naughty or nice, but he doesn’t know how much he’s hurting the environment. In one night, Santa uses as much carbon as Qatar does in one year! I like getting toys for Christmas, but I don’t think I need them that badly!    Maybe we need to raise our standards on who makes the ‘nice’ list.
   Not sure what else to say about this infographic. Santa’s a carbon glutton and needs to be put away. In this kind of economic recession we need to cut down on spending and we are wasting too much on Santa. Or maybe get him a hybrid sleigh?
   Well I guess this infographic is a good exercise for thinking critically about our energy usage. Although I’m not sure where they got the statistics. But now you know to limit the amount of wrapping paper you use to help offset Santa’s ridiculous carbon usage.   




ALL SOULS DAY!







 All Souls' Day commemorates the faithful departed. In Western Christianity, this day is observed principally in the Catholic Church, although some churches of the Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Churches also celebrate it. The Eastern Orthodox churches observe several All Souls' Days during the year. The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass (see Purgatory).   In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory.
The official name of the celebration in the Roman Rite liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church is "The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed".
   Another popular name in English is Feast of All Souls. In some other languages the celebration, not necessarily on the same date, is known as Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos or de los Difuntos in Spanish-speaking countries; halottak napja in Hungary; Yom el Maouta in Lebanon, Israel and Syria).









   The Western celebration of All Souls' Day is on 2 November and follows All Saints' Day, which commemorates the departed who have attained the beatific vision. If 2 November falls on a Sunday, the Mass is of All Souls, but the Office is that of the Sunday. However, Morning and Evening Prayer (Lauds and Vespers) for the Dead, in which the people participate, may be said. In pre-1969 calendars, which some still follow, and in the Anglican Communion, All Souls Day is instead transferred, whenever 2 November falls on a Sunday, to the next day, 3 November, as in 2008.
The Eastern Orthodox Church dedicates several days throughout the year to the dead, mostly on Saturdays, because of Jesus' resting in the tomb on Saturday.

The Western Celebration

   Historically, the Western tradition identifies the general custom of praying for the dead dating as far back as 2 Maccabees 12:42-46. The custom of setting apart a special day for intercession for certain of the faithful on November 2 was first established by St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) at his abbey of Cluny in 998.  From Cluny the custom spread to the other houses of the Cluniac order, which became the largest and most extensive network of monasteries in Europe. The celebration was soon adopted in several dioceses in France, and spread throughout the Western Church. It was accepted in Rome only in the fourteenth century. While 2 November remained the liturgical celebration, in time the entire month of November became associated in the Western Catholic tradition with prayer for the departed; lists of names of those to be remembered being placed in the proximity of the altar on which the sacrifice of the mass is offered.









   The legend connected with its foundation is given by Peter Damiani in his Life of St Odilo: a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land was cast by a storm on a desolate island. A hermit living there told him that amid the rocks was a chasm communicating with purgatory, from which perpetually rose the groans of tortured souls. The hermit also claimed he had heard the demons complaining of the efficacy of the prayers of the faithful, and especially the monks of Cluny, in rescuing their victims. Upon returning home, the pilgrim hastened to inform the abbot of Cluny, who then set 2 November as a day of intercession on the part of his community for all the souls in Purgatory.



Eastern-Rite Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Churches

   Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, there are several All Souls' Days during the year. Most of these fall on Saturday, since Jesus lay in the Tomb on Holy Saturday. These are referred to as Soul Saturdays. They occur on the following occasions:
  • The Saturday of Meatfare Week (the second Saturday before Great Lent)—the day before the Sunday of the Last Judgement
  • The second Saturday of Great Lent
  • The third Saturday of Great Lent
  • The fourth Saturday of Great Lent
  • Radonitsa (Monday or Tuesday after Thomas Sunday)
  • The Saturday before Pentecost
  • Demetrius Saturday (the Saturday before the feast of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki—26 October) (In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church there is a commemoration of the dead on the Saturday before the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel—8 November, instead of the Demetrius Soul Saturday)
(In the Serbian Orthodox Church there is also a commemoration of the dead on the Saturday closest to the Conception of St. John the Baptist—23 September)
Saturdays throughout the year are devoted to general prayer for the departed, unless some greater feast or saint's commemoration occurs.









Protestantism and Roman Catholic Church


   At the Reformation the celebration of All Souls' Day was fused with All Saints' Day in the Anglican Church, though it was renewed individually in certain churches in connection with the Catholic Revival of the 19th century. The observance was restored with the publication of the 1980 Alternative Service Book, and it features in Common Worship as a Lesser Festival called "Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)".
   Among continental Protestants its tradition has been more tenaciously maintained. Even Luther's influence was not sufficient to abolish its celebration in Saxony during his lifetime; and, though its ecclesiastical sanction soon lapsed even in the Lutheran Church, its memory survives strongly in popular custom. Just as it is the custom of French people, of all ranks and creeds, to decorate the graves of their dead on the jour des morts, so German  and Polish people stream to the graveyards once a year with offerings of flowers and special grave lights (see the picture), and among Czech people the custom of visiting and tidying graves of relatives on the day is quite common even among atheists. In North America, however, most Protestant acknowledgment of the holiday is generally secular, celebrated in the form of Halloween festivities.










 Folklore

   The origins of All Souls' Day in European folklore and folk belief are related to customs of ancestor veneration practised worldwide, such as the Chinese Ghost Festival or the Mexican Day of the Dead. The Roman custom was that of the Lemuria.
   In Tirol, cakes are left for them on the table and the room kept warm for their comfort.  In Brittany, people flock to the cemeteries at nightfall to kneel, bareheaded, at the graves of their loved ones, and to anoint the hollow of the tombstone with holy water or to pour libations of milk on it. At bedtime, the supper is left on the table for the souls.
In Bolivia, many people believe that the dead eat the food that is left out for them. In Brazil people attend a mass or visit the cemetery taking flowers to decorate their relatives' grave, but no food is i

DIY MUSIC SHEET STARS!


This diy comes from www.zakkalife.blogspot.com .  Enjoy!

 

Craft: Music Sheet Stars

I was looking through the new Pottery Barn (PB) catalog when I stumbled upon something that looked very familiar, paper stars. And they weren't just any paper stars but over sized lucky stars. Did anyone else catch that? Every year PB comes out with something to fill their vases and apothecary jars. This year one of the fillers was over-sized lucky stars.

Some of you might remember I wrote a tutorial for basic lucky stars long ago, here. So, I'm resurrecting the tutorial along with an explanation on how to make these music sheet stars. For the most part the process is the same but there are a few adjustments.

Supplies:
Music sheets - search online to find holiday carols and print on light brown paper. Position your sheet music so it's formatted in landscape.
Paper trimmer or scissors
Double stick tape

Basic Star Instructions


Instructions For Large Stars

1. Cut music sheets into (2" x 11") strips. Make four strips. Tape together to make one long strip.

2. Fold star (instructions above) up to step seven. Using double stick tape, tape end down to star. Finish with step eight. Done

*I recommend not wrapping the paper too tight. The large stars are a little tricky to puff up and might require a couple tries.


Instructions for Small Stars

1. Cut music sheets into (1" x 11") strips. Make two strips. Tape together to make one long strip.

2. Fold star (instructions above) up to step seven. Using double stick tape, tape end down to star. Finish with step eight. Done


Other option - use wrapping paper to make the stars. You will be able to make them just about any size that you want, due to the width and length of the paper.

SUGAR COOKIE BOWLS!

   This was found at www.wilton.com .   A super idea instead of cones.  They make little ice cream sunday bowls that you can eat.


Sugar Cookie Bowls



Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon No Color Almond Extract

Makes:

12 bowls.

Tools:

  • Ice Cream Cookie Bowl Pan

Instructions:

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the outside of each bowl cavity of Ice Cream Cookie Bowl Pan with vegetable pan spray.

Step 2

In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Step 3

Roll out dough on generously-floured surface to 1/8 in. thickness. Cut 4-1/2 in. circles from dough.. Drape one circle over each bowl cavity of pan, pressing to form smooth surface.

Step 4

Bake 11-13 minutes or until cookie cups are firm and golden brown. Cool on pan on cooling rack 10 minutes. Loosen bottom edges of cookies from pan using small spatula. Carefully remove cups from pan and cool completely. Wash, dry and spray pan; repeat with remaining dough.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

5 TIPS/TRICKS FOR MAKING GREAT CAKEPOPS!!

   This diy comes from www.52kitchenadventures.com .  I hope this tips can help you out!!







The first time I made cake pops, I was pretty convinced that I would never make them again. It seemed to take forever. There are so many steps. To make matters worse, I was making peppermint chocolate cake pops, so after I dipped each one in white chocolate, I waited 30 seconds for it to set before rolling it in crushed candy canes. That added a lot more time than I’d anticipated.
However, if you read this blog regularly, you know that I have actually made cake pops several times since my first attempt. They turned out to be so delicious and popular that I couldn’t help but try making them again. Each time, I discovered a new way to make it easier.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I make cake pops, especially without a cake pop maker. I’m not a huge believer in unitasker kitchen appliances, plus a cake pop maker just shapes cake into balls. In my opinion, a true cake pop is cake and frosting combined into a fudgy, moist truffle. I’m not sure that Bakerella (the creator of cake pops) would want it any other way.
Odds are, you have at least one or more of these tools in your kitchen already. Put them to use and make some cake pops more easily!
(Need some recipe inspiration? I’ve also made snowmen cake pops, heart shaped cake pops, salted caramel cake pops, cheesecake pops and whoopie pie pops. Plus, I’ll be posting a St. Patrick’s Day inspired cake pop (the one pictured below) in a few days!)

1. Crock-Pot Little Dipper






The Little Dipper is a tiny Crock-Pot often used for dips and sauces. It only has 1 setting, warm, and it’s perfect for melting chocolate or candy melts to coat cake pops. I don’t own a microwave, so I usually melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top. This sometimes makes the chocolate or candy melts too hot, which makes the cake pops fall apart when dipped. Even if you have a microwave, the Little Dipper will melt the coating for you with no effort and to the perfect temperature.
It will take around 15-20 minutes to melt. You can stir occasionally or wait until the end to stir. Don’t leave it plugged in if you’re not going to be dipping the pops right away though – it might start burning around the edges.







2. Cookie cutters






Usually when people make shaped cake pops, they shape them each individually by hand. It’s daunting enough to roll round cake pops by hand, and making each into a shape seems even worse. So when I made heart shaped cake pops, I found an easier way: push the cake pop dough into a wide, shallow baking dish and use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. Easy peasy!



3. Food processor (or blender)







I thought everyone knew this one, until I saw someone at a bakery using a cheese grater to break up the cake. Seriously?! You can also use your hands to break up the cake, but it’s so much easier and faster to crumble a cake by putting in a food processor. I know that not everyone owns a food processor, so I tried out this method in my blender too. It works almost as well, you just have to use smaller pieces of cake at a time. There’s no easier way to break up a cake into even crumbs with no chunks.

4. Cookie scoop








I use this medium cookie scoop to make evenly sized cake pops. It’s pretty easy: scoop up the cake pop batter, push off the excess with your finger, and release onto your clean, slightly moistened hands (making your hands a little wet prevents the cake from sticking). Then roll it into a ball. Done!





5. Colander




I saw this idea on Pinterest. Can’t find any styrofoam? Use a colander! Only some of the holes on mine fit the lollipop sticks, but it was a great solution for letting the cake pops dry. I bought some styrofoam at Michael’s (and felt a little silly paying money for something you can get for free) and it was immediately covered in sprinkles and flecks of melted chocolate. This can be easily cleaned if that happens and you probably already have one in your kitchen cabinet.

THE WORST AND WEIRDEST TOYS FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON!

   What was the absolute worst gift you ever got as a kid? Forget about the cool toys that you totally wanted and, if you were lucky, found under the tree on Christmas morning. Who could possibly forget Ralphie’s complete and utter humiliation at being forced to wear the bunny suit he got for Christmas from his clueless aunt? It’s funny because we’ve all been there. Ahh, the memories!




SNOWFLAKE SUGAR COOKIES!


This comes from www.bakersroyale.com.  These look so good you don't even want to eat them. But, if we have to snack on them, what's the harm.  Go ahead and make a batch or two.


Snowflake Sugar Cookies – Dress up your holiday cookie tray with some fun and colorful snowflake sugar cookies.



Snowflake Sugar Cookie


Snowflake Sugar Cookie
I don’t make sugar cookies often, in fact I usually only make them for certain holidays and sometimes for birthday requests. I love the beauty and creativity of them, but they are massively labor intensive and I’m not the most patient person for baking projects like this.
But to save myself a step, I skipped flooding the cookies for the simple design you see in the picture. The royal icing I used is from here. It’s easy to work with and has the perfect consistency for simple lines like the one you see on these snowflake cookies.



Snowflake Sugar Cookies Bakers Royale2 Snowflake Sugar Cookies

The cookie recipe is one I have been working with and fine tuning over the years. Actually, the recipe started with me trying to re-create those soft pillow-y sugar cookies from the Ralphs grocery store. You know the ones that are super thick and covered in frosting. I don’t usually like grocery store made cookies but these are awesome, well minus the too-sweet frosting that I always scrape away. But I love the texture of the cookie portion, it’s soft and almost cake-like in texture. I still haven’t figured out how to replicate them, so if anyone has some suggestions or a recipe for it, please help a baker out and give me some tips.

A few notes:
  • The dough will be wet and sticky once mixed, so it requires some chilling before working with it.
  • Divide the dough and create four round flat discs for easy handling. Cover each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze up to 3 months.
  • To keep the cookies nice and even in thickness, I use these rings on my rolling pin.
  • Lastly, for the curious, using the cream cheese versus all butter gives the cookie a softer texture; and using powdered sugar versus all granulated sugar, also helps to keep the cookie soft and tender while giving it a tighter crumb and a less crisp texture.

Basic Sugar Cookie

Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bake sheet with parchment paper.
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs, plus1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Instructions:

1. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl lightly mix eggs and vanilla together. With the mixer running on medium low, slowly add egg mixture to creamed butter mixture, continue mixing until combined. Turn off mixer, using a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula gradually fold dry mixture into wet mixture and continue to fold until combined.

2. Divide the dough into four flat disc and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove chilled dough one disc at a time and roll on a lightly floured surface into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes.

DIY PRINTED PAPER PINE TREE CLONE!

   This diy comes from www.thewonderforest.com.   Go ahead a make a couple.  I dare you!

DIY Printed Paper Pine Tree - Anthropologie Inspired

Happy Monday friends!  I have an awesome tutorial to share with you, but first I wanted to wish my amazing fiance the best birthday ever today!!!  Also, we finally bought a new car!  It was fate I tell you!  I'd been looking for a Jeep this entire time, but every time I'd come across one that I loved, all I would hear was "It's JUST been sold".  I swear I kept missing these things by mere hours.  I was getting pretty fed up and about to just choose a car that I wasn't too keen on, until Dustin mentioned that a new Jeep had just come in as a trade-in.... but when he checked into it he was told it had already been sold!  Not again!  He just so happened to ask about it the next day and was told that it in fact wasn't sold and that the person who told him that was thinking of a different one. Bingo! We drove over there, and after a short test drive I claimed it as mine. I get it Wednesday-ish after they clean it all up. Best part... Dustin gets the sale since I bought it from him at his new job :)

ANYWAYS....

During my daily internet browsing, I came across this super cute paper tree over at Anthropologie. The $48 price tag turned my stomach a little bit, and I immediately thought "Hey, I could make that!". So I did. And now I'm going to share it with you!  This is a super easy project, it just takes some time to do... but when it's finished you'll be taken aback by how charming this Christmas decor piece is! Here's how it turned out!


You will need:
Small wood garden stake
Piece of scrap wood for base
Music book or similar printed paper
Scalloped scissors or paper cutter
Cardboard (an old box will do)
Hole punch
Tree topper ball


Start by attaching your garden stake to a piece of flat scrap wood for the base.  All I did was stick a nail through the bottom of the scrap board and hammered the garden stake onto it. You could also use a  glue gun.


Grab an old music book and start cutting! I used the scalloped edge option on my handy little paper cutter.  I started with squares about 8" in size, and just kept making them smaller as I went along.  You will need a whole bunch of these! I made about 10-20 squares of each size.



Next, cut some small 1" cardboard squares.  These will be the spacers for your paper tree.  You will need a whole bunch of them!  Hole punch them all so they can slide easily down the stake. The hole doesn't have to be perfectly centered.


Now all you have to do is start stacking your paper pieces (starting with the largest to the smallest) and placing spacers in between each sheet. I placed TWO cardboard spacers between each sheet of paper because it looked better. I used the tip of a pencil to punch a hole in the center of each paper piece before sticking it on the stake.


Just keep stacking! Keep your papers rotated randomly for that cone effect!


When you reach the top, all you will need to do is stick an ornament on the top! I used a tiny ball ornament and glue guned it upside down onto my stake!


That's all there is to it!  Easy project!!  The most tedious part is cutting all of the paper, but the end result is worth it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

OREO CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES!

   This recipe was found at www.markethq.blogspot.com .  Who doesn't like these two different desserts?   So why not try them together!






Recipe By

The Girl Who Ate Everything

(adapted from Martha Stewart)



42 Oreos, 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped

2 pounds (32 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup sour cream

pinch of salt



Preheat oven to 275°. Line standard muffin pans with liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each liner.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, beating until combined. Beat in vanilla.
Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving. Best served really cold! You can garnish with fresh whipped cream and crumbled Oreos if desired.


HERE'S A LITTLE INFO ON SOCIAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING!

BUILDING GLITTER HOUSES FOR YOUR TREE OR FOR A CHRISTMAS DISPLAY!






  This comes from www.bigindoortrains.com .  Make a few or many, maybee enough for your very own Christmas village.  Enjoy!

Building a Glitterhouse

The house shown in the photo is a good starting product for learning to build "putz" houses.

What You Will Need

If you are going to build vintage-style cardboard houses, stop throwing away used, clean cardboard yesterday. Save cereal boxes, the backs of writing tablets, anything flat, firm and clean, that you can save. Please keep some corrogated cardboard on hand, too - it makes the best bases. In addition, for this project you'll need:
  • A sharp mat knife or Xacto knife (or both)
  • A stiff metal ruler
  • Elmer's white Glue-All. A glue stick would also come in handy.
  • Clear glitter. I use the “Sulyn” brand.
  • Several sheets of acid-free white bond paper
  • Flat white paint (flat latex interior wall paint is good) to prime the building (and give it the chalky feel of the original)
  • Acrylic paint in the colors you plan to use for the house.
  • Other accessories, such as bottle brush trees, that you plan to use to finish the house.

Note:: Our article on What You Need to Build Glitterhouses lists many other materials and tools that will help you work more quickly and effectively.

Printing the Plans



Double-click on this image to see a higher resolution pattern.Double-click on this image to see a higher resolution pattern.

Double-click on the plans above to see the large versions. You should be able to print the big version at the size you need either of the following ways.

  • If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, click the following links to see the PDF versions: Select the print option, tell it to "auto rotate and center" or whatever else you need to make it go to Landscape mode. Don't select the "scale to page" or "shrink to fit" option. Print.
  • If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer or for some reason that doesn't work, open the big GIF versions by clicking on the reduced plans above. Choose the "file, page setup" from your browser. When the page setup menu comes up, select "landscape mode." If you CAN choose to NOT scale the picture, do so. This may mean that part of the page gets clipped on your printer, but the plan should sprint to the right size. If they don't you should be able to tweak  the size either in the print program or in any graphic program you have on your printer.

If neither of those work, contact Paul and ask him for help - that's his department. :-)

Building the Base


Click for bigger photo.

The base is a rectangular "box" that is decorated before the house and trees are installed. For this project, it should be about 4 1/4" square, and about 1/2" high.

Note: For this project, Howard cut the base and fence pieces out at the same time. The fence pieces are made from card stock such as posterboard or cereal box cardboard. If you wish, you may use different materials for the fence, including miniature wooden snow fence from the craft store or a rustic rail fence you make from twigs.
Cut And Glue The Base - Usually the best method is to make a base from layers of corrugated cardboard glued together in a sandwich. You then wrap and glue a strip of thin poster-board or cereal-box cardboard all around it to camouflage the rough edges of the corrugated cardboard.




Click for bigger photo.Click for bigger photo.



Wrap the Base - When the base is built, you then cover it with white bond paper just like you would wrap a gift, except that all surfaces of the paper cover must be glued down to the box. A glue stick works great for this.




The finish coat of paper is glued down everywhere so it becomes a part of the surface and recreates the pasteboard finish of the original glitterhouses. Click for bigger photo.Click for bigger photo



Note: More details about building bases are provided in our article: Building Glitterhouse Bases
Attach the Fence - When the glue on the base has dried, glue the fence pieces to the base.
Prime the Base - When all the glue has dried, paint the base with the flat white paint. This provides an even finish that will hold the acrylic paint and glitter. If the fence is made of card stock, prime it, too.

Prepping the Structure Pieces

The house, roof, chimney, and chimney cap need to be cut from thicker cardboard, such as the cardboard from the back of a writing tablet.




Click for bigger photo


  1. Carefully transfer patterns of all pieces to the cardboard building stock. A .05 mm lead mechanical pencil and a “C-Through” brand ruler make this accurate and easy. 
  2. Put new blades in the mat knife or X-acto knife (or both) that you will be using. 
  3. Score the fold lines before you begin cutting out the parts (although you may do the roof later, if you wish, after you've checked the overhang). Use the metal ruler or other steel edge as a guide. 
  4. Still using a steel-edged ruler as a guide, cut out the shapes. Watch your fingers. 
  5. Double-check the roof size. The most important thing is that it has an overhang on all sides just like a real house. After you determine where the peak of the roof should be, score the crease. 
  6. Cut the door and window frames from thinner stock, such as posterboard or cereal box cardboard.

Assembling and Painting the House

  1. Using Elmer's white Glue-All or a similar product, assemble the house, glue on the roof, chimney with chimney cap, trim details plus door and window frames. I would do this in steps so that you are not trying to hold, tape, or clamp a lot of small pieces at one time.

Click for bigger photo.



White glue works best if you apply a thin coat to each mating surface and wait a few moments for the glue to become tacky. Do not glue the house to the base until you have applied the glitter (below).
Note: Sometimes I add a sub-base to the house. This could be in the form of 1/4"-inch square pieces of balsa wood or strips of corrugated cardboard glued around the inside bottom edge of the house wall where it meets the base. This gives you a larger gluing surface for mounting the house to the base.




This sub-base made of corrugated cardboard provides a little more strength to the house and gives a better surface for gluing to the base.  Click for bigger photo.The house and base have now been primed with a flat interior wall paint that provides a consistent surface for the next coat.  Click for bigger photo.




  1. Prime the house, including trim, with flat white wall paint. Don’t skip this step; it gives you a uniform surface for painting. 
  2. Paint the house in your choice of colors. I use acrylics from the Wal-Mart craft department. For anything that is painted gold, silver or bronze, I use “Testors” brand model paint.



Note Howard's signature 'Dr. Seuss' color choices and white paint 'globs.'  Having exaggerated colors and patterns is important because the clear glitter actually tones things down a little.  Click for bigger photo.




  1. Paint the base and fence. A white base with random swirls and dabs of very light pastel blue and pink are a good choice. Paint the fence a color that ties in with the rest of the house but is dark enough to contrast with the base. I suggest you not use yellows, beiges or greens in the snow.


    Click for bigger photo.


  1. Add clear glitter to the house and the base. Brush on a thin, but even coat of undiluted white glue and sprinkle on the glitter. Don’t try to do the entire house or base at once. White glue starts to film-over and dry quickly so just do a wall or a section at a time. The glue dries clear so don’t judge the final look until the glue is dry. 
  2. Glue the window covering material on the inside of the house. I use colored velum or colored “cellophane type” material. Red seems to be the traditional color but you can use any color you like. 
  3. Glue the finished house to the finished base. Fill in any gaps between the house and the base with white glue and sprinkle on more glitter.

For this structure, Howard chose a bottle brush and a small Christmas tree ornament shaped like a snow man. Click for bigger photo.

Adding Additional Scenery


Add yard accessories such as a small figurine and a bottle-brush tree.
I like to use miniature Christmas tree ornaments such as a Santa, deer and snowmen. You may even choose to make you own accessories.
[Editor's note: I have seen cheap party favors and cake decorations that were also suitable - it's okay if your accessories look a little "tacky." For trees, some folks cut apart a loofah sponge and dip it into deep blue-green paint, wring it out, and let it dry to simulate the lichen-like organic material used on some of the original houses. - Paul]
When everything is glued together and the glue has dried, touch up any place that the glitter hasn't covered evenly.


Conclusion

You can see that, when you get to the gluing, painting, and glittering stages, there's a lot of "hurry up and wait." That's one reason many people who build modern putz house recreations work on two or three houses at the same time - you can work on the second house while the glue is setting on the first one, and so on.




If you are paying attention, you'll notice that the snowman from the photo of the finished project house above has traded places with the santa from the house from our title photo (center), and a new plastic snowman is now guarding our project house.  In the meantime, Santa has moved to a house we haven't seen yet in this article. I hope this just means that Howard doesn't have his accessories glued down yet, and that they're not playing 'musical houses' on their own. What this photo is supposed to show is that Howard doesn't exactly build these one at a time.   Click for bigger photo.


Click for bigger photo.

Bonus: Church Conversion Plans


When you're done with your first house, and thinking about the next project, here's an idea. Many glitterhouse sets had seven houses (often identical except for colors and accessories) and a church. If you want your glitterhouse collection to represent that tradition, you can use the plans below in addition to the plans and directions above to convert your next putz house into a church.



Click to see the full-sized plan.

As always you have two options for downloading and printing the plan:
If you do build a church, you'll find a stained glass window pattern you can use on Paul Race's Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics web page.
Also, if you find yourself looking for the old-fashioned celophane with gold windowframes printed on it, you'll find many choices at Papa Ted's Reproduction Parts page.
The following photos show the steps in building a church the same basic way you build the little glitterhouse above. Note that in this version of the project, Howard changed the shape of the windows and added two, but the basic process is the same.

Cut and score the building pieces according to the directions above.
Click for bigger photo.

Assemble the base and other sub-assemblies according to the directions above. Click for bigger photo. Put the sub-assemblies together to check the fit. Once you are satisfied that they will look right together, prime the subassemblies with flat white paint, paint the subassemblies, glue the windows in place, and glue the subassemblies together. Click for bigger photo.Finish with glitter and accessories according to the directions above. Click for bigger photo.