How to Make Mixed-Media House Crafts – 10 Tips
By Cate Prato, Cloth Paper Scissors Today editor
From childhood we draw houses, build birdhouses, play with dollhouses, and play in tree houses. So it's no surprise that house forms appeal to artists of all ages who work in all genres.
These fun paper, mixed media, and fabric art houses (above) are a great demonstration of artistic talent using this theme. There are over 90 featured designs in the Cloth Paper Scissors Nov/Dec 2011 issue. It's amazing to see what artists can dream up.
There are many ways to make artistic and fanciful fabric houses or mixed-media houses. All you need is a basic structure and your imagination. Here are 10 paper and fabric art ideas and tips for how to make fabric houses to get you inspired.
House craft ideas - making the form:
- For 3-D houses in paper or fabric, start with a basic house pattern. You can find a copyright-free paper or fabric house pattern online or you can design one yourself. Enlarge or reduce the size on a copy machine and transfer it onto paper or fabric.
- For paper-based decorative houses, choose a sturdy paper such as heavyweight watercolor paper, cardstock, or oak tag. For fabric houses, you might want to use a stabilizer fabric such as Lutradur® or Timtex® as the base. You can also paint and stitch through these stabilizers.
- To make more solid house forms, consider using scrap wood, canvas boards, or wire. Make house pendants for mixed-media jewelry from Sculpey® clay, shrink film, or small pieces of scrap wood (imagine a small collaged birdhouse necklace).
- You can also create a cross-section of a house with a shallow box such as a fruit crate, a drawer, or a suitcase. Divide the box into rooms and stories.
- Consider using unconventional containers for your house, such as a teacup, shell, or a Mason jar.
Ideas for decorating your fabric or mixed-media houses:
- Transfer images or rub-ons onto the fabric or paper walls.
- Use found objects for the exterior features, such as vintage doorknob plates for a door and buttons for roof shingles.
- Stitch or glue fabric trims like rickrack or mini ball fringe onto decorative houses to add whimsy.
- Collage papers or fussy-cut fabric onto the sides or interiors.
- Journal directly onto the house, or use photocopied pages of your journal or old text. Making house crafts is fun and easy.
But the most important tip for creating decorative houses is this: make it your own!
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