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How to Make Mixed-Media House Crafts – 10 Tips

By Cate Prato, Cloth Paper Scissors Today editor

House Paper and Fabric Art Ideas from Cloth Paper Scissors Nov/Dec 2011
Houses shown are by Marilyn Girling, Jenny Cochran Lee, and Catherine Yee

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.


Paper House Crafts from Cloth Paper Scissors Nov/Dec 2010

Dollhouse Crafts: Mixed Media Dollhouses Book

Find this Birdhouse Necklace and Tons of Mixed Media Jewelry Ideas in Handcrafted Jewelry 2011

Whimsical decorative houses are made with paper
and a wire frame for reinforcement, by Andrea Ockey Parr.
Repurpose boxes, found objects and more into
dollhouse crafts.
Miniaturize your designs to create the pendant for
a birdhouse necklace, such as this design by Heather Alexander.

House craft ideas - making the form:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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:

  1. Transfer images or rub-ons onto the fabric or paper walls.

  2. Use found objects for the exterior features, such as vintage doorknob plates for a door and buttons for roof shingles.

  3. Stitch or glue fabric trims like rickrack or mini ball fringe onto decorative houses to add whimsy.

  4. Collage papers or fussy-cut fabric onto the sides or interiors.

  5. 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!

Ready to create your own mixed-media houses?? Discover more fabric art projects and mixed-media house craft ideas at our mixed media shop. As a special treat, you get 10% off* your order with coupon code SAVELP

House Craft Ideas: Cloth Paper Scissors, November/December 2011

Fabric Art Projects: Cloth Paper Scissors, March/April 2008

Dollhouse Crafts: Mixed-Media Dollhouses

House Craft Ideas: Cloth Paper Scissors, November/December 2010

Mixed Media House Jewelry : Handcrafted Jewelry 2011

Cloth Paper Scissors
Nov/Dec 2011: Digital Edition

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Cloth Paper Scissors
March/April 2008: Digital Edition

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Mixed-Media Dollhouses eBook

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Cloth Paper Scissors
Nov/Dec 2010: Digital Edition

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Handcrafted Jewelry 2011

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Cate Prato

Cate Prato is the editor for Cloth Paper Scissors Today.

If you let Cate loose in an art supply store with a fistful of cash, she'd take one of everything, then head for the nearest fabric store to spend the rest. She has been with Cloth Paper Scissors since its inception in 2004, first as features editor, then editor of Studios magazine, and currently online editor. She is the author of Mixed-Media Self-Portraits and Inside the Creative Studio. Her goal in life is to collect and sort all the art supplies she has around the house and create a functional studio once and for all.

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