Holiday decorating DIY: Make a mini midcentury putz-style Christmas house — download Kate’s second free pattern


Making my the first retro Christmas ranch was so much fun — why not design and make another house for the neighborhood? After contemplating several house styles, it came to me — what else says little mod house in the snowy woods like an A-frame? Using the same methods as the first retro Christmas ranch house, it wasn’t long before this cute little A-frame was built. Read on for more pics, and to download our free pattern to make this new design.

a-frame-cardboard-holiday-houseThis style is a bit more challenging than the first retro Christmas house because of the number of windows — you need to be very careful when you cut out the thin bits of cardboard between them and which also support the weight of the roof.

a-frame-christmas-houseTo finish the A-frame and add some design interest to the yard, a curved walkway and some bottle brush trees do the trick.

christmas-a-frame-cardboard-houseOne of the cool details of this house pattern is the way the peak of the roof overhangs more than the bottom — it adds some angular mid century flair.


back-of-A-frame-christmas-houseThe back of the house is mostly open to allow for the flameless tea light (battery operated) to go inside and light up the house. Precautionary Pam warns: Probably wise never to leave lighted decorations unattended.

two-retro-christmas-housesLooks like the beginning of a neighborhood to me.

retro-christmas-houses-on-mantleThis mini mid mod mad neighborhood could use one more neighbor — don’t you think? Stay tuned.

Click here to download Kate’s free Putz house pattern

Make a whole neighborhood of mid century “Putz” style houses:

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    1. Andreas Jordahl Rhude says

      Very kool! I grew up in a 4 story A-Frame. My parents still live there in the north woods of Wisconsin. Designed and built by my father (with the help of his 6 sons!). I helped with the shingling on the 16/12 pitched roof. I would carry ONE shingle at a time up the ladder and hand to dad or an older brother!
      Here is a picture of “Singing Hills” from 1994: [IMG][/IMG]

      • Kate says

        Wow! That’s really cool! I can’t imagine putting shingles on a roof with a pitch like that — when I was 14 or so my dad an I re-roofed our house (I was the shingle fetcher too!) but it was a ranch with a very low pitch roof.

        Thanks for sharing your picture!

      • Kate says

        Hi mollie,

        Yes those little trees can get expensive! I got mine at Michael’s. They were ArtMinds brand Sisal trees and came in pack of 8 pieces (variety of sizes) for $1.99. They had them in green and white (for dying). I had a reader contact me saying that their Michael’s didn’t carry the trees.

        I bought mine back in October, but I went back to Michael’s yesterday to see if they still had them. They only had a few packs of the white trees and none of the green ones left — so finding them might be difficult. You could also try a hobby store or make your own our of paper. Good luck!

      • Annie B. says

        mollie d,

        Check for bottle brush trees at your local thrift stores. I’ve been lucky to’ve found a few among the bags of “Christmasalia” at the thrifts in my area.

      • Kate says

        What a good eye you have Nate — yes it is! A few years ago I got it at a gallery in Chicago, where I also met Shag! He’s one cool cat. :)

    2. lisa says

      I saw some of the trees in the xmas decor area of our Home Depot. Green only, but the price seemed reasonable (I don’t recall how much it was). I wonder if a dollar store might have some sort of bottle brush or similar that could be transformed into a little tree?

    3. Allen says

      GREAT HOUSE! Kate, Is there anything more you can tell us about the shag print above the fire place? I would like to know more about them.

      • Kate says

        What would you like to know Allen? More about my print and meeting Shag or more about Shag’s work? I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to interview him for a story on RR…he’s a busy guy and hard to track down!

        • tammyCA says

          Looks like something Shag going on in Chicago next week:
          Love his Retro style…as well as El Gato Gomez and another similar artist on Etsy.
          The best graphics were from the 1950s! Can anyone tell me why advertisements and signs nowadays are just plain ugly and boring?? We have a few remnants of script signs & neon light signs on old decaying ’50s buildings that I’m sure one day will disappear…on my list to do is take pictures before that happens. Everything current is plain old blocky letters…my soul hurts for the lack of imagination & style.
          Kate, the A-frame is so cute. There are A-frame cabins up by my in-laws in the mountains…they look especially nice when there is snow. I’m still making more of my little houses myself…I’m addicted. :)

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