DIY Putz house #2 — A-frame house — downloadable 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. 🙂

  4. Annie B. says

    Oooo, Kate. Great house (the full sized one). The putzies are adorable. Now, you must create a mini Eichler. I know you can!

  5. Bea says

    Kate – I finished the other pattern and this time I have supplies!!! I have 3 trees left from the other house. My local Michaels did not have the bottle brush trees, but since Kate had the photo of the bag, I knew what I was looking for. I went to the local hobby shop and the owner’s wife sold me 7 green bottle brush trees for $1.99 from a display in the store. The store sold a lot of train related merchandise. The ranch house looks great! So glad to be starting a neighborhood!!! The houses look fabulous on your mantel together….

  6. says

    Yay! I am glad that you are continuing this series of posts. I still haven’t made the first one, but I plan to do so. 🙂

    I found some trees at Dollar Tree (ha). They have some white ones, green with white tips, and plain green ones in packs of two for $1. Not as good of a deal as Michael’s, but another option if you can’t find them anywhere else.

      • Kate says

        Another note on the trees — my mom told me she saw some at Walmart:

        bright green, white and frosted darker green and darker green

        Small size is about 3″ for 75 cents
        Med size is about 5.5 to 6 inches for $1
        Larger size was about 8″ and was $2

  7. Amy says

    What a fun Christmas craft! When I was growing up we had a cardboard village under the tree. I recently looked for something similar and only found a vintage one on e-bay, which I bought. It’s an unused “Winter Village” designed by Wallis Rigby. Must have been made in the 40s or 50s? I love it but I’m worried about putting it together and letting my boys play with it. It seems so old and valuable.

  8. says

    I’ve missed out! I need to go back and get the first one….Love this btw!

    Hubby and I looked at an A Frame years ago when we were first entering the housing market. The master bedroom was the entire upstairs, which looked out over the living room and the wall of windows. I don’t remember why we didn’t buy it, too expensive for what it was or something.

    Thank you for sharing these! 🙂

  9. Linda Blackmore says

    These are the BEST!! I downloaded the first one, and got a perfect piece of lightweight cardboard in something I bought. I was going to make several in the original and just color and landscape them different to make a village. Now I have another model.

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