DIY Putz house #8 — Kahiki tiki house — download our free DIY pattern

miniature tiki hutkitschmas-krazyOur trip to The Hukilau — which immediately transformed both Pam and me into tikiphiles — left little doubt that one of the three new Putz house designs for 2014 would be a tiki hut. The famous Kahiki, the bygone tiki restaurant that once reigned over Columbus, Ohio, was a particular inspiration. The pattern itself is super easy to cut out and assemble, so you can get to the fun part — the decorating — quickly. This tiki hut Putz house can live in a snowy winter climate, or a tropical paradise — you decide! 

miniature tiki hutSince the roof on my tiki hut is so large, this pattern requires that you join the two roof halves instead of just scoring and folding them like my other Putz patterns.

miniature tiki hutYou’ll need to score each roof side along the dotted line on the pattern just a bit so you can fold the roof slightly and get the right angle for the roof peaks to align. For this pattern, I recommend using heavier duty cardboard (I used a cardboard box) instead of card stock — this makes it easier to put together, requires less painting (tiki huts are rustic!) and provides extra support for whatever you decide to use to create roof thatch. Note: If you are using cardboard as suggested, there’s no need to use the roof tabs on the pattern as the cardboard will be thick enough to provide a surface for glue during assembly.

miniature tiki hutSpeaking of thatching the roof — I used several hundred toothpicks to get the job done. No, I didn’t apply each one by hand — I cut a strip of tape and attached 6-8 toothpicks at a time to the tape, making a strip of toothpicks that I could then glue down to the roof. If you use this method, make sure to use enough glue so that the toothpicks don’t run the risk of falling off later when the tape adhesive dries up.

miniature tiki hutOnce the roof was attached, (or before if you prefer) I used some watered down acrylic brown paint to “stain” the thatch roof and give it a more realistic look. Since this tiki hut is in a tropical climate, I only gave the overall roof and some of the “ground” a light dusting of glitter for snow.

miniature tiki hutLooks pretty thatch-like to me!

miniature tiki hutIf you are wondering, the larger stick in the roof peak is a shish-kebab skewer. I used small strips of cardboard to create a walking bridge up to the front door.

miniature tiki hutI had the most fun making several ‘tiki carvings’ using leftover cardboard scraps, glue and a black marker/paint. You could also try carving some tikis out of soap and then painting them… or, if you want “real” tikis, small ones are made for aquariums.

miniature tiki hutMake sure to create a variety of sizes, shapes and expressions for your tiki carvings.

miniature tiki hut

 Get our pattern for this little Putz house:

 Click here to download Kate’s free pattern
for Putz house pattern #8 — the tiki hut

And hey, for tikiphiles, there’s a brand new history of the Kahiki just out this year:

*affiliate link

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


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  1. k main says

    My goodness – this brought back such memories. I grew up in Columbus, OH and that restaurant with its rain forest simulation was just the bomb – it was the extra special place us kids got to go when eating out.

    BTW – LOVED the WOT info – I live very close and spent many hours this past week digging for treasures. Who knew that beneath that modest one floor showroom lay those caverns. During my digging I ran into the former owner twice – second time he was trying to help me find an extra special marble threshold. Goodbye WOT

      • k main says

        Funny – we did meet at WOT….I thought it might be you – but was too shy to ask. You were trying to navigate some narrow stairs to grab some stuff in a little side room. I realized when I got home (that was only a 3 hour hunt day) that it was actually the retro lady!

        Love the information on your site – we have a much older home (1874) so your site give me ideas about where to find some things…or ways, but we are about 75 years too old 🙂

        Have you ever toured Eisenhower’s home in Gettysburg – talk about a 1950s time capsule!

        Will keep checking in to learn about midcentury things. Thanks for the great resource

        • Jay says

          Oh wow! “Grab Some Stuff” made me laugh. I know what you mean though; it’s like seeing a celebrity and you don’t want to intrude on their personal space but heck it was a clearance sale and you could have just very innocently bumped into her and said excuse me I saw it first and then say oh, you’re the RR High Priestess which trumps seeing a celebrity any day.

  2. Mary Elizabeth says

    Cute! Around here, phragmites (a kind of reed) is invasive, so you could go down by the river or pond and get tons of it–the smaller stalks would make good thatched roof material for your tiki hut.

    I am waiting for a gnome putz house. Maybe next year?

      • Kate says

        Pam: Nope — just stuck the toothpicks to the masking tape to make a strip. Then ran several beads of hot glue along the cardboard roof and pressed the strip into place.

  3. MsKittyMuses says

    Oh. My. God. This is AMAZING.

    My husband has taken up carving little tikis. His new assignment shall be doing miniature ones for this house! Kate, you are a crafting goddess!

  4. says

    This is my favorite so far and I’ve been following the putz houses for the last couple of years. Absolutely adorable!!! Now I just need to start on my neighborhood…

  5. Jay says

    I have always enjoyed seeing the posts on the putz houses, not that I intend to make any. Kate, your creativity and artistic talents know no bounds. For everyone having to deal with snow this week, the Tiki themed putz house is probably putting them in a warmer place.

  6. Scott says

    Ah, what a great way to remember Kahiki, by building your own. Between the wreaths and putz houses you guys are going to make a crafter out of me yet! 🙂

  7. Scott says

    Just a thought, a Putz House uploader might be fun sometime during the holidays. I’ve been kind of dying for an excuse to buy some of those little trees anyway.

  8. says

    I am so in love with these Putz houses. I’m recreating last year’s Martha Stewart Putz house wreath with these mod homes for myself and a friend. (I print them at 50%.) I actually started work just after Christmas and took a prolonged break to do other projects. (I’ll share pics when they’re done!)

    Will there be any additional designs for this year? Fun fact: I found a #9 rick rack roof in my small town!

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