Thursday, December 29, 2011

Melissa Frances Chipboard Houses Tutorial

As I mentioned on my FB page a while back, I am OBSESSED with these houses. As I also mentioned, I am so disorganized during the holiday season that I meant to post this how-to BEFORE Christmas, but here we are. So - apologies for the lateness, but to make up for it I am giving away a few of these kits  (post your New Year's resolution by December 31st on the aforementioned FB page to enter) and I FINALLY present to you step by step instructions so you can make some of these houses yourself!  These would make WONDERFUL wedding or housewarming gifts too...chipboard houses ain't just for Christmas any more!  :)

PS - I would also like to give a shout-out to my mom (who we will refer to as Crafty Sharron from now on) who is here visiting for Christmas and helped me with the photos and made some fabulous houses of her own while I was working on this tutorial.  Thanks Mom!

Supplies needed:
Melissa Frances ornament cottage kit
Three (3) coordinating patterned papers - I used MME Lost & Found Christmas
Xyron 510 with permanent adhesive refill
1/8" Scor-Tape
Liquid glue
Craft knife and self healing mat
Two (2) coordinating misting sprays - I used Clearsnap Smooch Spritz Vanilla Shimmer and Perfect Pearls Bronze Mist
Coordinating acrylic paint and brush
Bazzill Basics textured vellum (optional)
Clearsnap Fairy Dust Glitter
Melissa Frances mini bottle brush tree
White cardstock and printer
Distress Ink - I used Antique Linen
Two (2) coordinating mini brads
Foam tape

Select the roof, house and base from your kit. Find the "top/front" of each piece (based on the way the pieces are scored).

Put the three pieces in the Xyron 510 with the top/front facing DOWN. 

Once you run them through the 510, peel off the clear film and then GENTLY peel the pieces from the backing.  Chipboard is created in layers so if you peel too fast the top layer of chipboard will come right off.

Place the adhesive side of your chipboard on the BACK of the patterned paper for each item (see photo of completed pieces below...for example - the yellow piece of paper that the roof chipboard is attached to has a red swirl pattern on the other side).

Use a craft knife to cut out each piece and sand if you want to.  :)

(photo of completed pieces)

Use your craft knife to gently cut along the score lines of the roof and house.  You don't want to cut too deep, but if you do over-cut don't worry - see my HELPFUL TIP at the very end of this post.

Apply misting spray to your base piece ONLY. Set aside to dry.

Apply misting spray to your window and door pieces. Set aside to dry.

Apply paint to your fence. Set aside to dry.

Take your house and roof pieces (NOT the base piece) and put them back in the Xyron 510 with the patterned paper side facing DOWN. Run through the machine, peel of the clear film, gently peel pieces off of the backing and lay with the patterned/adhesive side facing UP on your workspace.

Apply glitter to both pieces, rub with finger to cover and tap off excess.

(photo of completed pieces)

Tip: If you are using patterned paper that already has glitter on it, you can use the tip of your craft knife to scrape off the top layer of glitter, revealing the pattern on your paper.

On the back side of your house, place Scor-Tape around the edges of the door and window.

At this point I should stop, take a moment, and explain to you that I am usually not a crazy adhesive woman.  When I put a photo on a layout I use some adhesive on each corner, not adhesive all around the edges and then some in the middle for good measure.  I'm not stingy with my stickiness, but I am not going through five refills per project if you know what I mean.  HOWEVER - because this is a project that I want people to use and enjoy (and I know it will be put on a tree, taken down and put away, brought out again next Christmas, etc. year after year - not something that is going to sit on a shelf forever) I used A LOT of adhesive on this project.  A LOT. I recommend you do the same.  :)

Flip the house over, center your door and window, and press to adhere.

Flip the house back over and apply scor-tape to the back of the door and window.

Cut two small pieces of textured vellum (or use the red cellophane that came in your kit) and cover door and window openings.

Apply Scor-Tape to the bottom of your house*.  I do not use liquid glue until later in the project because I HATE to wait for liquid glue to dry.  Using Scor-Tape allows me to put the project together quickly and then go back and "shore-up" any parts of the project that need liquid glue. 

*Line up the edge of your Scor-Tape with the front of your house, so the rest of the Scor-Tape is "hanging off" the back edge of the chipboard.

Use your finger to "roll" the Scor-Tape on to itself, making a thinner strip. It won't look pretty - but it will hold fabulously!

Repeat on ONE end of the house.

Fold house in to shape and adhere to your base.  I adhered mine pretty close to the back of the base, but I have seen them put on kitty-cornered and centered, so the choice is yours!

Repeat the Scor-Tape process on the roof edges of your house.

Insert the ornament holder in to your roof and apply to your house.

(photo of house with roof)

Use liquid glue to adhere your tree and Scor-Tape to adhere the fence to your base.

If you are applying a "plaque" to your house, print out your phrase in several different sizes.

Use distress ink to apply color to your phrases, cut out and determine which size works best with your house.

Use your craft knife to poke a small hole on either side of your paper.  Insert brads.

Fold both ends of your brads towards the center of your paper.

Use a small piece of foam tape in the center of your paper and adhere to the front of the house.

***HELPFUL TIP*** These chipboard houses ARE fragile.  If during the process you tear your chipboard along one of the score lines or feel like the Scor-Tape isn't secure enough, once your house is COMPLETED you can easily go back and fill in the gaps with liquid glue.  Apply the liquid glue to the affected area then sprinkle some glitter on the glue and tap off the excess.  It will strengthen your project AND cover up any small errors.  Thank God for glitter!  :)


  1. Thank you for this. I just packed up my houses that have been around since 1965. My mom always created a village, snow and all kinds of people since I was a child. I played with it, then grandchildren and now great grandchildren can! The houses haave prices stamped on the bottom of 15 cents. So cool, I just may have to attempt a couple to add to it next year! Thank you-

  2. These are gorgeous! I have got to get some of those kits!

  3. love them. i also have my old houses from childhood and I think i have a 10 and 12 cent price tag.

  4. oh my goodness! First time visitor... jumped over from a link at Facebook... Beautiful house and wonderful tutorial. Thank you for sharing. I'll be back!

  5. I have never seen these before--exceptionally cool. LOTS of work, you did an awesome job!

  6. Thanks so much girls! My mom has a collection of houses as well (from my grandmother) - they were the inspiration for these! Great minds think alike! :)

  7. The sign on your house intrigued me. My son is at Ft. Bragg and we just got back from NC after seeing them for Christmas. Your house is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Small world Janice - we are currently at Ft. Bragg as well!

  9. I had to have these too.And I've got a 5" Xyron-I think you just made the process a whole lot simpler for me.Thanks!

  10. this is gorgeous it might be a oldie but it is sure a keeper thanks for sharing love it
    upnurse at aol dot com

  11. Oh this is just wonderful. Thank you for such fab tutorial. Nicola x

  12. This a great tutorial! How did you get the paper from tearing when you folded up the house to assemble it? My paper is tearing. Is there a trick I don't know about?

    1. Hey Susan! After you put the paper on did you score along the folds first? If so and you still got some tearing (I did in one or two spots) I just added a little liquid glue along the seam (and then put on a little glitter) - so it reinforced the edges and looked cute too! Hope that helps!