I couldn’t resist making Paper Houses for our final paper crafts project during Paper Month on Babble Dabble Do. I’m an architect after all! This tutorial is for 3-D paper model houses and I’ve got 3 sweet little templates for you to choose from, including a modern version; c’mon you didn’t think this modernist at heart would forget a Corbu style model did you?
Recently my Dad brought my daughter a little paper house book he picked up while traveling. It’s magical, too bad I couldn’t find it on the web to share with you here… When you open it up different rooms unfold, including furniture. It’s so stinkin’ cute….and DETAILED! Top it off with the fact that the kids at my daughter’s preschool have been decorating 2-D this week and this post practically wrote itself!
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In architectural and art school I LOVED making models. In fact you could call me a bit of a model nut. I’m not so good with sketching but give me an X-Acto and some chipboard and let the fun begin! This project involves a lot of cutting and folding and is perfect for school aged kids. If you have a little one, they can decorate the house and then have an adult assist them with the cutting, folding and taping.
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Age Appropriateness: 6+ for entire project, 3+ for decorating only
- Paper Houses Template
- Regular paper OR card stock
- X-Acto Knife and straightedge
- Tape and/or glue stick
- Colored pencils or pens
I suggest making a plain sample model first so kids can understand what each surface is (floor, roof, wall, etc) and having that to reference while they decorate their house.
- Step One Download and print out your templates on regular paper OR card stock.
- Step Two Decorate the house while the template is uncut and flat.
- Step Three Using scissors, cut your template along the solid lines
- Step Four Adults can cut out the solid black areas with an Exacto knife.
- Step Five Fold your template along the dotted lines
- Step Six Tape or glue the tabs to the model. I suggest taping for a quicker and more painless build!
You’re done! Make a whole bunch of these for a sweet little paper neighborhood!
Le Corbusier. Okay the first two models don’t but the third “modern” version is all about the father of modernism, Le Corbusier. A handful of projects stood out to me in all those architectural history classes I took in college and none more than the Villa Savoye. Most people might look at the house and think “Okay, what’s the big whup?” but can I tell you, it was built in 1930? Yes, 1930! If it was built in 1980 we might not have blinked an eye but he built this 50 years before that! Does the phrase way ahead of his time come to mind? Despite my feminist concerns about Corbu’s belief in the modulor, a system of scaling based on a 6-foot man, I still find Le Corbusier’s work inspiring. His deceivingly simple plays of shape and form never get old to look at when I’m searching for an architectural pick-me-up. I hope you’ll add a little modern house to your village!
Did you like building with paper? 3D paper crafts are a favorite of ours too! And what I loved most about this project was the blank canvas you can hand to kids and ask them to personalize. It reminds me of one of my favorite books as a child The Big Orange Splot. Did you read this book when you were a kid? I swear it’s the reason I became a designer (no really, my Dad the architect had nothing to do with it….)
Anyhoo, if this project was right up your alley, be sure to check out the Paper Building Blocks we made earlier this month for a mini lesson on structures. Or go to the next step and make a more permanent city out of old boxes! And for more awesome paper building printables you absolutely must go to Made by Joel and check out his Paper City Project.
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