Saturday, October 27, 2012

Santa's "Barn"

(Christmas 2011 )
I had a request for a tutorial for this project so here we go ... it's long but not difficult ...
I bought a bird house from the $1 bin at Michael's (of course I couldn’t buy a single house I bought 12).  Next carve the “window” (my house already had the "half door"),  I carved with exacto and utility knives; sanded to smooth the rough edges.

The base is a flat, 3.5 inch paper mache ornament, I get these at Hobby Lobby
(I can't find these year 'round, only in the fall)

I paint the barn (inside and out) and base with White Acrylic paint, let it dry

I paint the barn’s red areas, and let them dry. 
Then I cover the entire surface with Sparkle Modge Podge
here's some of the supplies used
Now the fence …
well ... on this project it was a challenge, I couldn’t find the fence I previously used ... so after making a big mess I came up with this … 

I used 2.5 inch “craft sticks” or Popsicle sticks cut to fit.  My fence has four pieces vertical and a single horizontal length.  Paint the fence, let it dry, then glue it onto the barn. 

I add a deer under the fence on the back of my barns

When the fencing is in place then glue the barn to the base ... I use a glue gun for pretty much all my gluing.  

Side note here ... days later :) ... I found the fence I wanted at Joann's ... so  you can see  the fencing options and how they compare 
(please forgive my out of focus pic) 

Now you’re ready to embellish your “Barn” 
I add tinsel garland to the base, used 3 tiny trees (the one to the left is decorated with a tiny snowflake garland), all are glued in place, given a coat of Modge Podge Glitter, and then Snowtex.

The rain barrel is a tiny wooden spool covered with flat tooth pics, and painted with brown acrylic, the “band” is picture hanging wire.  The “downspout” is a mini candy cane.

The paper images are from various internet sources, I altered the Santa’s head, because I liked the chubby face of this Santa vs the original.  I alter the size of the images to the desired size using Microsoft Word; Picmonkey comes in handy to improve clarity and color. 
All the paper images are painted with Modge Podge (I will abbreviate MP) … 
MP Sparkle on the bag, Santa’s clothing, the deer; MP glossy on Santa’s belt and boots.
I use Puffy Paint on Santa’s beard and fur trim for dimension, I glitter the edges of Santa’s fur trim.  I finish Santa’s back and toy bag by covering with contrasting paper.  
In adding my paper images, I start with both deer, then Santa, and his bag.  The tricky-est part of this project is getting the deer inside the barn !!!  
(top of barn looking inside toward floor)
Sorry but you’re on your own here … I have been known to curse during this step …anyway it’s just a matter of twisting and turning and squirting glue blindly toward the barn floor ... whew now moving on ...
Next add a chenille stem around the “door" .... then let it snow and glitter …
I use Snowtex (all this from Hobby Lobby) and cover the fence, roof, base, trees, and barrel/downspout … just smear it on to look like drifted snow.  Let it dry.
Finally, when the Snowtex is dry, I dab MP Sparkle over the roof, base, fence and sprinkle on Buffalo Snow (Hobby Lobby).  Let it dry …

add the bow, bells and tag, etc.

And there you have it !!  it’s not difficult to do but is a bit time consuming because of the steps that require drying.  If any part of this is confusing or you have a question please let me know.
Merry Christmas 2012 

I love little shadow boxes and Putz villages, they whisk me into a land of make believe; I love La La land J.  If you build a Santa Barn I’d love to see yours so  please share your pics with me !! 

Thanks for stopping by, 

House (wood or make you own with cardboard)
Base (mine is 3 inch paper mache)
Fence (mine is made from 2.5 inch craft sticks, cut to fit)
Modge Podge Sparkle, Matte, Glossy
Buffalo Snow
Paper images
Embellishments – I used tinsel trim for base, chenille stem around “door”, ribbon, bells, plastic holly, barrel (made from wooden spool and flat toothpicks), mini candy cane
Deer - Free Pretty Things for You (Thanks Keren !)
Santa and bag I think I found these on Flickr, couldn't find the link, but did find this one, the book is for sale.   
Santa face (Thanks Meri !)


  1. Your Santa's Barn is very SWEET! Thanks for the steps in making one. I'm thinking I might make some for my sisters for Christmas. Plus, I'm in a Putz house swap, where we make one, so perfect timing!

  2. ELAINE, Thank you so much for this tutorial! I had to sit here and read with my little house in hand to make sure I noticed every detail. I was so surprised to find the secret compartment for your gift card.
    This little house is the epitome of kitschy Christmas, and I will always remember your kindness in making it for me!
    Thank you again! I have posted my cute house today! Elizabeth

  3. How cute! I think Im about ready to start on christmas crafting now! I love the JOY letters that Elizabeth made too. I have so many other christmas crafting ideas too..
    But first.. I must finish my bear orders!
    Happy Sunday and Happy Halloween!

  4. OHHH love this very super cute Santa house!! I think I want to make one of these! :) xo Holly

  5. I love this! Your instructions are great! I love the candy cane downspout- that is so clever. I am going to try and make one. I do have some wooden birdhouses that I have never used that would be perfect. Thank you for the tutorial, Holly

  6. How cute! I am working on a putz house swap, and your ideas here are really nice to see, Thanks so much. I found your blog while I was in my Flickr and traced you back to here! Now I am following you and see a few familiar names in your following box! Glad to meet you!

  7. OMG! I saw this over at Miss E's place and just went crazy!!!!! So stinkin' cute as Viv would say!!!!!

  8. Elaine,
    Could you please email me ? I have a question....Sandy at 52 Lake Street

  9. This is just adorable!!! Very nice tutorial, thank you for sharing!!!!

  10. Awe.... that is so.... cute! I'm going to have to make one of these or maybe two :)

  11. This is adorable! Thanks for the tutorial.