Welcome to the creative home of artist and maker Charlotte Lyons.

summer fridays :: play house



Wanna make something? 

A few years ago I taught a class at Tinsel Trading and we made Halloween houses out of oatmeal boxes. This turret shape is perfect for a spooky house- and also works pretty well for a cottage for a fairy or a doll or small things to stash.  

Start with an empty oatmeal box and cut out a little cottage door, leaving a half inch stoop at the bottom right above the container floor. Carefully cut out a wee castle-ish window here and there. Then paper the outside with book pages torn from a suitable storybook or dictionary. (I think the even rows of type create the look of stonework.) At the door and windows, make an X in the papered opening and then push/wrap the book paper into the container to neatly cover the outside of the cut opening edges. Cut out scraps of paper and a copy of an old photo or illustration to slip inside the oatmeal box so the image or pattern fills the windows and door openings. Glue into place. (That's my husband's Aunt Barbara pouting on the front steps c.1930. One of my favorites!)

Place the oatmeal box on a tagboard scrap and trace around the bottom. Use pinkers to cut out a circle base slightly larger. 3/4 to 1 inch. This will be the glittery yard. Glue the container to the base and set aside. 

From a 12 x 12" patterned piece of scrapbook paper (heavier cardstock weight works best), use a plate for a template and cut a large circle. Identify the center of the circle with a pencil dot. Cut one straight line to the center from a point on the outside edge (as if you were cutting pie). Overlap the cut edges to form a rolled cone. Use a piece of tape on the inside to hold shut just long enough to try it on your container as a roof. Adjust for fit and trim as needed at the bottom edge. Then glue the cone shape shut where the paper overlaps. Set this roof cone aside.

Finish decorating the house with flowers added on and glitter or whatever you prefer in the yard. I use reindeer moss for shrubs, tiny flowers and junk that is just here in the studio. O, and I put a little chalk coloring around the doors and windows to highlight the openings. 

For the roof, I wrapped some tinsel yarn around a spray of leaves and added some ribbon streamers. When you are ready, just drop the roof onto the turret house. You can put things inside too. Notes, coins, toys, candy, crafting bits. Or buttons! 

Wouldn't it be a cute gift box too? A smaller version from a paper cup would be a darling placecard/favor box. Or what about making a string or ribbon keeper with the string coming out through an opening in back?

Easy, right? 

For my real life Summer Friday, I'm taking off for a weekend to visit old friends in Oak Park across the street from our old house, the one with the turret. See you back here early next week.

home again

on the table