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How to Make Mini Wooden Houses with Scrap Wood – A Christmas Cloche Idea

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I hate to waste things…nice fabric, pretty ribbon, scraps of wood. To me, there are so many ways to enjoy these items a little longer! For Christmas, I decided to upgrade a pile of scrap wood by making mini wooden houses. They’re the perfect addition to a Christmas cloche or mantel this holiday season. Today, I’m giving you the full scoop on how to make your own!

Christmas cloche with mini wooden houses and bottle brush trees on coffee table tray

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Welcome to the Pinterest Challenge!

Welcome to another Pinterest Challenge! If you aren’t familiar with our monthly challenge, it’s a fun collaboration where bloggers create their own interpretations of a pin from Pinterest.

Graphic reading "Pinterest Challenge hosted by CountyRoad407.com"

Cindy from County Road 407 is our lovely hostess each month. She has a beautiful farmhouse-style blog and does a fabulous job keeping us all organized for this wonderful hop! (Thanks, Cindy!)

If you’ve come over via White Arrows Home, I know Kristin charmed you with her Christmas jar decor. I’d love to visit her cozy cabin someday!

And now for the challenge…

Pinterest Inspiration Photo

This month’s inspiration comes from Katrin at Northern Feeling. She assembled a delicate holiday village in a glass jar, complete with bottle brush trees, paper houses, faux snow and twinkle lights.

Christmas scene with bottle brush Christmas trees and paper house cutouts in a jar

What I love about Katrin’s project is the simple elegance and playfulness of the scene. It has a dash of whimsy with the hand-drawn buildings, and the snow and starry lights add a magical vibe.

In my interpretation, I decided to pay homage to her minimalist style by designing small wooden houses with clean lines. I also incorporated a mix of trees and replaced the jar with a glass cloche.

How to Make Miniature Wooden Houses

My husband loves woodworking and has built DIY farmhouse headboards, raised garden beds, and custom activity tables for our boys.

However, that doesn’t mean he gets to have all the fun in the workshop!

I’m envisioning many Christmas crafts in “the shop” this year, but I started with this easy woodworking project to kick off the season.

Supplies for mini wooden houses

Step 1: Trace patterns onto scrap wood

If you can draw straight lines, you can create a pattern for small wooden houses. Start by sketching an outline of the house directly onto the wood block, adding a chimney or other features if you so choose.

We had several pieces of scrap wood my husband kindly shared with me for this mini house project.

Scrap wood for making mini house cut outs
House pattern sketched onto scrap wood

Step 2: Cut wood using a scroll saw or band saw

In past woodworking tutorials, like my DIY wooden bunny and wooden yard pumpkins, I’ve used either a jigsaw or scroll saw. A scroll saw gives you quite a bit of control over small pieces like this. It’s also fairly affordable and doesn’t require much space.

This time, I got a quick tutorial on how to operate hubby’s custom-built band saw! I’m still a little shocked that he built this thing from scratch and it actually works really well! (Please don’t tell him how surprised I was.)

Crissy using a band saw to create wooden cutouts from scrap wood
Cutting houses with custom-built band saw

Step 3: Sand and paint or stain the houses

Once you have the decorative houses cut, you can sand the edges and surface with 220-grit sandpaper. This will help the paint or stain adhere more evenly.

Unfinished wooden cutouts after sanding and before painting
Unfinished wooden craft houses and Christmas tree

Deciding whether to paint, stain, or otherwise decorate your wooden houses is a matter of personal preference. I ended up painting simple black, white, and red houses, adding windows and doors as well.

Painting unfinished mini houses with acrylic paint
Painting red roof on wooden house

I honestly debated whether to only paint the roofs or decoupage one face of the houses. What are your thoughts? I think I’ll just need to make some more!

I also decided to stain a wooden Christmas tree that I cut while I was on the saw. Did I mention how much I like using that saw?

Step 4: Sand the painted houses

For a more vintage Christmas style, you can sand some of the paint off the wooden houses. I adore the shabby chic, chippy look that it gives them.

Step 5: Display your mini wooden houses

There’s nothing like creating Christmas scenes with unique DIY accents. In keeping with the Pinterest Challenge theme, I decided to display the miniature houses under a glass cloche.

Christmas coffee table centerpiece with Christmas cloche containing mini houses made from wood

You might remember this glass dome from another challenge back in August when I created a DIY fall centerpiece.

I started with the houses, a few bottle brush trees, and a small green tree that I crafted from additional scrap wood. Of course, I couldn’t complete the scene without a little fake snow.

Three wooden craft houses sitting on coffee table tray with fake snow and bottle brush Christmas trees

I love how the “snow” collects on the little chimney! Fair warning, it will also collect everywhere else you open this packet, but it’s the most realistic stuff I’ve ever bought!

Here’s a little view of the Christmas cloche with twinkle lights added. I can’t wait to put up the big Christmas tree and see what it looks like in the background!

Christmas cloche at night with twinkle lights and trio of wood houses inside

I hope you’ll enjoy making these Christmas decorations to give your home a handmade touch.

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Mini wooden houses in Christmas cloche with fake snow and bottle brush trees

Continue Your Tour

Don’t stop here! My friends have put their own spins on our Pinterest Challenge, so make sure you stop by to visit their homes with the links below.

Next on your tour is my blogging bestie, Julie from My Wee Abode! She is continuing the fall spirit with a lovely vignette using gourds, grains, and twinkle lights!

Best wishes!

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  1. This is just the cutest thing ever! I love anything involving wooden houses, I think they’re just so cute and perfect for the season! Yay for cozy Christmas decor 🙂

  2. This is totally precious! I love the simplicity and sweetness of the design! Makes me want to decorate for Christmas!

  3. This is so adorable and simple! You’ve inspired me to break out the jigsaw! Ashlyn would love to make some of these. She got experience with the saw cutting out intricate plywood pieces to replace rotting wood around the columns on the screened porch. I love the glow with the string lights in the evening.

    1. Thank you, Christy! Isn’t woodworking so much fun? I used a scroll saw and a jigsaw for another project like this. I hope Ashlyn has fun! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

  4. Crissy you know I am going to love this project you shared. One because you made your own little houses and two because you added lights to it. I just love how your cloche looks for the Christmas season. You could easily use the houses on a tiered tray as well as in a cloche. Love it!

    1. Terrie, I know you’re a big DIY girl like me, too! Thanks for the sweet compliment. Yes, I’m thinking of making more houses to use on a mantel or in other places. The tiered tray is a great idea! I think my village might become a city very soon! Happy to hop with you again!

  5. Okay… you are so amazing! You created such a lovely vignette AND used power tools! LOVE it, and love the snow, too! Is it seriously the best you’ve seen? I need to take a look! And that cutie little tree is a perfect accent! All the sighs! Pinned twice!

    1. Aw, shucks, Julie! Thanks so much for the kind words. Yes, I love this snow, and it was quite affordable given how big the package is. The only challenge is keeping the snow from creating a blizzard nearby. It’s very fine! Thank you for pinning, as always!

  6. Crissy, I want to come hang out with you and make stuff. I’m always so impressed with your skills. The houses turned out so cute and I love their simple style which is so endearing. The whole vignette looks beautiful and now you can enjoy these little houses for years to come. Pinned!

    1. Yes, come hang out, Michelle! My late mother-in-law made little wooden cutouts like this for Christmas, so I hope my kids will treasure them one day as we do hers. Thank you for stopping by and pinning too!

  7. I love that you made your own, Crissy! They are adorable; so whimsical. I could have fun with that bandsaw, too! Maybe I should mention that to someone in my family;) Always love seeing your creativity!

    1. Thanks, Lora! Yes, this band saw is becoming my new best friend. You should definitely drop some strong hints to get one of your own! I’ll bet you would make the cutest things with it.

  8. You go girl! As most of us would just go out and buy wooden houses, you make your own?! And they look so much better than anything we bought! You are so creative. Thanks so much for joining in. I love how your cloche turned out. Pinned 🙂

    1. Thanks, Cindy! I love it that we get to work and play at the same time! I was terrified to use the saw for the first time on my own because I really love all my fingers. However, it’s so much easier than I thought. Thanks for hosting another great challenge!

  9. I love that your husband made his own band saw and I can’t wait to show it to my husband. I think those two could be buddies! Our band saw is currently out of order and the other day I needed to cut something out, so I had to resort to using my granddad’s band saw from probably the 1950s. I will send you a picture of it!

    The houses you created are adorable and I love the way that you painted them. They look wonderful under your cloche and I love the scene that you created on the tray.

    1. I love it when someone else can appreciate woodworking talk! Yes, they’d love talking shop together, I’m sure. My husband has some woodworking tools from his grandfather and mother. They loved building all sorts of furniture pieces. It has really inspired me to explore the craft more. Send me a photo of that band saw!

      Thanks for stopping by. Always love participating with you!

    1. Thank you, Laura! This project was so much fun, and I’m glad I’m now over the fear of using my husband’s homemade saw. Ha! Happy to be hopping with you again!

  10. I so admire a girl who knows how to use power tools! Your little houses are adorable! I was captivated by your video. I really got to see how you made each piece in your Christmas Cloche. How pretty and creative, Chrissy!
    BTW: I love the video for Grandma’s Fig Jam too! YUM!

    1. Ha ha! Thanks, Yvonne! Using power tools is kind of…empowering. I so appreciate the sweet comment. I’m glad you liked the videos and my fig jam, too! It’s a treasured recipe from my mother.

  11. Hi crissy, Wow! You took it to the next level with your wood houses! I love the tray and the bells!
    Great job! laura

    Great videos! What software do you use for videos! I’m always searching! laura

    1. Thanks, Laura! This was such a fun project, and actually, the painting took the longest amount of time. The woodworking is so quick and easy.

      For the videos, I mostly use Premiere Pro. It’s not the most user-friendly but has a lot of functionality. I began using iMovie in the beginning, and it was much easier to get up the learning curve with that. Adobe Rush is another good alternative to edit on your phone. Best of luck! -Crissy