Winter-Time Paper House Freebie

[If you enjoy this freebie, also check out the paper house pack I have for sale here]!

So, the other day I was sitting around, trying to decide what to do after dinner. It’s that time of the day when I don’t really feel like starting any big projects, but it’s too early to watch something on Hulu. I have absolutely no recollection of my thought process on this evening, but I grabbed a piece of white card and drew a house. The next day, I cut it out and assembled it, and I made a second one the day after that.

I guess part of the reason I had houses on the brain was because my gingerbread houses didn’t live up to last year’s. The instructions called for too much water in the icing mix, and all my nice details wound up slowly migrating downwards before they dried. Disappointing.

But I’m totally, immodestly in love with my little paper houses, and I can see making quite a few more in the near future. In fact, while I was in the process of drawing the third house, I stopped before I cut it out and scanned it in — so I could share it with you!

You can download a PDF of the house here (right-click and ‘save as’). [And because I’m in a giving mood (and it was easy), here’s a blank version if you want to draw your own design] You’ll want to print it out on a letter-sized piece of card. My printer has a ‘borderless printing’ option, which means I was able to print the PDF out the same size I drew it, but you can also ‘fit to paper’ when you print — it’ll just be a bit smaller than the original.

And here are some instructions, although assembly is pretty easy.

Cutting Out

1. You’ll see that the PDF has light grey lines to indicate folds and darker grey for cut edges. I find that it’s easiest to lightly score all the folds BEFORE cutting the pieces out — less fiddly. In addition to the marked folds, you should score the corner edges of the house piece and the peak of the roof piece. Also score along the edges of the roof where the icicles hang down. I didn’t put lines along these folds because they would have been visible in the finished product.

2. After scoring, cut out your pieces. For pieces not marked with cutting lines (the roof and fence edges), cut as close to the drawn line as possible. You can see how I did this in the image. I’ve found that it’s easier to fold down the icicle edges BEFORE you cut out the icicles (cutting around those is by far the most tedious part of the process).

3. After all pieces have been cut out, fold all edges and tabs. Folding everything before you start gluing makes things a lot easier.


1. Put glue on the tab along the side of the house and attach to the appropriate wall. (The tab goes INSIDE the house, so it’s not visible.) I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue for most paper projects. You don’t want to use much, or it’ll take longer to dry and could make the paper ripple.

2. Put glue on the three tabs at the bottom of the house and then fold up the floor flap.

3. Put glue on the six tabs along the roof of the house. Placing the peak of house in the fold of the roof, make sure the house is centered on the roof (front to back) and then attach. This part can take a bit of fussing, because a wonky roof can skew the house.

4. The fence: If you want, you can cut along the right edge of the gate and along the fold at the bottom, so it’ll open and close. Then just put glue on each of the four tabs and attach the corners.

5. Put glue on the base of the house and place it inside the fence. You’re finished!
Not too hard, right? But so cute. If you like, you could skip that last step and instead use a needle to pierce holes near the peak of the roof. Then you can thread an ornament hanger through and hang it on your tree! Or garland! Or spider plant!

My houses are all black and white, because I like how that looks, but you should feel free to colour yours in however you choose! Just remember to do that before you start folding. I would really love to see everybody’s houses, so please leave a link in the comments or add your photo to my flickr group.
Lastly, feel free to tell whoever you like about this pattern, but please direct them to twelve22 and this blog post. Redistribution of the pattern is not allowed. Thanks!

72 thoughts on “Winter-Time Paper House Freebie

  1. I’m in love with your little paper houses too! You are very talented. Thank you so much for sharing house number 3 with us – I foresee a little wintery neighbourhood on my fireplace…

    1. The free one made me want more & now I have 4!, love the houses I hope you make more I was looking for the house next to the freebie house is that one for purchase I would love to have that one also. Thanks for your sweet art.

  2. Do you sell these? If you don’t, you really could. I think they’re stunning, but very marketable. I would buy them for sure!
    However, giving it away free is wonderfully generous and such a treat for everyone who finds it. If I get a chance to make some (and I’d love to) I’ll be sure to link back to you.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. These are darling! Love them. I checked out the pic of your gingerbread house from last year – it is fantastic! You’ve inspired me to make one this year.

  4. Once again, a proof of how crafty you are. Lovely houses, Anna. I wonder what your next project will be. I think I’ll print out mine and add a little bit of color to them. Thank you ever so much.

  5. These are so cute! I’ve printed out a few for my coworker and I to use as distraction at work today when we should be working… Thanks!!

  6. Thanks so much for your generosity. I love little houses and have been constructing “Fairy Houses” out in the forest of natural materials. I thought how much I would like to make some for indoors and this pattern is just perfect. I am not adept at any drafting—measuring freaks me out! LOL So once again, my deepest thanks for these patterns.
    Have a lovely holiday season!

  7. wow! I love it! I just whipped one up then ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ll like back to you when I post the finished piece in a few minutes.

  8. So very cute! Thanks for the great pattern and all the time you spent writing this tute. I’ll be doing a blog post about little paper houses and plan to link to it.

  9. Merry Christmas Anna!
    Thank you so much for sharing these with us! I am in the middle of decorating real gingerbread right now, these will be fun to do tomorrow!

  10. It’s not even 7 in the morning on my one day off and I am sitting here – cutting out tiny little houses.
    I linked over from Posie Gets Cozy.
    I’m only on the computer to find out what spices go into cream of brocoli soup and to get ideas on how to make the soup so I can eat it (major food intolerances).
    But – here I am with one house complete and I am cutting Martha’s out next.
    This is a huge distraction.
    So cute.
    Thank you.

  11. Fabulous. I adore the style you have developed. I love anything like this that is intricate and gorgeous. I’ve made two already. I cut out the windows and applied tracing paper to the reverse, coloured with felt pens. Then I shall get some of those battery powered candles to make them glow…. adorable.!

  12. Thank you so much for the paper house freebie. It is so cute and I had a great time putting it together. I included my house in your Flickr group but also posted to my blog here. Happy Holidays!

  13. love these little houses – I’ve a passion for old cut out books and these are along the same lines – but much prettier! Thank you so much for sharing your talent.

  14. Your houses are wonderful! I love them!
    Thank you for sharing! Wishing you everything good in the new year!
    Barbara Diane

  15. Thank you for this beautiful template! The detail is intricate and fascinating to look at every little thing on it. It reminds me a bit of those “I Spy” books………..I see something new when I pick it up.
    Thank you again

  16. Sooooo cute!!!! I can’t wait to make a couple…a few…a dozen of these little houses. When I do, I’ll post them on my blog along with a link to you!
    Thanks so much for sharing your talent!

  17. thank you for the little sanity saver… my scissors-savvy girls had a lovely time coloring and cutting and gluing whilst mommy scrubbed a few more dishes and folded a few more shirts. we posted a linky to you in our blog post.
    (then I discover you’re a fellow runner in minneapolis! we’re a bit north, but I do love running along the mississippi, as long as my hands stay warm, which hasn’t been happening lately…)

  18. Wow! You are incredibly talented. I am impressed. The houses are totally adorable. The instructions are pretty easy to follow. This Christmas, I am definitely going to surprise my family by gifting them cute paper houses.

  19. Hello ~ I just made this with my 4 year old son, printed another for my 6 year old daughter, and printed a plain one out for myself ๐Ÿ™‚ My son’s is blue and green… very cute keepsake ~ thank you!

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