Christmas House Box and Mini Album

Christmas House
Surprise! An album inside.
Mini Album














Are you ready for a super cute paper craft gift idea? Start with a paper mache’ house box, a little glue, some paper, embellishments and basic tools and you are ready to start on a lovely handcrafted gift.

It all started with a Halloween contest…


Halloween House
Surprise inside
Mini Album














Just for fun, I decided to enter a Halloween challenge. I didn’t win, but this is the project I came up with. I had several requests for a tutorial for the Halloween project, but I didn’t take photos or write any directions as I was working on it. Fast forward to now. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… I decided to make a tutorial for a Christmas house and mini album to explain my methods and since Christmas is coming up–time to make a gift AND blog about it.


Christmas House Box









MATERIALS NEEDED FOR CHRISTMAS HOUSE BOX: (measures 4 1/2″ wide by 6 1/2″ high by 4 1/2″ deep)

  • 1 paper mache’ house box with removable lid (Hobby Lobby), size is listed above
  • 1 12″x12″sheet design paper or cardstock for main part of house OR two pieces of 8 1/2″x11″ paper (For the album and the box I used PaperStudio brand paper pack “Ornamental Christmas” from Hobby Lobby)
  • 1 12″x 12″ sheet glitter paper cardstock for roof
  • Scrap paper for chimney, door and shutters
  • Ink, paint or marker for roof outlines and chimney outlines
  • Acrylic paint for house interior and base of house (if desired)
  • Scrap lace for windows
  • Scrap pieces acetate or recycled plastic for windows
  • 8″ piece of fluffy white trim for ground snow
  • Bottle brush tree, peach (can be found at craft stores and hardware stores)
  • Tiny pompoms for tree decorations
  • 3/8″ Heart paper punch for roof tiles
  • Small brad or button for doorknob
  • Foam tape to make shutters and embellishments 3-dimensional
  • Hot glue gun for tree
Paper from Hobby Lobby













  1. If desired, paint the inside of the house with acrylic paint. Paint the “grass” out side the house. I painted mine green. You may use white for snow or just leave out this step if you are covering it with a fluffy trim. Let painted areas dry completely.
Paint the inside of the house
Paint ground outside of house.









Crease paper and remove. Cut out to fit dormer

2. Time to work on the dormers. This is a little difficult to explain. I laid a general-sized piece of paper over the dormer and pushed it in snugly. I ran my fingernail around the edge, then took the paper off and cut along the creases. Glue onto dormers. Using a similar method, cut out triangles for the sides of the roof as well.









3.Let’s work on the roof. I love the way this turned out, but it is very detailed (just a warning)!

Outline edges of roof with marker, paint or ink

First, I outlined the roof using a permanent marker so that the paper mache’ color wouldn’t show on the edges.

The roof tiles are entirely made of tiny red hearts which I hand punched out of red glitter cardstock. I used almost every square inch of a 12″x12″ piece of glitter paper. Punch out hearts and glue them upside down on the roof. I glued one section at a time, bending paper at seams and, after roof had dried, trimming off any overhangs along the outside edges. Around the chimney, I glued a straight piece along the front and the back to help it look neat.


Neaten up the chimney by gluing a straight piece
Glue hearts upside down onto roof










Cover chimney with paper

4. Outline chimney in the same manor as roof, using the same color as your scrap design paper you use to cover the chimney. Measure the front and back of the chimney and cut out and glue the squares onto chimney. Measure the top square and adhere. Cut out squares for the sides, cutting a “V” shape to accommodate the roof line. Glue onto chimney sides.






Paint on snow
Fake snow

5. Paint fake snow on random places on roof. Let dry completely. Your house is almost done! Time to add the fun stuff.









Glue paper all around house

5. The rest is easy! Trim paper of choice for house to height of house sides. Spread house with glue. Glue on paper, leaving any seams in the paper to the back part of the house. Even with the 12″ paper, you will have to have a seam. Cut out door and windows with a craft knife.

Cut openings with a craft knife











Glue acetate and lace onto house inside to form window and curtains

6. Time to decorate! Cut out 1 5/8″ squares of acetate or clear material and glue inside the house around the window openings. Trim lace scraps to fit window and glue on the inside of the house on each side of window.

To make door: cut a coordinating scrap of paper 1 3/8″x2 7/16″. With 1 3/8″ side of paper at the top of a score board, score at 5/16″ and 7/16″. (You may use a ruler and ball tool or blunt tool to do this step.) When making the album, a scoring tool is extremely helpful so if you have one, use it here as well. If using a brad for the doorknob, attach now to door front. Cut a small piece of paper a scant 1″ by 2 7/16″. this will be for the back of the door. Glue onto back of door, keeping to the larger section opposite of the score lines. Fold score lines of door upward toward the door front. Place glue on left-most section of door and glue door to the inside of the house.

Place glue on left-most section of door
Glue door flap onto inside
Glue to inside













Back of door
Front of door












7. Cut 6 tiny shutters about 3/8″x 1 1/2″. Using foam tape, tape each shutter onto each side of three windows.

Glue or tape decoration on front door.

Glue fluffy trim to base of house.

Trim one side of bottle brush tree with scissors to be flat against the house. Hot glue in place.

Glue 6-8 little pompoms to tree.

Paint a little more fake snow onto house windows. Let dry. DONE!


Paint fake snow onto window ledge
All done decorating!












Mini album
Mini Album














MATERIALS NEEDED FOR MINI ALBUM: (measures 4″wide by 4 1/2″ tall x 1 1/8″ spine)

*Note: I used PaperStudio “Ornamental Christmas” paper pack from Hobby Lobby for house and album

  • 3 sheets 8 1/2″x11″ solid color cardstock for cover and base pages
  • Scraps design paper or cardstock for cover and page mats
  • Score board
  • Bone folder
  • Glue (I used Tombow adhesive. Fabritac by Beacon is good or you may use double-sided tape)
  • Embellishments for front and any you may want inside
  • Ink for edges
  • Corner rounder, if desired, for waterfall pages



Mini album cover
  1. Cut 9 1/8″x4 1/2″ piece of solid cardstock. With 9 1/8″ side at the top of score board, score at 4″ and 5 1/8″. Fold both lines upward to make a book shape. This is your cover.








Inside spine ridges

2. For the inside spine, we will make “ribs”. These, quite simply, are little ridges that will hold each page of your album. Cut a piece of solid cardstock 1 3/4″ x 4 1/4″. With the 1 3/4″ side at the top of your score board, score at 1/2″ and 1 1/4″. Fold up and burnish both score lines.

This will be the base with two of your page ribs. One center rib left to go.




Fold into a “W” shape

3. Cut a piece of solid cardstock 1 3/4″x4 1/4″. With the 1 3/4″ side at the top of the score board, score at 3/8″, 7/8″ and 1 3/8″. Fold accordian style. Burnish. You’ll have two valley folds and one mountain fold. Turn over and put glue on the under side of the mountain fold. Squeeze together.







Glue underneath mountain fold
Ready to go


Now, with center portion pointing up, glue flat edge to center of piece made in step two.








Glue two “rib” pieces together

Your ribs should look like this. Now glue this piece onto inside spine of your album cover, centering. It will not be a tight fit. There’ll be room on each side and top and bottom.








Glue rib unit onto inside spine of cover
Glued and ready for pages









Make two pull out pages

4. To make the fold-up pages: Cut two 4 1/4″x7 1/2″ pieces of solid cardstock. With the 7 1/2″ side at the top of your score board, score each one at 3 3/4″. Fold and burnish. Glue one 4 1/4″ edge to the first rib of your spine, so the paper fold over from left to right (folds toward spine). Repeat with the other page, except the fold will go from right to left folding toward the first page. Check to make sure you can fold these easily. You may need to shave off just a bit along the outside edge that gets folded inward. (I had to on one of mine).





First page folds toward center of book
second page folds toward first page










Two pages done! Two more to go…








Glue single sheet to third rib


5. Cut a piece of solid cardstock 4 1/4″x 3 3/4″. This is the next page we attach to the last rib. Glue one 4 1/4″ side to the the rib. The book will look like this. Ink edges of the entire book, if desired.





Waterfall page

6. The next step is the waterfall portion located in the back. This picture is already decorated, but I wanted to show you the overall way it is set up. In fact, this step does involve decorating the inside back cover and the background on the last page before you glue the waterfall flaps onto the book.

Open the book to the last page/inside back cover. You will be covering these two surfaces with design paper. Cut a background for the inside back cover 3 3/4″x 4 1/4″. Ink edges of design paper, if desired. Glue onto inside of back cover (shown in red here.) Cut a background for the left side page 3 1/2″x 4″. Ink edges. Glue onto page to the left as book is opened (shown in dark green damask here.) So, your pages should have one mat on the right and one mat on the left. Now let’s put the waterfall flaps onto the top of the mats.



Cut and score waterfall pieces

Cut 4 solid cardstock pieces into 3 1/4″x 3 3/4″. With 3 3/4″ side at the top of score board, score at 3/8″. Repeat with remaining three. Fold on score line and burnish. I also rounded the two corners on the side opposite the scored side. Ink edges.







Matted Waterfall flaps


I matted my pages before gluing them down, but you may wait if you choose. Sometimes you need to see the overall picture with colors in mind before you mat–it’s up to you.

Mats are 3″x3 1/2″. Round corners on one 3 1/2″ edge. Ink edges. Glue onto flaps as shown.






Waterfall pages done!

Put glue on the 3/8″ fold, glue 3/4″ down from the top of page. Measure from the solid cardstock, not your mat. Glue so the waterfall flap will fold down over the 3/8″ glued piece. Lift flap up to prepare to glue another flap down. Place glue on another waterfall flap in the same way, lining up the top fold of the waterfall flap with the edge that is already glued down. Repeat on the other (left) side. Fold all flaps down. Voila!






7. Mat all pages. Outside cover mats are : Cut two 3 3/4″x 4 1/4″. Spine is 1″x 4 1/4″. Ink edges. Glue to cover.

Fold out pages are : Cut eight 3 1/2″x 4″. Ink edges. Glue to all sides of fold out pages.

Plain page (back of 1st waterfall) is: Cut one 4″x4″. Ink edges and glue to plain page.

To give the book a neater look, I also had two small strips I glued to two places on the spine that weren’t covered.

Let’s look at some pictures.


Pages all matted
Fold out pages









Waterfall pages done!

8. Decorate the front cover. All the stickers here were purchased at Hobby Lobby. I cut out a scrap of aqua glitter paper for the snow and had a strip of red pompoms which I glued behind the “Let It Snow” sticker. I kept it simple and this will also help it to fit in the box without getting caught on the edges.

Mini Album












This was super fun to make–and give. It’s already gone! I hope you enjoy this. Have a great holiday season!


Christmas house box and mini album
Christmas House Box









Mini album
Pages all matted
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