first house The house that started it all . . .

This is the very first foamcore house I made. It took almost five months to build and decorate it, but I was learning as I went. I drew it all up on graph paper, bought a bunch of foamcore and got started. I had no idea if foamcore would be sturdy enough to make a house or not. There are a lot of mistakes, but most are covered up by paper or some other material. I did difficult things like putting staircases way inside the house and a bathroom without an open wall, so it had to be finished with my hand through a doorway.

It ended up a lot bigger than I thought it would, it looked a lot smaller on the graph paper! Including the little patio under the porch, it's 42" wide, 20" deep and 39" tall. It was an incredible amount of fun to build, and once I got started, I drew up more plans and made houses for both of my sisters, so they could decorate and trim theirs at the same time. We got together every Saturday for several months and worked on them for about 12-14 hours each time! We made an insane mess, but had a lot of fun.

I designed the wallpapers, floors, siding and roof tiles in Photoshop, then printed them off and glued them in place. I went through a lot of ink in my printer! For the shiny tiled floors like the kitchen, I covered them with clear contact paper. Also used it for the counter tops in the kitchen and bathroom. Most of the house is foamcore, except for a little balsa wood for the porch rails and steps and the attic trap door. Windows were made from scrap plastic from items I bought that came in those nasty packages that are nearly impossible to open. I cut them open and saved any large flat pieces. Window trim is cardstock, cut in strips. My paper cutter got quite a workout making all these buildings.

first house An inside view

A straight-on look at the house from the open side. Four floors total, including the attic and finished basement. Such a big house, but only one bath and two bedrooms. Notice the trap door in the ceiling below the attic - it's in the hallway in front of the bathroom. The trapdoor pulls down to reveal a real, working folding staircase to get into the attic.

first house A peek into the attic

The attic is unfinished, with the beams visible and a couple structural beams going floor to ceiling. The low wall in the center of the room is around the trap door.

first house The second floor

This floor has a roomy bedroom at each end, the wide hallway in the middle and the bathroom at the back of the hall. The opening in the floor is for the stairs going to the livingroom, and still needs the railing put around it.

first house The kitchen

This room took awhile, as it had a lot of things to make for it. Once the flooring and wallpaper was in, I started on the cabinets and appliances. All are also made of foamcore, since there was plenty of leftover scraps from making the house. The cabinet hardware are little beads glued in place. The handles on the appliances are more foamcore, with little strips of silver sticky paper over them.

first house Another view of the kitchen

This view shows a bit more of the kitchen, and the door going to the basement. The adjoining room is the livingroom. The sloped wall above the basement stairs is where the stairs are, going to the second floor.

first house The livingroom

The livingroom is carpeted with upholstery fabric. The front door has a stainglass window in it, made by printing a picture on vellum and coloring it with markers.

first house The working half of the basement

This half of the basement houses the furnace, water heater, washer, dryer and stationary sinks. It has the high windows, and you might notice the furnace ducts along the ceiling.

first house The other half of the basement

This half of the basement is a little more finished and ready to be turned into a rec room or maybe a workshop. The floors have been tiled, but the cement block walls (printed paper) are still visible. All doorknobs in the house are beads on pins glued through the (foamcore) doors. All hinges were made in Photoshop, printed out and glued to both sides of the doors and door frames. The doors are also covered in woodgrain printed paper. The windowed door in the corner leads to the patio outside under the front porch.

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