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Tin-Roof Houses

Transform a disposable tin cookie sheet (baking tray) and some brown card stock into these little decorations. They are so simple to make. Threaded with red and white baker’s twine and hung from painted twigs, they make a charming festive display. Use the first one you make as a template and then use the same process to make a whole village of houses, changing the shape and pattern as you like for each one.

Foraged and Recycled Art


You will need

Brown card stock (card)



Craft knife

Cutting mat

Tracing paper

Disposable tin cookie sheet (baking tray)

Tin snips

Masking tape

Ballpoint pen

Craft glue

Hole punch



1. Protecting your work surface with a cutting mat, use a craft knife to cut a rectangle of brown card stock (card) measuring 4 x 2½in (10 x 6cm). Cut out four windows and a door. Don’t be too precious about getting the measurements exactly right, any uneven cutting adds to the folksy look!

2. Draw out the shape for the roof section on tracing paper, making the roof 1in (2.5cm) wider than the house. Place the tracing on a fl at piece of tin cut from the cookie sheet and secure the ends with some masking tape. 

3. Using an old ballpoint pen (it can even be one that has run out of ink), go over the main outline of the roof section. Then use the pen to draw the pattern (use the photograph opposite as a guide). Press hard with the ballpoint pen to make a good impression in the tin. This is the back of the roof.

4. Use snips to cut out the tin triangle. Spread glue along the bottom edge and stick it to the top edge of the house.

5. Follow steps 2 and 3 to make the decorative strip that goes across the front of the house, and stick it in place.

6. Punch a small hole at the top of the roof, in the centre, and thread through some twine for hanging.

7. Using your first house as a model, cut out more card-stock (card) rectangles, each one a different size. Make some tall and thin, others wide. Cut out windows and doors. Design tin roofs for them, making sure each one is a little wider than the width of its house. Draw different decorations across the roofs: try zigzags, scallops, and dots. Follow steps 4 to 6 to complete each little house.



Be extremely careful when cutting tin, as it has very sharp edges. It is best not to use your best dressmaker’s scissors—use tin snips instead.


This project is from Foraged and Recycled Art by Clare Youngs. To get more blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox - be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.

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