How to Make a Whimsical Wooden House

Graham Eagle's architectural-style walla hanging has many whimsical features.

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Materials and Tools:

1/2" and 3/8" plywood
various moldings and cedar lath
flexible rubber strips
1" x 6" lumber (pine or spruce)
mat board
pre-mixed plaster or other "trowelable" material
acrylic gesso
semi-gloss white latex paint
various colors of latex paint
objects to represent door handles and the grillwork above the door
dollhouse-sized flowerpot with flower
dollhouse-sized outdoor light fixtures
graph paper
band saw
power drill
screws and power screwdriver
artist paintbrushes
wood glue
safety glasses
ear protection
rags or plastic bags



1. Sketch out a whimsical house design on paper. Transfer the sketch to a full-scale size using graph paper.

2. Cut out the scale copy and lay it over the 1/2-inch plywood and trace around the shape with a pencil.


3. Cut out the plywood with a jigsaw. Cut more plywood about 1 inch wide using the same arcs as the outside edges to give the walls some thickness and to add dimensional stability. Glue these to the back of the main building with wood glue.

4. Cut a block and screw it to the back of the piece for the hanger to attach to a wall.

5. Cut mat board to go around the door to provide the exterior trim.


6. Cut the doors to shape from 3/8-inch plywood, making them about 1/4 inch wider than the door opening. Cut any other door trims desired.

7. Cut the roof from the 1" x 6" material. Cut the cornice band from the 3/8-inch plywood and glue it to the top of the building.


8. Cut the moldings into smaller pieces and glue them into the ideal proportion. Use lath to add depth to the molding pieces.

9. Cut the strips of glued-up moldings into appropriately sized pieces and cut some smaller moldings to the same length.


10. Cut the base and front step out of the 1"x 6" material.

11. Trowel on the first coat of plaster mixture and let dry.


12. Lightly sand the plaster.

13. Glue the door trim into place on the front of the building.


14. Glue the cornice moldings under the roof overhang.

15. Apply another layer of plaster to the main building walls, being very careful of the final appearance. Chunks can be gouged out as it dries.

16. Apply a thick coat of acrylic gesso over the whole house piece. Let dry.

17. Paint a coating of semi-gloss white paint over the whole piece. Let dry.


18. Paint the doors and rubber trim strips. Let dry.

19. Apply the first coat of paint to the walls of the building and manipulate it with rags or plastic bags to give the house a distressed appearance.

20. Apply a coat of a second color paint and distress. Let dry.

21. Rough sand the doors and rubber trim pieces, then paint the cornice and outside door trim. Let dry.

22. Paint the base and step to simulate stone. Let dry.


23. Paint the balance of the cornice a complementary color to the rest of the cornice. Let dry.

24. Attach the base and step to the main house.

25. Paint "stains" to the base, bottom and top of the building, doors and door trims. Let dry. Lightly sand the whole piece to give it an aged effect.


26. Cut and glue door jambs (rubber trim pieces) into place.

27. Attach door handles and screw doors into place. Apply the decorative embellishments, such as the light fixture by the door.


28. Attach a medallion over the door, flowers on the front step and your whimsical wooden house is ready to hang.


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