Paper House Luminaries and Mobile

JSIM-House-Luminary-10I designed a paper house template a few years ago and have modified the project into a multiple-house glowing mobile. It’s a sweet display lit for evening company, as a housewarming gift or other fun event. Because each house will need to be manually opened and every flameless tealight turned on one at a time, this display lends itself to more of a special occasion decorating piece. However, unlit, it is really sweet as everyday decor.JSIM-House-Luminary-15To make the houses like I did for this project, trim one-sided patterned scrapbook paper into letter-size sheets to feed through your desktop printer. I chose papers from DCWV, The Garden Tea Party Stack I purchased at Michaels with my 40%-Off app coupon. I happen to be pretty fond of the DCWV design crew, so I love using their papers whenever possible.JSIM-DCWV-Garden-Tea-Party-STack Go to my Etsy shop to purchase the Paper House Luminaries Printable Template then download the template and print to the back of each trimmed sheet or print the ephemera grapics that come with your purchase. My tutorial house shows the printed template lines in black, however, the lines in the actual file will print much lighter so as not to show up in your finished project.JSIM-House-Luminary-01Once printed, trim out each template along the solid line.JSIM-House-Luminary-02Score along each dashed line using a scoring board, or place the paper on a cutting mat and draw along the lines using a straight edge and ballpoint pen, stylist, or other rounded tip implement such as a crochet hook. Scoring will make this project much easier to do and keep your folds accurate so each house folds together correctly.JSIM-House-Luminary-03Don’t forget to cut out the little windows. You can do this at any point, before or after scoring & folding. I used a craft knife and cutting mat.JSIM-House-Luminary-04Cut out, score and fold all of your houses in assembly line. This is a great coffee table project while watching a TV movie.JSIM-House-Luminary-13Fold the panels of the house template along the score lines. The eaves of the house fold back at the ceiling line, in at the roof line, and back again at the roof peaksJSIM-House-Luminary-05Use paper glue to attach the flap on the left side of the house wall to the inside of the house wall on the right. My paper craft adhesive of choice for this project is Beacon 3-IN-1 Craft Glue. Adhere the narrow eaves sections together on the roof flaps (see finished house photos for reference of how the roof eaves are glued.)JSIM-House-Luminary-06Fold the two matching bottom flaps inward. Add a bit of glue to the folded section of the largest bottom flap then tuck and fold it up into the bottom of the house. JSIM-House-Luminary-07You now have houses that open at the top for dropping in battery operated flameless tealights and are secure enough at the bottom to hold each light.JSIM-House-Luminary-09You can close up your houses with or without small metal binder clips and place the houses about your shelves, with or without flameless tealights.JSIM-House-Luminary-12JSIM-House-Luminary-14To make the Paper House Luminary Mobile, I constructed one dozen houses. I used the inside wooden ring of an 8-inch embroidery hoop, some fishing line and small 1/2-inch binder clips for attaching houses to the mobile.JSIM-House-Luminary-11To make a similar mobile with twelve houses, tie and knot four equal lengths of fishing line to four equal sections of the hoop as the hanging string. Pull the four lines up together and tie into a knot keeping the hoop perfectly horizontal. Tie the line above the knot into a loop for hanging the finished mobile from a hook.

Tie and knot three lengths of fishing line to the wooden hoop positioned between each hanging string for a total of twelve hanging house lines.

Loop the end of each fishing line through both folded-back wings of a binder clip then tie and knot each in place. Stagger your houses randomly or equally to allow all to hang nicely and avoiding side-by-side flaring out from being too overcrowded. If you prefer all your houses hanging at the same length, either use a larger hoop or reduce the amount of houses.

Trim away any unnecessary extra fishing line ends.

Turn each flameless tealight’s switch to the on position and drop one into the top opening of each house. Press roof peaks together and hang each house a binder clip attached to the roof’s peak. Then…give your mobile a little spin.Cathe-Holden-House-Luminary-MobileThe flameless tealights I found flicker and the effect is really lovely.

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99 Responses to Paper House Luminaries and Mobile

  1. #1 - Jeannie says:

    Cathe! This is just darling. Perfect. Happy New Year!

  2. #2 - netmiff says:

    Love these! thanks so much – now, off to find 12 matching scrapbook papers …..

  3. #3 - Noreen says:

    What a terrific idea! I love what you did with the houses! Thanks for showing us how.

  4. #4 - sandie says:

    Cathe – this is amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing. This is a must make and I hope you didn’t mind me putting it on my Pinterest page.

  5. #5 - Jenny says:

    A beautiful project Cathe and so unusual.
    It’s gorgeous!
    Happy New Year!

  6. #6 - Sirpa says:

    So beautiful!
    Happy New Year from Finland!

  7. #7 - Elaine says:

    So cute! The houses do remind me of the paper houses once used in Christmas gardens. Bits of yellow cellophane covered the windows for a cheerful glow. This is such a fun craft, thank you so much for sharing, Cathe. I had not seen this paper collection but how perfect for spring.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  8. #8 - Patty Kosonen says:

    Cathe, you are so awesome with your creativity! You never cease to amaze me. Thank you for all that you come up with for your readers. 🙂

  9. #9 - Nancy says:

    The mobile is so lovely, thanks for sharing the template. Happy New Year!

  10. #10 - Michelle W says:

    Thank you for the great idea & templates! Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year.

  11. #11 - OmaLinda says:

    I have used your template to make your sweet houses for several different occasions….and now I have another reason to play again. Cathe, thanks so much for all you give to us, your readers. I do so apprecite your giving spirit. Oma Linda

  12. #12 - mizdarlin says:

    OMG…what a fabulous tute! and what a useful little template…my mind is soaring, thinking of all sorts of uses for this ….such as a gingerbread ‘village’ or ….?
    Anyway, thanks for this, a wonderful gift for the season♥

  13. #13 - Gayle says:

    Too, too cute Cathe – thanks for sharing this darling project!

  14. #14 - Nelly says:

    Hi – These are just lovely! You’re so generous in giving templates, tutorials and genius inspiration!! Have a wonderful and happy New Year!!!


  15. #15 - Mary Jones says:

    What a great project! This year I found tea lights with built-in timers at the grocery store. When you turn them on, they will stay lit for 5 hours, and then will turn themselves off for 19 hours. The next day, they will turn on again at the time you originally turned them on. To change the timing, you manually turn them off, then wait to turn them on at the new starting time you’ve chosen. They could be set to turn on every evening, for example.

  16. Pingback: CraftCrave | Blog | Freebies for Printable Scrapbooking or Cardmaking (large): Tuesday, 01 Jan 2013

  17. #16 - Melwyk says:

    Wow! Those are so beautiful! The flameless candles are so convenient 🙂

  18. #17 - Joyce says:

    Eeek! I just bought a big package of the battery tealights…I am so making these cute houses! Thanks Cathe!

  19. #18 - Mehrll says:

    Love them. Thanks for sharing with us

  20. #19 - CitricSugar says:

    Cathe, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

  21. #20 - Christy says:

    These are too cute! Thank you for sharing.
    Happy New Year!

  22. #21 - BOBBI ISERI says:



  23. #22 - Heather says:

    This is gorgeous!! I love it! Happy New Year!!

  24. #23 - Silverbutterfly says:

    Lovely display, thanks for the pattern & instructions.

    Happy New Year!


  25. #24 - Robin says:

    Catherine, this is simply a fun and beautiful project, thank you for the wonderful directions and file. I bet this is really neat at a house warming party! I want to give it a shot for my mantel.

  26. #25 - Sharon Wisely says:

    You really out did yourself on this one! Happy Paper Crafting in the New Year!!

  27. #26 - Kristiann says:

    This is adorable! It would be really cute as birdhouses too. I have so many ideas now, Thanks

  28. #27 - miranda says:

    Dear Miss Holden,
    At first I would like to give you best wishes for 2013.
    I really love te paperhouses, but my laptop refuse to download the file (he is naughty sometimes). Is there a possibillity you mail it to me, that really would make my day!!
    With kind regards from the Netherlands, Miranda

  29. #28 - Bev says:

    Is this precious or what? I wish I would have had the pattern for Christmas. Well, I guess I’ll just have to see what I have on hand in Valentine papers. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. I really can’t wait to make some houses.

  30. #29 - Projektmanagerin says:

    Thank you!
    I imagine this could be a fun project for (somewhat older) kids, too – they could color in their own house and with the flameless tealight have their own secure night lamp…
    Love it!

  31. #30 - Judyth in Kansas says:

    Oh, I love this!! My Sister, Karen, just sent me this link and… How neat! I do want to thank YOU very much for sharing this with us. THANK YOU!
    Take Care,

  32. Pingback: 74 fun things // 01 - 74 Lime Lane | 74 Lime Lane

  33. #31 - Julie says:

    Wonderfully inspirational! Thanks!

  34. #32 - Christine says:

    Love this. Thanks for linking to your older template and for all the inspiration!

  35. #33 - Sue W says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this is amazing, I can see this as a wonderful Christmas tree base addition.

  36. #34 - katia says:

    amei essa luminaria acho que fica bem em qualquer ambiente.
    muitissimo parabens

  37. #35 - Luciana says:

    I loved the boxes of mobile will do, that will be here in Brazil against the sails of batteries? I thought I will try your idea on facebook recycling, gardening and decorating.

    God be with you,

  38. #36 - Magdalena Macedo says:

    Me agrado la idea,me gustaría poder ver más manualidades

  39. #37 - Deni says:

    Oh my this is beautiful. I plan on making it this week!

  40. #38 - Michele says:

    This is so cute I have made lots of little houses like this and some bigger ones too. But this is the cutest thing I have seen. I just might have to try it. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  42. #39 - Àngels says:

    Very, very beautiful

  43. #40 - Rubia Rosa Barros says:

    adorei este móbile, só que colocaria diversos modelos de casas, mas a ideia foi incrível.

  44. #41 - suresh says:

    easy house with the old magazine and books

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  48. #42 - gail gassen says:

    These would be great for Christmas houses in an apothecary or under a cloche! Great idea..

  49. #43 - janet Trieschman says:

    I shared a link to you post on Try it – Like it

    I also mentioned that the photo of the houses in a row would look great on a mantle with some greenery around it.

  50. #44 - virginiolesmains says:

    merci pour ce tuto, je l’ai utilisé pour faire les marques places de ma table de noël :

    Joyeuses fêtes

  51. #45 - kuta says:

    very easy…… every one can do this

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  53. #47 - ruby kroon says:

    Very cool!

  54. #48 - Stephanie Lee says:

    These are absolutely adorable! Thanks for the tutorial also!

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  61. #49 - Karen says:

    really neat and pretty thank you

  62. #50 - Lorrie says:

    This is lovely. Thanks for the pattern and ideas.

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  64. #51 - arcticmaking says:

    So beautiful paper house! Thanks for sharing your tutorial and template. I’ve made my own paper houses, but in a tiny little different way

  65. #52 - barbara says:

    In my perusings around craft sites I came across one called Me and MY DIY the concept of a LED throwie is introduced – and in fact she shows how to make them as well as where to get them ready-made. This may be a good solution for lighting these houses. I got the info from a demo of making star light lanterns – her stuff, like yours, is amazing – I so love what others do even if I cant do them! Happy Thanksgiving!

  66. #54 - Ann says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous!

  67. #55 - Nygil D'Rozario says:

    Hi Cathe,
    Thank you for these little paper houses. I had it around our crib last christmas and will have them this year too. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  68. Pingback: Paper house with LED tealight | myfavouritewasteoftime

  69. #56 - Phyllis fitzgerald says:

    i loved your little house luminaries. Great idea for grandchildren to do as well. Thanks from Newfoundland, Canada.

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  71. #57 - luis vazquez says:

    yo le pondria en la parte de arriba un motor que girara muy despacio para que siempre estuvieran dando vueltas, magnifica idea y muy original, felicidades y feliz año, me podrias mandar muchos mas diseños, me encantaron

  72. #58 - Mary Camp says:

    I made house like these for Christmas scenes it was fun. I also used very small two sided tape.

  73. #59 - Alice Gatto says:

    Dear Cathe,
    I just wanted to thank you for making these available for me to use. I love luminaries and plan to use them for my granddaughter Bebe’s room when she comes to stay with me. I am sure she will love them too.

    Alice G.

  74. #60 - Gisseli Puga says:

    Parabéns! muita criatividade, e o resulta é maravilhoso. Obrigada por disponibilizar. Abraços

  75. #61 - sally says:

    I pinned this on pinterest………………so clever and wonderful…………thank you for sharing your talent sally

  76. #62 - Anne corson says:

    I have lots of reader’s digest condensed books…cleaning out my mom’s house. Do you want them?

  77. #63 - Emmie says:

    I am from South Africa and this little houses are so so pretty, thanks. I must make them

  78. #64 - Rita says:

    I absolutely love these. Thanks for sharing

  79. #65 - ritvija dixit says:

    i like this house project very much .. but i don hav printer which can print on these type o papers it seems i need to draw it.. so please mention diamentions so i can draw i t .. please

  80. #66 - Elaine C. says:

    I fell in love with this the first time I ever saw it. I think I will try making it.
    Thank you so much for sharing your talent with others.
    Elaine C.


    Hi, I love your stuff and I wonder if the actual size of each is to the template or must enlarge. Thank you

  82. #68 - paulak says:

    I made these and inserted little ‘treasure hunt clues’ rolled up as chimneys (cut slits in the roof section) and hid them around our office for our Secret Santa gift for a co-worker … they were a big hit! I would suggest though (in order to avoid damaging the cute little houses) that a small hole is cut in the bottom of the house and the tea light candle glued/taped on so that it can be easily turned on and off … love this idea … thank you. PS – I have not read the other comments so I apologize if I’ve repeated someone else’s idea 🙂

  83. #69 - Dianne says:

    Adorable houses…..The luminaries are awesome…..

  84. #70 - Rebecca jacobs says:

    Super! I’m amazed! God has gifted you! Thank you for sharing!

  85. #71 - Olessia says:

    Wonderful 🙂

  86. #72 - yvon (The netherlands) says:

    Thank you for the template of the little house. I am making 50 of them for my grandsons birthday, so he can treat the children at school.
    Its so easy with your template, i have done 9 so far, just 41 to go (lol).


  87. #74 - Rushd Lady says:

    Cute, cute, cute! Found you on Pinterest and sent the pic of your mobile to an Aussie friend who also likes mini houses. Have you ever used your small house template to make gingerbread houses for a mantle? That’s my thing — Christmas cottages (I have a tutorial for a Christmas cottage made from pop-tarts on my blog!) ! I like your idea of using the flameless tea-lights. I wonder if they come in red and green.

  88. #75 - Betsy says:

    How perfect for the holidays! Thank you so much for this. I’m looking forward to doing this project ASAP because it’s so much fun I can’t wait!

  89. #76 - fernanda says:

    Its wonderful, awesome, soo cute, its on my projects list to my daughter room. Congradulations!!!!

  90. #77 - Beadycat says:

    Its gorgeous! Ingenious and strikingly beautiful. Thanks for the free template. Merry Christmas.

  91. #78 - Sue Barnett says:

    Just made my first one but only with printed paper, can’t wait to get some card to do them with. It is stunning, so effective. Going to do some for Christmas. Brilliant.

  92. #79 - Gloria says:

    I made these little houses for my Advent Calendar. I hung them in a frame and lit one every day until Christmas Day. Wish I knew how to send a picture, but I don’t know how. I used the battery operated tealights in them and it is a tedious job to light them and then turn them off. I received a lot of comments. I love these little houses and will be displaying them again next Christmas.

  93. #80 - Anneliese says:

    thank you for this very good and clear post. Such a beautiful mobile. I just registered for your newsletter.

  94. #81 - Lucio Musto says:

    bravissima Cathe!… semplice ed esauriente nelle spiegazioni,
    con la sicurezza di chi ha le idee molto chiare!
    Sono certo che i tuoi bimbi siano molto orgogliosi di avere una mamma così,
    Dai a loro una piccola carezza a nome di nonno Lucio

  95. #82 - Muddlehead says:

    These look fabulous and so effective, I love them. Thank you for sharing this clever project.