Whenever I craft with my kids, we always end the creative afternoon by choosing a spot to put their work on display. In fact, they’re becoming quite the enthusiastic little decor lover through this process, finding spots that match the colours they’ve used or that suit the aesthetic of their favourite crafting tool, popsicle sticks. That’s why I’ve started trying to think up all kinds of new things we can make together from the sticks, which they feel confident using, that we can hang up like ornaments for visitors to see! Recently, we made adorable little stick houses together after a family trip to an old fashioned winter village, complete with a skating rink and bonfire.
My kids loved the idea so much that they went on to make other styles of popsicle stick houses like fairy cottages or super hero lairs, but I loved the winter cabin idea so much that I actually made a second one just so I could show you how it’s done. Check out these step by step instructions complete with photos! If you’d rather follow along with a video tutorial instead of written words, scroll to the bottom of this post to find just what you’re looking for.
For this project, you’ll need:
- Popsicle sticks (long and short)
- Green paper
- Silver paint
- A paintbrush
- Hot glue
- A black marker
- Red ribbon with white dots
- Pom poms
- White pipe cleaner
- A small pinecone
Gather your materials!
Build the frame of your popsicle stick house! Place two long sticks vertically on your tabletop, parallel to each other and as far apart as the length of one long stick. Apply hot glue to the ends of a third long stick and stick it down at the bottom ends of the parallel sticks, connecting them across the bottom to begin a square. Repeat the process to place another long stick at the top ends of the originals to complete the square. Apply glue to the ends of a fifth stick and place it vertically through the middle of the square, between the two parallel sides, one end sticking to the centre of the top horizontal stick and one end sticking to the centre of the bottom one. Next, apply glue to one end of four short sticks and place them equidistantly along the bottom horizontal stick, two in the space on the left side of your centre vertical stick and two in the space on the right side. This will be the railing of your little cabin’s front porch! Grab another longer stick, apply glue to the ends and the centre, and place it horizontally across the tops of all the short sticks to be the porch’s top railing. Turn your whole piece over, apply glue to the bottom end of a shorter stick, and stick it to the top end of your centre vertical stick so it sits perpendicular to the top stick that completed your square. This begins your house’s roof and gives you a centre beam. Complete the roof by turning the piece back over, applying glue to both top corners of your square and one end on each of your last two sticks, then placing them diagonally away from each other so their glued tips meet the centre brace you just place and cross over each other, and their other ends sit in the glue on your original square’s corners. Voila! you’ve got a completed house frame.
Paint your entire popsicle stick house silver! you could also do another colour like brown or red, but I liked the idea of a metallic silver making the house look like it’s coated in winter frost. I painted both sides for consistency, even though I knew my ornament would have a distinct front and back.
Use your black marker to draw the shape of two spiky holly leaves on your green paper. It’s a winter cabin, after all! Cut these out and set them aside for the moment. Next, make a little bow from your red ribbon. Curl the end inward about an inch to cross over itself, making a loop, and put a dot of glue underneath where it crosses to stick it down. Then curl the other side in the same way, cross over your first side, and glue the overlap there as well. Trim the ends (I cut mine at an angle to stop the ribbon from fraying). You’re ready to embellish the front of your ornament!
Use your white pipe cleaner to make your roof and porch railing look like they’re lined with snow! Measure your full pipe cleaners along each of those sticks and cut them to length. Glue one along the horizontal stick in the centre that lies across the tops of your shorter sticks, then one each along your diagonally angled sticks at the top of your house.
Embellish your porch railing like the owners of the cabin decorated for the winter season! I started by sticking down my red ribbon, layering my green holly leaves on top, and then nestling my miniature pinecones (which I found at my local crafting store) and my little red pom poms (which I used to look like berries) together in the middle like a proper mistletoe.
Use one of your leftover pieces of white pipe cleaner to make a loop that you can hang your ornament from! Bent the piece in a gentle curve so its ends meet and glue them together. Then apply glue to that end and stick the whole loop to the back of your house, where the roof peaks, with the loop facing upwards.
You’re officially finished your popsicle stick ornament! Remember that you can easily use this basic concept but get creative with your colours and embellishments to make houses of all different styles too. Just in case you’d like to try this project out for yourself, here’s a fantastic tutorial video to help you!