Learn how to make a Seaside Gnome House for your gnomes! We are sharing directions for how we made ours but get creative when you make your own!
While Kristoff paced up and down the beach trying to figure out how to get the crate out of the water, he noticed something quite peculiar. It seemed the crate was making its way to the shore all by itself! How could this be?
When the crate finally cleared the last of the waves, Kristoff smiled deeply. Under the crate were 3 of his friends, the lobsters! How many times had Kristoff rowed his small boat out to the lobster traps that the humans had set and released his friends? And now, they were returning the favor by carrying the crate out of the ocean for him!
Kristoff lead the lobsters to an area of the dune that would be perfect for the new house. When the lobsters had the crate in place, Kristoff walked with them back to the water. After they exchanged a few pleasantries, the lobsters disappeared in the surf and Kristoff rolled up his sleeves and set to work on the new house.
The directions for making your own Seaside Gnome House will be shared in 4 parts:
PART 1 :: Crate and Dry Brush Painting can be found HERE
PART 2 :: Roof and Storage Shelf
PART 3 :: Flooring and Rope Railing can be found HERE
PART 4 :: Steps and Ladder can be found HERE
GENERAL MATERIALS FOR SEASIDE GNOME HOUSE
- crate or other wooden box (ours was a decorative crate that measures 14″ x 9″ x 6″ that we bought at a local craft shop. It was unfinished and had rope handles which we removed while painting. We tied them back on at the end) You can use or make any size crate you like.
- acrylic, soy or other non-toxic water based paints
- craft glue
- sea glass or decorative glass pieces
- twigs and branches for house stilts, ladder, and rope railing. I bought a bag of small pieces of decorative driftwood from our craft store which I used for the steps but used branches from our yard for the rest.)
- wide craft sticks
- 3/16″ basswood (found in craft and hobby shops) Our piece was 4″ deep by 36″ wide for the roof and storage shelf (Save all left over pieces from the basswood. They will be used on accessory pieces for the house.)
- 1″ x 1″ pine the length of your crate plus 4″ for support wedge of roof
NOTE: We are sharing how we made our seaside gnome house. Hopefully our directions will give you useful ideas that will help you make your own. You will need to make adjustments based on the size and shape of the box you start with.
ADDING THE ROOF TO YOUR SEASIDE GNOME HOUSE
For the shingled roof you will need the 3/16″ x 4″ basswood. It should be at least 4″ longer than the width of your box. You will also need jumbo craft sticks, crafting glue, 1″ x 1″ piece of wood 4″ longer than the width of your crate and the paint left over from Part 1 :: Crate and Dry Brush Painting.
Starting at one edge of the basswood, apply a liberal amount of crafting glue to a section of the board. Line your 1st craft stitch up with the edge of basswood. Allow the sticks to overhang the front of the roof by 1/4″. Place the sticks close together. Wipe up any glue that seeps up between the sticks with a damp cloth. Continue adding more glue and work across the board until you’ve covered the width of your crate plus 4″.
Turn the roof upside down on a protected surface and weight the board until it has dried. This will prevent the basswood from warping.
Draw a light pencil line 1″ from the edge of craft sticks. You will use this line as a guide for placement of your 2nd row of craft sticks. Stagger the sticks so the center of the second row of sticks is placed over the junction of the 2 sticks below it. Lining the bottom edge of the craft stick with your line, glue sticks all the way across. Again, turn over and weight until the roof dries.
We cut our 3rd row of craft sticks in half so we didn’t waste them. We used a saw to cut them. Again, draw a line 1″ from the edge of the second row of sticks and glue and add the third row, staggering the sticks. Weight and dry.
When the roof is dry, cut the roof so it was 2″ wider than your crate. Then measure from the front edge of the roof 3″ and cut the roof to size. We used a table saw to cut ours but you can use a hand saw, too.
For the back wedge, cut a 1″ x 1″ scrap of wood on an angle the entire length of the stick so when it is glued to the roof and crate the roof will be on an angle. (See the finished picture at the end of the tutorial for another view.)
To prevent sharp corners, cut the 2 corners that attached to the crate on a 45 degree angle.
To paint the roof begin by painting the shingles with the gray wash from painting the crate.
Using a small brush and green paint, add “moss” where one row of shingles touches the row below. This should be very random and uneven, like real moss on weathered wood.
Finally, dry brush white over the whole thing. Read more about dry brushing in Part 1 which can be found HERE.
Run a thick bead of glue across the top of the crate where the roof will be placed.
Position the roof on the crate making sure it overhangs the same amount on both sides.
Hold in place for a minute or two until the glue begins to set. Allow to dry completely before continuing work on the house.
MAKING A STORAGE SHELF FOR YOUR SEASIDE GNOME HOUSE
For the Storage Shelf you will need the second half of the 3/16″ x 4″ piece of the basswood left over from the roof, white paint from the house and craft glue. Cut the piece to length. It should be as long as the inside of the crate. Measure at the back of the crate where the shelf will be placed since measurements at the front of the crate and back of the crate can be slightly different. You want the shelf to fit snug but not to bow. Now, cut the piece lengthwise so the shelf is 2″ deep. Save the left over basswood pieces for a couple of accessories we will be making for the seaside gnome house.
Paint the top and bottom of the shelf and along with the front edge white. Do not paint the 2 side edges or the back edge. Glue sticks better to unpainted surfaces.
Decide where you want to place the shelf on the inside of the house and make light pencil marks on the 2 side walls to aid in placement. We placed our shelf 1 1/2″ from the ceiling. Add glue to the sides and back of the shelf.
Place the house on its back. Position the shelf inside the house making sure it is parallel to the ceiling. To hold the shelf in place while drying we slipped a box of mac and cheese, which happening to be 1 1/2″ deep, between the ceiling and the shelf. If you cut the shelf snug it won’t need support. Just make sure it doesn’t slip forward while drying.
Your gnomes will now have a handy storage shelf over their heads and out of their way!
Coming soon, Part 3 :: Flooring and Rope Railing