Yeah, I know - it's not a milk carton, but you get the idea.
They sell tons of products in these paper cartons. You can find them anywhere and they all measure the same size.
That's why they're perfect for a project like this.
First we need to remove the bottom of the carton.
Hold the carton down with one hand, lay a pencil on the table and draw around the bottom.
Use a hobby knife and ruler to cut off the bottom of the carton.
Now measure up from the bottom 3" on each side. Measure up in the middle 4 1/2" (be sure it's precisely the middle).
Draw lines to form the roof peak. Draw a peak on the opposite side of the carton as well.
Cut out the carton using a hobby knife and a ruler.
For the doors and windows, get a piece of graph paper and draw a 1" wide x 2" tall rectangle for the door.
Also draw a 1" x 1" square for a window. I've placed a Games Workshop miniature beside them so you can see the relative size of the door and window.
Use a pair of scissors to cut out the rectangle and square. Place the door rectangle on the carton and draw around it.
Do the same for the windows (one window on each side).
Use a hobby knife to cut the openings on the carton.
It helps if the openings are slightly larger, so don't worry about making them perfect.
.If you look on the inside of the carton, you'll see a bump on the inside corners.
This will get in the way of the floor that fits on the inside.
Take a hobby knife and cut the bump away a little over 1/4" up from the bottom.
Most cartons have a waxy coated outside. You can paint on it, but the paint will scrape off.
I suggest you spray paint the outside white. Spray paint sticks much better.
When dry, paint the whole thing a cream or almond color.
If you intend to make a whole village, you might buy a can of almond colored spray paint.
This photo shows all of the pieces you will need to make the cottage. You will need to cast the plank mold 5 times.
For the cottage floor, we'll need to snap a group of planks in half (upper right photo).
To make the door, take another group of planks and snap all of the boards apart.
We'll only be using four of the six planks for the door.
Paint all of the pieces at this point! Painting instructions are shown above this article.
Lay out these pieces for the floor.
Cut a piece of cereal box to glue the floor planks down to.
When the floor is dry, trim the excess cereal box away from the 3 flat sides.
We'll take care of the overhanging boards next.
Place the house down over the floor on 3 sides.
To trim the last side, draw a pencil line across.
Remove the house, place a ruler over the planks (slightly below the pencil line) and scratch a deep groove with a hobby knife.
Go across at least 8 times to make the groove deep.
I find it helps to use the back of the knife instead of the sharp edge.
Lay the floor across a sharp table edge and break the excess off.
Remove the broken planks and trim down the excess cereal box.
Now glue the floor into the house. Let it dry completely before starting on the sides.
Using brown paint, paint the corners of the house.
This will help hide the gaps between the corner beams.
Glue the planks shown onto the outside of the house.
The ones circled in red at the bottom will need to be scored and broken to size.
The ones circled at the top will need to be sanded at an angle so the roof will fit.
The photo on the left shows the front with the doorway.
The photo on the right is the back of the house with the window.
Here's the side of the house. Notice that the top horizontal beam is placed slightly lower.
This is so the angled roof won't hit it.
The beams circled in red at the bottom need to be scored and broken.
The beams circled at the top need to be sanded at an angle so the roof will fit correctly.
I cut pieces of matt board to make the roof. The sizes are shown on the photo.
I'm going to try something new to resemble a thatched roof.
I found some fake fur in the craft department.
I was hoping to find a gold color, but they only had white so I'll have to paint it.
Cut two squares of fur a little larger than each side and glue them on making sure the fur lays down the right way.
Fur tends to lay down one direction so be sure it flows away from the roof peak.
Use a pair of scissors to trim off the excess.
To paint the roof, I mixed up some yellow paint very thin and added a touch of brown.
Be sure to test your color on a scrap first.
The paint has to be really thin and you have to drench it on - it's amazing how much paint the fur will soak up.
Afterward, use a paper towel to soak up the excess.
Here's the finished cottage.
The door is made out of the 4 broken strips from the floor glued together.
The wood beams can also be used for joists to support an upper floor (or at least look like they're supporting it) for multi-level buildings.
I also thought about doing one half of this building and placing it against a castle wall, or place half of this building up midway on a castle wall with wood bracing under it.
You can make a simple building out of any small cardboard box and just glue the wood strips on the side.