November 12, 2016

Blank Canvas Village

Hello everyone!

I have a different kind of project to share with you today.  Instead of building a finished project  around a specific theme, I have instead designed a village that you can take in any direction you choose.

In other words, the village is a "blank canvas", ready for your imagination to take it in any direction. Decide on a theme, and then use paper, mixed media, and/or embellishments to decorate the buildings along that theme.

The village has 12 different buildings of various sizes, shapes and heights.  The tallest building stands 12” and the entire village will fit on a 12” x 12” base.

Here's a view of another of the sides.

This is looking at the third side from a higher angle.

And finally, here is the fourth side, again from a higher angle.

As you can see,each building has a sloped roof.  There are also five short platforms which I call the stoops - they look black in these pictures because I used black chipboard for the top of each stoop.


The buildings are simply made from lightweight chipboard which is scored and folded to make the walls for each building.

This is a 4" tall building with 2" sides.

I then added ledger strips to support the building base and top, and more ledger strips in the middle for internal support pieces.

Dependent upon the height of the building, there is one or more internal supports. This 4" tall building only has one internal support.

Medium weight chipboard is used for the top and base of each building, and for internal support.

Here is an example of a constructed building.

The stoops are made just like the buildings – the only difference is that they only stand 1/2” tall.

After the buildings and stoops are all made they are set side by side for a dry fit.

During the dry fit, each building is marked to show the overlap with any adjacent buildings.

This information is needed to ensure decorations are kept to a bare minimum in any area that will overlap.

Once the markings are complete, each building can be decorated.

Here are a couple of examples.

Not visible are the sides with overlaps, where I used only a base layer of decorative paper,or kept the decorations very flat.

Once the buildings are all decorated they are glued together and then they are ready for roofs.

The roof bases are also made from lightweight chipboard using just 2 basic shapes - triangles and trapezoids.

A square roof is made up of 4 triangles, and a rectangular roof has triangle ends and trapezoid sides.

The chipboard roof bases are placed on each decorated building in the village assembly and each is trimmed and notched to fit the building to which it belongs.


Next lightweight chipboard is used to make templates templates to cut decorative paper for each roof.

The decorative paper is then attached to each roof base and trimmed to match any notches in the underlying roof base.

During the rest of November and the first part of December in 2016 I will be working on the buildings for my version of the village which will have a Christmas theme.  I've chosen this theme because I've accepted the Funkie Junkie's "12 Tags of Christmas" challenge.  Instead of doing 12 tags, I'll use her inspiration pieces as jumping off points to decorate each of the buildings in the village,  I’ll be posting pictures and details here as I go along, so check back to see how my village is progressing.  For more info on the details of the Funkie Junkie's fun challenge, follow this link:
 - Fifth Annual 12 Tags of Christmas Funkie Junkie Style

Once my village is completely finished I’ll upload a video showing the completed project, but in the meantime here is a short video introduction to the project in its chipboard stage:
 - Blank Canvas Village (YouTube)

If you would like to play along and make a village that is uniquely your own, download the free Materials and Cutting Guide from Dropbox and watch the three part construction video series on YouTube.
 - Blank Canvas Village Materials and Cutting Guide (pdf)
 - Three part construction video series (YouTube)

Have fun, and happy crafting!

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