Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Making a Medieval Peasant Cottage - Tutorial

 Medieval Peasant Cottage

Making a Medieval Peasant Cottage:

We're using Answers in Genesis' Kingdom Chronicles this year in VBS (Vacation Bible School).

The Medieval Peasant Cottage is not part of the suggested crafts, but I wanted to make one and thought the kids might enjoy it too. There is a 'Castle Catapult' suggested for the juniors and primaries, but it's made with a little wood ice cream spoon and a bottle cap, not exactly the kind of stuff my craft buddy and I like to use. Now if we could make an actual catapult...

Anyway, the Medieval Peasant Cottage is going to be a two-day project, allowing an overnight for the stucco and the paint to dry.

For this VBS craft, I used the following supplies:

  • 5 x 5 x 5 cardboard box (with flaps)
  • 6 x 9 piece of chipboard for roof
  • 8 x 8 piece of cardboard for the platform on which the cottage sits (tiny lot)
  • 4 1/2  x 2 1/2 piece of chipboard or heavy cardstock for chimney
  • Tiny fake flowers for window box
  • Moss for bushes
  • Coconut matting (loose) for thatch, or you can use straw
  • Tiny gravel or fish rocks for walkway
  • Acrylic paints: Green, Brown, Black, Gray
  • Vimasco (vinyl acrylic mastic) for the stucco effect on the outside of the house
I'll admit, there are definitely perks for being married to a contractor. We have just about everything around here. (That's also the downside.)  But if you don't have Vimasco sitting around, you can use a heavy white paint with sand added. 
  • 1" wide paint brushes for applying the Vimasco
  • Assorted narrow paint brushes for applying the detail
  • Tacky glue (which the kids will paint onto the roof before applying straw 'thatch.')
  • Hot Glue gun and glue sticks. The adults will be doing the hot glue. I don't want the kids losing any fingerprints, like I almost did.)

Here's how:

Assemble the box, taping the bottom closed with Scotch packing tape.

Cut two opposite-end top flaps of the box so that each forms a triangle. Now bend the side flaps inward. Your roof will be affixed to these side flaps.

End flaps cut to form triangles

Construct a chimney by folding the 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 piece of heavy cardstock or chipboard at 1-inch intervals with a half inch leftover as a tab to glue or tape to one of the sides.

Fold 6 x 9 chipboard (roof) in half and cut a square (the size of the chimney) out of it.The 6x9 gives the roof a little overhang.

6x9 roof with hole for chimney

Hot glue the roof to the side (top) flaps of the house.

Glue the chimney in place. When that's dry, Give the chimney a stone look by dabbling gray and black paint onto it.

Paint the platform with a green acrylic paint (The platform is not yet glued to the house)

Paint the roof brown.

When the roof is dry...Apply the Vimasco 'stucco' to the outside of the house and let dry overnight.


Now paint the brown timbers, the window frames, the walkway, etc.

Adults hot glue the cottage to the platform.

Now would be the time for the kids to use Tacky glue to adhere flowers to a 'windowbox,' gravel to the walkway, and lastly, the straw to the roof.

The kids can use the 1" wide paintbrushes to paint the Tacky glue onto each side of the roof, then sprinkling straw on, like you'd add glitter to something. Probably best to do one side at a time.

Although I like the look of the coconut matting on the roof of the one I made (in the photo), an adult would have to hot glue that on. So at VBS, we're going to go with the chopped straw instead, so that the kids can do it themselves.

P.S. If you have any questions or if I left anything out, be sure to email me or leave your questions in a comment.


And speaking of Coconut Matting...
Lord Peter Wimsey, Harriet Vane

Lord Peter: "I was rather hurt. Fancy having to ask the Morning Star where the pole-star of one’s own heaven has gone to. . . How do these things get into the papers?”

“I rang them up myself,” replied Harriet. “First-class publicity, you know, and all that.”

“So it is,” agreed Wimsey, helping himself lavishly to butter. “Rang ‘em up, did you, with all the gory details?”

“Naturally; that was the first thing I thought of.”

“You’re a woman of business. But does it not, pardon me, indicate a certain coarsening of the fibers?”

“Obviously,” said Harriet. “My fibers at this moment resemble coconut matting.”

“Without even ‘Welcome’ written across them..."

                                               from Have His Carcase, by Dorothy L. Sayers


'Coconut & Lime'
Vegan, Natural, Handcrafted Soaps
Deliciously Fragrant

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at


This post may be linked to one or more of the following: Mop it Up Monday  and Get in My Tummy and  Cure for the Common Monday and  Clever Chicks Blog Hop and  Barn Charm and  The Marketplace  and  Mix it up Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and    Making the World Cuter Mondays and Make the Scene Monday and  Something I Whipped Up Monday and  Motivate Me Monday and  Making Monday Marvelous and Get Your Craft On and   You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Creative Showcase and Memories by the Mile and  Tweak it Tuesday and  Coastal Charm Tuesday and  Take a Look Tuesday and  Tasty Tuesday  and Love Bakes Good Cakes  and Overflowing With Creativity and Mom on TimeOut  and Adorned from Above and Wildcrafting Wednesday and   Cast Party Wednesday and  We Did it Wednesday  and All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday  and The Girl Creative Thursday and  Creative Things Thursday and Be Inspired and Time Travel Thursday and Thrifty Things Friday  and  Friday Fences and  Thursday's Inspiration and  The Self-sufficient Home Acre and  I'm Lovin' it Thursday and Creative Things Thursday and   Mandatory Mooch   and Foodie Friends Friday and Freedom Fridays and  Anything Blue Friday and Junkin' Joe and  Serenity Saturday and Get Schooled Saturday  and Inspiration Friday(ThursNite) and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and  A Favorite Thing Saturday and Sunny Simple Sunday and Sunlit Sunday and  Market Yourself Monday and  Saturday Nite Special


Samantha said...

We went to a medieval house last week, you'll love the pic of the timbers inside. I'll put it up on my blog for you to see tomorrow :D

Trace4J said...

I sure wished you would have been my VBS teacher.
So fun.
I'm sure they will love.
Woolie Blessings

Terri D said...

What an absolutely adorable craft project! They kids will love it. I love yours! Wish I had room to create a village somewhere....

Great instructions, and I hope others will get in on the project!

Unknown said...

How cute is that? And it seems like such an easy project too :)

The Cranky said...

What a wonderful idea and cute house...would make a great Christmas craft as well!

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Hi That is a really cute house adn I am sure the kids will love it. You put a lot of love into making it. Margaret

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

It's awesome, Judy! What a unique and fun craft for your VBS kids!

RURAL said...

You did a smashing job of creating that little house very cute.

I kind of think if anyone could build a modern day catapult it might be you...soap bombs anyone?


Susie said...

The little cottage is adorable. I would like it in a porch seeting. xoxo,Susie

MadSnapper said...

cute little cottage, the roof looks like what the cardinals put inside the part of the nest where the eggs go.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Very cute cottage!
Love the Harriet Vane quote!! I hadn't remembered her mentioning coconut matting, but I haven't read any of the Lord Peter books in awhile.

Olive said...

That is darling. Love it. you have got to be so much fun:}

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Really cute! The kids will love it!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Boy, I want to be one of your VBS students! Judy, this is just precious. Love it. I would love to have a birdhouse like this.



podso said...

What a great post! And what a fun VBS craft--I'd like to come to your church! I'm guessing they'll learn a bit about medieval times along the way!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
Wow, what a great idea. I would love to live in that cottage. :-)

We received our soap order yesterday...love the Coconut and Lime. :-)

Thank You!!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

That's so sweet. It looks like fairies could live there. I'm sure they will love building it.

I know that people in trades don't like to fix at home what they fix all day. My father and my spouse's father were both in the trades. My spouse is a chemist. He learned everything from his father, but his dad wouldn't want anything to do with what we are doing. My dad would, but he is sick, so he helped in other ways.

Denise said...

Awesome idea.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Such a fun and pretty project. Great tutorial as well. The kids will adore it. xo Linda

SImple and Serene Living said...

What an adorable project. I bet my grandkids would love it. Pinning. xo Laura

bj said...

This is too cute for words...love it.:)

The Vintage Chateau said...

Darling project! I'm a new follower,

J_on_tour said...

Amazing, what a great talent you have. I'm not surprised that your VBS kids & Grandchildren want to spend time with you.

Lisa Lynn said...

Very cute! Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday! Hope to see you again today at:

JoAnn SweetPepperRose said...

Now I just love this craft! I have an old wooden bird house painted in outdated colors, that I haven't had the heart to get rid of... you've given me an idea to transform it into a peasant cottage. Thanks for sharing your idea!

Unknown said...

Oh Judy - A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
Pinning this for inspiration for my village -
Just beautiful!

Unknown said...

I was going to use moss for the roof of one of my houses now I have to look for some coconut matting !!!


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