Collage Couture Studio Paper Dolls House Project

This tutorial was previously published in the book Collage Couture Studio Paper Dolls by Julie Nutting, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of North Light Books and

The House on Cherry Tree Lane

House Final_500

When I was young I had a large picture book that I bought at my school’s book fair. It was the story of that famous English nanny we all have come to love. I remember a page in the book where that nanny was landing in the neighborhood  she would soon be working in. The houses in this particular book had lots of lacy iron fretwork, and bubblegum-pink cherry trees throughout the landscape. I had always wished I lived in a neighborhood that was predominantly bubblegum-pink!
Now, I know Charley lives in a city flat in London and I’m sure it’s pretty nice, but I’m thinking she secretly wishes she lived in a colorful London neighborhood inhabited by flying nannies and filled with bright pink cherry trees! Who wouldn’t?
When I decided to do a house for my paper dolls, of course this favorite page from my childhood book came to mind. I had a piece of scrapbook paper that featured those yummy candy hues and the horizontal scallops were perfect for the roof. The roof could also be composed of different strips of colored papers with edges decoratively punched. Make sure you use your prettiest embellishments to give your house curb appeal!

Materials List

8″ × 10″ (20cm × 25cm) canvas or canvas board
acrylic paint: light blue, white, red, royal blue, raw umber, medium brown
black pen, fine-point
brown and green scrapbook paper doilies
brown chalk-ink edger
decoupage medium
hair dryer or heat gun (optional)
metal number
assorted scrapbook papers, green tones
scalloped circle punch, 1″ (3cm)
small bubble wrap
striped scrapbook paper, 2 kinds
wooden door

house step 1

1. Paint a coat of light blue acrylic paint over the canvas board. Gently feather in white acrylic paint in random places. Be careful not to overmix.

house step 2

2. Use bubble wrap to apply random bits of white, royal blue and red paint.

house step 3

3. Tear several pieces of green scrapbook paper into 8″ (20cm) long strips of varying widths. Using decoupage medium, apply these strips in layers, beginning 3″ (8cm) from the bottom and working down. The final piece should be the bottom piece.

house step 4

4. Cut a 5″ × 5½” (13cm × 14cm) piece of striped scrapbook paper. Ink the edges using a brown chalk-ink edger. Apply it to the center of the canvas about ½” (1cm) from the bottom using decoupage medium. Cut a complementary piece of a different striped paper into the shape of a roof that is about 3½” (9cm) tall. Cut a brown scrapbook paper doily into a small tree shape. Ink the edges. Apply the tree so that it peeks out from behind the right side of the roof (the roof should overlap the house by 1¾” or 4cm). Use decoupage medium to secure both.

house step 5

5. Using decoupage medium, add a small scalloped piece of paper to the top of the roof for added interest (create your own design with the scallop punch). Apply a wooden door to the center of the house and place a 1½” (4cm) square window (teal paper) on both sides. Embellish the windows with a slightly smaller square of patterned paper applied with decoupage medium. Allow to dry.

house step 6

6. Drybrush gesso lightly over the whole piece, including the sky, house, door and green hills.

house step 7

7. Paint a basic/primitive tree trunk with raw umber acrylic paint on the right side of the house. Highlight the tree with a light to medium brown.

house step 8

8. While the tree is drying, glue bright paper circles on both sides of the house. Glue stacks of colorful buttons onto the circles.

house step 9

9. Using a fine-point black pen, draw stems on the flowers, scallops under the roof and a saying along the roofline. Attach the green paper doily above at the top of the tree, overlapping the roof slightly. Glue a number on the roof of the house.


You can use a die-cut doily for the trees in any patterned paper you choose!


This tutorial was previously published in the book Collage Couture Studio Paper Dolls by Julie Nutting, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of North Light Books and

U2853_Collage_Couture_CM.inddTo find out more or purchase a copy of Collage Couture Studio Paper Dolls by Julie Nutting, click here.

And visit the bonus content page to watch an interview with Julie Nutting and for a video demonstration of a bonus project!

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