Old Homestead Winter Scene – Model – Centerpiece (1916)

This Old Homestead Winter Scene is a great model to make to be used as a really neat centerpiece, a school project, or just for the fun of it! Just make sure if you are making it as a centerpiece that it isn’t so large that there is no room for the food! Based off of a project from 1916, I have re-written the directions (copyright 2008, The Vintage Info Network)

You’ll want to start with creating the logs for your cabin first. Some fallen tree branches will make the best logs for your home. Try to find ones that are as straight as possible. If you don’t have any tree limbs, you can make your logs out of paper (see picture). To make the logs out of paper, roll the pieces of paper around a pencil. Glue the edges of the paper to keep it rolled up. When dry, remove the pencil and pinch the ends of the tubes together.

Now, to build the walls of the cabin, use a cardboard box to make them sturdy. Using a small box, cut down the sides enough to allow for cutting the gable ends (see picture)

Next, make the base for the chimney. It is made of one piece of cardboard that is folded. Make it shaped as shown – with the top partially cut away – so the bottom of the chimney is larger. Glue the chimney form/base to the end of the cabin.

The doors and windows can either be cut out of the cabin/box or you can just draw them onto the cabin.

Now onto building the log walls. Before gluing the logs in place you should make sure they are the length needed – cut/trim them as needed. Place one log along each side and glue it to the box, then place a pair of end logs across their ends and glue them to the box. Alternate one side log on each side, one log on each end – just like building with Lincoln Logs (remember those?). Continue until the walls are to the top of your box frame.

If you are using the paper logs, pinch them where they would be “notched” if they were real logs – wherever 2 cross (at/near the corners of the cabin). For wooden logs, notch them so they fit together over each other.

Next we will build the rest of the chimney. Use either small twigs or paper twigs. You can make paper twigs by rolling paper around toothpicks. Put some cotton balls in the top of the chimney to look like smoke.

Use cardboard for the roof. Cut the roof so that it overhangs the eaves and gables. Glue it to the edge of the cardboard cabin frame. Next, paint the roof brown. The paper logs, if used, can be painted brown too.

Now you will need a foundation for your winter scene homestead. You can use the top of a cardboard box. Fill it with soil or sand to the top. You could fill part of the box top with styrofoam or newspaper so you have to use less soil or sand. Place the cabin on the foundation.

For the pond, use a small mirror placed on the foundation. Cover the edges of the mirror with soil/sand to make it look more natural.

For landscaping you can plant several small branches of shrubbery or other greenery found in your yard.

Next, make the rail fence to surround the homestead using short, skinny sticks or paper tubes.

You can make this into a winter scene using flour, corn starch or fake craft snow for snow. Put your fake snow on the ground, cabin roof, in patches. Make snow drifts just like you would find in real life.

Add a figurine or two to show the family that inhabits this homestead.

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