This holiday scene was created from 110 lb. card stock. The windows and some of the doors are transparent so that miniature holiday lights placed inside will shine through and show all the wonderful colors. The secret?? Inkjet transparencies! Yes, the same kind used to make overhead projector transparencies for presentations! They are available in office supply stores. Just make sure you buy the ones made for inkjets--they have a rough surface on the printable side to keep the ink from smearing once dry.
We provide the templates for the church in this project. (They are all available by clicking on the links below.) But once you download the church, you can design your own. All the parts of the church are made from rectangles and triangles. It's easy to design your own, modify them with different fills and clipart for windows and doors, and resize for different buildings. If your printer won't handle 110 lb. stock, you can use a lighter weight card stock and double up on it to add some stiffness to your buildings.
Although it may seem like a lot of work at first, once you finish the church you will see that making other buildings is a snap!
110 lb. card stock (or the heaviest your printer will handle)
Glue, glue stick, or glue pen
Paper trimmer with scoring attachment (this is optional but makes the work a lot easier!)
Cutting mat or heavy cardboard
1) Download the four templates for the church by clicking on the links below. Once the template opens, right click on it, select "Save Picture As…" , select bitmap or GIF as the file type and save the template to the directory of your choice.
2) Open a blank page in your graphics program in landscape orientation. Import the template for the church side walls. Resize the graphic to exactly 9.14 " X 7.63" for the side walls, 9.48" X 6.86 for the church front and back, 9" X 8.48" for the roof, and 10.21" X 9.26" for the steeple (part of the steeple will be off the page, but this is only white boxes added to cover unneeded lines on the template.)
3) Draw rectangles to match the size of the walls and fill with your choice of color or texture or photo, as per the instructions for your graphic software. Add clipart for the windows. (You will be cutting these out of the template once the final one is printed.) Save the file. Print a test page out on plain paper to make certain it looks correct.
4) Once you are satisfied with the test print, print it out on the card stock.
5) Repeat this process with the front template making sure you remember to add a door. Then repeat with the roof template and the template for the steeple.
NOTE: We left the steeple white, added little cut out circles and put a transparency design in the steeple. The choice is yours on this.)
6) Open another page for the inkjet transparencies, also in landscape orientation. Copy a window from your side wall template (make sure you check the size!) and paste into the blank page for the transparencies. Do the same if you want your door to also be transparent. In our church we left the door on the card stock and just cut around the edges so we could fold it back and open it.
7) Place the inkjet transparency in your printer according to your printer manufacturer's instructions. Make sure it will be printed on the rough side. Set your printer to print on transparencies (most will have a choice for this…it tells the printer to print a little darker so the colors will be vibrant.)
8) Print out your transparency sheet and let it dry for a few minutes.
9) Cut out all your templates and fold the tabs in (this is where the scoring attachment on the paper trimmer comes in handy.) Score and fold your roof in half lengthwise.
10) Place the front template face up on your cutting mat or cardboard. With your craft knife cut out the windows and door (if you are using a transparency for the door, cut out the whole door. Otherwise just cut around the top, bottom and outside of the door so you can fold it open.
11) Cut out the designs from your transparency sheet, making certain you leave a little margin around the edges for attaching them to your wall and place them over the holes in your template. Attach with small pieces of scotch tape or glue.
12) Glue the tabs on your side walls and attach them to the front. This is done most easily by laying them on the table and pressing them flat. Once all the walls and front and back are attached, glue the tabs to hold the roof and attach the roof.
13) Glue all the tabs on your steeple after scoring and folding and put the steeple together. It simply sits on top of the roof, no gluing needed.
NOTE: If you would like to add transparency to your steeple, or if you just want it to be lit from the inside, cut a hole out of the roof, underneath where the steeple will sit, before you fold and attach the roof. This way the light inside will shine through the roof into the steeple.
Once you have made a few buildings with this template, you can set up a little village by cutting a piece of corrugated cardboard long and wide enough to hold your building. Cut a few holes through the cardboard once you know where your buildings will go, so that you can poke the miniature holiday lights through the holes and tape the wires to the underside of the cardboard. A set of 35 lights or less works best. Cut out some white batting to cover the cardboard (artificial snowscape!) allowing the lights to stick through, and glue it or tack it to the cardboard. Then put your buildings on the batting covered board, plug in your string of lights, turn on some holiday music and enjoy the show!
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