Have you noticed little houses are everywhere these days? Little houses, house shaped things, even tiny homes for people who really want to test the depth of their relationship.
There’s no place like home, right?
I’m totally head over heels for all things house shaped, so these little concrete houses are a really fun project.
What you’ll need
How to make a mini concrete house
Cut the template. You can make the houses any size you like, but here’s the measurements for the two sizes shown.
large house: 2 sides cut at 6 3/8″ from the long point of 45 degree angle. Bottom piece 6 5/8″ long. Top 2 roof pieces 5 1/2″.
small house: 2 sides cut at 3″ from the long point of the 45 degree angle. Bottom piece 2 1/4″ long. Top 2 roof pieces 3 1/2″.
The top of the sides (really, does that make sense?!) should be cut at a 45 degree angle for the roof. The angles where the roof comes together are also 45 degrees. I find it simplest to cut those angles first, then cut the 90 degree side to get the length exactly where I want it.
Attach the sides to the bottom with brad nails, and the two roof pieces together. But don’t attach the roof.
Prep the backer board. If you are using melamine it probably won’t need much. I ran out of scrap melamine so I used plywood. I coated it in polyurethane to keep the mortar from adhering, and then just to overkill it a bit I sprayed it with non-stick cooking spray. I don’t really know if both were necessary, but it worked, so there’s that.
Cut the doors and windows. I went with the imperfect look for this, and intentionally didn’t make anything too even.
For the windows you can use an inexpensive pull saw. If you want a little more power you can use a band saw to cut the pane. Again, I wanted an imperfect look, so I was none too careful with making the panes perfect.
Mix the mortar. You can use cement or mortar. I went with mortar because it finishes more smoothly than cement does. Ya, I realize that calling them concrete houses isn’t exactly right, but who’s going to google “mortar houses?!”
Add enough water to create a thick but pliable mixture.
That’s sort of a terrible description. Don’t go for pancake batter here. Keep it pretty thick.
Clamp the room onto the rest of the house form just tight enough to keep it from separating when you add the mortar. Pack the mortar in the melamine forms. If you can, pick up the whole thing and tamp it down a bit. You want the mortar to settle into all of the corners.
Push the door and window firmly into the mortar, wiping the excess away from the form. Be sure to fill in the grooves of the window with mortar.
Sneak peak to the end: You’ll want the windows to look like this:
Wait. Give it a couple days or three to let the mortar dry out. Then remove the clamps, pull the roof away, and gently pry the sides apart enough to release the house.
Full disclosure. I attached the small house walls a bit too securely and couldn’t get them to give at all, so the house crumbled a bit when I removed it. It probably wouldn’t have done that if I had waited another day for it to dry more, but I was impatient. Don’t be like me, be patient.
Keepin’ it real, folks. Always keeping it real.
Gently sand the door and window panes to clean off the mortar. If you want you can add some stain to the wood. Or paint them red for the holidays. Whatever floats your boat.
Personally, I think these little concrete houses make for a great look anytime, but for some reason they are just kind of perfect on a Christmas mantle.
That’s it! A simple fun DIY project that doesn’t cost much more than a $3 bag of mortar and that can be customized any way you like. Enjoy!