Monday, June 20, 2011

How to: Make round huts

During the wait in saving money for a lighted magnifier and another set of miniatures, I decided to design and create an Irish ring-fort and buildings out of free stuff. Following is how I went about creating wattle & dob huts with thatch roof out of mostly free stuff.

Step 1 : I obtained a couple 8x11 sheets of card stock for making the roof. I bought a sheet of plastic canvas at the hobby & craft store in brown for .56 cents and a 36 inch piece of balsa wood for .29 cents. Went to the Dollar Store and bought a broom (use the bristles for thatch). Out of the trash I salvaged a hot chocolate and orange juice can, both made of paper/cardboard (just washed them out). Looked at various kitchen ware for something circular that I could draw a circle with in the size desired. Make sure roof extends beyond walls.

Step 2 : Using a cereal bowl to draw around to make a circle on the card stock. Cut the card stock circle out with scissors, using two sheets (to make the roof more stable). Drew a radius line from edge to middle of circle and cut the line. Then bent card stock into a cone and glue, when dried, paint a dark color (black, brown gray). Cut a hole in the tip of cone. Small can used as a small storage hut, thus didn't have hole in top.

Step 3 : Taking a miniature figure (28mm) to measure height of hut and doorway, and drew lines. Taking a Dremel circular tool (or xacto knife, scissor), cut the height of the can, and having done so cut the doorway. I used the half of the can with the metal bottom which I shall brush diluted glue on and dump sand/dirt for flooring, then spray diluted glue on dirt to help it stick.

Step 4 : Paint the cut can the color desired. For a more plaster look, use a mixture of flour, glue, salt, & water (google web for correct recipe). Taking an xacto knife cut a couple of holes in which to glue a piece of plastic canvas over hole from inside the can. This makes the hole look like it needs repair and has a wattle & dob look (to me). Depending on color of paint for hut, the canvas may need to be painted a different color.

Step 5 : Cut balsa wood to length as the door posts and length of wall posts for height around the can (about 3 or 4). Glue them on the quarter areas of circle on outside of can (if re-moveable roof, have inside posts also). Paint the posts.

Step 6 : Placing the card stock roof on the can top, cut the bristles from the broom head, and then cut them to length needed for the roof. Glue small sections and placed down bristles. Layer them to look more like thatch roofs in England (sort of). Use a lot of white glue which dries clear. Using a washing technique in brown, paint the roof. Don't forget to paint the hole and thatch around the hole a black color, for smoke damage. If roof isn't to be removed, glue down.

 Step 7 : The various photos viewed on the web of Irish huts didn't show any doors so I used a cut piece of cloth to hang down. I then used blue paint and drew a few Celtic symbols on hut outside wall.

Step 8 : To make A-frame hut, take two round sticks and create an X on one end and glue. Using popcycle sticks, cut the round ends off, and laid them against the X posts, the X posts being one on each end. After gluing planking up stick sides, painted desired color. Then cut bristles to size desired and glue them down and wash with paint.      


  1. Very effective and sounds easy too.

  2. Great job, and very effective too, how many are you going to make for your village?