Holiday Spirit Mini-Blog #2: DIY Wooden Houses

Happy December 13th!  I can’t believe it’s less than two weeks until Christmas! I have a lot of mini-blogs and holiday cheer posts still left to share, starting with today’s special guest post by a guy who also happens to be my husband, Dan.  Today, he’s sharing his wooden DIY houses project, which was inspired by a recent trip to Target.  I’ll let him tell you all about it…

Every time Krista says she wants to buy a piece of furniture, I’ll tell her that I can build it instead.  Unfortunately, that piece of furniture will still be sitting at the end of my to-do list months later.

During a recent trip to Target, Krista saw some cute wooden house decorations.  Very aware of the pattern I often fall into with furniture projects, this was one of the few times I was able to confidently say that I could build my own versions quickly, having all the wood and tools I’d need.

For materials, I pulled out an old douglas fir beam that I got free from a home renovation. While writing this, I’m realizing the appropriateness of building tiny houses from a piece of an actual home.

The biggest task with using reclaimed lumber is making sure it’s free of foreign materials that can damage tools.  Using a small metal detector, I found all the nails in the section of the beam that I was going to use, and pulled them out with a beat-up chisel, claw hammer, and pliers.

I then cut the beam to length.  I could have used my miter saw, but I wanted to try out my old crosscut saw that I bought from a garage sale for $2 and then restored and sharpened.  It wasn’t as satisfying as I’d imagined.


Next, I quickly cleaned up the beam with a hand plane.  I wanted the houses to retain some of the reclaimed look so just got it down to a flat, fresh surface on all sides.

Here’s a picture showing the original beam side by side with the freshly planed beam.

The last part was the easiest.  After getting past the thrill of using my handsaw, I decided to finish up on the miter saw.  I cut the beam into 3 equal-ish length pieces, set the blade to cut at 45 degrees, then cut the roofs.

I also sanded the edges and corners down a little so they weren’t so sharp.


I love reading Dan’s posts because his sense of humor is so distinct from mine.  I’m pretty sure you can tell our writing style apart by now!  In any case, I loved these wooden houses on the shelves of Target so much – and I love the DIY version even more.  They make great porch decorations!


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