Christmas Canal Houses

A lot of our DIY projects are inspired by nature, our travels, and what surrounds us. Today it’s the canal houses of Amsterdam that inspired us to make these paper versions. To make them look like the real thing, we designed these houses to be slimmer and taller compared to some of the other paper houses we’ve made.

Since there are a lot of small windows and little details on these paper canal houses, we recommend using a cutting machine. This will speed up the DIY process and make it much simpler too. However, you can cut these by hand using our PDF template below and a craft knife.

After you assemble your paper canal houses, we think they’d look pretty with some LED candles inside of them or a string of fairy lights. This plus the vellum sheets will give them that warm holiday glow! We’d love to see how you use these houses as Christmas decorations, so make sure to use the hashtag #MadeWithLia if you make your own version.

How to Make a Paper Canal House Luminary

  1. Gather your craft tools and materials. Then download the template below.
  2. Cut out and score your paper house and vellum window pieces according to the template using a cutting machine (recommended). Need help? Read this post. Or use our PDF to cut by hand with a craft knife and score along the dotted lines with a scoring tool. Note: the PDF houses are slightly smaller to fit onto 8.5” x 11” cardstock when printed.
  3. Fold along score lines and glue the vellum piece to the inside of the house windows.
  4. Glue the tab on the base to the inside of the house. Fold the non-tabbed bottom piece on top and glue in place.

Full tutorial available for members only. Join here!

Photo tutorial for paper canal houses by Lia Griffith

paper canal houses with LED light inside paper canal houses on mantel with fresh greenery, scissors, and twine paper canal houses on mantel with fresh greenery paper canal houses on mantel with fresh greenery against grey and white polka-dot background

Join Us for More Holiday Fun

As we get closer to Christmas, we’ll be posting new projects and old favorites on our social channels. You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for daily DIY inspiration. Or browse our video tutorials on our YouTube channel.

To download this project and other seasonal crafts, become a member! Already a member? Gift one to your crafting buddy!


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  • Cutting Machine (recommended)
  • Craft Knife, Ruler, and Cutting Mat (if cutting by hand)
  • Scoring Tool