How to Make Mini Indian Houses

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Native American Indian's lived in many types of housing. The housing varied due to the terrain of land and wide range of temperatures. Arizona could get as hot as 120 degrees Fahrenheit while it was not uncommon for the temperature to drop to -50 degrees Fahrenheit in Alaska. Types of material used to make the numerous Indian houses include sticks, bark, rocks, animal skins, ice, mud and grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Sugar Cubes
  • Powdered sugar
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • White glue
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Kitchen knife
  • 4 - 12-inch straight twigs
  • Large brown paper sack
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Pencil
  • Markers or crayons
  • 8 1/2 by 11 inch drawing paper
  • Paper mache
  • Newspaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Oblong balloon
  • Paint brush
  • Tape

Sugar Cube Igloo

  • Cut a 6-inch circle from a heavy piece of cardboard. Glue it to the center of a 12- by 12-inch piece of heavy cardboard.

  • Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of water to make a thick paste. Add small drops of water to the mixture if it is too thick to spread with a knife.

  • Spread frosting on the bottom of a sugar cube. Place the sugar cube on the outside edge of the cardboard. Continue adding sugar cubes around the cardboard circle making sure to leave a 1-inch gap between the beginning and ending sugar cube for the door.

  • Begin the second row. Spread frosting on the bottom of a sugar cube. Build the igloo in an alternating brick pattern. Place it over the line made between the first and second sugar cube on the first row. Offset the sugar cube so the back of the cube extends past the back of the first row by approximately 1/16 of an inch. Construct five complete rows and stop. Let the icing harden before applying another layer. Repeat the process until the dome of the igloo is finished.

  • Spread frosting on the bottom of a sugar cube. Place the sugar cube directly in front of the first sugar cube placed on the cardboard. Add four sugar cubes to the row extending to the front of the igloo. Repeat the process by placing a frosted sugar cube in front of the last sugar cube placed on the cardboard in the first row.

  • Spread frosting on the bottom of a sugar cube and begin the second row. Start at the igloo and go to the end of the door opening base making sure to place the sugar cube approximately 1/16 of an inch offset toward the inside of the door opening. Repeat the process with the other side until the door opening has a domed shape. Let dry and decorate the cardboard.

Twig Tepee

  • Place four 12-inch straight twigs in a bundle matching the top and bottom. Secure tightly one end of the twigs with a pipe cleaner down approximately 1 1/2 inches from the end. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the twigs and twist.

  • Separate the four twigs at the bottom so they stand and look like a tepee shape. Space the four legs evenly to form four triangles. Hold one of the triangular shapes firmly and lay it down on a piece of paper. Trace around the outside of the triangle to make the tepee covering template.

  • Cut out the triangle template. Place the triangle template on the brown paper bag and trace around the outside. Move the triangle template and line it up with either side of the first triangle traced. Match the top point of the triangle and align the edges together. Trace around the outside of the triangle. Repeat this process until a total of four triangles have been traced.

  • Cut on the outside edge of the polygon shape on the brown paper bag. Cut a 1 1/2-inch hole for the door in the center of one of the middle two triangle shapes. Fold the polygon-shaped brown paper bag on the triangle traced lines. Tape the edge together. Cut 1 inch off the point of the folded paper.

  • Spread the twig tepee frame and set it on the table. Place the folded polygon shape over the top of the twigs until they are covered. Lift the tepee up carefully and tape a twig in each fold. Decorate the outside with Indian designs.

Paper Mache Wigwam

  • Blow up an oblong balloon. Tie off the end. Place the balloon on newspaper before beginning the paper mache process making sure a long edge is the top.

  • Dip 1-inch strips of paper into the paper mache mixture. Drape the paper over the top of the balloon. Smooth out any bubbles. Repeat the process and cover the balloon leaving a small opening at the end where the balloon is tied. Place a second layer of paper mache strips over the first in a criss-cross fashion. Cover the entire balloon. Let the paper mache dry.

  • Pop the balloon by cutting off the end of the balloon that is tied. Make a mark around the outside of the balloon starting at the opening so the entire paper mache balloon is divided in half. Cut along the drawn line to form two wigwams.

  • Cut a domed door shape on one side of the wigwam. Tape the cut edge of the wigwam to an appropriate sized piece of heavy cardboard.

  • Paint the outside of the wigwam with brown acrylic paint. Add black lines to make it look like grass. Decorate the cardboard to show the vegetation around the wigwam.

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References

  • Photo Credit Tippi image by martintu from Fotolia.com
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