How to Make a House Out of Triangles, Squares & Trapezoids

A house can be broken down into two or three shapes that are repeated over and over again to create the structure. You can build your own miniature house using flat wooden squares, triangles and trapezoids. By assembling the shapes together in a specific way, you can turn the smaller pieces into a complete home that you can paint and display. The activity can also be used as a lesson in mathematics about different shapes and patterns in architecture.

Things You'll Need

  • 170 wooden squares
  • 50 wooden triangles
  • 80 trapezoids
  • Assorted square and triangle pieces
  • Wood glue


    • 1

      Line up 10 1-inch wooden squares side-by-side in a row. Attach each square to its adjacent piece with wood glue.

    • 2

      Place 10 additional squares in a row above the first. Attach the squares to the adjacent pieces as well as to the row below them. Repeat this step until you have six rows of ten squares. This is one wall of your house. Make another wall in the same manner to create two walls.

    • 3

      Create two additional walls made up of six rows of five squares each.

    • 4

      Line up five 1-inch equilateral triangles in a row with all of the points facing up.

    • 5

      Slide four triangles into the gaps created by the first row of triangles. Secure the sides of the triangles together with glue.

    • 6

      Add four additional triangles with points facing up to the four triangles slid into the first row. Secure the row with glue.

    • 7

      Slide and glue three triangles pointing down into the grooves created by the four triangles. Attach three triangles with the points facing up to the previous row.

    • 8

      Slide and glue two triangles into the grooves created by the three triangles. Attach two triangles in the next row with their points facing up. Glue one triangle into the groove and one triangle pointing upwards. The complete triangle will have 25 smaller triangle pieces. Create a duplicate triangle in the same manner.

    • 9

      Glue a large triangle to the top of one of the five-square-long walls. Repeat with the other large triangle and five-square-long wall.

    • 10

      Glue additional squares along any point where two shapes meet so the added square overlaps the seam. For example, place a square flat over the seam where the squares and triangles connect. The added square provides extra support for the wall. Think of it as adding another layer of shapes to the wall.

    • 11

      Line up 10 isosceles trapezoids with a large base measuring 1 inch, small base measuring .75 inches and sides measuring 1 inch. Add another row of 10 trapezoids above the first. Glue a triangle over each gap made by the trapezoids.

    • 12

      Create a total of four rows of 10 trapezoids with triangles holding them together. This acts as one half of the roof. Create a second half.

    • 13

      Glue the four walls of the house together so the five-square-long sides are parallel to each other and the 10-square-long walls are parallel.

    • 14

      Lay one roof piece, so only the trapezoid pieces are visible, on each side of the slope created by the large triangles. Glue them into place. Allow the glue to dry to complete the house.

Tips & Warnings

  • Leave out squares on any of the walls to create windows and doors for the house.
  • You can paint the walls and roof of the house before assembling it.
  • Adjust the size of your house by adding or subtracting shapes or using shapes of different sizes.
  • Attach all of the walls and roof pieces so that the support squares and triangles face the inside of the house. This will keep a smooth design on the outside of the house.
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