a paper model of a house on top of a table

Frequently Asked Questions

You’re interested in commissioning a house portrait, but have some questions? This is the page for you! See below for some frequently asked questions about the house portrait process. If you don’t find your answer here, you can get in touch directly.

How do you make house portraits? Are they 3D-printed? Did you use a laser?

The video on this page offers a pretty thorough look at my process, but if you’d rather read about it, here’s the short version: I use design software on my computer to draw an illustration of your house by tracing a photograph. Once you’ve signed off on the illustration, I take the drawing apart, digitally, and create all of the different layers, parts, pieces, tabs, etc. for the finished piece. That file is sent to my computerized cutting machine (which uses a tiny little metal blade, not a laser) and cut, then I peel each little piece off of the sticky cutting mat the machine uses, and fold and glue each piece into place. Using technology makes the finished product more accurate, but this is still an incredibly time-intensive process.

What kind of paper, glue, etc. do you use?

I use a sturdy 100 lb. cover stock paper for the houses, the weight and style of background paper depends on the color selected. The glue I use is a quick-dry acid-free glue. It’s what I had on hand when I started, and it works well for me. I squirt a blob of glue onto scrap paper and use a wooden skewer to apply to glue to the pieces I’m working on. I often use model building tweezers to hold small and delicate pieces while I’m working on assembly.

How long does it take to make a house portrait?

I accept new house portrait commissions every 8-12 weeks, with an 8-10 week turnaround time. I’m occasionally able to accommodate a faster turnaround time, but there is a rush fee.

In terms of actual hours, each house takes at least 20 hours of active work, but more complex houses can take significantly longer than that. I once spent 8 hours on just a porch!

How many houses have you made?

As of January 2022 I have completed approximately 100 house portraits. You can see my latest work on my Instagram account: @yeioupaperobjects.

Can you give me a quote?

If you have the photo you’d like me to work from to make your house portrait, you can DIY a quote by looking at my pricing formula. I can also take a look at your photo and clear up any questions you have about specifics.

Will this photo work?

That’s a great question! Read more about how to choose a photo, and see photos I’ve worked from in the past. If you have any specific questions about your house you can email me a photo and I’ll take a look.

I have an idea for something a little different, can you do that?

Each house portrait I create is totally custom, so if you have a specific background in mind, you want to see some color on the house itself, there’s something about your house that is particularly unique, or you want to see the same treatment applied to a vehicle or something else, get in touch and we’ll see if we can work something out!