Thanks to my love of vintage crafts, I found this INCREDIBLE Dutch village paper model set on Ebay a few months ago. It was drawn by artist Leroy Sauer in the 1930’s, and I just knew I had to get it to give it new life again. In fact, I even had one of our writers write up a whole lesson plan on the history and culture of the Netherlands to accompany this amazing set. It’s a lot of work, but the end result is an absolutely beautiful paper model set of a working windmill, two model houses, a bridge and tulip farm, and a whole community of villagers in historic Dutch costume. The set focuses on the agricultural livelihood of the 1800’s, including tulip bulbs and two world renowned cheeses, Edam and Gouda (named after the towns in which they were made).
We recommend printing this set out onto the heaviest card stock your printer will allow. It will take several hours to color, cut out, and assemble the entire Dutch village model. It’s a good thing that April has plenty of showers, because this is a perfect rainy day project for spring!
General Directions for Printing and Assembling the Dutch Village Diorama
Color all 8 pages before cutting them out. Do not color tabs or other areas indicated for gluing.
Use a glue stick, not liquid glue. Glue sticks will dry almost immediately, which will make the pieces much easier to assemble.
Cut out pieces on outside lines. Score and fold on dotted lines. To score your folds, lay a ruler along the dotted lines and run a dull edge (like a butter knife or empty ball point pen) along the lines with enough pressure to make the paper fold easily.
Tabs fit into slots of corresponding numbers. To cut the slots, have an adult use a razor blade. The slots are indicated by short, heavy lines.
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You may want to print multiple trees or windmills to set a larger scene.
Each figure has a paper support that will allow them to stand upright. The supports of special sizes are marked. Unmarked supports will fit any of the remaining figures. To stand figures, lay the support on the back of the figure so that the bottom of the support is a little lower than the bottom of the figure. Paste the small area above the dotted line to the back of the figure. Fold up on the dotted line to form the support for the figure.
To Construct the Paper Windmill Model
Cut out the two sections of the bottom of the windmill from Sheet 5. Score and fold on dotted lines, and cut the slots. Paste two sections together.
Cut out the two sections of the middle of the windmill on Sheet 6 and Sheet 7. Score and fold on dotted lines, and paste the two sections together.
Attach bottom of windmill to the middle of windmill by placing tabs into corresponding slots. Bend tabs up and paste in place. The middle of the windmill will be slightly wider and overhang over the bottom section.
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Cut out support for windmill cap from Sheet 8, and cut slots. Score and fold on dotted lines. Place across top of middle section of windmill with tabs 9, 10, 11, and 12 going through corresponding slots. Leave the ends of support extended out over the edge of the middle section and paste tabs securely.
Cut out extension for middle of windmill from Sheet 5, and score and fold on dotted lines. Paste to top of middle of windmill at place indicated.
Cut out windmill cap roof from Sheet 8, and score and fold on dotted lines. Form roof by pasting triangular tab under opposite side. The result is a slightly curved form. Cut out the two sections of sides of cap from Sheet 5, score and fold on dotted lines. Paste the two sections together. Paste sides of cap to windmill cap roof starting at ‘X’ and around curved part of roof ending at ‘Y’.
Cut out front of windmill cap from Sheet 8, paste it to the ends of side of cap and to windmill cap roof. It will be necessary to bend the straight edge of the windmill cap roof in order to paste the tabs to the circular part of the front of windmill cap.
Place assembled windmill cap on top of middle of windmill. Front of windmill cap should extend as far forward as possible, standing about 1/2 inch in front of the extension piece. Paste tabs to side of cap as indicated.
Cut out the two sections of windmill arms from Sheet 5 and Sheet 6, and cut out sails from Sheet 4 and Sheet 7, score and fold on dotted lines. Cut slot in long sections as places indicated. Paste short section of arm from Sheet 5 around sail at the place indicated. Continue covering this edge of the sail with the folded end of the longer section of arm. Insert the other sail into the slotted end of the large section and paste. The two sails will extend from the folded arm in opposite directions. When finished the end of each sail will be about 3/4 of an inch from the center dot intended for the nail hole. Cross the two arms at right angles and paste together in this position.
Attach windmill arms to the windmill with a thin nail. If the front of the cap of windmill seems to sag, it may be held up in place by a paper fastener at the back of the cap.
To Construct the Tulip Bed
Cut out the four strips of tulips from Sheet 3, cutting slots in two of them as indicated. Cut out tulip bed braces from Sheet 3, and cut slots, and score and fold on dotted lines. Fit slots in the tulip strips on slots in the braces. Paste front and rear strips into position at A and B. Be sure that all the rows of tulips face in the same direction.
To Construct Model Houses
Cut out the two sections of house 1 from Sheet 1, and score and fold on dotted lines. Paste sections together, completing the sides of the house.
Cut out roof for house 1 from Sheet 3, and score and fold on dotted lines. Cut slots, and paste to sides of house at places indicated.
Cut out boards for edge of roof from Sheet 1, and score and fold on dotted lines. Paste on edges of roof, see sketch on Sheet 1.
Cut out chimney for house 1 on Sheet 8, and score and fold on dotted lines. Paste together and place on house, attaching with tabs A and B in corresponding slots.
Cut out ornament from Sheet 8 and paste at top front of house, see sketch on Sheet 1.
Cut out house 2 and construct in the same manner.
To Construct Model Boat
Cut out bottom of boat from Sheet 4 and sides of boat from Sheet 7, and score and fold on dotted lines. Paste tabs on bottom of boat to the inside sides of the boat. The pots of tulips and man with the tulips may be placed inside the boat.
To Construct the Model Bridge
Cut out bridge floor from Sheet 3, and score and fold on dotted lines. Form bridge floor by overlapping notches at the two places on each side, pasting into place. Cut out bridge railings from Sheet 3, including cutting out the spaces between the rails with a razor (and the help of an adult). Score and fold on dotted lines. To attach railing to floor, place tabs and posts into the slots, pasting tabs in place.