I’m a big fan of Tim Holtz and Sizzix’s Big Shot.

Tim Holtz was the inspiration behind the electric version Vagabond. It looks like a suitcase and you can add travel labels to it. This is an excellent die cutting machine for those who do a lot of die cutting and those with issues with their hands . . . or are just tired of hand cranking the dies through the Big Shot.

One or the other of these machines is necessary to use the Sizzix Bigz Village Dwelling Die by Tim Holtz.

This die is essential in making a village . . . Tim has created other dies that are add-ons to this die . . . The Village Manor, Village Winter, Village Bell Tower, Village Bungalow and the Surf Shack. I think I covered all of them . . . There’s also a Brownstone that I believe is a stand-alone die . . . And there are also dies with different roofs, shutters and windows that you can add to make your dwellings a bit different.

And you can always add embellishments of your own using paper or other materials along with craft store items. It’s amazing how different roof materials and siding can change the whole look of the dwelling. I prefer to make these decisions while the dwelling is still in pieces. That way I don’t need to try to figure out measurements and cutting things at weird angles.

Some people are amazing with paint and paint these up to make them all different with brickwork or rock work or woodwork . . . I’ve known people who cut up paper and layer it to get the correct texture on their dwelling.

This is cute and with the other dies for variations, you’ll be creating a whole village in no time at all!

I found inspiration from the Surf Shack . . . I thought this would be a fun craft for kids who spend a lot of time at the beach . . . surfing and just enjoying the water . . . I’m sure you could make a whole seaside town with restaurants and shops . . . Allow your imagination to flow freely and you’ll be making up whole sections of your village from various places you’ve vacationed or lived . . . or would love to visit.

I’m wondering about something for Halloween . . . Thanksgiving . . . Christmas . . . Easter . . . I think anything is possible once you get the basic house structure and you can create variations upon variations. I like to see what others create and I try to improve on their idea . . . I believe Tim Holtz designed the dwelling house to have fun and see what would develop . . . Then he came up with more dies to add to it . . . Like the Surf Shack, Village Winter, Bell Tower for a church and school house . . . The Village Manor — which would make an excellent Haunted House . . . and the Village Bungalow . . . That one would be delightful for spring or Easter with flowers and bunnies . . . But, it could also work for other seasons, too . . .

Just take a moment to look at the different houses all made from The Village Dwelling and you’ll soon find other houses you can make by combining elements from the other dies.

The important thing is to get the basics down first . . . Then you can design some extra-ordinary dwellings from your own imagination.

Here are some links you may find helpful:

With these along with the images in the post, you’ll have everything you need, except paper, to build villages for every season of the year.

And, if this is your first purchase of a Sizzix Big Shot or Vagabond, it’s a good idea to get the extended cutting plates and a crease pad and other suggestions that go with the machine and with the dies you’re purchasing. You don’t want to wait for your next order to arrive before being able to use your dies.

Thanks for stopping by!