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Sand Adobe House

By: Kathleen George for STYROFOAM Brand Foam

Learn how to make your own Adobe house. This makes for a great home decoration for visitors. Everyone will be impressed with what you created. It's quick and easy and can be done in eight easy steps.


  • STYROFOAM* Brand Products:
    • 2-1" x 12" x 18" sheets OR 1- 1" x 12" x 36" sheet
  • 1 yd. 6mm x 2mm balsa strip for ladder frame
  • 1 ft. 3mm square balsa strip for ladder rungs
  • Thin bodied white craft glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Packaged sand
  • 15 " of 3/16" wooden dowel
  • Utility knife with sharp blades
  • T-square
  • Low temperature glue gun and glue (optional)
  • 1" brush
  • Pencil


  1. Using a pencil and T-square, score the foam sheet according to the cutting diagram. Use the pencil to letter the pieces according to the cutting diagram. Using the T-square and a utility knife with a sharp blade, cut out pieces, keeping edges and corners as square as possible.
  2. Assemble house using glue and toothpicks. First, glue together the main house: pieces A and B are the front and back walls; pieces C and D are the end walls for the two-story section and E is the end wall for the single-story section. Add the roof: piece G is the roof for the two-story section and piece F is the roof the for the single-story section. Assemble the small, single-story addition: pieces H, I, J form the walls; piece L is the roof. Referring to the photo, glue the single-story addition onto the two-story section of the large house. 
  3. Following the diagram, cut out the windows and doors.
  4. Following the diagram, glue steps to the house. Let dry.
  5. Round off edges of the house and steps by running the side of a pencil over the corners and edges of the foam.
  6. Working on one section at a time, paint the surface of the house with a thin layer of white craft glue and sprinkle on an even coat of sand. Lightly pat the sand into the glue with your fingers. Continue, working section by section, until the house is covered. After the glue has dried, brush off excess sand, repaint with glue and sprinkle on more sand. Repeat until surface is covered. When dry, vacuum lightly with small brush attachment to remove any loose sand. (Hint: Several light coats of sand will cover better than one heavy coat. If too much sand is applied in a single coat, the weight of the sand will cause the glue to drip and sag.)
  7. Cut 3/16" dowel into 1" pieces and push into adobe home, following photograph.
  8. Cut balsa strips and assemble two small ladders, one 6 1/2" x 1 1/4" and one 7 1/2" x 1 1/2"; lean against house.
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