Stuff For You
Our Marketplace is a place where we will list and or link to products that will help you in your hobbies, especially in collecting, displaying, restoring, or building cardboard Christmas "putz" houses.
Replacement PartsWe're starting our Marketplace listings with five "replacement" products to help restore vintage putz houses:
"Coconut" house finishing material. This material gave a richer, sometimes "fuzzier" finish to many houses, especially pre-war. (The sales brochures called it "silken floss.") Unfortunately, it did not hold up well to attic heat, clumsy storage, etc., so many of the original "coconut" houses need serious restoration. To our knowledge this is the only product that replicates the original material; better yet, it can be custom-colored to match your house's original tones.
Replacement Door and Window Products - We now offer four classes of replacement products for doors and windows. Thanks to the generous help of Ted's original providers, these include the same products that the late "Papa" Ted Althof used to sell. To help you zero in on the kind of window you probably need, we are also hosting a special version of Paul Race's article "Which Doors and Windows Do I Need?". To jump to that article, click here. If you want to jump right to the door and window listings, just click on any of the highlighted text in the following three paragraphs:
Windowframes that you can use with the cellophane or translucent plastic of your choice to replace broken or lost windows, including sizes to fit almost every putz house made.
Cellophane Windows & Doors - The most direct replacement for faded, broken, or missing cellophane windows on the planet.
Printed Doors and Windows - Even when putz houses had cellophane, a lot of them had printed-paper doors. Some had paper windows as well. This page contains the most common of both, now available professionally printed on 100-year old paper.
Stick-On (Candy-Box) Doors - Before 1928, most "putz houses" were actually candy boxes, with doors that just stuck on the front. And for windows, the makers just chopped up the door graphics. Now the most common stick-on (candy-box) doors are available professionally printed on 100-year-old paper.
The hardest part about writing this page is knowing that we have a lot more resources that aren't quite ready to post here. So please bookmark this page and check back often.
What About Vintage Putz Houses?Believe it or not, most vintage putz house collectors get most of their collection on eBay these days. Sadly, as Papa Ted observed, the prices occasionally become unrealistic. In addition, lots of unethical sellers have realized that if they put the word "putz" anywhere in the ad, merchandise that has nothing to do with historical OR modern putzing will show up in your searches. However if you can condition yourself to observe for several weeks before you start bidding, you may miss a bargain or two, but you will definitely save real money in the meantime.
As we become aware of other consistently-available sources for putz houses, we will add them here.
What About New Putz Houses?
Mass-Market Imports - In recent years, seasonal Christmas shops at places like T.J.Maxx have caried cardboard Christmas houses, a tiny portion of which actually resemble the vintage houses we honor on these pages. If you find some you like, nobody will yell at you, but if you planning on getting deeper into this hobby, the Chinese-made imitations may become less interesting to you eventually.
Hand-Built Reproductions - Occasionally we come across modern craftsmen and craftswomen who are building houses that would look perfect side-by-side with the vintage houses that inspired them.
At the moment our friend Howard Lamey is the most active person we know in this field. Howard especially likes to work on commission, building houses that are tributes to real family homes and the like. Such commissions become "instant heirlooms" that your family will treasure for generations. You can get in touch with Howard through his web page LittleGlitterHouses.com. Incidentally, that page also contains free downloadable plans, instructions, and graphics for building your own putz houses, if you want to try your hand at that. Or go somewhere in between, and buy a "kit," with all the cardboard pieces cut out by hand for a totally original piece that you finish.
We will add additional putz house builders and other vendors to this page as we become aware of them. Also, we occasionally have to thin out our own collection, so this is a good page to check once in a while.
If you have questions about anything on this page, please use the Contact Page to send them to us