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Alibi Exchange: Story House

For this week’s Alibi Exchange Theatre Alibi’s Design Assistant , Ruth Webb, shows us how to make a story house!

Download the PDF here for full instructions on how to make your own Story House, or see below!

How to make your story house - PDF

We hope you enjoy yourselves making your story houses and, if you fancy it, do send any films and photographs of your creations in to us at info@theatrealibi.co.uk.

We’d really love to see them.

What is a story house?

A story house is made of card with pictures in each of its windows and doors that

tell a story. You can hang your story house on your window and the light will bring your pictures to life.

Things you will need are:

  • A cardboard box (like a cereal packet, or a large piece of plain thin card)
  • Thin paper (hold it up to the window to make sure that light shines through)
  • A pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Glue or sticky tape
  • Blu tack
  • An extra box or card if you want to make flaps to hide your pictures

To decorate your story house:

  • Felt tip pens
  • Colouring pencils
  • Paint
  • A paint brush

Before you start

Think of your favourite story and how many pictures you will need to tell to it. For example, we chose Little Red Riding Hood and decided to tell it with 8 pictures (7 windows and 1 door).

What house will tell your story best? Does your story fit a crooked house? A mansion? A haunted house? A tree house? Or even a boat?

Here are some examples:



  1. Open up the cereal packet and draw the outline of your house with all the windows and doors. Then cut out your windows and doors. 

Top tip :

To cut out your windows and doors easily, try this:
Use a compass to make a hole in the middle of your window or door, you can putsome sticky tack on the other side of the card to poke your compass into. Or ask a  grown-up to help.Wiggle the compass until you have made a hole large enough for your scissors.Cut to the edge of your window and then cut the window out. 

2. Once you have finished cutting out all your doors and windows, cut out your house. Now you are ready to start painting.Remember to put down a painting mat, or some paper to catch all that extra paint!

3. Now you are ready to make the pictures to go into your windows and doors. Firstly, place a piece of paper behind the window or door and draw around the inside edge, so that when you take the paper away you can still see the shape of the window. Cut it out remembering to leave a margin around the outside so that you can glue or tape it in place.

4. Draw your picture (we recommend felt tip pens for the characters and objects, and colouring pencils for the background).

5. Glue or tape around your drawing, line up with the window or door and stick it down from behind.Please note, if you would like to decorate your house with window panes, curtains, doors or shutters then see below for extra instructions before  you stick down your pictures. 

Decorating your house with flaps, window shutters, curtains and windowpanes:


  • Put a piece of card behind your window/door and draw around its shape to make the flap. Leave enough space for a tab as shown below.
  • Place a ruler on the line that separates the tab and flap and bend the tab backwards over your ruler to make a fold.
  • If your card has print on it use a piece of paper to cover the print by drawing around the flap (not including the tab). Cut out and stick to the flap.
  • Now you can paint the flap and stick it to your house when dry.

Window Shutters

Follow the steps above to make two flaps for one window.

All you have to do is cut the flap in half and add two tabs, one on the left and one on the right.


  • Paint some card to match your house
  • Cut the card into thin strips (remembering to leave space to stick it down)
  • Glue the strips onto the back of your window
  • Stick picture facedown over the top (if you are making curtains see below before sticking down you picture)    


  • Draw curtain shapes onto paper (remembering to leave space to stick it down)
  • Cut out the curtains and stick onto the back of your window
  • Stick picture facedown over the top

Now you are finished you can place your story house on your window with sticky tack and let the light shine through! 


More pictures of Ruth’s story house: