Taran Rai/Demand Media

In the northeastern United States, longhouses were the dominant type of home among Native Americans. These houses were built from tree trunks lashed together and then covered with slabs of tree bark. The houses measured as much as 20 feet high, 20 feet wide and 50 to 150 feet long. While up to 60 people lived in these early apartment houses, each family had its own living area. Mats and screens divided the longhouse into smaller rooms, and many areas even included second floor platforms that provided additional sleeping areas.

Cut oatmeal container in half.

Tape the lid to the cylindrical oatmeal container, and then cut the container in half lengthwise. Keep one half to serve as the roof of your longhouse and set the second half aside for another project.

Cut holes in the roof.

Cut three one-inch holes in the top of the oatmeal container roof to serve as smoke holes.

Glue oatmeal container to shoe box.

Glue the oatmeal container roof to the shoe box. Now you have the basic structure of the longhouse.

Cut out a hole for a door.

Cut a hole in one end of the shoebox to serve as a door.

Glue crepe paper to longhouse model.

Use the paintbrush to spread glue all over the longhouse. Glue on the strips and squares of brown crepe paper, overlapping and scrunching the pieces to resemble tree bark. Your longhouse model is done.

Things Needed

  • ['Tape', 'Cylindrical oatmeal container with its lid', 'Scissors', 'Shoebox about the same size as the oatmeal container', 'Paintbrush', 'Glue', 'Brown crepe paper torn into random strips and squares']


  • Add landscaping around the longhouse to enhance its authenticity by using small trees, bushes, fake grass and similar hobby supplies used on model railroad layouts.