My grandmother used to say “Aw, sugar!” in front of me, instead of swearing. Today I say “Aw, shingle!” because I seriously hurt myself with the glue gun earlier.

I was gluing shingles on my puzzle house and got a huge glop of hot glue on the back of a shingle. I went to throw it out, thinking that was the best way to prevent it from making a mess, and on the way to the trash can the shingle managed to glue itself to my thumb. That glue was HOT! It stuck to my skin and I had to pull it off with a rag. This wasn’t just a little burn. It hurt big time, in all of my fingers and up my arm. (Um, I hope that’s not a sign of nerve damage…) For about two hours I soaked it in cold water which made it feel better, but when I stopped doing that it hurt so bad I thought I would pass out. (I’m not being a crybaby about this… it really, really hurt!) I took Tylenol a few hours ago and it’s finally bearable, but I suspect that’s more due to the drugs than because it’s miraculously healed. Needless to say, my shingling was cut short for the day.

But let’s back up a bit. On Sunday, I glued the roof to the puzzle house. The siding I added messed up the fit a little bit, but in general it fit pretty well.

Originally I had planned to use my leftover Fairfield shingles on this house, but they’ve already been stained and I felt like the color wasn’t quite right. Plus I didn’t know if I’d have enough to cover it all.

I’m trying to keep my costs low on this house, so instead of buying shingles, I thought I’d make my own. I have several bags of Corona Concepts siding strips lying around and decided to use these. Usually staining shingles is really messy, but this was easy—I just stained the individual strips before cutting them down to shingle size. I used some Minwax Ebony stain left over from another project.

Using the Fairfield’s shingles as a guide, I then cut the strips into individual shingles. Each one is about 3/8″ wide. The wood is thin and easy to cut with scissors, although it does tend to crack when I try to cut very narrow pieces for the edges or the angle where the gable meets the roof.

You can buy shingle strips, which are a lot quicker to apply than individual shingles, but I prefer gluing on shingles one by one because you get a nice variety of shades. Here’s as far as I got before the unfortunate glue gun incident.

I’m pretty happy with the look of the shingles. Less so with the trim color. The gray is much more in-your-face than I expected and I just don’t think it looks great, especially compared to the shingles. I feel like it needs to be more subtle. I’m not sure at this point if I should try a different shade of gray, or another color completely.

To be continued once my thumb heals…