Cellophane Replacement Windows
When people want to restore cardboard Christmas "putz" houses, the first need is almost always windows. Because the cellophane windows that came in most putz houses became fragile with age, became distorted or unglued by attic heat, or were punched out by little fingers.
For several years, putz house historian "Papa" Ted Althof sold replacement windows on his "Papa Ted's Place" web page. His replacement "cellophane" windows weren't cellophane at all - they were mylar, silkscreened with special gold paint. Identical in appearance, they were far more durable than the old windows. But they were expensive and time-consuming to make. By early 2012 Ted was hinting that he was low on stock and not likely to order more. (That's one reason why we started looking for alternatives and spent "real money" coming up with our own Custom Window Frame solution.)
Sadly, Ted passed away in October, 2012. Several weeks later, one of Ted's friends contacted me to say that there were way more of his originals left than he had calculated.
Folks wondered if I'd be upset because I'd just made a huge investment in another technology. The truth was, I was delighted. In all the years I've been involved in this hobby, I've never seen an alternative that could replace "Papa Ted's" replacement windows.
It is not overstating it when I say that having the chance to offer original windows from Ted's own stock to the next generation of putz collectors, restorers, and builders is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
To Quote "Papa" Ted
Here are some words and pictures from the archive of Ted's original web page on this subject:
True cellophane has become available again - after a long absence - through a very few sources, but we wanted something tougher, longer lasting. These windows appear absolutely perfect when glued in place, but are of a non-stretch acetate 100 times stronger and 5 times thicker than the orginals. No little "pokey-fingers" are going to punch through these! Nor will they shrink or deterioriate through oxidation.
THE SECRET: of a great looking job - whether installing paper or cellophane - is to clean off all the old glue and debris from the inside edges of the opening and smooth it down. A common nail file will usually do it.
CONTACT CEMENT! - the gummy stuff with the brush cap - seems to do the best job of holding our acetate "CELs." A bit tricky to work with, but worth it. I often spot blobs around the inside edges of the opening - not usually necessary to apply to both sufaces as the instructions always say, or make a solid bead around the entire inside edge, where I recommend it be applied.
Plain old white glue is fine for the paper and vellum.
The shiny, transparent windows are extremely hard to photograph, especially when the subject is white, as is this church. These shots just cannot do them justice. The whole piece looks like I just brought it home from the store. It is at least 60 years old!
Now that we've become the "keepers of the flame," so to speak, we want to continue making these available as reasonably as possible. All of the windows here cost the same amount; from $1 to $0.50 each, depending on quantity. Please check the Order Form for details, as well as a list of product IDs you can use to keep track as you shop.
Note: To make the windows big enough to see, we have made all the pictures about the same size. You can click on each picture to see a blowup, but those are about the same size, too. The real windows are all different sizes. Please measure the openings on your putz house carefully and pay close attention to the measurements in each description when placing an order.
Commonly found semi-pointed-arch windows - also used as a door
Fits openings from 1 1/4" by 3/8" - to - 1 5/8 X 5/8".
(Judge by how much the top of the opening is rounded or pointed.)
Most commonly found postwar arch window with the fully rounded top. Sometimes also used as a door. Fits openings from - 1 1/4 X 5/16" - to - 1 9/16 X 5/8"
Commonly found prewar pointed arch window. Sometimes also used as a door. Fits openings from 1 1/4 X 3/8" - to - 1 5/8 X 3/4".
Slightly larger version of CEL-3 with somewhat different paning pattern, too. Also used as a door on some houses. Fits openings from 1 3/8 X 7/16" - to - 1 3/4 x 3/4".
A frequently found smaller sized arch window (or door). Fits openings from 3/4" x 3/8" - up to - 1 3/8" X 1/2"
A narrower version of CEL-4 but just as often needed. For openings from 15/16" X 3/16" - up to - 1 3/16" X 7/16"
VERY often found prewar round-top window. Fits openings from 9/16" X 9/16" - to - 7/8 X 7/8"
(height measured to to highest point of the arch)
Slightly smaller version of CEL-5.
Fits openings from 1/2 X 1/2" - to - 3/4 X 3/4".
Slightly larger version of CEL-5.
Fits openings from 5/8 X 5/8" - to - 1 X 1"
Clear cellophane version of our printed paper window RYp
(to be added later).
Fits the same opening:
1 3/16 X 3/8" inside - to - 1 7/16 X 9/16" outside.
Clear cellophane version of our printed paper window RYr
(to be added later).
Fits the same openings:
3/4" X 1/4"- to - 1 7/16 X 7/16".
Small rectangular window.
Fits opening sizes from 1/2 X 3/16" - to - 3/4 X 3/8"
Smaller rectangular window.
Fits openings sizes from 7/16 X 1/8" - to - 5/8 X 3/8"
There are several sizes of these small rectangular windows, but they are found on so many houses that we felt it was essential to have them all.
CEL-8 fits openings from 7/16 X 3/16"- to - 5/8 X 3/8"
Larger than CEL-8
This is for openings 9/16 X 5/16" - to - 7/8 X 5/8".
Middle sized between CEL-8 & CEL-9.
This fits openings from 1/2" X 5/16" - to - 13/16 X 5/8"
This is a very popular size. Fits openings from 5/8 X 1/4" - to - 15/16 X 9/16"
This teeny-tiny little guy is found in many many houses both pre- and postwar.
Fits openings from 1/4 X 3/16" - to - 1/2 x 7/16".
This one -with its wide paning bars - is found in 1950s-early '60s houses of the type still most often found. The size range is :
5/8 X 3/8" - to - 3/4 x 9/ 16".
Very commonly needed cellophane door found on later prewar and early postwar houses. Fits the standard paper door opening size of roughly :
1" high X 1/2" wide - to - 1 1/4 X 3/4"
Late postwar cellophane door of the opening sizes -
7/8 x 1/2" to 1 1/8" high X 3/4"" wide.
Very large cellophane door found in the huge churches and such. Fits size ranges of-
1 1/2 x 5/8" - to - 1 7/8 X 7/8"
The very rare cellophane "pinwheel" window - will fit any diameter round opening from 1/4" up to 3/4"
"GUIDE-PAK" SAMPLER #GP-1:
We realize how difficult it can be to judge sizes from a photograph, and so are offering our:
"GUIDE-PAK"SAMPLER - #GP-1
- with an example of 21 types of the 23 cellophane windows and doors we make.
YOU ALSO GET - one each of all of the paper doors and windows - except the "Merry Christmas Clock", the CEL-16, the "AW-PW" "pinwheel" and the very large door CEL-DA are not included because these are so very rarely encountered that we have only put very few of each on our master printing sheets.
NOT SHOWN - but NOW ALSO INCLUDED - are one each of the CANDY-BOX GLUE-ON types shown below.
A total of over 50 pieces.
A fullscale black silhouettes sheet with small window sample for measuring cellophanes, and another scale-size color sheet for the paper doors and windows are also part of this kit.
The idea is NOT TO USE these in houses, but rather to keep them as a tool for comparison every time you are repairing an old Christmas house to be sure of ordering exactly what you need with no chance of making a mistake.
Due to our own high costs to produce these better-than-original replacements, we just can't offer them for free, but the price is less than half what the regular prices would add up to.
Sorry, but we must limit these to 1 per customer. Please don't order one of these kits unless you are really serious about fixing up a lot of old houses. This is a special tool for collectors, and they are a time-consuming, losing proposition for me.
GP-1: ... $15.00 per set -
GUIDE SHEETS KIT: GSK-1.
An economical alternative to our GUIDE-PAK, this kit consists of the two printed scale-sheets and 3 actual samples. All the windows and doors we offer in paper, vellum and CEL are represented in actual size for measurement purposes.
The first is a color sheet with exact scale representations of all the paper doors and windows.
The second is a sheet of black silhouettes of all the CEL types in actual size to enable measurement for the correct choice.
Finally, one actual sample of our gold-on-red heavy gauge acetate "CELs", one paper door and one vellum type are included to give a clear idea of what they are really like.
PRICE OF GSK-1 KIT: $4.00 -
PLEASE NOTE: If you buy the large Guide-Pak Sampler (GP-1), you do not need the GSK-1 since everything in it is also in the GP-1.
Please contact us if you have any questions. We'd much rather answer questions up-front than try to sort things out after you've gotten the wrong items.© 2022 Cardboard Putz Houses(tm), All Right Reserved