In Thailand, people build small spirit houses in front of their homes and businesses to bring good luck to the people living and working inside. Spirit houses can be found nearly everywhere in Thailand, from the busy city to the remote villages in the north. Spirit houses are made from materials like, wood, concrete, clay, and glass. They are colored according to the day of the week the homeowner was born, and are placed facing the direction of that day and color:
Sunday: Red; West
Monday: White, cream; Northwest
Tuesday: Pink, lilac; North
Wednesday: Green; Northeast
Thursday Orange; East
Friday: Blue; South
Saturday: Black; Southeast
The most important thing about a spirit house is that it is comfortable and attractive to the “spirit of the house”, Phra Phum, who lives there and grants wishes of happiness, prosperity, good luck, and health. A figure of Phra Phum is placed inside the spirit house, along with figures of a man and a woman, a dancer, a horse and an elephant, which are placed outside of the home to keep the spirit house clean, Phra Phum entertained, and to provide him transportation. Spirit houses are colorful, fun, and lively. You too can make your own spirit house. Have fun, and remember to keep Phra Phum, the spirit of the house, happy.
Templates (see Downloads above): Front of the House and Phra Phum, Attendants, and Animals; Empty tissue box (any size), colored paper (according to your birthday color), cardboard (about 12” x 12”), needle, yarn, tissue paper in various colors, glue stick, scissors, markers, clear tape, (optional: glitter pens, rhinestones)
To make a Spirit House:
- Discuss the purpose of a spirit house by reading the overview above and by researching online.
- Print out the Templates: Front of the House and Phra Phum, Attendants, and Animals on cardstock paper.
- Cut out the windows (about 2.5 in. by 2.5 in.) of the side walls, and the door (4.5 in. high) of the front of the tissue box.
- Cover the tissue box with colored paper that corresponds with the day you were born. You may also use colored tissue paper.
- Glue the covered box on a piece of cardboard. Then, glue the front of the spirit house to the box.
- Cut out and color the housekeepers, animals, Phra Phum and other decorations. When finished, glue them to the cardboard in and around your spirit house.
- Continue decorating your house with tissue paper, glitter and markers.
Optional: You may add other decorative elements like fence, rock garden or flower garden around the entrance.