Create your own miniature village to add brightness and holiday cheer to your home 

As the winter holiday season draws near, you might be thinking of ways to make this season extra special. If you don’t have the budget for movie-worthy holiday decorations, don’t fret, you’ve still got options. 

The famous winter village is a fun DIY project that you can include the family in or take on solo. Not to mention, the winter village display is set to be a pretty big trend. Before you get started, scroll through our list of guidelines to get the most out of your project.

Visualize the big (little) picture

Shop online at any store and you’ll notice a variety of miniature holiday pieces. You’ll be sure to find a plethora of inspirational ideas online too.

If your online shopping leads you to a Christmas village display tree, don’t be discouraged. Whether you want to go all out and build your own or add your village to an artificial or real tree, you’ll have fun. 

To narrow your focus, consider these points:

  • Do you have a theme in mind? Maybe it’s “Christmas Past,” with vintage pieces, a rustic, farmhouse feel, or a village built inside model train tracks? Or, put a geographical spin on it: If you can’t visit a snowy, faraway place this year, why not recreate it in your home?

  • Where will you find your materials? Have you inherited some Putz-style piecesor maybe you’re a regular at Department 56? If not, Hallmark, craft and dollar stores, and Etsy are excellent sources. You could even make your own out of chipboard.
  • Will you be making this a holiday tradition? If so, think long-term, and invest in sustainable pieces you can reuse.

Choose your setting

If you plan on making this a yearly ritual, picking the best place to set up your village is important.

  • Estimate how much room you’ll need based on how many base pieces you have. Make sure you leave enough space around your items so your display doesn’t appear cluttered.

  • If your display will contain fragile pieces, construct your village in a protected, non-high traffic area, especially if you have little kids or large dogs. 

Build a solid foundation

If you have a sturdy, protected area available for a temporary takeover, you can follow a process similar to setting up a tablescape. If not, create a removable base for your display.

  • Use a piece of plywood or Masonite cut to size. Cover it with a holiday-themed tablecloth, craft paper, or felt. If you plan to use fixtures that need to plug into an electrical outlet, drill some holes to run wires.

  • Inexpensive screw-in table legs or sawhorses are a good choice if your base needs to be freestanding. These options provide a reusable, stable surface that can be disassembled and stored in the off-season.

Arrange and accessorize

Make like a town planner and create a tiny community! Have fun with it, and get the kids involved. 

  • Start with your largest pieces and the pieces that need to be plugged in. Some enthusiasts suggest arranging the largest pieces symmetrically and then placing smaller pieces in between. But do whatever makes you happy.
  • Add accessories, like landscaping, roads, bridges, skating rinks (a small rimless mirror!), and of course, mini people, dogs, and maybe even reindeer.
  • Add some finishing touches. There are plenty available, from fake snow and snow-topped grass to icicles, “snow” people, and chimney smoke made from cotton balls.

Light it up

There are many ways to illuminate your display, ranging from the simple to the complex. If your pieces are not pre-lit, add some overhead or adjacent lighting sources. 

  • String lights against your background to mimic a starry night sky. Add some blinking ones to make it interesting. You can also place string lights in holiday-decorated clear jars or vases.
  • Use battery-operated candles, tea lights, lanterns, and strategically placed spotlights.

Just be careful to keep anything that could be a fire hazard away from fake snow and flammable items.

Get your whole house ready for the holidays

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