Sunday, December 16, 2018

Building a Village!

Building a village? That's quite a task! Building my winter village has taken a number of years, and it's still growing! Check out my collection of heirloom porcelain houses and other "priceless" buildings and embellishments. Tips for creating your own village are included.

My village began several years ago when my 3 sons were small. Their Dad took them Christmas shopping, and they bought my first house. After that, it was contagious! My collection gradually grew, one porcelain house or building at a time! 

One year during a Thanksgiving week trip to visit family, Joshua and Jacob bought the set of small houses along with a set of people, trees, snowmen, etc. I was so excited when I opened this thoughtful gift Christmas morning! That was one time they really surprised me!

The boys and I tried different ways to display the houses: on table tops, a stand, etc. 

We didn't have a mantle in West Virginia, but once we moved to Louisiana, we had a large fireplace and a mantle! Great decorating ideas followed!

Of course now we could build a "mountain", so we could include the whole village - all in one location! My son Joshua built the first mantle village in Louisiana, and the collection continued to grow!

Dilemma: Now - the move to the Log Home in the Big Woods! You would think it would include a fireplace with a mantle, but that's not the case! A stove with gas logs keeps it cozy and warm, but it couldn't "house" the houses!

Solution: When we moved to the log home, I bought this large 5 ft. buffet for the dining room, and it's great for decorating throughout the year. It's the perfect size for the village!

I lay white trash bags on top of the buffet to protect the finish and also to cover the dark finish of the buffet. I then used boxes that the large houses are usually stored in to form the mountains. I experimented with placement and turning the boxes different directions.

Next, I place 2 layers of plastic bags on the boxes to cover the pictures and words. White plastic shopping bags work great for this!

Then, I covered the bottom plastic with glittered white fleece. I cut the edges in random curves and jags before tucking it in under the boxes. I used 2 additional pieces  of glittered white fleece to cover the entire top of the boxes. (See pictures below.)

I then carefully arranged the houses and buildings with smaller houses and buildings on top. The only exception was placing the tall church on top. In West Virginia, our church was on the mountain in viewing distance of our home, and I wanted to preserve this beautiful memory. Also, during snowy weather, there was sleigh riding off the "church hill"! Priceless memories!

Let there be light! The larger houses originally came with individual light bulbs and cords, but it was too difficult to keep those numerous cords attached to all those houses. Covering the cords was next to impossible! The solution was to first remove the lighted cords. I then used 2 strands of mini-lights to stretch the length of the entire village and light up the whole town!

I then tuck least one bulb into each house and building and around the skating pond, etc.

Lights are tucked carefully in the back
or under each house, depending on the opening.

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!  Grandkids Alex and Mia love helping! We added the people, vehicles, etc.! Finally, it was time for the snow. I bought a bag of tiny white snowballs, and they scattered them throughout the village.    

A red truck - loaded with snow!

A glittery star (from Dollar Tree) was hung above, with the aid of a Command Hook!

My Winter Village is complete! 

I usually keep the village up during the winter, until just before Valentine's Day. It is just too beautiful to take down any earlier! Then I will carefully wrap and store each item away, until next time.

Goodnight! Merry Christmas!

Silent Night!


  1. That is beautiful Nancy! And such great memories! :)

  2. It's lovely, Nancy. I'm sure you and your family enjoy seeing your village year-after-year.

    1. Thanks, Germaine! Everyone looks forward to it, especially the grandkids!