Saturday, October 30, 2010

Holiday project: Christmas Village Houses

It may seem that I'm a bit early with the holiday projects, but I know I have to get any new holiday crafts completed by my Thanksgiving target date for decorating.  Actually, I completed this first project during the summer, not knowing how long it might take.  Well, it was easier than expected!

Remember the cardboard Christmas Village Houses of yesteryear? I still have a sentimental spot for their presence on past family trees and love their sweet simplicity.

I now have the only two of our family's remaining little Village Houses that somehow survived the years between 1928 (when they were newly acquired at a Woolworth dimestore by my grandmother) and today. There is a cute (now faded) red house with a snow-capped roof that is missing its foundation, and a (previously glimmering) white church. The cellophane windows have been busted out of both and tape holds the church chimney together, but I could not love them more than I do!

So, I set out to make a couple of new companion houses. I can tell you that the one story structures are a breeze.  I used the following supplies:

Cardboard (recycled carton)
Cellophane for windows and doors
Metallic pen for outlining
Acrylic paint
Clear glitter

Snippets of plants to make trees

I first mimicked the vintage 'red' house, using its dimensions and color combo, and even remembered to cut the circular hole in the back so a twinkle light could be slipped inside.

That worked out well, so I constructed another. This one is a bit more of a desert abode with a bit of frost on its palm tree and rock garden.

It was after a bit of confidence-building that I decided to go all out and build a replica of my grandparent's house.  After all, this is where many special Christmas holidays were spent.

You, don't have to go to this extent to enjoy the charm of cardboard Village Houses. I have seen many in antique shops and a few in thrift stores as well. Many vintage originals are selling for $10 to $60, depending on condition.

Whether building something new or buying a post-WWI original, the little Christmas Village Houses will bring a homespun charm and a dash of sparkle to holiday trees for years to come! 


Stella Dora said...

Your "putz" houses are great! Thanks for the easy directions. These houses have a big following...I googled them last year and found vast amounts of info and a web site that sells the windows etc for them and some very technical, too hard for me to follow directions!

Heidi said...

These are beautiful!! I was looking for this exact thing - glad to see someone has done it successfully. I love christmas villages but those are just too expensive. This though, what a great idea. Looking forward to it.

Heidi said...

These are beautiful!! I was looking for this exact thing - glad to see someone has done it successfully!!

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