A Paper Christmas Village (Yes I know it’s March)

FALALALALAAAAAA LA LA LA LA
As a lover of all things Christmas (and quite a penchant for glitter too), this was one of those projects where it was difficult to finish. You could go on forever really, a touch more glitter, a few more beads, another light…but I forced myself to stop. It’s only paper, but this was the most fun I have had crafting in ages. πŸ™‚
  

   
I began my village with this kit.

  
This turned out to be great in some ways, and shite in others. For example, the glitter containers included were awesome. They made little ‘puffs’ of glitter that you could control. But the glue that came with it never dried. However that might just be a Queensland humidity thing.
There was also no way it was going to turn out like the picture on the box, which is heavily photoshopped. The upstairs dormer windows and some of the entrances were solid all the way through, unlike the picture, so amongst a few other problems, I had to work out a way to get light to them. Also there are no street lights in the kit.
Before I punched out the houses, I photocopied them all. There are extra templates to copy in the instruction book, but they are to a different scale. Instead, I photocopied all the large ones onto cardboard so that I had extras. I ended up using two of the extras.

  
I also used two buildings downloaded from christmas-village-displays.com, a town hall and a thatched cottage. These had more detail printed on them, but didn’t fit together perfectly and weren’t as three dimensional as the others.

  
I used vellum and a Sharpie for the window panes, and did some stained glass effects using ordinary textas. 

  
Once all the buildings were glued together, I decorated them with glitter from the kit plus my own assorted beads and dried moss. I used PVA wood glue for everything. The pipe cleaner for the wreaths came with the kit. I made one of the pine trees into a Christmas tree.

   
 I used small pieces of wadding for the smoke in the chimneys. I was inordinately happy with how that looked. Note wind blowing same direction. N.B. This is the kind of thing that happens when you don’t have TV. πŸ™‚ I have issues.

  
The book recommended ‘flocking powder’ for a snow effect. I duly bought some on eBay without having the faintest idea what it is. Having used it, I am still none the wiser. It was a bit like asbestos. I threw it out after one try, preferring the glitter. It lives on though, in the form of our favourite new swear word. Eg For flock’s sake, this flocking glue won’t set!

Initially I had intended these houses to be lined up on a mantelpiece with flickering battery-operated tea lights inside them to look like fireplaces. Aaaah, pretty. What I didn’t factor in was that most of the houses are two storey, and an orange, flickering light inside makes them look like they are actually burning down. So rather than a very un-Christmassy replica of the the Great Fire of London, it was back to the drawing board.

I decided to fix them permanently to a cardboard base instead. That way I could run battery operated fairy lights through them. At this stage I thought maybe – just maybe – it was getting a little out of hand for a basic paper village. And it turned out I was right, the base was the most time consuming job overall. πŸ™‚

I had three pieces of old box cardboard the same size. I painted the first board, and added a slightly raised platform for the church out of an old canvas.

  
 
I loosely laid out the village and marked the lights placement, then ran them under and through holes punched with a knitting needle (what else?). I made a couple of mistakes, but I patched them with paper. I set it up so there were some lights backlighting the trees and snowman, and a couple front lit, like the Christmas tree.
To hide the wire and make a flat base I did the following – much easier to photograph than to explain.

  
Then I glued the final solid piece onto the base, weighed it down with assorted pots and waited for the glue to try.

  

After affixing the buildings and the trees, I covered the base with ‘drifts’ of polyester quilt wadding. And just a bit more glitter with a border to neaten the edges.

   
    
    
   

The Details:
The kit cost $24AUD from bookdepository.com : ‘Build a Christmas Village’ by Leonard Hospidor

It came with:

3 prepunched houses, 1 church and a wildly disproportionate dog kennel which I didn’t use

1 x premade, preglittered tree

6 x prepunched pine tree

2 x prepunched large trees

1x snowman

Prepunched picket fencing

Glitter x 4

Glue x 1

Pipe cleaner x 1

Sheet of vellum

Instruction book

The town hall and thatched cottage were free downloads from: christmas-village-displays.com

10 sheets 280gsm white cardboard for photocopying/printing extra houses- $6.75AUD on eBay 

Flocking powder (unused): $2.30AUD on eBay 

Things I used that I already had:
PVA wood glue

Cardboard

White paint

Stanley knife, metal ruler, bone folder and cutting mat

Sharpie and coloured textas

Beads

Polyester wadding

String of battery operated fairy lights

Small art canvas

Dried moss

Colour printer/photocopier 

For anyone else contemplating this, I say go for it! It was so much fun! πŸ™‚ I worked on this for a few minutes up to an hour most days over a period of two weeks. My main tip would be to fully complete each stage before you go on to the next (eg build all the houses before you start decorating any of them). Also have a dedicated work space set up just for this project so you can leave things to dry (and where you don’t mind there being a lot of glitter). It would be far too hard to pack it up each day.
In the end, I am very happy with it. It will probably be a gift for someone sans cats. I am already planning another, but a more permanent and realistic model village, such as those used in model train scenery. And I can’t WAIT for Christmas!! πŸ™‚

   
    
    
 

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45 thoughts on “A Paper Christmas Village (Yes I know it’s March)

    • Thanks Derrick! πŸ™‚ They say you can put it together with children, but I foresee a lot of swearing and glued fingers and spilled glitter…there was plenty when it was just me.
      I know, the snow is weird for this part of the world πŸ™‚ …but I couldn’t find an ‘Australian Sweltering Christmas’ kit…I think I’ll always associate snow with Christmas since Finland πŸ™‚

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  1. OMG! OMG – again!! Wolfberry your talents really do know no bounds. This little village is totally awesome!! And all the work you lovingly put into it makes the final outcome nothing short of fantastic. I personally have no real love for the festive season – but seeing this, well, I could be swayed!😊

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    • Ooooh I love that idea, thanks Nanacathy! You always seem to come up with out-of-the-box ideas I love…now to get the ‘good’ camera out… πŸ™‚ thank you, and I’m very happy you liked the village! πŸ˜€

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  2. I spent a LOOOOOONG time hovering over the “like” button for this post. I am not sure whether to congratulate you or have you committed. It’s MARCH. My Christmas cheer lasts for a few weeks at the end of the year and no more. I would have massive panic attacks if it lasted any longer. It’s almost Easter. Hook us an egg or two. Impressed with the similitude of the directional pointing of the chimney smoke (OCD…You?) but the end result is lovely. You do have Steve panicking now as he thinks it’s Christmas again and he hasn’t even chopped the wood for winter, let alone gotten ready for summer.

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    • Lol thanks narfie, oh I do understand, my craziness is not shared by all! It’s just always brought me so much joy, I can’t resist revisiting throughout the year! I couldn’t even pinpoint why, food, family, laughter…and the music of course…all a good distraction too from the perils of midsummer πŸ™‚ oh the thought of chopping wood, that gets me excited for winter too, our favourite season!! Woohoo!! So much to look forward to..I don’t really do Easter eggs because we’re all paleo but I generally make something special with raw chocolate…I do really miss those eggs though! The darrell lea nougat ones were my favourite, followed closely by rocky road and peanut brittle…eek, hungry now! :))

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  3. Having begun with the thought ‘Good God, she’s lost it altogether!’ I end with an ‘Harrumph! Genius girl!’ Obviously the Finnish experience holds sway – and I as an outspoken critic of anything Northern appearing within our Southern Festival celebrations am silenced and just saying ‘Brilliant!. Brilliant! Brilliant!!’

    The first bit of genius was photocopying everything [and I ask myself why I never have such commonsense at the start of projects!] The second bit was downloading extras – the third laying it all out and figuring out the lighting template. The chimney smoke!!!!!!!!!! Moving into blast-off genius territory here……………… I could rave on and on – in short the whole thing is absolutely wonderful.

    Bowing down to crafty genius πŸ˜€ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL oh thank you so much Pauline, you gave me such a laugh…:D I’m really glad you liked it and can forgive me the snow…a Southern Hemisphere- style village may be planned for down the line too…Crafting rocks! πŸ™‚

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  4. Looks like you’ve had loads of fun – although also a lot of persevering. The end result is fantastic. Although I do like the idea of a replica Great Fire of London on your mantelpiece – would be a great talking point πŸ˜‰ Have you put it away now or are you leaving it out until Christmas?

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    • Thank you Lisa, oh what a beautiful gift, that makes me want to cry! :’)) I’m hoping the next one I do will be a more permanent arrangement that might last at least a couple of generations πŸ™‚

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