How to Build a Christmas Village Centerpiece
This Christmas Village display started as a project where I planned to use only what I had in the house and, well, it expanded from there!
When we were decorating our home for Christmas, I started pulling everything out and placing where I liked. I normally have a 5-candle candleholder with red candles and greenery placed around the base in the center of our table. However, this year I knew I wanted something different!
This December, we are having family friends who are coming to stay with us. So, we will be using our dining room instead of our small table in our kitchen while they are in town. Since we would be using our dining room more than just on Christmas Day, I wanted a centerpiece that was short. We have always had to move the tall candleholder out of the way. I didn’t want something we had to constantly move back and forth. I also wanted something narrow, that wouldn’t take up too much space. With all that it still needed to have an impact on the table!
Before I settled on a DIY, I had started searching display ideas and couldn’t find anything I really liked. Then, I stumbled on a Target Village houses stocking holder, and this became my inspiration!
& with my village display ideas, I was ready to create!
I had picked up these little blank wooden houses back in early fall from the Target bullseye section. I didn’t have any plan for them at the time I just thought they were cute and they ended up being perfect for my own Christmas village houses! So, I grabbed these and then headed to my excess lumbar pile to search for a scrap that would make up the base for the DIY Christmas Village houses to attach to.
I found a scrap board that was the perfect size, but it was white, and I had pictured something more in a wood tone. So, I grabbed a thing of wood stain and a disposable paint brush and brushed the stain over top the white. I did not wipe the stain off as I would have if it was going on bare wood. When adding stain over a finished base, wiping it just makes it look like a smudged mess (IMO)!
For a moment I thought about painting each Christmas village house and adding little windows or doors, like I had done for my DIY key holders. But I knew I wanted them to be a bit more Christmas! That’s when I remembered the pads of card stock, we used on the DIY Beer Advent Calendar! I decided I would use modge podge to glue and seal the card stock onto the wooden houses.
Before gluing the card stock on I decided to paint the edges of the house whites. I had planned to paste the card stock only on the flat front and back.
After the painted edges dried, I cut out each house shape in the card stock. I cut out the space slightly larger than the actual house. I planned to use a sanding block to sand off the excess paper.
Next, I did one base layer of modge podge to glue the paper in place and then sealed the paper with 2 coats on top. Then, I let them dry overnight.
The next day I used my sanding block to sand off the excess paper by sanding around the edges. I love the rough edges of the paper and the softened corners of the houses! I also love where some of the wood is coming through because the white paint was slightly sanded off in the process.
Then, I used my Ryobi nail gun to attach the houses to the base. This could be accomplished with a hot glue gun but honestly, I just like using my power tools!
I staggered the houses a bit on the board, I didn’t want a straight line down the middle. I did plan for 2 front sides since this would be sitting in the center of the dining room table.
My how to build a Christmas Village post could have ended here.. but I wasn't satisfied!
And this is where I could have stopped. My how to build a Christmas Village post could have ended here! I would have used ONLY items I already had on hand, but I wasn’t fully satisfied with it.
So, I decided to order some bottle brush trees, some flocked trees, and lastly some fairy lights!
Since I have no patience for Amazon’s next day shipping, I continued to work on the project.. I knew if I was to attach fairy lights that I would need somewhere or someway to stash the battery packs. So, I headed back to my shed to look through the scrap wood we had saved. I had come up with a plan to attach two narrow pieces of wood to the base and leave a gap in the middle where I could stash the battery packs. I couldn’t find anything quite narrow enough, so I split a board in half, not the best cut but it did the trick! The Amazon listing had the dimensions of the battery pack listed so I measured to double check they would fit and once confirmed I nailed on the base!
Then I had to wait for my Amazon order!
When my order arrived, I just started to play around with different placements of trees and then with the fairy lights. I had intended on using the fairy light to outline the house as if the houses had lights on them. As I was playing with this idea, I decided I really didn’t like it! I did not like that you would see so much of the wiring on them. That’s when I headed to my group chat with my Mom and Sister.. Rach came up with the idea to put the light on the flocked trees. Rach always seems to have these great tips that are never quite as easy as they seem!!
Either way, I marked the placement of the trees and grab my Dewalt drill and drill bit set. I drilled four holes to run the lights through and then began to wrap each of the flocked trees. I wrapped each tree individual, once I was happy with my wrap job I then used my glue gun to first glue the tree into place and then to glue the wire and battery packs in place on the bottom side of the centerpiece.
Wrapping each tree like I did was such a tedious process, but the end product was perfect. The lights added just the right finishing touch for the look I was going for.
While I think this centerpiece is done for now, I do have a few more Christmas village ideas! I would like to add in some doors, small holly, fake snow and maybe a few more Christmas decorations to the houses! Rach says I should add a large Christmas Tree in the village, but one step at a time! We will see where inspiration leads me!
The overall dimensions for this centerpiece are 30 1/2″L x 3 1/2″W x 7 1/4″H.
How to Build a Christmas Village Centerpiece
DIY Christmas Village Centerpiece
- Glue Gun
- Ryobi Nail Gun (optional)
- Scrape board 30” - 42” long
- Blank Wooden Houses (or cut out your own house shapes)
- Paint (color of your choice)
- Cardstock craft paper
- Modge Podge
- Bottle Brush trees
- Flocked Christmas Village Trees
- Fairy Light battery operated
- Cut your base board to the size of your choice.
- Stain or paint your base board.
- Paint the edges of the house in the color of your choice.
- Cut out the house shapes in the card stock paper. This does not have to be a perfect cut and can be cut slightly larger.
- Use Modge Podge to glue the cardstock to both side of the houses.
- Then use Modge Podge to seal the cardstock, I did two coats allowing to dry about 30 minutes between coats. (Allow the modge podge to dry overnight.)
- Use a 220-gritstanding block and sand the edges of the house to sand off the excess paper.
- Attach your houses to your base board using your prefer method – either a nail gun or a glue gun.
- Decide on the placement of your trees.
- Once placement is set, drill a hole through your base board for each of the trees that will have fairy lights added.
- Run the fairy lights through the hole and then wrap each of the trees.
- Glue each of the trees into place and then glue the battery packs and wires into place on the underside.
- Add in bottle brush trees wherever you’d like.
- Add in any additional details you’d like! Windows, doors, snowmen, etc!