For many families, setting up a Christmas village is a requirement of the holiday season. Miniature houses, businesses and people displayed in a snowy wonderland are reminiscent of real winter in a quaint village or a bustling city. For collectors and novices alike, there are many tips and techniques for setting up your village in a realistic and charming way that will leave your family and holiday guests speechless.
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Select the right location to display your village in all of its miniature glory. It's imperative to find a space large enough for your entire village or to find smaller spots, such as mantles, desks or side tables, where you can separate your village into individual vignettes. A lighted display cabinet offers a protected and beautiful spot for your treasures, while a spot under the Christmas tree can be a fun family tradition. If you have the ability, construct your own table specifically for your village. Add grommets in the table to minimise the cord clutter on your actual display.
A Christmas village looks great anywhere, but the addition of a backdrop can add a stunning visual effect. Purchase prints specifically designed for placement behind your village. These prints can be anything from the simple snow of the countryside to the hustle and bustle of city life, depending solely on the look you require for your specific village. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, use a thin piece of plywood painted a deep, night blue. Add glistening painted stars or even have small LEDs poking through pre-drilled holes to simulate a starry night over your village.
Building the village
In order to give your village a more realistic appearance, use platforms in various shapes and sizes to make your buildings stand at various heights. Platforms are made exactly for this purpose or you can make your own using pieces of carved styrofoam. Before placing your treasured village pieces, place a clean layer of cotton batting across your village and over any platforms you decide to use. Build batting up in various locations to give the illusion of mountains and piles of snow and to help make your village display look more realistic.
Your village won't be complete without the addition of the accessories that will bring it to life. Individual figurines of people are a must and should be placed by appropriate buildings in your village, such as firemen near the fire brigade or carolers at a front door. Animated pieces, such as working cars or ice-skating children, add life to your display. Landscape your village using selections of trees and shrubs and add wildlife to create a realistic nature scene. Be sure to incorporate a jolly old St. Nick in your village to add to the wondrous illusion.
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