I love putting my huge winter village together each year because of just how much enjoyment I get out of it and everyone else that comes by to visit. I have to admit that this can be a pretty expensive hobby if you let it be. It also can be done on a tight budget too if you don’t care that it doesn’t look like a winter window display on 5th Avenue in the Big Apple! You can have your own village on a budget!
Each winter village needs to get started from some point so why not consider starting with those little winter buildings that pop up every year at your local Dollar Tree/Store? You got it, those little one dollar buildings and other winter items. You don’t even have to go out and buy white felt for your snow, just buy white plastic table cloths at the Dollar Tree/Store. You should be able to find a variety of different buildings and even some trees along with people and other accessories you can use in your village. You can also go to Wal-Mart to find some of your items as well. Just make sure you get what you want for the budget you have. Oh, another great place to find village pieces are at your local thrift stores so don’t forget to check those places out.
First thing you want to do is pick an area where you want to place your village, then lay down the first layer of snow (table cloth). If you want to spruce up the snow you can just buy the tissue paper that has those sparkles in it and that will make your snow glisten. It doesn’t look good at first, but once you start putting down your buildings, you won’t even notice.
Before putting the buildings down that you purchased you will want to add some depth to your village and that can be easily done by stacking books on top of each other at different heights and then cover them with a white table cloth to hide them. You can also use miscellaneous kitchen items you might have like bowls and tupperware containers to give the illusion of mountains and hills.
So now you have your flat layout as well as your hills and mountains. Now you can start taking all of the little buildings you bought at the Dollar Tree/Store or Wal-Mart and start placing all the buildings where you want them. Use your imagination when placing your buildings. Once you have done that take the trees and other accessories you might have and place them strategically throughout your little village so it gives it a more natural feel.
When setting up your little village don’t be afraid to take different sized buildings and mix and match that also means it’s okay to put different styles together, it doesn’t have to all match. You want interest created and by mixing and matching you can do that. If you have some big buildings you will want to take these bigger ones and put them toward the back of your village and on your mountains you created because you want to create a tier effect. That way the bigger buildings won’t overpower your smaller buildings.
Once you have your village set up the way you like you are going to want to add lighting to your entire village. You don’t have to go out and buy expensive light sets to do this. Sometimes you can find small strands of LED lights at the Dollar Tree/Store you can use and Wal-Mart always has sets of cheap lights you can use. Once you have your lights you want you can string them through your village and if some of your buildings have see through windows on them try and put a light inside those buildings so it looks like there is a light on in them.
You can also add water to your village if you like and without even using real water. If you want a little stream running through your village all you need is some plastic wrap, scrunch it up and make it into a narrow tube and then wind it through the village where you want it and you have yourself a little babbling brook. Also, if you want to have a frozen lake or pond for ice skating all you need to do is buy a cheap mirror and place it on your fake snow and you have an instant frozen pond for ice skating. Make sure that you have a tree or two around it to give it a more natural feel.
Finally, if you want to add some fluff to your snow all you have to do is go to Wal-Mart to their craft section and buy a bag of soft fiber fill used in making pillows and stuffed toys and then place it all around your village to add softness and depth to the snow in your village.
Have fun setting up your first winter village, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do each year.