Creating a small budget-friendly Christmas village in a box that can be stored easily.
Christmas Village History
Christmas Villages (also known as putz, meaning to decorate) are rooted in Moravian church tradition. The nativity scenes started as cardboard at the base of the tree. In the early 19th century, they could also be found on mantels, end tables, and other areas around the home. Scenes became more elaborate with sawdust, dirt (for roads), stones, moss, and figurines.
In the early to mid 20th century, they became popular in the United States. The porcelain became prevalent in the latter part of that century.
There are many wonderful and elaborate village and nativity displays. Here are some of our friends villages…..
How to Simplify My Christmas Village
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Back in Arizona, we had a window that we could set up a little village in. It was quite pretty, but a little time consuming to set up and take down. Putting it all away is never quite as fun, right?
In our new home, we don’t have the same space so I was looking for a different solution to a traditional village.
We were given this box of awesomeness from our friends at Kilz. They asked us to upcycle the box and gave us some amazing color sample paints, paintbrushes, and other goodies. You know we love Kilz primer, like this bathroom floor painting project – Bathroom Makeover, but haven’t tried any of the colors yet.
|Search for crate boxes with lids HERE|
DIY Christmas Village Instructions
First, this box was painted with Season’s Change.
The original thought was to get some village buildings from our local thrift store and paint them white. The houses were around $4.99 each so this didn’t seem as budget-friendly to us, but it is a GREAT reuse option esp. if you can find some at great prices.
Instead, we reverted to the original idea and used cardboard boxes. If we would have had a little more time, a cereal box reuse is a great upcycle idea. We found these DIY houses from a shop in Lithuania on ETSY. Not only are they lightweight buy very budget-friendly.
The boxes need to be assembled. We found the rubber cement worked best to initially stick it together. We then used regular school glue to keep them closed. A putty knife worked really well to bend at the creases.
TIP – To use rubber cement, apply to each side, and let it dry…THEN you stick it together after it’s dried.
A few of the homes had the addition of some glitter by using spray adhesive and white glitter.
Christmas Village Accessories
We had some village accessories from our previous setup like…
|Search for more Christmas Village accessories HERE|
A wreath was made, for the church, with some florist wire, the spray adhesive, and glitter.
Finally, battery operated tea lights were used to light up some of the houses.
And….tada… A DIY CHRISTMAS VILLAGE IN A BOX
Storing Your Christmas Village
The box was used as part of the décor on ours, but you can easily just use the box for storage only.
When Christmas is ready to come down, everything fits back in the box (with the snow on top to keep it all in place, and that makes it easy peasy to store.
Whether you have an apartment or a large home, this DIY Christmas Village in a box is so much easier than our last setup.
Other Christmas Posts
In case you missed them, here are a few of our top holiday posts:
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Sam - Raggedy Bits says
This is such a cool idea!!! Love it and that it then can be all stored away safely for next year!!
Sam – Raggedy Bits recently posted…Salami Basil Bocconcini Gnocchi Bake
Deborah Sommerlot says
Sam, It sure is super simple to store and simple to setup which I love. 🙂
This is such a great upcycle with some storage too. Love it.
That’s too cute Deborah. My mom always used to make little Christmas villages when we were kids. I think that’s where my fascination with all thing miniature must have happened. She’s stays in an old age home now so there’s no space for her to build them anymore. This would probably make such a lovely early Christmas gift for her.
Deborah Sommerlot says
Michelle, Oh, that would be so amazing. It must be hard for her not to be able to decorate as she once did.
It is, but she’s a strong, amazing woman and she is totally going to love this idea. I can’t wait to shop around so she can do what you’ve done
Deborah Sommerlot says
That’s so great. I can’t wait to see what you do.