Today, I am thrilled to be participating with several other talented bloggers to bring you tons of early Christmas inspiration and free printables! I created a diy holiday village for our mantel and for you! Simply print it off, cut it out, and voila…instant Christmas town for you to display with your festive decor.
A few weeks ago, I saw this gorgeous ceramic village set from Anthropologie, and I fell in love with it. It is by a very talented artist and has a charming, illustrated style which I love…
To create my own version, I used some drawing paper, a black Sharpie marker and inspiration from old books, Christmas cards and photographs of cute houses. I have always loved drawing and used to do portraits with pencil all the time. It was “my thing” way back in the day but very time consuming.
Then for years, I hardly ever drew, basically forgetting my gift. Having kids has brought back a love for it, since I am always drawing their favorite characters or whatever their imaginations can dream up.
I love using fine point markers for quick, quirky illustrations like this project these days. I have no time for the detailed drawings that I used to do in high school and college!
Included in this nine piece village set you will find a church, town buildings (which we are calling a hotel and a restaurant around here), a city hall building, a cozy house, two little carolers (inspired by my kids), a snowman and lamppost, a decorated town tree and two vintage cars taking their Christmas trees home of course!
My two year old Owen loves to drive the cars to the “restront.” And Hazel likes to see herself and Owen singing their carols.
To use this set yourself, I have included four printable .pdf sheets for you below. All you have to do is print them on card stock or other heavy weight paper and cut them out. For cutting out the shapes, I simply stayed pretty close to the drawings, only leaving a tiny edge. Some are a little trickier than others, like the Christmas tree, which is why I included some photos for you to see how I managed to cut around them. I didn’t do anything fancy to make them stand, other than fold the bottoms. The cars are a little different: I cut out small rectangles to tape (or glue) behind the wheels to keep them up.
I knew that I wanted these to go on our old mantel (again inspired by the Anthro version) but first, I wanted to create a wintry scene, which was fairly easy if you want to recreate it. I started by gathering some branches from outside and spray painting them metallic silver. While they were drying, I lined the back of the mantel with a strand of white Christmas lights. I layered it back and forth a few times to fit and add lots of light behind. I tied it with string in a few spots to keep it together.
Once the painted branches were dry, I took some old thread spools to use as bases by putting the branches in the holes. Then I lined them up along the very back. I used fiber fill (stuffing for pillows, etc.) as snow and spread it all over the lights. After that, I took some bottle brush trees and started filling them in all around keeping the largest in the back.
Next, it was time for the little village. You can have fun with this part rearranging it until you get it just how you like. I chose to put the house on one end, the church on the other and the town buildings in the middle. Then the cars went “on the road” and the carolers went by the snowman and lamppost. It really was super easy and made me feel like a kid again. I have always had a thing for miniatures and projects like this. It definitely brought out all those warm fuzzy feelings and reminded me of the artist inside that sometimes I forget about.
Here you can see what it looks like with the lights on…
I hope that you enjoy this Christmas village if you decide to print it off! You can let your imagine go wild with it…color it in with colored pencils or let your kids; put the designs under glass cloches or in mason jars with faux snow in the bottom; attach them to cardboard and turn it into a 3-dimensional village. So many different options if you get creative!
If you do use it in your holiday decor, I would love to see it! Send me a pic or let me know if you have shared it on your own blog or elsewhere. I hope it brings out some childhood wonder in you as it did in me.
Click on the link below to download the printable .pdf sheets. There are four in total, so don’t forget to grab them all!
Please note: These are offered for personal use only. No commercial use or reselling in any format. Thank you!
(If you are interested in using any of these images commercially, please contact me for details. Thanks!)
Till next time…
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