Simple Winter Village DIY

Make a winter village— So easy!One of my favorite childhood Christmas memories is setting up our holiday village every year. My mom had collected several ceramic buildings with electric lights inside, including houses, a church, a school, and a general store.

I loved setting up the little people and trees, then watching when the houses lit up, glowing in the early dark of evening. Such warm fuzzies!

I wanted to create my own winter village to capture the nostalgia of my childhood, but decided to tailor the idea a bit for my taste and decor. My village consists of simple set-like facades, backlit by a strip of LED lights and accessorized with wintery bottle brush trees. Check out how simple it is to make your own winter village!

Make a winter village— So easy!Supplies:
-building templates (see below to download)
-colored foam board (or you can paint or spray mount colored paper to foam board)
-gold or white vellum
small L-brackets
X-Acto blade (with plenty of refill blades)
-drafting tape or painter’s tape
hot glue gun (or glue of your choice)
puffy paint
LED spotlights (optional)

To begin, click any or all of the templates below and print onto 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper. You should not need to scale the image to fit because printer margins have been factored in.

  Template Template Template Template


Make a winter village— So easy!Step One: Use drafting tape (or painter’s tape) to fasten the template to your foam board. Use an X-Acto blade to cut out the windows and shape of each building. It will take a few passes of the blade to cut all the way through. Be patient! If you push too hard on the blade, you will break the tip.

Note: I also used artist’s board (like a mat board material) for this project, and it was very difficult to cut through compared to foam board. Foam board is stiff and easy to cut through— the perfect material for this project, in my opinion.

Step Two: Trim the windows and doors with puffy paint. You can add any interest that you want during this time too, such as shingles, bricks, or even a little wreath.

Make a winter village— So easy!Step Three: When the puffy paint has completely dried and hardened, flip the building facade upside-down and glue vellum to the windowed areas.

Then, glue one or two brackets onto the back, making sure not to glue a bracket onto any window or door openings.

Make a winter village— So easy!I used this strip of LED spotlights to backlight my little village. I chose this set because it was the perfect size (each light lines up with each building), has two settings, and is also battery powered. I’m a big fan of no cords!

Make a winter village— So easy!This set of buildings was inspired by the city of Amsterdam, but the puffy paint sort of adds the effect of a gingerbread house, doesn’t it?

I think it’s quite charming and I love that Christmas villages come in so many shapes and sizes (how cute are some of these?). Maybe next year I will add a cathedral or a school or just use some of these to get me started!

We’ve got quite a bit of holiday decorating projects and tips so start browsing and get decorating! –Mandi

P.S. Check out more holiday and home decor on our wishlist and shopping pages!

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson.

  • Hi Tracy! Sorry about that! Try these links:

    Send us an email at support AT redvelvetart DOT com if you need anything else! 🙂 -Jacki

  • when I click on any of the downloads, the house is not all in one piece, nor on one page. is it me or is the download not working correctly? 🙁 great idea – wish I could print it on one page normally.

  • What an adorable little village! It’s much more inexpensive than the porcelain ones at Michaels.
    We made a fun holiday tassel garland, check it out for more diy fun!!

  • Yes the glow of the light is so fun in the evening! You can see how that looks in our house in the last image. 🙂 -Mandi

  • The last image shows what it looks like lit up in the evening at our house. My husband walked in the door and said, “ooooh that’s fun!” So that was pretty nice validation. 🙂 -Mandi

  • Hi! Did you try these links?

    You should be able to print them from there. If you’re having anymore trouble, send us an email at support AT redvelvetart DOT com 🙂 -Jacki

  • What a cute idea! I’ve never heard of this tradition before!
    I have been looking for something to satisfy my crafting urges; I think I might try this on the weekend. Thanks for the printables, I can’t wait to give it a go!
    ♥ Rhiannon

  • I can see how this was inspired by Amsterdam! The puffy paint is such a neat idea, and I bet these look amazing when they are lit up! Love this tutorial! 🙂

    M – Mocha and Moccasins

  • Just change the trees around when the seasons change and you can keep this up all year! The village is so cute 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Wow this so creative, and much more affordable than buying those expensive christmas village collectibles. I’d much rather have one of these chic creations in my home for christmas decor!Keep up the good work!

  • Sorry about that! Try these links:
    🙂 -Jacki

  • This is sooo adorable oh my goshhh!!! Thanks!!


  • Mandi, I love your printable templates!! Thank you! I too have such fond memories of putting up the Christmas village in my childhood – but they’re so expensive and would take up a lot of room to store in my little apartment. This is the perfect solution. 🙂

    xx Kathryn

  • WOW
    so easy my son will love it!!!
    great, thanks for sharing

  • This is adorable! I love that it doesnt take up much space and also is not expensive to make. Even for someone like me who is not very good on DIY projects this looks pretty simple to follow.
    I love holiday ideas like these that step away form the usual tree and candy canes and red which is everywhere.

  • This is just wonderful! It seems so simple to make and yet so exquisite.
    I will definitely try it!

  • this is so cute! x

    I’ve got a naked basics 2 palette giveaway on my blog if you want to take a look 🙂

  • That looks amazing…I am not so sure about simple though?!

    Love from bella Italia,

    XO Bambi

  • Oh, I love this. And it is so charming. Reminds me of the little light villages my G-ma had around the house when I was little.

  • Yes! Love this! So darn simple and festive! Thanks for sharing!


  • This looks so adorable,I love this post ♥♥

  • This is so cute and so easy! Definitely using this idea for next year!!

  • This is simple but beyond amazing. The effect that it gives is magical!

    so cute!
    I hope i’ll have time to recreate this because it looks so beautifull!


  • OMG!! I have been trying for years to figure a good way to make all those $1 frames from Michaels and other frames with no little kick stands to stand up. The L bracket is PERFECT!! Thank you for this solution!!

  • Cutest! The stencils are so simple, but it looks awesome when it’s finished! 🙂

  • Amazing! I love this idea without having the actual houses to store! What a creative inexpensive way to have this little holiday tradition! I would have loved to see an action shot of the houses lit at night too :o)

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