Cardboard Tube Christmas Village

I've always loved those little snowy villages that people decorate with during the holidays. When I was a kid my friend's mother would construct an intricate holiday scene complete with miniature kids sledding and tiny bundled-up carolers on her mantle. I could stare at that village for hours imagining which neatly decorated house I would live in, and which snowy hill would be the best for sledding.
These days Christmas doesn't feel quite so full of wonder, and living in Los Angeles means it certainly isn't snowy. So, to remind myself of those tiny winter-wonderlands and simple holiday pleasures I decided to create a holiday village project that kids can construct themselves.
This village looks pretty displayed on a mantle, or it would make an adorable centerpiece for the kid's table during your holiday meal!

You will need:
Cardboard tubes
Paint brushes
4" doilies
White Puff-paint (optional)
White Glitter
Styrofoam disk, approx 7" diameter (found at craft stores)

1. Cut your tubes into various sizes and paint them. Let dry.
I created pastel colors by combining white with primary colors. White tends to give good coverage on the brown cardboard.

2. While the paint is drying grab your doilies. The silver doilies have more weight then the white doilies, but either will work. You will use one doily for each roof. 
3. Cut a slit from one side of the doily to the center. Repeat on each doily.
4. Place the doily on a plate, or piece of paper. Spread a little glue along the outside edge, and in the center. 
5. Now, sprinkle the doily with glitter. Let dry.
6. Once dry, lift the doily and tap off the excess glitter. Repeat with each doily so that you have a snow covered roof for each house.
7. Paint each tube to create a house. Add details like windows and doors. Let the paint dry between details to be sure that you don't smudge.

8. Don't forget to add holiday details like trees, wreaths and garlands!
9. Once the houses are dry use white puff-paint to add snow to trees and other details.
10. Sprinkle wet paint with glitter to create a shimmering snow-effect. Let dry.
11. To make the roof use the slit in the doily to roll the doily into a cone. Add a dab of glue to hold it in place. Once dry, put a thin rim of glue along the edge of the cardboard tube and place the roof on top. Let dry.
12. Now grab your Styrofoam disk and place the houses on top. Figure out the best way to arrange them and then put a line of glue on the bottom edge and glue them into place. Let dry.
Drizzle glue over the Styrofoam disk and then sprinkle with the fake snow. When it's dry tap off the excess. For decoration wrap a holiday ribbon around the perimeter of the disk and glue it into place.
13. Display on a mantle or use as a centerpiece.

CEMurphy says...

Love this! This is even better than a store bought village! H/e I am sending to Mom so she can see that her village got a shout out!

Miranda says...

Thank you Cait, and thanks to your mom, I was totally inspired by her village --I've always LOVED it!! xoxo

Sara vs. Sarah says...

I saw your little village on OPT. I think we must be on the same wavelength. I used toilet paper tubes here: and a little village here: I have to say, it never occurred to me to paint them. Beautiful job!

Miranda says...

Thank you Sara! I LOVE your little village - beautiful :)

Heather - says...

This is so very cute! :) Love little villages, and yours is clever & so sweet. I'm going to share it on Dollar Store Crafts tomorrow. :) (

Miranda says...

Thank you so much Heather, I'm a huge fan of your blog and I'm thrilled you're featuring my project!

Amanda says...

This is so flipping cute I can't even stand it! LOVE!

Domestic Goddesque says...

Wow, what a fabulous centrepiece!

coco.nut says...

sweet and beautiful!!!

ayates says...

Thanks I made an Advent Christmas Tree Calendar out of the same materials and this village will go great with it! = D

Love and Lollipops says...

Really pretty! A wonderful craft for any time of the year I think! :)


Shell says...

Wow, a sweet and easy project to do. Love it.

Headmistress, zookeeper says...

I love this, too. I wanted to do this with our two foster sons.
They made them into rockets.;-O

Glo says...

Wonderful, minus the styrofoam base. That stuff is unrecycleable and completely unnecessary

TwistyNoodle says...

I love it, and I actually have all of the supplies (except the styrofoam). The supplies are inexpensive enough that it would be great for a school party too! Thanks for sharing, I'm homeroom parent and I might use this for the Valentine's Day party (too late for the Holiday party, my kids are already out of school)... maybe Valentine's Day Village?

Sue Smith says...

so cute and easy and practical recycling - my grandchildren will love making these during the school holidays - THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING

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