Betty’s Christmas House

How to Set Up a Christmas Village

How to Set Up a Christmas Village

One year, I started collecting small Christmas houses to set up my own Christmas village for our family to see. At first, my family gave me some houses as a birthday gift, and later, I bought more houses from stores or yard sales. We even had a toy train moving through the Chrismas village. Over time, our miniature Christmas village got bigger and bigger. It got so big that we had to build a new base. Every Christmas, we set up our Xmas village near our front door to welcome everyone. It is our special way to say “hello” and spread holiday cheer.

Here is a simple guide to help you create your own Christmas village display.


Before you dive into the magical world of Christmas villages, you must choose the Christmas village decoration. Don’t worry if things don’t match or if you have only a few houses. Just choose one house and start!

Apart from village houses, you need churches, shops, and other structures, often with tiny lights inside. To bring life to your village, you will also need Xmas village accessories like little people, animals, trees, and cars.

Fake snow will give your village that wintry look and Christmas village lights like these can add a warm glow during the evenings.

A large table or another flat surface will serve as the base for your village. Cotton or white fabric can be spread over this surface to mimic a snowy landscape.

Lastly, gather some small boxes or books to create varying heights and levels in your village.


Finding the right location for your Christmas village is very important. You want a spot that is both safe from accidental bumps and also where family and guests can easily admire it.

A side table or console table by the window can also be a great spot, especially if you want your village to be seen from the outside. If you have a spacious area under your Christmas tree, this can also be a magical location, with the twinkling tree lights adding to the village’s charm.

For those with window nooks or bay windows, setting up your village there can create a beautiful display that can be enjoyed from inside and outside the house.


Once you have chosen your spot, it is time to prepare the base. Start by draping the white fabric or cotton over your table or flat surface. This will serve as the snowy ground on which your village will stand.

To make your village more dynamic and visually interesting, consider creating different levels. Place small boxes or books under the fabric in certain areas. This technique is fantastic for creating the illusion of rolling hills and elevated spots, adding depth and dimension to your village landscape.

Christmas Village Houses

With your snowy landscape ready, you can begin placing the first village house. I normally start with the most prominent structures, like churches or town halls. These can serve as focal points around which the rest of the village can be arranged.

Ensure enough space between the houses. This spacing is essential as you add other elements like trees, people, and vehicles later on.

If your houses come with lights, ensure they are either close to a power source or have fresh batteries.


Once your houses are in place, it is time to focus on the details that will bring your village to life. Trees are a great addition, providing greenery and creating a more realistic setting. Place some trees on the elevated areas you created earlier and some on the flat ground.

Next, position your figures. I have a village scene with a little boy building a snowman, a family singing carols outside a church, or children playing in the snow. These tiny scenes within my village capture the imagination of anyone who looks at it.

If your collection includes cars or other vehicles, find suitable spots for them on the “roads” between the houses. These details, though small, play a significant role in making your village feel alive and bustling.


No Christmas village is complete without a touch of snow. I use fake snow and sprinkle it around the village. Focus on areas like the roofs of the Christmas village houses, the branches of the trees, and open spaces, and be careful not to overdo it. Let some areas remain snow-free to make the scene look more natural, as if a fresh snowfall has just occurred.


Now it is time to put up Christmas village lights to add some sparkle. Turn on the lights inside the houses and watch as they illuminate the surroundings. Last year I bought these battery-operated string lights and Christmas village street lights. I put the string lights between the houses and on the trees. But you can also lay them on the ground to create a starry effect. The combination of the building lights, street lights, and string lights will make your Xmas village glow.

miniature village lights in christmas trees

Christmas Village Display Ideas

Here are some of my favorite DIY Christmas village ideas:

Multi-Level Displays

To create multiple levels for your Christmas village, you can use crates, boxes, or custom-built wooden boards to set up platforms in different heights. This gives depth to your display and allows for scenes like mountain villages or cliffside cottages.

Water Features

Incorporate mirrors or shiny blue fabric to mimic lakes or rivers. You can place bridges over them and have figurines like ice skaters for added charm.

Train Tracks

A miniature train running through your Christmas village can add movement and excitement. You can use trains for Christmas trees with tracks around the perimeter or through the center, ensuring it doesn’t disrupt the main village scenes.

xmas village with moving train

Forest Setting

Create a dense forest using miniature Christmas trees. This can be a backdrop for your village or an integral part where cabins and wildlife figurines reside.

Downtown Scene

Set up a bustling  Christmas downtown with shops, cafes, and town squares. Add lamp posts, benches, and carolers to bring the scene to life.

Beachside Village

For a unique twist, set up a coastal Christmas village display. Use sandpaper or real sand as the base, and include beach houses, lighthouses, and even Santa on a surfboard!

Animated Features

Some Christmas village pieces come with animated features like rotating carousels or moving Ferris wheels. These can be focal points in your display.

Countryside Retreat

Showcase a serene countryside with farms, barns, and open fields. Add animals like cows, sheep, and horses.

Night Sky

Hang twinkling lights above your Christmas village to mimic a starry night. You can also use a dark blue cloth as a backdrop and pin tiny lights to it.

Park Setting

Design a central park for your village. Include a pond, park-goers, benches, and maybe a gazebo where a band plays Christmas tunes.

Enjoy Your Christmas Village Display!

Setting up a DIY Christmas village display has become a family tradition in our house. It is more than just a festive decoration. It is a creative expression and a way to bring a touch of magic into your home. Whether you’re setting up a village for the first time or have been doing it for years, the process is always filled with joy and anticipation. So, as the holiday season approaches, gather your supplies, put on some festive music, and immerse yourself in the task of building your very own Christmas wonderland.

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