Make your own Christ­mas vil­lage

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - —STORY BY VITTORIAMAWIS

You prob­a­bly take a pause just to ad­mire those minia­ture houses dis­played in shops and ho­tel lob­bies dur­ing the Yule­tide sea­son. If you want to have your own Christ­mas vil­lage but are put off by the hefty price tag, you might want to have it the DIY way. Whether made from edi­ble pieces or re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, this hol­i­day project can be set up at home with a per­sonal touch and well within your bud­get.

Do you ever find your­self ad­mir­ing minia­ture houses dis­played dur­ing the Yule­tide sea­son? You’ve prob­a­bly seen them in shops or ho­tel lob­bies. The tiny Christ­mas vil­lage, or putz as it is his­tor­i­cally known, is ac­tu­ally a more mod­ern ver­sion of the Na­tiv­ity scene por­tray­ing the birth of Je­sus Christ.

Find­ing roots in Mo­ra­vian church cus­toms, the putz in­cor­po­rates sec­u­lar el­e­ments such as shops, houses and trains. Of­ten well-lighted and burst­ing with color, th­ese dis­plays are de­light­ful and en­chant­ing to look at. Un­for­tu­nately, th­ese of­ten come with a hefty price tag.

If you’re a fan of Christ­mas vil­lages but not of their cost, it might be time for you to try your hand at a lit­tle Do-It-Your­self (DIY) craft­work. From edi­ble ones to re­cy­cled art­work, you’ll be sur­prised to know that you can ac­tu­ally have a Christ­mas vil­lage at home that suits your bud­get.

The fol­low­ing are some sim­ple but unique ways to make your own putz.

With a lit­tle cre­ativ­ity and a lot of Christ­mas spirit, you might be able to build your own lit­tle houses to cel­e­brate the sea­son.

MILK CAR­TON HOMES

Af­ford­able yet eye-catch­ing, blog­ger Amanda For­maro’s take on a Christ­mas vil­lage makes use of used milk and juice car­tons to build the houses.

To make a sim­i­lar one, col­lect and clean out some milk car­tons. Cover the en­tire sur­face of each car­ton with tex­tured tis­sue pa­per and brush with a mix­ture of wa­ter and glue. Al­low the houses to dry and dec­o­rate as de­sired.

To make the roof, cut out some card­board pieces and fold th­ese in half. Glue the card­board piece on top of each house and dec­o­rate with but­tons, beads or glit­ters. Once you are pleased with the dec­o­ra­tions, glue the houses on a sta­ble base such as a Sty­ro­foam board or a ply­wood panel.

PRINT­ABLE VIL­LAGES

For those who may be a lit­tle ar­tis­ti­cally-chal­lenged, don’t fret just yet. Crafty mom Alice Winger­den shared on her blog some free, print­able il­lus­tra­tions of a Christ­mas vil­lage.

You can eas­ily down­load th­ese and print them out on card­board or thick spe­cialty pa­per. Cut them out and stick them on card­board stands. Add a few lights and en­tourage, and voila! You get a Christ­mas vil­lage that’s easy on the pocket and lov­ingly hand­made, just not by you.

As per Winger­den, you can even put the print-outs in­side ma­sonry jars or color them with your kids.

NO-BAKE GIN­GER­BREAD HOUSES

Per­haps you’d like to make Christ­mas vil­lages that can ap­peal both to sight and your palate. Orig­i­nally pub­lished in

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