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Winter Village




These snug houses sit nestled together, mixing whatever shapes or colors please the builder, without anyone worrying what the neighbors will think. Their glitter snow will never be tracked indoors. Their holiday trimmings won't fade or wilt. And every year, the village will come out of storage looking exactly as everyone remembers it.

The glitter-sprinkled houses that you can make from the following templates take their inspiration from a long history of tiny buildings. The first probably accompanied nativity scenes. But what would have begun as just a stable expanded to include barns and cottages and, eventually, whole villages. Made from wood and finely detailed, such tableaux were especially popular in Germany and Japan at the beginning of the twentieth century. By the 1920s, simpler mass-produced ornaments had become available. These were often made of cardboard and were coated with plenty of glitter.

Before you start a construction project, decide how much ground you want to cover. The smallest display of buildings comprises only a handful of simple structures, perhaps gathered on a side table. A modest town planner may be content with a hamlet that uses the mantelshelf as Main Street. Too many houses to fit above the fireplace? Hang them as ornaments among the boughs of the Christmas tree. The ambitious architect will not stop until there are many buildings, of every variety, set among rolling snowy hills. Such urban sprawl is best under the tree (where it might crowd out the presents!) or on a properly zoned tabletop.

How to Build a House
Tree Ornament How-To


  1. Step 1

Martha Stewart Living, December 2000



Reviews (6)

  • babydollz 10 Dec, 2010

    i made this last year, the trees were very intricate, but do-able. So fun and pretty!

  • cocoisa 22 Apr, 2010

    Hola: Preciosa la villa de invierno el glitter le da un toque muy especial.
    Muchas gracias Martha.

  • Carolann1014 15 Dec, 2009

    I am having a problem when trying to retrieve the template for this project. I only get a blank page. Can I get help?

  • lucia2sky 14 Nov, 2009

    Luv this project, reminds me of the Christmas houses growing up.

  • bnan 25 Feb, 2009

    Love the Village! You could make an Easter Village. Paint the houses in Easter pastels. Decorate the houses with tiny paper flowers and add bunnies and Easter baskets. Patterns can be printed at Just look in the dollhouse section.
    I am also making a "Spooky Village" Spooky decorations can also be printed from the same site. Your imagination is your only limitation.
    These Villages would be wonderful gifts.
    Thanks a bunch Martha.

  • JourneyAndLandscapeCom 11 Feb, 2009