Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The One With the Glittery Christmas Village

What is Christmas time without a little glitter? Or a whole glittery village for the mantel?
Oh, yes. I love it. It's pretty and glittery and Christmas-y and fun. And you could make one yourself, if you like. All you need is:
  • Cardboard cones in at least two different sizes (available at craft stores like Craft Warehouse, or you could make them yourself)
  • Wooden bird feeders that look like houses, with the peg for the bird to perch on removed
  • Sponge brushes
  • Elmer's glue
  • Loose glitter - I used eight colors for my village: silver, pink and green for the trees, with another random multi-colored glitter I had lying around; and sandstone, white, brown and gold for the houses
  • Tiny silver plastic ornaments to top the trees with the part that hangs them cut off to leave a whole so you can place them on top of the trees  (I used the dollar packs from Target)
  • A cardboard box like your cereal comes in for the doors and windows
  • A hot glue gun and glue, obviously
  • Newspaper or an old magazine to cover your workspace and make returning glitter to its original container easier
  • Friends DVDs or Christmas movies to watch while you're working
Making the village is rather simple. Maybe a little time consuming,  but I did all of this over two days in about 5 hours total. It's a great project to do with friends or while babies sleep. Here's how to:

For the trees:
  1. Fold a piece of scrap paper in half, then open it up and place it under a cone. 
  2. Use a sponge brush to paint an entire cone in Elmer's glue. 
  3. Shake the glitter all over the cone until it is covered. Tap to remove excess glitter, check for bald spots and then place on some newspaper to dry. 
  4. The excess glitter should have collected on your scrap paper. Pick it up and dump it back into your glitter container so you can use it for the next tree. 
  5. Repeat for as many trees as you want to make. Make sure to get several of each color in varying sizes.
  6. Once each tree has dried, top it with a glitter ball. 
For the houses:
  1. Remove all the little perch pegs from your houses. They are likely just glued into a small hole, so some good wiggling should do the trick.
  2. Using your sponge brush, paint the rooftop with glue and then sprinkle with white glitter. For me, I had to do two coats of glitter because the white was too translucent. Two coats should make your rooftop look snow-topped. Just be sure the first coat has completely dried before moving on to the second. 
  3. After your rooftops are dry, shake off any excess glitter and paint the front, sides and back of the houses with glue. It may be helpful to cut your sponge brush down to get in the little nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the sandstone glitter all over. Let dry.
  4. While your houses are drying, make the door and windows: Cut whatever shape doors and windows you want out of the cardboard box. Coat with glue and glitter - the brown for the doors and the gold for the windows to be like a light inside the house. Make sure these doors and windows are big enough to cover the holes that the bird seed would go into. Once the gold on your windows has dried, dip the edges in a very shallow puddle of glue and then into the brown glitter to make the window edges. Once everything is completely dry, use a hot glue gun to adhere the doors and windows to the houses.
Voila! There you have a perfect little Christmas village. You can place it on loose glitter snow or swirl a white garland through the village to make it seem snowy.

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