Heart-Shaped Moon

comments: 113


I put my snow village up. It goes on the mantle above the fireplace. I still can't believe I have a house with a fireplace. That was one of my dreams. I love the village. I've written about it before, once when I wrote about my grandma (many of these houses were hers) in 2005, again when I thought about ice skating in 2007. I always mean to show you how I put it together, even though it's very simple and you can probably guess. But this year I took photos to make it easier to explain.


We keep all the snow village supplies in one box all year, so when I pull them out I know I'll have everything I need. First comes a whole bunch of 4" foam blocks that I had cut many years ago at a foam cutting place (just try Googling "foam" and your city's name to find one near you). They've turned kind of yellow over the years. You could use boxes for this, too, as long as they don't show through the fabric too much. I stack them around at different angles.


Then I take some white lights on a white cord — I think this was 100 mini lights — and start draping them over the blocks here and there. I buy new lights every year since they don't seem to last from one year to the next (and once you get this put together, you will not want to take it down to replace the lights when they burn out halfway through the season). In the past I've used icicle lights and those actually work better because you can snake some out the back to pop into the holes in the houses to light them, but I forgot that this year. Ooopsie.


Then I drape everything in about 2 yards of 44"-wide white linen, folded in half lengthwise. Normally I wouldn't have used such a nice fabric for this — muslin would work just fine — but the first year I set this up, 2 yards of linen was what I had in my stash, so I just refold it and put it in the snow village box and reuse the same fabric every year. The linen is nice because it has such a gorgeous drape to it. Whatever you use, make sure that it is neither too thin (so that you can't see the boxes or foam or cord underneath) nor too thick (so that you can't see the lights shining through). I want it to feel like glowy snowdrifts.


Then I just start placing the houses and trees. My houses are a combination, collected over many years, of ones that were my grandma's, ones that I've picked up at antique stores and estate sales, and newer reproductions (Martha Stewart sold a few of these as Christmas ornaments several years ago, but I don't think they have them anymore). I've never made any of my own, but lots of people were making them on the blogs a few years ago, so if you know of a good link to those tutorials, please leave a comment here and we can collect them. (Also, I'd love to see other finished villages, too, if you have one!) The trees are called bottle-brush trees, and many of mine are vintage reproductions made by Bethany Lowe, whose items we used to sell in my store several years ago (when I had a store). The green ones were my grandma's and they are very old.


The church is really cool. I found it at the antique expo many years ago. It was kind of expensive, but I really wanted it, and I'm glad I got it. Every good snow village needs a charming little church, watching over everything.


When I get all the houses out there, I start hanging my snowflakes. These are glitered plastic (from any craft store) and straw (from Ikea), and I use fishing line to attach them to a bunch of little white cup hooks that are screwed directly into our ceiling and stay there all year. (You can't even see them unless you are looking for them.)

I like how the snowflakes make shadows on the sky.


I like how the heart-shaped pine-cone moon rises in the evening over the village.


It reminded me of the one we had last night.


Julie G. in Iowa says: December 02, 2009 at 08:20 AM

My favorite part is the one with the curvy little path going right up to the little white house with the little snowy white tree. Perfect!

Beautiful! I look forward to seeing your Christmas village every year. Thanks for the tutorial!

I Love your village!! I have one little house that was my Mom's & I just love it!!

Wasn't the moon just beautiful last night?! I love the rare autumn nights that we get clear skies....it was still glowing this morning as well.

I love when you put your snow village on the mantel every year :) It's so pretty and looks like meringue topped with a little village. Which led me to thinking about what a great cake this would make.

(I've been watching too much Food Network and Cake Boss ;)

michele (maryland) says: December 02, 2009 at 08:53 AM

I am so glad you gave us a tutorial. It is lovely. So Christmasy!

What a sunny spot to my dreary day! Thank you for posting your beautiful Christmas village! It's such a delight to see every year! Thanks for sharing your tips too! Now, I want to make my own villiage (with the help of Martha Stewart's website).

Magical and lovely - I loved seeing your village from the ground up. Happy holidays! xo

oh wow! How magical! Seeing that would put the Christmas spirit into anyone! Ahhhhh! :) xxx

Yours is lovely Alicia, I am putting mine up today. I always put my little church up on a 'hill' as well. I have some older ceramic ones that had bottle brush trees and I have a few people and several horses and horse-drawn things.

When a bulb burns out in one of the houses my DH says 'oh look, so and so isn't home tonight', so not funny but I love my little car-free snowy covered christmas dream village...

NOW I feel in the mood for Christmas! Thank you for sharing your Christmas Village again this year.

Beautiful, Alicia. Makes my heart ache thinking of my own grandma's Christmas mantle. Thank you for sharing-- brought back wonderful, comforting memories.

Enchanting. Thanks for sharing. I too really look forward to seeing your village every year. Those little mica houses are so precious. The one house I had somehow managed to end up in the washing machine(?!?) in shreds:(

That's gorgeous!

Adorable! Love how you place the lights under the covering. Delightful!

I love that some were your grandma's. It was fun to see how you put it all together and the finished result was nothing short of charming!

I love this. I just emailed my husband to inform him that he needs to build a mantle over our fireplace, stat. We recently moved to Florida and I've been feeling like the holidays are a bit of a fraud without the snow. I think your holiday village is perfect (and nobody has to shovel or drive through the snow).

Absolutely gorgeous, Alicia - I love it. I find myself looking at the bricks or tiles on your fireplace, with their stemmed flowers - how interesting and unique are they? Love the whole scene and thank you for the tutorial. Very beautiful.

The village is beautiful! I especially love the snowflakes :)

Just lovely, Alicia! And the moon was simply beautiful last night! I also love your pinecone wreath - we have been avidly collecting pinecones of various sizes and shapes and think a wreath of my very own is in the future.
I think you might also like the little pinecone gnome people found at Living Craft mag website - we have a bunch of the little people on the windowsills :)

Ahhhhh! So peaceful and beautiful.

So very pretty & peaceful!

Very lovely Alicia! So homey and vintage...:)I was looking forward to seeing your village this year! The snowflakes dangling add such a magical touch. I absolutely love your little vintage lights above your fireplace, and also your bricks. Did you add the roses on your bricks, or was it made that way? It is adorable!

So, so pretty...and sentimental! Wonderful! I've been thinking about you with these wonderful winter sunsets we have been having...
Merry Christmas!

I love your display! And the front of your fireplace is pretty cool too! A couple years ago, Better Homes and Gardens had a pattern in their magazine. I found it on line at http://www.bhg.com/holidays/christmas/crafts/craft-a-mini-holiday-village/
The only thing is you have to create an account (which is free) to get the pattern.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com