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Beautiful Christmas Village Sets

Updated on October 27, 2014
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Find the perfect Christmas village decorations and accessories here!

Christmas village sets are wonderful because there are so many variables to choose from. Some Christmas village models sets come ready made and simply need placing in a scene. Others need some assembly of parts. My favourites are the ones that are simply an unpainted white shell and if you have the patience and time can produce a unique diorama. I am also a big model railroad fan and so I am drawn to the models that need some assembly and painting. In fact I have often considered blanketing my whole Rail road with spray on snow for some really excellent photos. However I always back down when I wonder how I will ever remove it afterwards. Size also varies greatly, my current project is unpainted houses about six inches tall but you can also get ones an inch or less. Whatever your choice, you will probably have created the centrepiece of your Christmas celebrations and a talking point with all your guests. I have recently purchased a new addition to my village and will present the work that I am doing in this article under a separate heading.

Department 56 Christmas Village Sets

Christmas village collections

Department 56 Christmas village sets are very popular at Christmas. They were first made back in 1976 and many of the earlier models are now very collectible. The company had some difficult times in the early years of the 21st century and filed for bankruptcy in 2009. While in private ownership the brand was sold to Enesco and continues in that form today. Starting with the snow village the collection grew from 6 to over 200 pieces. In the 1980s the range was expanded to include a New England Village and other villages quickly followed. Models include buildings, people and several modes of transport and each is exquisitely crafted and dated on the bottom.

Thomas Kinkade Christmas Village Sets

More Christmas village collections

Thomas Kincade is a famous American painter who died in April 2012. At the time he was considered a living legend and nearly every house in America supposedly had at least one print of his paintings. The Thomas Kinkade Christmas ornaments are specifically based on the characters and artistry in his paintings.

If there is a word I would use to describe the Thomas Kinkade Christmas village pieces I would say elaborate. They, like his paintings, are works of art but it does not seem to be reflected in the price. There is a good variety of product available for every taste and need including tree ornaments and houses that are internally lit by fiber optic light. There are also some wonderful glow globes and I urge you to look through all that is available before deciding which one is for you.

Lemax Caddington Village Christmas Sets

Some more Christmas Village Pieces

Lemax Caddington came into being in 1990 and have since grown into a popular and collectible maker of Christmas Villages and figures. They have lots of houses to choose from and also have my favourite collection of figurines depicting ordinary people enjoying Christmastide. My favourite is the postman emptying the mail box while the little girl with a dog asks him to take her letter.

Paint your own village

Railroad Station from California Creations Range of Christmas buildings
Railroad Station from California Creations Range of Christmas buildings | Source

Painting your own house

Dept 56, Thomas Kincaide and Lemax produce some of the most beautiful Christmas ornaments available. They are also ideal for anyone who wants a ready made village. But if you are on a budget or if you fancy trying your hand at a bit of painting, a very effective village can be made from readily available white plaster houses. We have a collection of buildings including churches, banks and post offices and..... I have have an unfinished one at this time which I will include in this article and show you how it transforms from white plaster into a lovely decoration. All you need is a clean surface, acrylic paints and paint brushes. Make sure you have the Christmas colours of red and green. White snow can be created by leaving parts of the model plaster unpainted.

Where to start

Painting your own houses can be really effective not to say individual and there are a few tips I can give you. All the houses from California Creations have droplets of fake snow arranged over the building, I have found that it is quite effective to leave these the natural plaster colour and paint around the patches leaving them stark and proud of the surface. Again with the trees you can keep your green paint dry and brush it on carefully but not completely. The green is technically underneath the snow but the effect is of a green conifer with snow on top. You can balance the green with the white depending on how heavy you wish to portray your snowstorm. Finally it is best to do the inside edges of the window frames first, then paint the walls and roof and then come back to finish off the outside frames of the windows where they touch the walls.

Completing the model

The last areas to paint are those with decorations, signs, external artefacts which, like the snow, tend to be proud of the surface. Be very careful painting any garlands, door knobs and signs. If you paint these carefully they can look very effective standing proud of the surface. When painting it is best to have your one hand inside the model so that you can turn it with your thumb. Remember to hold the house at different angles to the light, an unpainted piece of plaster may not be visible at a certain angle. This is especially true between the roof slats or shingles.

The Original as painted by the Manufacturer
The Original as painted by the Manufacturer | Source

The Finished Product

At the point where you are satisfied with your model you may notice spots where the paint has bled or you made a mark with the brush that you did not intend. The great thing about these models is that you simply touch up with the colour that you need. I admit I do a lot of this as I don't have an artists steady hand but it is of no consequence after a bit of touching up is done. The very last thing is to decide whether you want your model gloss, satin or matt. I tend to go for the satin but this is a personal choice. At this point you are ready to add your model to your growing diorama.

Painting your own building

Fiber Optic Christmas Village House

Cozy Chalet from Northern Lights

Known as the Cozy Chalet this item is from the Northern Lights collection. The use of fibre optic lights sets the chalet apart from houses lit by a bulb. The lights move and shimmer providing a mesmerising centrepiece for your table or dresser. This is more of a stand alone feature but very effective. Please be aware that these decorations can be quite expensive, as with all my articles I like you to see what is available but I encourage you to find cheaper alternatives, even rummage in the seconds bins where I have found some items at less than half price. Don't forget to use cotton wool as snow around your buildings for the really heavy snowfall effect. Happy Christmas and Merry Christmas to you.

Christmas Houses as a hobby

Are you encouraged to make your own village

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Which house or figurine did you choose? - Thank you for paying us a visit!

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    • profile image

      Ron Thompson 23 months ago

      Im a painter have been painting christmas villages since 2008, i have over 30 buildings and some people, i would like to have the molds or how to make my own cause i only buy them at michales and have to wait around august or so to buy them i would like to find some sites where i can order them but worried that they would get broke before getting them, im going to start selling them but i need a supplier so could someone help me with this and sites to order from, email address is ronaldwilliamthompson@gmail.com thank you.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 5 years ago from Valencia, California

      Very nice, great little houses, thanks for sharing

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      My sister-in-law's house is getting full of the Deppartment 56 houses, they are verywhere during th holidays.

    • banapple profile image

      banapple 5 years ago

      My village set was broken last year. These all look so lovely. Might have to buy me a new one.

    • Holly22 profile image
      Author

      Christine and Peter Broster 5 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

      @marigoldina: I agree...even as I was doing the lens....love the mail box guys.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      I think I like the Lemax figurines the best. Ever so cute!