I used to be one of those snobs who made fun of Sandra Lee and her “Semi-Homemade” show on the Food Network. But then I realized that I do a lot of semi-homemade stuff and my actual completion rate of the semi-homemade projects is higher than those I attempt from scratch. To me, actually finishing a project is more important than a totally homemade craft. For example, this Christmas village is a semi-homemade village and I love it, especially because it was completed in about 30 minutes.
Robear always had a village at Christmas time. I am not exactly sure why or when villages with cotton batting for snow turned into a common Christmas decoration, but they are here to stay. When I was young I remember Robear setting up the village on the buffet. Each year the village would grow with a new house such as a Dickens’ village piece or a villager wrapped up in winter clothing forever frozen in a winter wonderland. But my favorite pieces were the ones that she had received from her great aunt and were made out of cardboard with painted snow and lots of glitter. These were slowly replaced over the years, but I couldn’t help but miss the old home-made village.
Luckily for me old fashioned villages are back in vogue. While I could have attempted a whole construction project with glue, cardboard, paint and glitter, when I was at World Market recently I saw all these little houses and trees that looked similar to the ones Robear inherited, so I bought them. The only problem was that these were designed to be Christmas tree ornaments. World Market actually had old fashioned cardboard village pieces to buy, but those were $20 – $25 dollars each and these were about $5 a piece.
As Christmas tree ornaments they had the obligatory strings and ribbons to hang off tree boughs. Altering them for my village was an easy fix for the houses because you could just snip the ribbons off and they had flat bottoms to sit on the batting. However, the snowman and trees had rounded bottoms which were never intended to sit on their own; I bought them anyway. (This is where the “semi-homemade comes in, don’t blink or you will miss it!)
With Robear’s help and the aid of that ever useful crafting tool, the hot glue gun, we stuck the trees and snowman to squares of cardboard. This gave them the necessary stability to stand on the fake cotton snow, but they were kind of ugly.
Robear suggested we stretch cotton balls over the unsightly brown cardboard, but I didn’t have any on hand. So instead we used 3 ply tissues. Tissue paper or white card stock would have worked as well, but the first rule for semi-homemade crafts is that you work with what you have.
End result is a “semi-homemade” Christmas village reminiscent of my favorite childhood decorations that took less than an hour to put together.
P.S. Be sure to go visit our holiday giveaway post. Just leave a comment there to enter to win an original Nathan Pinnock oil painting of Santa.
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