How to Make a Christmas Village Display

Here’s a guide on how to make a Christmas village display. By making your family’s miniature Christmas Village out of recycled materials, this will turn this craft project into a no-cost family tradition! This is a perfect, easier alternative to gingerbread houses.

How to Make a Christmas Village Display with Recycled Boxes and wrapping paper -- free printable windows and more at

Reinventing my Vintage Christmas Tradition

I have fond memories of decorating gingerbread houses. We would always do them with my friends and family on Thanksgiving weekend. It’s an exciting family tradition, sitting over a table designing homes and listening to Christmas music. The only thing tough about it is the whole baking a bunch of gingerbread for it. 

For those who don’t know, Gingerbread requires a lot of time and effort to make. But that’s not something a kid has to worry about. (Just one good example why the holidays are more fun for kids than adults). 

Now as mom tasked with all that baking, gingerbread houses became an endangered tradition. But then I experienced a light bulb moment… let’s turn our old cereal boxes into a miniature Christmas Village! 

Materials Needed for a Cardboard Christmas Village

We dug through our recycle bin and pulled out various boxes and cartons to become the “gingerbread” in our DIY Christmas village. It doesn’t have to just be cardboard (Hello, Amazon boxes!), but you can also use the thinner chipboard from things like cracker or cereal boxes. Milk and juice cartons are the best since they have the perfect roof-line shape, and if yours has one of those plastic pour spouts it can become a chimney!

Making Over Cardboard Boxes into a Christmas Village Display

Miniature Christmas Village for free!

My favorite part of this Christmas village display is that we didn’t buy a single thing for it. We pulled red, green and white paper from our craft cupboard and added candy canes, wrapping paper, tape, glue, and scissors. Since these are all pretty basic items this makes for a great impromptu family activity.

My favorite part of this Christmas village display is that we didn’t buy a single thing for it!

We tried using both wrapping paper and scrapbook paper to cover the boxes. This is really how to make a Christmas village display come to life with household items. After trying both of them, we decided that using the wrapping paper was easier. Not to mention that it’s easier to find this time of year! (Tip: utilize the scrapbook paper for mini Christmas ornaments or trees) 

Kids making a cardboard Christmas village

If you don’t have much a of craft stash already and are still needing materials to create a Christmas village, I’d suggest hitting up the dollar store or discount store before you go to the craft store. You will save money with loads of similar craft options for a much better price. 

Kids making a miniature Christmas village

Clearly the kids were having a ball, but it didn’t end with just the children. Even Superdad joined in by playing architect. He really elaborated and enhanced the designs.

Taking Your Christmas Village up Another Notch

Beyond glue, scissors, tape, and other essentials… We have more ideas on how to really step up your cardboard Christmas village game. Here are more ideas we’ve employed on how to make a Christmas village display fancier. 

Craft supplies for a family Christmas village
Liam's Modern House

I love Liam’s modern house featuring the printable windows we whipped up. Of course we’re sharing the freebie printable windows in 4 colors!

Fun Cardboard Christmas House Details

I love the mini candy cane bunting. We’ve got a freebie printable of that for you too! Print it out and use it with string and blue for some fun banners.

Our DIY Christmas Village completed
Another view of our miniature Christmas Village

There are endless possibilities of fun when it comes to doing your own DIY Christmas village. We hope you’re inspired to recycle old craft bits and pieces in your home to create a fun family Christmas activity. Lots of interesting details in these houses. Which one is your favorite?

Bettijo Bridges

Administrator at Paging Supermom
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares creative ideas for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and holiday entertainment. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local TV. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. She enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Mom of 4 kids.


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16 thoughts on “How to Make a Christmas Village Display”

  1. Love this, girls!! How super cute is this?? What a fantastic idea! I’ll definately be sharing this one… Merry Christmas! :) Ooh…and my favorite…the tall one with the peppermints around the door. :)

  2. Great idea!! Although I too use all my leftover boxes for gift wrapping…it’s now a standard joke…”Yay, I got cereal!”

    I’ll have to keep some extras out though, such a cute activity!

    • We actually didn’t have to “save” many really we had tons of boxes in our bin to spare, but maybe it had just been a bit too long since I’d taken my recycling out ;)

  3. Love this! I can’t keep my sons’ hands OFF of our ceramic village pieces, but this would be a GREAT substitute…AND they could help build it! AWESOME.

  4. I love this idea! Those little lights on one house are adorable! Thanks so much for the printables. I’ve been putting away boxes instead of in the recycle bin to do this this year!


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