Recycled Christmas Village

I have fond memories of decorating gingerbread houses with my cousins on Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a fun tradition, except for the whole baking a bunch of gingerbread thing, but that’s not something a kid has to worry about (just one good example of why the holidays are more fun for kids vs. adults). Though now that I’m the mom tasked with all that baking, those gingerbread houses were an endangered tradition. Then there was the lightbulb moment… let’s turn our old cereal boxes into houses, like so:

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

So we dug through our recycle bin and pulled out various boxes and cartons to be the “gingerbread” in our Christmas village.


Wrapping House with Scrapbook Paper

We used both wrapping paper and scrapbook paper to cover he boxes. Ultimately we decided the wrapping paper was easiest, not to mention readily available this time of year!

Craft Stuff

My favorite part of this project is that we didn’t need to buy a single thing for it — Aimee and I grabbed everything red, green and white that was in our craft cupboards; added some candy canes, wrapping paper, tape, glue and scissors; then set to work with our little elves.


Clearly the kids were having a ball, but even our Superdads were getting in on the fun of playing architect.

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 House Details

I love the mini candy cane bunting — we’ve got a freebie printable of that for you too!

ChristmasVillage 1

ChristmasVillage 2

Lots of fun details in these houses — which is your favorite?

38 thoughts on “Recycled Christmas Village”

  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. :)

    • I should do that also! Surprised I never thought of that — but then we ususally have a bit of a surplus of shipping boxes from my Bath By Bettijo business.

  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. This could be a really fun last-week-of-school activity for 5th graders too. I’d love to see my class as a whole village!

  4. What fun. I remember getting the kids big utility size boxes and cutting doors and windows and letting them decorate them all up.

  5. 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.

  6. Wow! So adorable. I never in a million years would have thought of this. How creative. I will have to try this next year.

  7. 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!

  8. Pingback: Wrapping Blog

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