Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Country Christmas Village & Tutorial on Homemade Snow! Guest Designer at Lori Whitlock!

Hey there!  I have a wonderful project to share with you today!  I hope you love it, take some inspiration from it, and/or make one of your own!

I am the Guest Designer over at the Lori Whitlock blog today!

If you are not familiar with Lori Whitlock, she designs very professional SVG files, Echo Park paper, and digital scrapbooking kits available at Jessica Sprague.  She is extremely talented and I love that she designs so many fun 3D SVG files.  I had a very hard time picking what I was going to make from her store!

To forewarn you, I have lots of photos below.  I added lots of tiny details to this project and want to show you every inch of them!  I hope you can bare with me!  Also, at the bottom of this post, I have a tutorial on how to make your very own snow for your projects using materials you should have around the house!

Okay, enough with the is my project!  A Country Christmas Village!

I couldn't resist making the 3D Christmas Village by Lori Whitlock!  I know lots of people have been sharing villages they have made recently and they are all so adorable.  I wanted to present something different so I challenged myself to make each building look like it was not made of paper (and they are of course!).  I pictured the ceramic villages you can buy at the store that my mom has so many of!

Here are a couple pictures of the village all lit up!

It is really pretty at night as the light from our Christmas tree reflects off the glitter and trims on each building. 

To light up the village, I put flameless votives inside each building through the opened doors except for the cottage as the door is too small.  I will show you how I put the votive inside the cottage below.

Now for all of the tiny details I added to each building in the village!  First up, The School House:

There are only pine trees in my village, so I thought it was appropriate to give the town the name "Pine Hill!"  It sounds country too, which I like!  :)  The pine trees are SVG files by Lori Whitlock -  3D Christmas Tree #3 and 3D Christmas Tree #5.

I used the curved banner label from the 14 Labels SVG set to add the school name above the school's door.  It worked perfectly!  I sized it to 2.239" wide by 0.741" tall.  I printed the name out first, then cut the label out using the Print/Cut feature in SCAL.

To create the wreath on the school, I first created a base using two punches from Stampin' Up!  First, I punched out a 1/2" circle into my cardstock.  Then, I centered the largest flower from the Boho Blossoms punch around the punched circle to create the wreath's base.  Then, I glued holly leaves from Lori's Christmas Icons Set 2 to the base.  To finish the wreath, I added some red rhinestones.

To add more holiday decor to the school, I used garland trimmings I found at Michael's.  I applied the garland around the school door and created scallops around the school windows.  I added Lori's holly leaves and red rhinestones to dress-up the garland.

The tower on top of the school was made for a bell (so stinkin' cute, right!) - I found some small metal bells at Michael's in the holiday decor area.  I hung the bell in the tower using gold crafting wire which I adhered to the top of the tower using a hot glue gun.

And there is a little surprise inside of the school house.  The back wall of the school house has a black board with a message that reads:  "See you in the new year!"  My teachers always said that when school was out for the holidays!

Next up, The Church:

To give the windows of the church a stained glass look, I stamp embossed onto vellum using the Lattice Background stamp by Unity Stamps for Jillibean Soup and gold glitter embossing powder by Martha Stewart Crafts.  I love the way the windows turned out!!!!

To add texture and color to the cross in the window, I applied glitter glue in gold by Martha Stewart Crafts.

There is a bell in the steeple too!

For the final touch, I created a standing sign with a message board for the church.  I thought the message "Merry Christmas" was perfect for the sign.  I added some snow, glitter, holly and rhinestones to embellish the sign.

Last and not least, The Cottage:

This is where my husband and I live in the village!  We are the only residents in Pine Hill!  LOL! 

I included our last name and a house # on the cottage. I used another label from the 14 Labels SVG set for the house # and accented it with rhinestones.

I created a wreath for the door using the garland trim I used on the school (I wrapped it around my glue pen to give it the circle shape).  Then added some gold sequins to it.  I love the silver/gold combo!

I used the 3D Christmas Tree #5 SVG by Lori for the Christmas tree in the window. I decorated the tree using red and silver rhinestones and some gold sequins trim I found at Michael's.   I used my hot glue gun to glue the tree in place inside the cottage.

Since I couldn't add real lights to the outside of the cottage, I added this rhinestone trim by Simplicity.  I applied the "lights" to the roof of the cottage and the top of the fireplace using a hot glue gun.

To turn on the flameless votive inside of the cottage, I left the back of the roof open - meaning I didn't glue the back side of the roof down.  Sneaky, ay?  ;)

Did you notice the super adorable scalloped shingles and the snow on the roofs and trees?????  And, the doors - the beautiful wooden doors!!!  I used 'Boardroom' patterned paper from the 9 to 5 collection by October Afternoon!  These were my favorite, favorite adds!  Lori had made the villages so adorable already, I wanted to add something too!  To create the shingles, I used the scalloped border SVG from the Simple Borders set.  This was time consuming, I can't lie, and so worth it!  I cut out about 60 of these borders, then curled them up around a pen (so they stick up more), and then glued them down individually, one after the other, to the roofs.  Once the villages were complete, I added some homemade snow!

One more thing that I almost forgot to mention and it is an important tip!  To make each village very sturdy, I created them using lightweight chipboard in white.  This is why the inside of each building is white.  I glued the colored cardstock to one side of each of the chipboard pieces prior to assembling the buildings.

Thanks for looking at my village!  Below is a complete list of the materials I used for this project as well as a tutorial on how to make snow for your projects!

Materials Used:
SVGs by Lori Whitlock (see above for specific SVG files)
Lightweight Chipboard in White
Brown Cardstock by Core'dinations (Shingles)
White Cardstock by Bazzill Basics (Trims)
Artichoke Cardstock by Stampin Up (Trees)
Other Cardstock by Recollections (Michael's brand)
Vellum Paper (Church Windows)
Gold Glitter Embossing Powder by Martha Stewart Crafts (Church Windows)
Lattice Background Stamp by Unity Stamps for Jillibean Soup (Church Windows)
9 to 5 Boardroom Patterned Paper by October Afternoon (Wood Doors)
Boho Blossoms and 1/2" Circle Punch by Stampin' Up! (Base for School Wreath)
Silver Sequin and Gold Sequin Holiday Trims by Celebrate It (Michael's brand)
Miniature Gold Bells by Celebrate It
Rhinestone Trim on the Cottage by Simplicity
Rhinestones by Creative Charms
Crystal Glitter Large by Creatology
Mini Shimmer Alpha Stickers in Red by Making Memories (Church Sign)
Silver and Antique Gold brads by Making Memories (Doorknobs)
Styrofoam, White Felt, and Eco Flurries (Snowy Village Base)

Make Your Own Snow!

Materials Needed:
Baby Powder or Talcum Powder
Crystal Glitter (Larger Course Glitter)
White Glue - Elmer's or Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive
Spray Adhesive
White Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush or Wood Popsicle Stick
2 Plastic Containers for Mixing Ingredients
Newspaper (2 different placings - one for powder mixture and one for glitter)

1) Create a mixture of 1/2 cup baby powder and 1/2 cup course crystal glitter in a plastic container.  Set the powder mixture aside. 

2) Mix equal parts of white glue and white acrylic paint together in a plastic container using a paint brush or wood popsicle stick.  There is no set amount you need to make at one time as you can make as little or as much as you would like.  If you want to make a lot of the glue mixture at one time, I recommend putting it in a container with a lid so you avoid the glue drying before it is applied to your project.

3) Apply the glue mixture to your project liberally using a paint brush or wood popsicle stick. 

4) Put the project on top of some newspaper and apply the powder mixture liberally to the areas where the glue was applied.  Let the powder sit on the glue for a few minutes.  Then, shake off the excess powder onto the newspaper. 

5) To add more texture and shine, I recommend putting the project on top of some new newspaper, then apply a spray adhesive.  Immediately apply glitter to the sprayed areas.  Shake off the excess glitter onto the newspaper.

Here is what the finished snow should look like on your project:

To clean-up, use the crease in the newspaper to gather the extra powder and/or glitter and dump them into their respective plastic containers.

It will take about 24 hours for the snow paste to dry.  Avoid handling your project during this time.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and thank you Lori and Lisa for having me as a Guest Designer on the Lori Whitlock blog!  I had a lot of fun using your SVG files and feel very honored that you asked me!



  1. Mel... these are absolutely AMAZING!!! Wow... I love how you made them look realistic, and totally adore the choice of the colors for them! You've put in so much detail - from the signs to the wooden doors, the bell, the roof shingles and the sparkly snow that's settled on top, the wreath, the decorations on the Christmas tree... just LOVE them all! You are very talented, and so glad to see that you got to guest for Lori today! Congrats and beautiful, BEAUTIFUL work!

  2. You did such a great job! I love all the details you put into the buildings! Way to go!

  3. Wow! This is absolutely gorgeous. What a great attention to detail you have. Love it.


  5. Oh wow, this is absolutely amazing!! You did such a fabulous job!! All of the details you put into it are stunning!! Wow, wow, wow, I love it!! And thanks for the tutorial on how to make the gorgeous snow!! Have a great day :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  6. What a breathtakingly beautiful project. I'm a new fan, and I'll be back to visit often! After seeing this, I bought the files, and want to make the set for my youngest son and his family. Thank you so much for adding the tutorial!

  7. Congrats on your guest designer spot! Amazing project - I love all the detail - that little garland is so cool and love the little school!

  8. I am blown away! So many fabulous details! I would live here in a minute (I might even be inspired to go back to school - oh, wait, I guess I could be the teacher...) I'm so glad you were the guest designer for Lori and that I got to see your creations! Thanks so much! I am very inspired!

  9. WOW!! This is amazing. There's so much detail.

  10. Mel these are really amazing! I love all the details. I love all the colors you used and the added snow touch is wonderful. Really beautiful work!

  11. Holy smokes girl....this is absolutely gorgeous! You must have hours into this...the outcome of this project is amazing!!!!!! Thanks also for the tutorial and for sharing your amazing talent! BEAUTIFUL!!!
    Sherrie K

  12. Oh how happy I was to find this post of yours from last year!

    I have been waning to try a cute village, but wanted it to be very special. Yours certainly is! I've already purchased the SVGs fro Lori and have cut out a few practice houses before I cut my chipboard.
    I have one looks like you have frames round all the side large windows of the church, but I don't see those trims in my files. Am I missing something?

    Thanks so much for your GREAT tutorial and inspiration. I'm hoping to complete my village and will send you some photos.

    Cori @ Staarview Sonnet

    1. Hi Corri! I just double-checked the SVG files that come with the village and there is one titled LW-Church-Trim which has all of the window trims for the church. I hope you have it - otherwise, definitely reach out to Lori - she will be happy to get you the files. So happy to hear that my village inspired you and yes, I would love to see pictures when you are done! Happy Holidays!