November 29, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Village

I've finished my "big" Christmas project just in time, because it is a countdown to Christmas calendar and it is almost December 1st.

The village has 24 buildings on three levels, each one hiding little treats that can be enjoyed as you count down the days until Christmas.  It is 12" x 18".

The project features Graphic 45 'Twas the Night Before Christmas paper collection and Tim Holtz Woodland Trees.

I also made a series of videos as I constructed the project - more on that later.

The Buildings

There are five different size building bases, ranging from 1 1/4" square to 2" square with a few rectangular buildings as well.

I changed the heights of walls and the pitches of the roofs to create even more variety to the buildings,

I used both the 8x8 and 6x6 paper pads from the Graphic 45 paper collection to cover the walls.  The roofs were made with cardstock and I created different varieties of shingles with decorative scissors and punches.

The windows were created in MS Word, using some built in shapes and gradient fills to create the illusion of lights on inside each building.

The 24th building was made into a church.  I cut openings for the windows and added acrylic stained with Alcohol Inks for the "stained glass".  An LED tea light provides a warm glow.

The Levels

The project features three different levels to create depth and interest.  These are created from medium weight chipboard.
The walls were decorated with kraft cardstock, dry embossed with a Cuttlebug folder "Musical Flourish", then inked with white ink using a brayer, and then inked with embossing ink and heat embossed with Recollections "Snow" embossing powder.

The top of the walls were finished with a thin strip of chipboard highlighted with the same embossing powder.

The outside Level 3 (top level) walls feature some of the cut-aparts from the paper line as well as a fussy cut image of Santa.

One of the Level 2 walls features a Tim Holtz wreath, I colored and decorated it like I did the trees (see next section), and tied on a red ribbon bow, I used a Tim Holtz screw eye which I opened into a hook and then drilled into the wall with an awl to hang it up.

There is a stairway connecting Level 1 to Level 2 and Level 2 to Level 3.
The first stairway has a landing; the second stairway is a straight flight.  The railings were made with Martha Stewart's Aspen Snowflake punch.

The Trees

The trees are all Tim Holtz Woodland Trees colored with Adirondack green sprays.  Then some Diamond Glaze was patted on and Rock Candy Distress Glitter was added to make it look like snow.

The large tree on Level 3 has some red beads added for additional sparkle.

The Treats

Each building sits on top of a little box that can hold some small treats.  The buildings each have a number on their front door, so that on each day in December some treats can be enjoyed,

Making a Village of Your Own
In the next few days I will upload the Cutting and Layout Guide I used with all the materials, templates and cutting guides for the project.  I also made a series of videos to explain how each section was constructed and decorated that I will upload to YouTube.  I hope you will consider making a village of your own.
**UPDATE**  The guide and videos have been uploaded. Please see the post "Christmas Village Construction" for the details.

Completed Project
Here's a video of the completed project


Tina said...

OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! This is so amazing, beautiful, inspiring! What a wonderful village and such a great job! Love it!

Linda FS said...

What a great Christmas project. All the different colors and paper designs so artfully combined and even such care given that the bird's eye view is a wonderful. 'My absolute favorite part is the "outdoors", i.e. the steps, the village wall and the Christmas trees that give the houses such a great location, an perfect "old world" location that sets off the whole village in a true Twas the Night Before Christmas style.

JPScraps said...

WOW! this is truly amazing!! said...

OMG indeed. This is SO beautiful and you are very kind to share the 'plans' with us. I will certainly be trying this. Maybe I will need to set a goal of making it in stages throughout the year so that I will enjoy the journey as much as the beautiful destination. Christmas Blessings to you and your Family and thank-you for sharing. I LOVE it.

April CraftKnifeChronicles said...

Thank you and I hope you enjoy the project. If you have any questions, please send me an email. Happy Holidays! - April

Patty Brown said...

Absolutely Amazing! Thank you for sharing the plans I will be definitely making this! Again just beautiful !

ems84 said...

This is just unbelievably amazing! Everything about it is beautiful, and you can see how much thought and work went into it.

Paula said...

I love Putz houses and your village is so awesome. It's a big project for sure, but it looks perfect for the holidays. You have packed a lot of detail into a small space. Thanks so much for sharing and providing the videos so we can make our own.

Suejimbel said...

April, you are a creative genius! I have tears in my eyes I love this so much! The attention to detail is stunning AND you are generous enough to share with us how you made this! I love being a crafter! Wishing you love and prosperity for Christmas and the New Year.

impersenal said...

This is stunning. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful project. Merry Christmas!

den5mick said...

Love your village. Would you have a tutorial that I could buy for this beautiful project . My grand kids would love this as a advent for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

This is just awesome. You did an outstanding job!!!! I love it & now seriously NEED that paper--& time to do this. THANK YOU for posting.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!Thank you so much for the patterns and the tutorials!Would love to make this project for this Christmas,have to find time.....:)

voyager said...

Truly truly amazing! So creative and inventive! Thank you so much for sharing. What a great video.

Zulita Matamoros Ruiz said...

Increíble, sencillamente me dejaste sin palabras, que trabajo más hermoso, felicidades y gracias por compartirlo, saludos desde Costa Rica.... :)

April CraftKnifeChronicles said...

Hi den5mick - Please check out the post on November 30 - it has details on how to download the construction guide and a listing of all the YouTube videos, No charge - happy crafting! - April

dvs said...

Love your village. How long did it take to complete?

April CraftKnifeChronicles said...

Hi dvs - I got the inspiration near the beginning of the month and worked on it a few hours most days. From looking at the times on all the videos, I'm guessing 30 hours, not including making the videos and guide. I tend to get lost in my "crafty world" when working on a project so it's hard to say for sure. - April

Martie Rollin said...

Watched your delightful video of this gorgeous holiday village and I just had to comment here, too. This project has really raised the bar on Christmas paper crafting! I love the little box bottoms upon which every house sits. You've done a marvelous job of designing this European style village. I have so enjoyed seeing all the details! Happy holly and well done!

Mary White said...

I am so going to try to make this for next year. Am having surgery in January so I guess that is my start date!!! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us