Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa's Village Tutorial

Christmas Eve and time for my last Sizzix tutorial of the year. It is a kiddies craft Santa village, but I am adding links to other tutorials of mine so that you can easily make a more elaborate and complex project out of this.  
This project started out with little wooden Santas that we made, and we felt that they needed a home. I used some of my favourite Sizzix dies to build a little scene: Eileen Hull's 3-D Birdhouse, Brenda Walton's 3-D Christmas Tree and Tim Holtz Reindeer Flight. In Sweden, the tradition regarding Santas is a bit different, with 'tomtenissar' ('little Santas) who were believed to help people out on the farms, if they were in the mood, because these little characters can be in a bad mood too, if they are not kept happy, for instance by giving the rice porridge on Christmas Eve. You can read more about it here. The little Santas were made with supplies from Panduro Hobby, but you can populate the village with other characters too. Children will need more or less help with the project, depending on their age.
Children love to make little houses and Eileen Hull's 3-D Birdhouse works great, since it is so easy to assemble and decorate. For a different version, you can also use Brenda Walton's Country Cottage, check out this tutorial of mine. Die cut two houses from mat board - don't let children operate the Big Shot, since their fingers might get caught. I cut the doors larger with a craft knife, so that the Santas can go inside. We ended up not using the floor pieces.

Emboss the roofs in two different embossing folders.

My son picked the colours for the project himself and painted the houses. He is not yet four years old, so the painting is naturally a bit rough. :) You could also ink and stamp the houses instead. I posted two different versions of this birdhouse, a Heart Birdhouse and a Picket Fence Birdhouse, for more inspiration.

Paint both houses and the roofs. For other ideas on decorating the parts of a house check out these tutorials: Where the Heart Is, Yellow Brick House, Winter Wonderland House, Winter Cottage, and the two birdhouses linked above.

Assemble the houses. It is very easy since the die both cuts and scores the material and a bigger child will be able to assemble the houses on her or his own. I used staples at the side pieces and Wonder Tape for the roof.

 Die cut eight or more deer from mat board or chipboard.

 Glue them together to form a dimensional deer.

Paint the deer. For a more elaborate version of this deer, check out my Snowy Woods project.

Our village needed some trees, and I used Brenda Walton's fun Christmas Tree die for this. It is a Bigz die and cuts trees in three different sizes, which is quite impressive for such a small die. I used the two larger versions here. The smaller version was used on my Winter Cottage project, which is also an example of how you could alter these trees to fit a more complex project. I die cut eight of the smaller trees and ten of the larger trees.

Glue the trees together to form a dimensional tree. A bigger child will be able to do this on his or her own, I had to help.

One of Anton's favourite parts of the project was adding the Snow-Tex snow. He was very fascinated with the idea of fake snow. I helped with this step too. Leave to dry. You can also use Wendy Vecchi's White Embossing Paste and sprinkle it with Rock Candy Glitter, as I did on the Winter Cottage.
Embellish the houses with rhinestones, tinsel, word stickers or anything else you can think of.
 More rhinestones.
For a base, I covered a thick piece of chipboard with gesso, or use white paint. You could use a wooden board too. Tear cotton wool in small balls. Smear glue on one section at a time and let the child add the snow. This was a really fun step!

The trees and houses are stuck down, but the figurines can be moved around.  
I had planned to place the deer among the trees, but for Anton it was self-evident that it was going to pull the sleigh.
You could also make little gifts and place on a sleigh.
 The Santas can go inside the houses, if they get cold among all that snow.
 These two are standing on wooden skis.
The skis are pulled by these two little Santas.
 The dimensional trees add so much to the scene and are very easy to make.

Since the roof is embossed the paint didn't get everywhere, adding to the snowy look.

From above.

I hope you get time for some crafting during Christmas.

Have a very Merry Christmas!!! Enjoy every moment!


Surfaces: Sizzix Little Sizzles White Mat Board 6 x 13; Bazzill green cardstock
Dies: Sizzix: 3-D Birdhouse3-D Christmas Trees, Reindeer Flight
Embossing folders: Sizzix: Dot-Matrix & Gridlock, Textured Poinsettia Pattern
Paint: red, gold, black and cream craft paint
Snow: DecoArt: Snow-Tex
Figurines: Panduro Hobby: Winter Game kit, wooden sleigh; googly eyes
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-olgy Seasonal ChitChat stickers; rhinestones


  1. Its lovely ! the little cute Santas make it look so adorable!! You son's painting is giving a nice texture to the cottages..loved it !

  2. Anton takes after you Anna-Karin.- this is such an adorable project. I love that you did it together. I hope the houses and little Santas will be part of your Christmas tradition for years to come! Happy Holidays!

  3. Such an adorable project! You should have Anton as a guest designer on your blog more often. It warmed my heart to see photos of those sweet little hands creating. Merry Christmas!

  4. Wow, helt otroligt fint! Kan tänka mig att det tog tid att göra.


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