Now that it is getting closer to Christmas, we have created an easy, but helpful list of things to consider when you are planning a Lemax Village. To help enhance your Christmas vignette we have a lots of tips! Check out a selection of products in our Canadian Villages Christmas Collection to be sure your village is festive. And, don’t forget to showcase Santa if you wish!
Pick your location (or locations!)
- Select a space that will be easily visible. A foyer hall table, a china cabinet, a side board… somewhere that can be admired by everyone. If you have a few extra pieces create a little space on a bookshelf, near a bouquet of greenery, holly or in an empty corner.
- Your highly visible location can also provide you with a good background for display. A wall or a bookcase can be a visual anchor.
- At our Canadian Villages home, we like to put our vignette in the living room, which is the busiest room in the house (after the kitchen), so it can be seen more often. We love getting up in the morning and lighting the room with the village buildings and ending the day with only our Lemax village glowing.
Choose a background to highlight your village pieces
- You may want to have a clear blue sky, or a nighttime effect. This can easily be accomplished with a piece of fabric or a roll of paper you can find at a dollar store or a craft store. Easy to remove adhesive tapes, sticky putty, etc. are great ways to attach your background to a wall or object. Lemax offers a variety of light strings, such as Lemax Super Bright Multi Colour Light String - 84382, you can use to enhance the space, or you may have your own. Your village may not require any added background. Often the pieces look wonderful in your setting and decor.
- At Canadian Villages, we have used backgrounds in the past, but this year we are just going to have a plain white wall for our Lemax village display.
Create a base for your village
- Depending on the location you choose, the base of your Lemax village can be adapted to fit your space. A white cloth can be placed on tables or can be used to cover things such as books and blocks you are using to create different elevations.
- The white layer ensures you have a winter scene and the feeling of snow everywhere. The cloth can also help hide wires and cables. If you don’t have a suitable cloth on hand, they are easy to find at a dollar store.
- For our Canadian Villages display, we use a white cloth table cloth that we purchased at a dollar store.
Create different heights in your village
- A few platforms of differing heights placed at the back or the sides of the display create a variety of levels so that your scene appears to have more depth and action. Your village is full of spirit, don’t keep it flat.
- Using the Lemax Display Platforms is a good option. The Lemax Medium Display Platform with Trees - 81015 and Lemax Small Display Platform - 81016 work well.
- If you are just starting out or are looking for some homemade solutions, styrofoam and materials such as books, wood, bricks, trays, and anything you find in your cupboard could work. A white cloth can cover them well.
- We sometimes spray paint reused and recycled materials white, with a matte finish and sometimes we will scuff them up a bit to make it look more realistic. Then we use Lemax trees, such as the Lemax 21-Pc Assorted Pine Trees - 34968, Lemax White Pine, Large - 74262 or Lemax White Pine, Medium - 74261, to hide some of the imperfections. Even if you don’t have to cover up wires or imperfections, you need the trees!
Do some village planning
- Your village might be small and quaint. Some villages grow and have a variety of areas. Whether your village is sleepy or bustling, you want it to feel real and dynamic.
- Start with your larger items and focal pieces. You may select a particular item to be the centerpiece of your village. Consider using a centerpiece item from the Sights & Sounds or Lighted Buildings Collections. These buildings bring a dynamic presence to your setting. The dimensions of your village space may influence these choices.
- Situate buildings in ways that highlight them and create the effect you want. Place larger and taller buildings in the back and use various platform heights to create interest with other buildings.
- At Canadian Villages, we love starting with the Town Square clock tower such as Lemax Municipal Clock Tower - 05007 or Lemax Christmas Clock Tower - 45735 and build out from there.
- Our town square area will usually feature buildings that have more lights and belong in a commercial area such as Lemax Main Terminal Train Station - 75194, Lemax Mulberry’s Pub - 95469, Lemax Village Post Office - 85346 or All Ye Faithful Church. Of course, this list is endless!
- Does your village have an arts scene? A Christmas Carol Play is truly delightful! Maybe you have local talent like the Victorian Carols situated near the Victorian Skaters?
- Think about the size and lighting of buildings. Do they compliment each other and create a sense of balance? It is fun to arrange and rearrange until you find the perfect look.
- Our Canadian Village vignettes often have a residential area with home like Lemax Lawson Residence - 95500, Lemax Crane Residence - 95511 or Lemax Alden House - 95499 to name a few.
- Display mats can provide ground cover and differentiate various settings.
- Put up street lights. They are easily placed throughout your village. In addition to providing light, they help fill the areas between building and pathways. They also add ambiance and make your village look more complete. There are several different types of street lights, with some focusing on Christmas, some more modern and other more historic.
- Landscape your setting. Villages always look more vibrant and welcoming with trees. The trees can easily be rearranged and you can never have too many of them. Trees, fences, hedges, park benches and more can also be used to hide wires and cables in your village. You can see samples of these accessories on the Canadian Villages Accessories page.
- Figurines and Table Accents represent the people who come and go in your village. The shoppers, the families, the merchants, the musicians and the children at play will create a festive village. Each piece will have a story you can tell (or your visitors can imagine their own stories.)
- Accessorize. The wonderful selection of Lemax accessories are perfect for brightening up a corner or creating a festive feeling.
- Add some extra light. Explore the lighting features to help your village twinkle.
- Add some snow. Cotton balls, polyfoam, etc. are always good to have on hand to create a real-life feeling of snow or to sprinkle over a special place. Sometimes you just need a little extra for a certain spot.
- We often get asked how many figures or accessories should go with each lighted building. Of course, the answer is whatever works best for you! But the general rule of thumb is that we have about five figurines per building. And one table accent for four to five buildings. We like to put around 5-6 trees per building. We also scatter park benches, telephone poles, street lights and more to help make the village look complete.
The great thing about a Lemax village is that it is always growing and changing! If you don’t have all the pieces you would like, start building anyway. Soon, you will find how to choose, display and collect pieces that reflect your style. You may discover that your imagination, design skills, vision and self expression are waiting to flourish!