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Picture of Make Your Own Holiday Window Display
You do not need to be a major department store on 5th Avenue in New York City to create and enjoy a holiday window display. You can create your own holiday display that will be a joy to gaze upon for the holiday season. Grab your hot chocolate, put on the holiday music, slip on those cozy reindeer slippers, get the family, and follow along.
 
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Step 1: Pick A Spot & A Theme

Picture of Pick A Spot & A Theme
First, pick a theme for your display. Scour you local dollar stores and craft shops for bargains and interesting items to put in your display. They do not all have to be to the same scale, this is a fantasy display, not a scale model. Plan on some type of movement in the display to add interest and captivate your audience.

For our holiday display we choose to do a typical Christmas Village with a Trolley going through it .

For The Trolley, I used an O-gauge Christmas Trolley Set from MTH Trains. This is my first O-Gauge set, and you can read more about it at TheHobbyGuy.

Our holiday display is in the bow window in our living room. If you don't have a bay or bow window, you can do this on a shelf, a mantle, or a table.

I set the Trolley up first to make sure it would fit, and because I just wanted to play. The set included a circle of track, however, I laid out the track in a serpentine. This will make the trolley wind through the display and give visual interest from different angles.

Step 2: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Picture of Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Ok, so that was an obvious title for this step, but thats what you need next. I picked up my snow at the local dollar store (I picked up almost everything, except the train at the local dollar store).

Notice I removed the track, this made it much easier. The track was then placed back on top of the snow.

I keep saying "I", really it is my wife and my two boys who are doing the work, and I am just snapping pictures and directing. This is shaping up to be a family tradition.

Step 3: Add Some Depth and Background

Picture of Add Some Depth and Background
My wife found these accordion cutouts of a Victorian scene, they work perfect for the background. They are double sided, so from the outside they look nice as well. The key is to build in depth and interest at different levels through the scene, draw the viewers in. We used four of these cutouts in the final scene.

I am building my scene to be viewed from the inside of the house. If your primary viewers are outside, then the "background" is not along the window.

Step 4: Be Creative

Picture of Be Creative
It is your layout, there are no rules, be creative. We used Christmas ornaments for small trees, candle holders for bushes, porcelain houses, and various figurines to complete our display.

Step 5: Add Some Lights

Picture of Add Some Lights
Christmas lights work well, so do LED or Electric Candles. Keep it safe, no real candles please.

See the smoke billowing out of the chimneys? That was my oldest son's idea. Just some of the polyester snow rolled up to look like smoke. Very nice!

Step 6: Happy Holidays

Picture of Happy Holidays
Sit back, listen to the Holiday Music, sip your hot chocolate and enjoy your holiday display.


Happy Holidays from TheHobbyGuy



Bosun Rick4 years ago
In place of the polyester snow, you could lay down white plastic sheeting (trash bag cut and taperd into the shape of your display) then cover that with plain old table salt! It makes great 'snow', is easy to blend into the scene, won't get tangled up in the trolley wheels, & you can even put little footprints or sled track in it! When Christmas is over, just bag it up and save for next year!
Very nice! technically, it's a tram not a train, but anyway.

K~SC Like...
Anyway This is much better then I could of done. Good job.

Great idea about the smoke from the chimney! I made some trees for my display with styrofoam cones and that shiny tinsel garland. Just wrap the garland around the cone and secure every few inches with staples or floral pins. Quick and Cheap!
TheHobbyGuy (author)  kkreations016 years ago
Thank you! Very cool idea about the trees. Did you use green cones? or White?
Great idea about the smoke from the chimney! I made some trees for my display with styrofoam cones and that shiny tinsel garland. Just wrap the garland around the tree and secure every few inches with staples or floral pins. Cheap!
tinkernet7 years ago
Fantastic! Very inspiring!!
horoloradio7 years ago
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is amazing what can be done with little money and a lot of creativity!!! No need to buy the expensive "collectibles." You can find cheap, but nice things to use in many stores. As a year-round Christmas Village buff, I applaud your creativity! You have inspired me to go look for my own dollar-store Christmas buildings I have collected and put in storage. While not as fancy as their $100-each big-brand-name cousins, they can still be used to make a beautiful display. You wrote: "First, pick a theme for your display. Scour you local dollar stores and craft shops for bargains and interesting items to put in your display. They do not all have to be to the same scale, this is a fantasy display, not a scale model. Plan on some type of movement in the display to add interest and captivate your audience." Right on!!!!! I could not have said it better myself. This is what Christmas Villaging is all about! Thanks for the inspiration.
kaste7 years ago
This is great! I feel inspired to make my own now. Thank you!
TheHobbyGuy (author)  kaste7 years ago
Glad to hear! It is that time for me too - I am putting up the 2007 display. :)
IamTinman7 years ago
Your display looks terrific! I have a tabletop display that I add to every year making houses, railroad stations and stores,out of milk cartons and balsa wood. I added a skating pond using an oval mirror and scoured garage sales and after christmas sales to find miniature people lights and shrubbery to liven up the display.
Phill8 years ago
Nice job! What kind of train is that? RC or an LGB?
TheHobbyGuy (author)  Phill8 years ago
Hi. Thank you. Its actually an O-Gauge MTH Christmas Trolley. Very high quality, its packed away now of course, but it ran for a solid 8 weeks and it never failed.
HoraceWest8 years ago
Great job, trains really do make for great displays at Christmas. We do something like that also, my wife found an RC train at a garage sale for $5 a few years ago. One thing to watch out for, the snow has a habit of getting up in the wheels of the train if you are not careful.
TheHobbyGuy (author)  HoraceWest8 years ago
Thank you. Great find on the train! I love to hear stories like that!
Dang I wish I could get that into Christmas, that's really nice man, I watched the window show on TV, almost nothing to do with Christmas at all, Andy Wharhol, A Dragon and a tree made out of money, phhrht!!
TheHobbyGuy (author)  Tool Using Animal8 years ago
Thank You. ... :)