I was given one of these last year for Christmas, and I thought it would be nice to have a little village of them. They're fairly easy to make, they just take a bit of time. Definitely can be done on the weekend, and customised to whichever colours you'd like for the houses.
Supplies you'll need:
- wood/ I used 1x2 pine, and got seven houses out of two and a half feet worth, with leftover wood.
- wood shims.
- wood glue. If you want to just use craft glue, make sure it's strong enough to keep the roof pieces on.
- paint in whichever house colours you'd like. Light grey and white for the windows.
- wood stain, mine was 'special walnut'.
- permanent marker, both thin and thick nibs.
Not pictured in the supply list: hand saw, sand paper, rulers, holly and berry sprinkles, hot glue gun, felt, dollar store village trees.
Step 1: Cut and Sand
Measure out the houses you'd like, and also mark down the angles for the roofs. My base size was 3.5 inches tall, with 2.5 inches of full house before the roof slope. I cut the roof angles to be 60º, and those pieces were 2 inches tall. This size worked well for the base size, but for the smaller house and the taller ones, they were either a bit too short, or a bit long. Adjust as you like.
I used a hand saw for this, but if you have access to a mitre saw, definitely go for it. It'll save you a LOT of time and your roof cuts will actually be neat. I don't have one, so I just popped a movie on and went at it with a hand saw.
Once all the houses are cut, take a sander to them (or hand sand) to make sure all the rough edges and the roofs are smoothed out.
Take your wood shims and go through the pile to find the edges that are fairly thin. You want the thinnest for your doors, and the fairly thin ones for your roofs. Roofs are 2 inches long for the base house size, and the doors are 4.5cm by 1.5 cm (1.75 in by 0.6 in). It doesn't matter that the shims are slightly rough looking, as they're supposed to be weathered roofs.
PS, Use wood clamps if you've got'em! I forgot to put them in the pic.
Step 2: Painting and Staining
Divide up your houses and paint them. I stuck with just three colours because I liked that look best. While that paint dried, I set up all the roof and door pieces and stained them. When you put the stain on, just let it soak and and don't wipe away the excess stain. Apply as many layers as you'd like to get it the colour you want for your roofs.
Once the base house paint has dried, it's time to paint the windows. Glue your doors on, and then paint the windows on the front and back of the house. I did a rectangle of light grey paint, then white for the frames, and then finally the shadow in the upper corners with fine permanent marker. Use the thick permanent marker to make the doorknobs.
Step 3: Festive Holly and Berry Doors
Once everything is dry, glue your roofs to the houses. Try to match the shim roof pieces, as they tend to have differing patterns on the wood. Let it dry for a few hours.
Using the glue gun, put little blobs of glue on parchment paper and glue your holly and berry together. I did it on the parchment so I could easily peel that off and then just have one thing to glue to the doors. It was a lot easier this way (the holly and berry are actually sprinkles from a bulk food store, for cupcakes and such). Glue them to your doors, and let it set.
Step 4: Done!
Set up your newly made village! I used felt as 'snow', and then added some dollar store village trees.