Compact Shelf for displaying Christmas Village.

Step 1: Identify Need and Generate Design.

We were looking for something with the following properties.

  • A shelf to display her Christmas Village.
  • Minimal Floor Space
  • Able to be packed up easily between usage.

I came up with a design that was shaped like a tree and could be disassembled and folded.

See attached PDF.

Step 2: Tips and Tricks.

Cutting to cut out the 120 degree slots.

  1. Layout slots.
  2. Drill center and end point with drill sized for router bit.
  3. Place router in end point of each slot.
  4. Use Carpenter Square as quide by lineing up the Tongue and Blade against router base and setting blade to be parrallel with line to center point. Repeat as needed.
  5. Cut out center hole after slots are drilled.

Installing Hinges.

  1. Hinges where offset by one inch on opposite side of center leg to avoid interference of screws.
  2. Cut a relief bevel in edge of leg for clearance of hinge to get hinge pin parrallel with edge of leg.
  3. Trim hinge screws to prevent break through.

Clean up Slots.

  1. Take a lot of caution when sanding slots. It is important not to make them too large to minimize risk of tilting on shelf.

Prevent shelf tipping.

  1. I used Velcro on each shelf to minimize tipping when assembled.
  2. This may need to be redesigned since the weight of items can cause tipping of shelves.

Step 3: Finish and Assemble


  • I used tongue oil to finish legs.
  • This was chosen to minimize build up of surface thickness. The shelves have to slide from top down.
  • When painting shelves, I did not paint slots, to minimize surface build up.


  1. Unfold legs to align with slot.
  2. Add shelves largest to smallest from top. Slide down to location to lock in position.
  3. If you want to add lights, the center hinge clearance holes are large enough for most plugs.


  • This one is up to you.



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    This is a great idea! I love these but I worry about how much space it would take up to display it.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    It takes up a cylinder 3 ft in diameter with a height of 6 ft. You could of course scale it differently. I wanted to keep the center of gravity low.