Tall and narrow, short and squat, and brimming with character, the houses in this Christmas village avoid the cookie-cutter mentality.

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Make your own DIY Christmas village from paper chipboard! Similar to cardboard, chipboard is a thick paper usually made from recycled materials. Hand-drawn custom details make each house unique. Surround your village with greenery, lights, or faux snow to ground the cutout houses, creating a unified focal point. Intermix wooden Christmas trees for a minimalist, organic feel. This simple Christmas mantel decoration can be made in an afternoon and displayed for years to come. Use our free patterns to create your own handmade Christmas village decoration.

diy christmas decor with cardboard village
Credit: Jay Wilde

How to Make a Cardboard Christmas Village

Supplies Needed

  • Lightweight chipboard
  • White permanent marker
  • Crafts glue
  • White Gesso acrylic paint primer

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow our simple step-by-step instructions to make this craft with paper chipboard ($8 for 5 sheets, Joann). We'll even get you started with a free Christmas house template.

Step 1: Trace Free Patterns and Cut

Download the free Christmas craft template below to start making your cardboard holiday village. Enlarge the patterns to your desired size and print onto white paper. Cut out, then trace patterns onto the chipboard. Cut out the chipboard shapes.

Download Free Christmas Template
cut-out cardboard village houses on white
Credit: Jay Wilde

Step 2: Add Details with Marker

Using a white permanent marker ($5, The Home Depot), outline each house and roof, adding siding, shingles, bricks, smoke, and other details as shown on the patterns. Draw on window panes, shutters, and other details onto smaller pieces of chipboard and cut out shapes. Follow the template to add the details to each house using crafts glue.

cardboard christmas village houses detail
Credit: Jay Wilde

Step 3: Finish and Display

Fold each easel as indicated by the dashed lines on the patterns. Glue an easel to the back of each house to help them stand. Mix equal amounts of white gesso ($8, Hobby Lobby) and water, then brush the whitewash mixture onto each cardboard tree and let dry. Outline each tree using a white marker, glue an easel to the back, and set up your handmade Christmas village! We displayed our finished village with a simple evergreen garland ($20, The Home Depot) and a pine wreath tied with a classic burlap bow.


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