Make a modern Christmas village this holiday season with inexpensive balsa wood. Balsa wood is a thin material you can cut easily with no need for special tools. If you haven't used balsa wood before, you will enjoy how easy and versatile it is to use. We love the look of real greenery with these trees, but you can dress up your mantel with Christmas decoration ideas like ornaments, seasonal berries, and candles instead. If you're creating a minimalist Christmas village, leave the wood trees natural or paint them white. For a more colorful Christmas display, make this a Christmas kids craft and have them help you decorate the trees with bright paint.
Before you begin cutting the wood, lay out a cutting mat to protect your work surface. Center a large piece of balsa wood in the center of the mat and trim the wood into smaller pieces. Carefully use a sharp craft knife and a ruler to cut the balsa wood into triangular tree shapes. The great part about this DIY Christmas village is that your measurements don't need to be exact, and they don't all have to match!
Determine how wide you want each tree to be, then cut triangles that measure 2 inches, 4 inches, and 6 inches in height. If you want to make this a statement piece, look for a larger sheet of balsa wood and make trees up to 12 inches in height. For extra variety, vary the width of the tree bottoms so they're all completely different—a mix of wide and tall trees adds visual interest to your mantel display.
Once you've cut enough wood triangles to form your Christmas mantel display, add a wood block to each tree to help it stand on its own. Attach a wood block (wood beads will work, too, for smaller trees) on the back side at the bottom edge of the tree. When the glue is dry, the block will allow the tree to stand upright so you can arrange the trees in your Christmas display however you like.
We left our trees natural to create a simple Christmas decoration, but you can varnish or paint the wood pieces to add color or match the display to your existing decor. To give the trees a snowy look, use white paint and a bristle brush to splatter white “snowflakes” onto the tops of the trees.
Put up your Christmas tree village on a shelf as a mantel holiday decoration with fresh greenery, staggering the Christmas village setup by size and shape. We added Christmas ornaments and a fun wood bead garland to our display, but you could add tiny Christmas bells, twinkle lights, or cotton batting for a super festive Christmas mantel. If you decide to paint the trees, add small painted ornaments to the trees for a bit more Christmas flair. This minimalist Christmas decoration is perfect for adding a Scandinavian feel to your holiday decor. It's one of our favorite small-space decorating ideas for Christmas.
Related: Make a Rustic Wooden Christmas Tree
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