DIY Christmas Village for the Cozy Minimalist


If you’ve hung out around here at all during the holidays you know I can’t deal with packing and unpacking a bunch of red and green plastic bins full of Christmas decor every year. I’m part minimalist, part lazy and part if I’m gonna spend my hard-earned money, I want to enjoy it all year around, not just in December.

I pride myself in having one bin of tree decor and one bin of extra Christmas stuff. Two bins. That’s all I can handle.

And then I saw this image from Terrain


..isn’t it just stunning?

Suddenly I wanted to have my own teeny tiny Christmas village complete with trees and tiny lights to secretly play with after the boys went to bed.

So I decided to see what I could make with what I already had.

tiny house

I already had a bag of pretend snow from last year and a few white trees.

I found a little white ceramic house at Target and a white church at Hobby Lobby I spent about $10 total for those.

copper lights

And after shopping around I finally found the perfect copper string lights sold in sets of four WITH batteries on Amazon for $8.99.

glass box

I didn’t want to have to purchase a big lantern, I had a few small ones but they were too small to hold the house and church. So, of course, I shopped my house and found this glass display box that I’ve been using in the barn.  I stacked some white mugs and white paper at the bottom, covered it with pretend snow and then tucked in the church, house, trees and string lights.

Three things I love about this tiny village

  1. the biggest most expensive piece–the box, is something I use year around (plus I already had it!) shop your house and see what you already have that you can use–a lantern, an aquarium or fish bowl, a glass drink dispenser, a punch bowl? a large tray? a glass bowl?  (a few things we had that I considered using)
  2. it’s contained, so I’m not at risk for buying 37 white ceramic houses when they go on sale in January, two is enough and more won’t fit. praise hands.
  3. I can change it up next year if I get bored or over it

christmas village for cozy minimalist diy

I also popped in a tiny gold deer–I bought a pack of them years ago and use them on gifts, and sneak them in little places this time of year.

It’s  a sweet little addition to our decor  and one where I didn’t have to make any big commitments, go into debt or buy an extra plastic bin to store it in. The perfect Christmas decor for a lazy/cozy minimalist like me.


pretend snow // bottle brush trees // tiny ceramic houses  also here // lights// tiny gold deer


simple christmas village


Need more simple Christmas ideas for your holiday + hosting?

Here’s how I decorate for Christmas like a normal person who loves beauty but not clutter.



  1. I love this, I did something similar last year in an empty large jar, but you’ve inspired me to go bigger this year and I have the perfect large vase for it. Thanks!

  2. Nester,
    Beautiful. The nice thing about your village is it says Winter too, not just Christmas.
    In my house pinecones, snowmen and angels last longer after Christmas than Santa.

  3. So beautiful! I have two big apothecary jars I’ve been wanting to do something with and this is perfect! I have everything I need but the snow.

  4. I absolutely love this little village! It speaks volumes to myou sensibilities about Christmas decorations – simple and elegant. The visual impact is stunning! Now I need to be put my thinking cap on to make this statement in my home. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  5. I confess to seeing the same Terrain tin houses advertised on the blog. I splurged on the farm house and silo…but I plan to leave them up year-round. I love them! Your set-up is beautiful, as usual. :)

  6. Our Christmas decor this year consists of some fairy lights wrapped around a little rosemary tree with a few straw ornaments and fairy lights wrapped around random objects in our house (mirrors, house plants, a little felt garland in the window). Its very simple but they’re so petite and easy to store, and give just the right amount of holiday warmth to our house :) Love this idea too!

  7. I am so in love with your container village. It is just simply beautiful. Thank you for the link to the lights – just ordered some for extras around my carolers and little village. My Christmas decorating this year has kind of gradually evolved and I noticed after decorating my mantle, that bronzy, coppery tones were prominent along with the brown and green from the garland an pinecones. I didn’t plan ahead for that, but it happened organically and I love it. I love the direction your decor seems to be going this year- looking forward to the link-up.

  8. That is beautiful! I think the copper lantern you like ked to is on the small size, ~9inx6inx6in. Even if I can’t buy it, how/where did you aquire your beauty? My husband is going to order me the lights ?

    • the little house? yep, It’s the only house I could find–I think they have a smaller one that would fit IN a large lantern! I found my display box at HomeGoods this past summer–one of those quirky finds I’ve never seen since–although I have seen a few at our local antique mall

  9. This is absolutely gorgeous. Peaceful and quiet looking. The best thing about it is the box you put the objects in! Wish I could duplicate that. Again, this is so clever. I admire your creativity

  10. Woah! This Looks beautiful. isn’t too expensive either.Will like to have these around the house. The copper string light is nice, It will be a perfect addition to my Christmas decoration. Thanks for Sharing

  11. Omg…I love this so much! When I was growing up my mother had an enormous Christmas village and I’ve missed having it at the holidays but I just don’t have the space in my home. This is such a perfect idea.

  12. Love it! The little deer just makes it.

  13. I totally agree Jeanie! That little dear is the last one I have–I think I need to order some more!

  14. Just beautiful. I’d leave it up into January because it would make me happy to see it!

  15. u can keep that out til spring! love it

  16. Nancy Ridder says

    Glad to hear that I am not the only one with two bins of Christmas decor. I love the idea of the container village. Would prevent my cat from batting the figures around, carrying the trees away, etc. Will have to see if I still have my old aquarium

  17. I absolutely love shopping my house! Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. So cute!! I saw something similar recently that used tiny gingerbread houses rather than village pieces. I have a miniature village with the tallest piece being only about 3 inches. One year I displayed them on a footed clear glass cake plate….used tiny trees and fake snow—then covered it with the clear glass domed lid……worked just fine and proves that the options for containers are endless!
    I must say that I’m almost envious of someone having only 2 bins of Christmas décor. I try to downsize a little every year but trying to decide what to keep and what to toss can be frustrating….especially since I’m 65 and have collected MANY wonderful things through the years. I would be happy if I could downsize to 5 bins!!! Glad you’re on the mend….thanks for the post.

  19. I have the same picture saved, just love it! Yours turned out beautiful!! I did something similar with a shadow box, little trees and copper lights. Have you seen that picture floating around? I think it was from terrain.

  20. This is an adult playhouse for Christmas! I love the idea of using this to decorate my home. I can’t wait to make this for me!

  21. perfection! we are seriously kindred spirits – party lazy, part minimalist, and part cheapo here too! While I love gawking at all the Christmas home tours in blogland… all. that. stuff. gives me nightmares! And where the heck do these people store everything in the off season?! Do they have a separate storage shed just for their Christmas decor? I can’t handle that either… I need to get my stuff down to 2 bins as well. Love the craft and your philosophy too :)

  22. Posts like this remind me why I subscribe to your blog. Easy, impactful, fun, funky decor. LOVE this sweet, simple idea. Love that you encourage us to shop our house. Please keep up the inspirational posts. (#hearteyes)

  23. Posts like this remind me why I subscribe to your blog. Easy, impactful, fun, funky decor. LOVE this sweet, simple idea. Love that you encourage us to shop our house. Please keep up the inspirational posts. (#hearteyes)

  24. C’est très beau|

  25. I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to reach my goals.I definitely love reading everything that is written on your blog.Keep the information coming.I liked it!

  26. AnnaTitova says

    Amatr Amatr

  27. Hi, all the time i used to check web site posts here early in the daylight, because i like to
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  28. I fall in love with this idea! That’s so beautiful! I will definitely add this to my must-DIY Christmas list ;) Thank you for sharing!!

  29. Your article did solve my problems partially. That’s what I am looking for. The content is actually deep which I assume was written by a real expert on the field.

  30. I did something similar the last two Christmases except I used a gift box laying on its side (vertically) to contain the scene. Instead of fake crystal snow (because there is no glass front on a gift box!) I used some polyester quilt batting, plus trees, house, copper lights.

  31. O’ Myquillan. O’ Myquillan. How lovely is your Christmas Village! I have the perfect little church for one of my Home Goods giganta-lanterns. I did have one question. I am in love with the little copper string lights and have them in the house year round–the plug-in version. So… if I put the battery version in my little Winter Wonderland, how can I leave it on all season and not have to change batteries? Too cheap and too lazy, and I like the magic of cozy nights with the house lights off, and little oasises (oasi? oases?) of twinkling lights. What do you do with the sprinkles of twinkles in your village?

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