There’s something about a miniature Christmas village all lit up. Maybe it’s a fantasy world we all dream of, maybe it’s how we imagine Christmas should be? The only problem is that as your little town grows, so does the space needed to display it all… until now.
A friend recently asked if I could build her a Christmas Village tree for her gorgeous set. She has a lot of pieces in her wintery town, but was running out of space to display it all. We’d both seen different variations of Christmas Village trees on Pinterest, but none that were exactly to her measurements.
So I took the best from the best and made one up!
We figured that a 15″ height between layers would fit most village houses, including the church.
I decided that the most aesthetically-pleasing way to set up the village would be to keep all of the cords centrally located so that they would be hidden by the pieces and wouldn’t cause any leaning with piles of cords winding down the back.
We wanted something that could easily be set up and taken down without the need of any tools.
I also wanted something that could collapse so that it could be more easily stored.
With all of those criteria in mind, we came up with the above building plan.
You will need:
(Amazon affiliate links to items I used for this project. For full Amazon affiliate disclosure, please see bottom of the page)
- (1) 4′ x 8′ x ½” plywood
- (1) 2′ x 6′ x 6′ framing lumber
- mitre saw
- pocket hole jig
- 1 ¼” pocket screws
- 3″ construction screws
- router & router jig or jigsaw
- (3) 1 ½” l-brackets
- (6) shelf brackets
Christmas Village Tree Cut list
- (12) 3″ x 15″ x ¾” spacers
- (1) 30″ circle from ½” ply
- (1) 24″ circle from ½” ply
- (1) 18″ circle from ½” ply
- (1) 12″ circle from ½” ply
- (4) 2″ x 6″ x 12″ legs
Using ½” plywood (because it’s lighter than ¾”), I cut circles using my circle jig and trim router.
Yes, my circle jig is just a crappy pieces of ¼” plywood – but it works. You can make one yourself using these plans, or there are some available for purchase. If you aren’t up to working with a new jig or a router, the easiest method is to cut a circle using a jigsaw.
The largest circle in our DIY Christmas Village tree is 30″, but most plans start with a base circle of 36″ and each circle/layer after is 6″ smaller. The plans for this particular tree will take up 30″ of floor space and will be 53 ½” tall (not including the top village piece).
This same building plan, with the additional 36″ layer will have a 36″ footprint and will stand 69 ¼” tall (not including the top village piece). It’s all going to depend on what you have room for in your home.
Next, I used ¾” plywood and cut 12 pieces to 15″ lengths. These will be the spacers between the layers of the tree. Drill pocket holes in one end of each spacer.
I used a protractor to draw a 3″ circle in the centre of each layer of my DIY Christmas Village tree. Three inches should be more than enough to slide a power bar up through the centre to each level. Cut using a jigsaw and then use a roundover bit in your trim router to smooth the edges. (inner and outer)
Using 2″ x 6″ framing lumber and my mitre saw, I cut 4 pieces at 12″ long. These will be inset from the outer edges of your base layer by 1″, but will still leave the 3″ centre opening clear. If you do make a 36″ layer for your village tree, you’ll want to cut your 2×6’s to 15″ long. I added a 45° angled edge to each board so that it receded from view under the tree. It’s not necessary, but it does give a nicer appearance. Attach using pocket screws, or drill down into the legs from the top of the bottom layer using 3″ construction screws.
At this point I started attaching the spacers to the underside of each layer of the tree. I started out just screwing into the underside of each layer with the pocket screws, but found it wasn’t enough to keep them straight and strong. What did work well was using l-brackets (and shelf brackets on the larger layers) to keep the spacers true and sturdy.
Two things I learned along the way; 1. have the narrow edge of your spacers facing outwards. It will be more sturdy with the wide side outwards, but it will also take up more space from your Christmas Village pieces. 2. attach your spacers towards the outer edge of each layer. This will make your layers/shelves much more sturdy and balanced, AND it will allow each layer to be stacked inside the other for storage. (see how I transported it below)
Two coats of primer and 2 coats of white paint later and you’re done!
I know, I skipped over sanding etc – but that’s a given.
I did a sneak-delivery to my friend the other week and she very kindly sent me photos of her DIY Christmas Village tree all set up.
Isn’t it GORGEOUS!
Collapsible so that it’s easy to store, each layer is very light at less than 4lbs per, all of the cords are tucked away safely and neatly and (in this case) it holds about 15 large-ish houses, plus all of the adorable Christmas Village activities.
My friend added a sheet of quilting to act as fake snow, and stapled some garland around the edges.
I believe her trumpeter has been imbibing? All in the spirit of the Season right?
This DIY Christmas Village tree project turned out so well, and without any difficult woodworking needed. I was able to cut, router, sand and assemble in less than 5 hours – so there’s still time to surprise Mom with one of your own.
Pin it for later!
Have a great one!