Build a paper Christmas village for your mantle with our templates! The joyous busyness of Christmas preparation is seen in every window of this little village.

My favourite part of Christmas isn’t the actual day, but the weeks leading to it. Decorating the house, setting up the tree, baking Christmas cookies and choosing presents for everyone in the family. Christmas day is wonderful by itself, but the whole month of December is filled with a festive atmosphere because of the little family traditions we have. Get new flavours of hot chocolate for Christmas eve, read Christmas books, and put together a family photo book. All around us, other people are preparing and celebrating in their own ways, and somehow thinking about it warms me inside. And this, ultimately, is what I wanted to express with this craft. In all the houses, people are getting ready for Christmas. Everyone is doing it in their own way, but all of them are happy.

I had great fun drawing all the silhouettes! There is a girl decorating a room with garlands and a boy preparing gingerbread dough in the house to the left. In the attic, they have a mouse who is decorating her tiny Christmas tree. In the next house, a couple is dancing, while upstairs a little girl is shaking a present to guess what’s inside, while her sister is reading a book. The next house has a boy who is filling a stocking, a cat playing with a garland, and a grandma who is knitting a present for someone.

Oh, and there is one more house with a little gnome overlooking the village. I imagined him to be like a little house spirit – a Scandinavian tomte or a Russian domovoi – who makes sure that everything is in order in the house.

Now, despite how intricate the silhouettes look, the idea behind this craft is very simple. You PRINT the window silhouettes on vellum paper, you DO NOT cut them. You also don’t have to draw your own silhouettes… Though you may want to do that, and if you have children, they will likely want to try it. I will write about how this can be accomplished below.

Materials for Making the Silhouette Christmas Village

How to Make the Silhouette Christmas Village

Watch the video in this post or follow the steps below.

1 – Print the house templates and cut them out. A hobby knife works well for cutting windows out. In the video, you can see that I recommend using black card stock for printing because it will give you an even finish on both sides and because it will give you a little leeway when cutting the patterns. But if you only have white card stock, that will work as well.

2 – Print the window templates on printable vellum paper.

3 – Fold the house templates to make them stand.

4 – Cut the windows out and glue them in, carefully matching the edges to the windows.

5 – Stand the houses up and arrange LED tea lights and/or LED strings behind the houses to illuminate the windows.

And this is how it looks in the dark.

A little close-up?

How to Make Your Own Designs

You will need to get vellum paper and ink pens. Alternatives are possible. I tried drawing on vellum with sharpies and got mixed results: some work a lot better than others. It’s worth a go as well. The idea is to find something that leaves black silhouettes, but dries quickly enough that it would not smear on vellum, which is partially made of plastic.

Next, make outlines of windows and draw your designs. Or glue the vellum paper right to the windows and then make drawings.

You can use my designs of houses or make your own! Here my five-year-old son opted for making his own houses from scratch, drawing and cutting. Here is one of them.

Get the Templates!

You can get one free house template here. If you would like all four houses with window designs to put the village together, you can get them here.

The design for this project can also be found in our Silhouette Christmas Bundle. The book is a collection of various ideas for Christmas-themed silhouette crafts—ornaments, lanterns, cards, tags and toys. Altogether, there are  fifteen silhouette crafts with over sixty pages of printable silhouette designs. Print and make—it’s that easy!

Play board games, dress paper dolls, read and colour pages, while at the same time learning geography, history, and folklore, with the Christmas Around the World bundle.Christmas Around the World for Kids: a pack of festive & educational activities

Cut the printable templates and make a silhouette Christmas village for your mantle decoration. An elegant Christmas paper craft that doubles as a luminary.