Don't you just love Halloween villages? This is my favorite time of year because Michael's craft store puts out all of their Lemax village pieces. I just drool over all the amazing houses with moving parts, sounds, and mini strobe lights. Well, I can't afford those houses unless I wait until after Halloween to get the discount prices (and then all the really cool houses are gone). And I can just forget about ever having a Department 56 village! My solution was to buy cheaper houses that don't have all the whistles and bells, but make a really cool platform to display them.
You will need to get several long pieces of styrofoam (I found mine at Michael's), aquarium gravel, sand, some cool rocks, plastic greenery, styrofoam glue (this glue is AMAZING), spray paint, resin, and a moss display mat.
I wanted my platform to have multiple levels. To do this I took several long pieces of styrofoam and layered them on top of each other, gluing each level with my incredible styro-glue. I also wanted a pond so I cut an irregular oval out of one piece of styrofoam and glued it on top of a solid piece. I feel like I'm not explaining this very clearly, so check out the picture below.
Once I had the different layers all glued together, I decided exactly where I wanted my houses to sit. I took a pen and traced around the bottom of the houses.
Then I mashed the styrofoam down with my thumb (about quarter of an inch) so the houses would sit a little lower on the platform. I also mashed the edges of the hills so they looked like mother nature made them. Next, I spray painted the crap out of the platform. Luckily I got two cans of spray paint because the styrofoam drinks it up and I had to put on a few coats. Now comes the fun part, decorating the platform with sand, rocks, and any other natural looking junk you like.
To make the path ways, just draw out the design you want and smoosh down the styrofoam with your thumb (or the cap of a pen if your hands are getting tired by now).
For the pond I mashed the styrofoam down a little deeper in some parts and dumped sand into the depressions. Look at those little cat tails! I made them out of florist wire that I painted gold and little strips of brown felt. Once I had the pond looking the way I wanted, I poured in the resin (do this outside on a trash bag because a bit of the resin will soak through the styrofoam). To create a waterfall I wadded up some Saran wrap and glued it in place.
Even though I can't afford Department 56 or Lemax houses full price, I can afford the accessories. Michael's puts the accessories on sale when Halloween is nearing. I also got some good deals on trees, head stones, and fences on ebay.
Here is the finished product and I must say, I really love the way it turned out!