Making and How to Make Backgrounds and Winter Sky
Christmas Village Displays
For an inexpensive and surprisingly impressive background, one of the easiest solutions is painting sheets of white coloured hardboard (or plywood).
These thin wooden sheets are easy to come by at any good DIY store and are very easy on the purse strings. Gradually mixing a combination of blue, white and black will make the ideal sky colour, somewhere in between evening and night-time.
By using a coarse roller to apply a single coat of paint, an interesting texture instantly appears, with small amounts of the white background showing through and appearing a little like a major snowstorm is taking place. Alternatively, you may have some large pieces of cardboard going spare, which will likely work well as a backdrop once painted.
Making and Painting Your Background
When mixing up the paint colour, it can be a good idea to add in a generous squirt of PVA glue, so that once painted, you can sprinkle a little glitter over the backgrounds. You will find that this is most effective when you create little 'stars' with pinches of glitter, and then sprinkle some more from high above, so that it falls fairly evenly.
If your glitter has not stuck very well, you can spray the whole background with an artist's fixing spray (fixative), more commonly used for charcoal drawings.
Photo sequence showing the creation of a painted winter village background, with different printouts of mountains and trees being added and glued in place, followed by the moon:
A simple sky scenery may well make the perfect background for your village, but the realism can be taken one step further by adding in some cutouts of mountains, printed from a computer or painted on cardboard. Try to add in two or three layers of mountains, a lighter snowy set in the foreground and some greyer hills behind these.
As the final accompaniment, print out a photograph of a circular moon and glue this to one corner of the sky, adding in a cut-out silhouette of Santa Claus and his reindeer flying across, delivering Christmas presents to all of the miniature houses and children in the village beneath.
The addition of Santa and his reindeer flying across the moon is a very simple and extremely powerful element of this inexpensive homemade Christmas Village backdrop, slightly reminiscent of Steven Spielberg's famous 'E.T.' movie: