Printable Model Card Houses
Christmas Village Displays
Budget-conscious budding Christmas village creators may well find that cardboard model houses provide the solution, rather than forking out for porcelain versions. You can either make your own miniature buildings from scratch, with cardboard, scissors and paint, or alternatively, find some printable houses online, just waiting to be printed, cut-out and glued together.
The advantage with using small card houses in preference to larger, expensive porcelain buildings is not just monetary - the small size suits those where space is limited. Card houses are ideal for windowsills and the tops of cupboards, although do consider siting your village display somewhere relatively draught free, so that the buildings don't blow down every time a door is closed or a window is opened. If this proves to be a problem, then the cardboard structures can simply be secured to their display base with a little sticky tape.
Those who do choose to place a grouping on a windowsill should make sure that the cardboard houses are slightly elevated or sit on a raised base, to avoid the possibility of morning condensation puddles, which could damage the card and make the ink design run. And don't forget, being made of card does mean that these structures will obviously be a potential fire hazard if you put hot light bulbs inside. Instead, stick to miniature battery powered fairy lights on the rooftops and perhaps a few small Lemax spotlights, carefully angled for the best effect.
If you already have an extensive Christmas village, with Lemax or Department 56 porcelain buildings, but have a few gaps, then you may like to consider adding in some card printable model houses. When positioned at the back, their smaller size will naturally create the illusion of depth, appearing as if they are further away. Those making card buildings from scratch will find that strips of cardboard boxes really do make excellent roofing tiles. Cut a thick strip of brown cardboard and pull apart to reveal the corrugated texture in the middle. Overlapping strips of these are perfect for a roofing tiles, appearing very professional when positioned in place and painted.
We have created our very own printable houses below, named the Darlington Village Collection. Each of these offers a different size, shape and colour, and all are simple to print out, using A4 white card. When printing these templates from the Internet, always select scale as 100% (previewing before you print if possible) and then the image will fill the whole sheet.
These buildings have all been designed to fit together by folding and sticking the tabs, either with a glue stick or some sticky tape. Once printed, do take your time to cut them out carefully, so that all of the walls and roofs will have a snug fit, without overlapping. Once you have your cut-outs, use a ruler and a pair of scissors to score along the various tabs and the folding lines - indicated with strong black lines in most cases.
Then, gently begin to fold the card and it will naturally find the scored line. Fold firmly to create a nice line and then glue together accordingly. Group your new bargain buildings together with a few trees, mossy shrubs, street lamps and small snowmen, sprinkle or paint some snow on the roofs, and you have created your very own budget Christmas village. These houses are just about big enough to allow you to make use of the smallest Lemax figurines, which can look quite effective and surprisingly not too out of scale.
Welcome to the Darlington Village Collection
Click on the links below to open the relevant print-out A4 designs. Please be patient if you have a slow Internet collection. These are large and very detailed images, although should still be quick to download. And please do send us photos of your layouts, to firstname.lastname@example.org:
This pretty little model house comes with attractive blue brickwork, lilac shutters and a picket fence. Flanked either side by Christmas trees and dressed with a big wreath on the purple front door, the cottage has a grey slate roof and ornate dormer windows.
Size: 10 cm / 4 inches (high), 11 cm / 4.5 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Bluebell Cottage
With vibrant honey coloured bricks and a charming neatly thatched roof, the Buttercup Cottage model is the ideal addition where you need an everyday house for the corner of your village. A seasonal touch is suggested by a pair of poinsettia plants hanging under the porch, either side of the wooden front door.
Size: 11 cm / 4.5 inches (high), 10 cm / 4 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Buttercup Cottage
A slightly grandiose printable building, the Darlington House model offers a stately character and ornate arching windows. The simple red-bricked architecture is softened by the flamboyant seasonal garlands and red bow ribbons, as well as a series of Christmas wreaths.
Size: 12 cm / 5 inches (high), 10 cm / 4 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Darlington House
Minster View Hotel
Any model village needs somewhere for its visitors to stay and in Darlington, accommodation is provided by the opulent, luxury Minster View Hotel. A strong granite facade is complemented by a copper roof aged to take on a green colour, while the hotel features a large Christmas tree at the front.
Size: 11 cm / 4.5 inches (high), 12 cm / 5 inches (wide), 3.5 cm / 1.5 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Minster View Hotel
Olde Town Hall
Darlington's Olde Town Hall is the most complex of these printable model houses, although it is still very simple to put together.
The roof of the hall is presided over by a clock tower and this needs to be printed out separately, before slotting comfortably into place through the central hole within the roofing panel (this hole is easiest to cut out by first folding the roof or using a sharp craft knife). Of note, the height of the tower can be varied to show either just the clock face, or both the clock and the window beneath.
Size: 19.5 cm / 8 inches (high), 11 cm / 4.5 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Olde Town Hall
Printable model template of Clock Tower insert
Offering a certain maritime charm, Peppermint House wouldn't look out of place next to a village waterfront or harbour. However, this miniature will also blend in nicely with other buildings, with its distinctive green brickwork and folding clay tiled roof. The jolly snowman outside makes it clear that snow has recently fallen in Darlington and that Jack Frost is clearly out and about at night. The poinsettia-stuffed window boxes add a very obvious spot of festive cheer and warmth.
Size: 10 cm / 4 inches (high), 10 cm / 4 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Peppermint House
Perry's Flower Shop
This charming pink florist's shop is a narrow model and one of the tallest in this collection of printables.
The bay window, winter hanging baskets and window boxes overflowing with winter pansies are the main features of this florist. Perry's Flower Shop certainly deserves a central plaza setting in any village display, where the locals can pop in to buy their holly and mistletoe, or perhaps a seasonal spruce wreath to hang on their front door.
Size: 13.5 cm / 5.5 inches (high), 7 cm / 3 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Perry's Flower Shop
The Perkins Clock Tower
The attractive facade of the Perkins Clock Tower boasts true Olde World Victorian craftsmanship, with its neat brickwork, stone columns and balustrading, as well as its very imposing clock face that wouldn't look out of place on that London architectural giant that is Big Ben.
This tower is the ideal centrepiece to a model village, providing an element of height to any plaza, around which you can distribute the miniature houses, shops and other buildings, as well as the odd Christmas tree or two.
Size: 19 cm / 7.5 inches (high), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of the Perkins Clock Tower
Any wintertime collection can only be enhanced by the presence of that great man, Father Christmas himself. Santa's Corner is where Mr. and Mrs. Claus spend their time when not feeding their reindeer or visiting the toy factory, supervising the elves making and wrapping all of the presents. Santa is shown peering out of the window, checking on the snowy weather. Villagers passing by always enjoy the freshly baked aroma of gingerbread men wafting out of the windows when Mrs. Claus is at home and baking in her front kitchen.
Size: 12 cm / 5 inches (high), 11 cm / 4.5 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Santa's Corner
St. Mary's Church
A useful religious building, this printable church is the oldest within this particular village collection and is typically medieval in character, being constructed from flint stone and old handmade clay bricks. The bell tower joins on to the front of the model and simply folds around, being secured to the back of the building by the tab or a piece of clear sticky tape. Of note, this template has been designed to print out as a 'landscape' A4 image, rather than 'portrait'.
Size: 10 cm / 4 inches (high), 13.5 cm / 5.5 inches (wide), 3.5 cm / 1.5 inches (deep)
Printable model template of St. Mary's Church
The local children all need somewhere to learn how to be nice, rather than naughty, and the Wayside School House is a historic structure with some elaborate embellishments, including a statue perched above the door's stone archway.
Size: 11 cm / 4.5 inches (high), 8.5 cm / 3.5 inches (wide), 4.5 cm / 2 inches (deep)
Printable model template of Wayside Schoolhouse