DIY: Recycle Cereal Boxes into Christmas Village

Posted on November 28, 2010 at 12:20 AM

When my daughter was small, building a Christmas village with charming little houses was a Christmas tradition. If you've got the time and patience, it's a nice way to spend an afternoon or evening with the kids and is easy to do if you prepare things ahead of time. Let the kids help out by rummaging through the recycling bins for material you can use. To make the houses, use the templates listed below to create a village or just a house with your family or visit my previous post to see how you can create the same without a template.


In their new book, The Farm Chicks Christmas, the Farm Chicks explain how you can use gift wrap to decorate pre-made houses you can buy (see above photo).  However, since we are into recycling big time (right?) and instead of dashing off and buying a pre-made models, you can easily recycle stuff like cardboard container boxes (cereal, etc.), leftover gift wrapping paper, bits of tinsel, file folders, and sheets of paper printed only on one side. No stuff you can recycle? Ask you neighbours if they've got any or bring home discarded stuff from the office. 

There are plenty of downloadable, printable templates that you can print and cut out, and most come with easy to follow instructions. All you have to do is substitute whatever material you have collected for whatever is required. Once you've printed out the templates, glue these printouts onto your cardboard and cut out.

Image The Farm Chicks Christmas book

Paper Houses and Towns (Free Template Printable Downloads)

Martha Stewart provides instructions and templates for making a winter village out of paper. You can use these as is to make tree ornaments or enlarge them. Our lady Martha uses paint to decorate her houses and lots of glitter. You can use cereal boxes and other food product boxes for the houses and cover them with leftover wrapping paper instead of paint. If you must have glitter, why not use superfine sugar - it's cheaper and more environmentally friendly!

Martha also offers instructions and a template for making a very simple, and modern-looking village out of coloured file folders. Check around the office to see if there's any old file folders in the recycling bin you can bring home.


Country Living magazine has instructions as well as templates of a paper village for your mantel. You may have to increase the size of the templates.


Other Paper House Template Download Printables

Marilyn Scott-Waters, also known as the Toymaker, has a cutout paper house template that she designed for Habitat for Humanity for you to download and decorate.

Enchanted Learning also has a template (and instructions) for making a paper house. The template shows a lot of house details and you may want to print this one on plain card stock and have the kids colour it. 

DLTK kids crafts also has a couple of cute house templates.

Unfortunately, the above paper bag gingerbread houses are no longer available on Disney's Family Fun site. However, you can find instructions for similar houses here.  

Have fun!

Categories: Christmas Crafts, DIY, Paper

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Reply rosalbaborja
10:33 AM on October 26, 2015 
Colleen says...
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Reply Colleen
7:05 PM on October 12, 2012 
paper christmas village