Transforming My Christmas Light Up Village

My Christmas light up village pieces have been sitting in my attic for three years unused and I have been dreaming of transforming them all this time. The plan in my head was to do something with them to unify them to use in our bedroom. This year they ALMOST headed to the local donation shelter. No more excuses! I decided I was not going to waste those three years of them taking up space in my attic.

This was going to be their transformation year!

Well, let me tell you. I’m really good at procrastinating. And, as far behind as I am this year for Christmas, I didn’t let that stop me from procrastinating even more. After moving them to the garage a few weeks ago and adding them to the “donate” pile, I finally grabbed one the other night and brought it in and decided to give my idea a shot.

First of all, let me clarify that these pieces that I am calling my Christmas light up village have absolutely no sentimental meaning. They are just three pieces, not even all the same brand, that I liked at the time of purchase. But they are not attached to any kind of memories and they certainly were not pieces I inherited from family. If that had been the case, this would have been a whole different ball game.

I had visions of sugarplums dancing in my head… okay maybe it wasn’t that elaborate.

What I envisioned about transforming my Christmas light up village was mostly white around the body of each piece and then gold on the rooves. I thought MAYBE I would even add glitter (and let me say… I actually HATE glitter). But I wasn’t exactly sure about the gold yet… so I just started with the white. I got out the chalk paint I had leftover from a Boxed Up project a while back.

First, I painted 2-3 thin coats of the white all over the entire body of the smallest of the three pieces…the antique shop.

a light up antigue shop Chrismas decoration before being painted

applying white paint to a light up Christmas decoration

(This next section does contain an affiliate link which means that, if you decide to purchase this product through this link, I will receive a small amount of compensation in return. But it will come at no additional cost to you.) When the entire thing was dry and white, I grabbed a product I have called Pearl Effects in the color Burnished by General Finishes. This is a gold color. Woohoo! This meant I would be able to steer clear of glitter after all! I started brushing it on the roof with a small paintbrush.

applying General Finishes burnished pearl effects to the roof of a light up Christmas decoration

Then I continued adding the gold to various details…very carefully. It ended up taking WAY longer than I envisioned. But I don’t know why that surprises me. Everything I do seems to take way longer than I expected.  Regardless, I was liking what was happening! So I continued. I carefully added the Pearl Effects to the window trim and little wreaths. The “snow” that appeared to be on the roof in certain spots was something I decided to leave alone. I wanted it to look like the roof had snow and the rest of the piece had traces of snow.

a light up Christmas decoration in the process of being transformed with General Finishes pearl effects

One piece was plenty for one night. But the next day I decided it was worth it to continue with the two other pieces.

a light up Christmas decoration prior to tranforming it with paint

a light up Christmas decroation before being transformed with paint

Here they are all done and drying in front of the fireplace while I decided how they will go on the shelves I have in our master bedroom…

a close up look at a light up Christmas decoration after being transformed with paint

a light up Christmas decoration that has been transformed with paint

a set of light up Christmas decorations after being transformed with paint

Time to decide how to display them!

I had some green garland leftover in the attic as well as some lights so I grabbed it and placed it on one shelf of the book case. I also had some gold accessories down in my “staging room” (aka the room that used to be a guest room) that were just collecting dust down there. So, in they went as well. The extra length of the greenery helps to hide the white, green, and brown cords and extension cords.  The lights inside the greens that overlap the shelf below help to light up that shelf as well. I had lights left for the top shelf, too. This could have spiraled into lights on every shelf but this is all I had left so, thankfully, I had to stop.

2020 UPDATE: Since I have swapped out my colors and am now using gold and white in my main spaces rather than the bedroom, here they are on the piano!

Drum Roll… I may be way more excited about this than you, BUT…it’s my Christmas light up village and I’ll paint them if I want to, paint them if I want to… PAINT THEM IF I WANT TO!

Take a look at what my Chrismas light up village pieces look like on our shelf during the day without the inner lights on…(I did have to go buy nightlight bulbs so this was before I did that).

Christmas light up houses on shelf in Master bedroom

a light up Christmas decoration after being transformed with paint

a bookcase in a master bedroom decorated with Christmas using light up houses that were transformed with paint

The lights and tree in our Master Bedroom have given me all the happy feels this year. They really calm me when I get in bed at night. That is, if my husband can leave them on long enough for me to get to enjoy them once I get in bed! I love just breathing and looking at them and taking them in. Then I put my chunky blanket (by the way, we have new blanket workshops scheduled in January) over me and all is right with the…ZZZZZZZ. (Yep, that’s about how it goes. I don’t even make it through my thoughts before I’m out cold.) These are some views from my side of the bed.

a close up view of a Christmas light up house that was transformed with gold and white paint

a bookcase in a master bedroom decorated for Christmas with lights and light up houses

a close up view of some light up houses on a bookshelf in a master bedroom

While someone likely would have been happy if I had sent them with the rest of the donation pile, I’m super happy I didn’t give up on these! Paint can do wonders and really transform your decor… however it makes YOU happy.

10 thoughts on “Transforming My Christmas Light Up Village”

  1. I LOVE this! At first I thought (as a person who has painted many ceramic villages) “why is she painting over these cute buildings?” But you had a vision and they turned out so nicely for your calm restful bedroom.

  2. Oh the vision you have!!! They are gorgeous! All I see when look at something is what is there!!!
    They are perfectly perfect! Xo

  3. These are absolutely gorgeous. Love the colors and how it looks like snow on them. Awesome job. That would be beautiful to fall asleep to.

  4. Love these. They look great and I would’ve never thought to do that to them. Like you I have several pieces like this and even a nativity set I’d like so much better like this or a version of what you did. Thanks for the inspiration. Now just to actually do iy.

  5. Those pieces really came out beautiful! I hear you about the procrastination (but you already know that about me, right??). Coincidentally, I too put up a Christmas tree in my bedroom this year and I am in LOVE! This is the first year I’ve done it (been thinking about it for years though). We always get a real tree for the living room, but this year Michael’s had a tremendous sale on my 7-ft flocked pre-lit tree and I went for it, lol. So glad I did (though the flocking is a bit messy when you put the tree up)!! I always shut all the lights at night and watch TV by the lights of the Christmas tree and it’s the coziest time of the whole year – nights and nights of Christmas lights, comfy jammies, warm blankets, hot tea with shortbread cookies…so sad it’ll all be over in about a week and a half. Time is going so fast!!

  6. Love this idea so much ! I recently brought my village out after 14 years in hibernation !!! Like you it was In the donate pile … until my 8 year old found it . I let her and her friend set it up and they loved it !! I may have to paint it before storing it away for next year.

  7. The buildings are gorgeous and look so serene the way your displayed them with the lighting. I’m addicted to twinkle lights-if it’s not moving, I probably put lights on it this year!

    1. Thank, Rebecca! I’m with you on them not moving… I have a hard time with certain lights causing headaches. I even have to wear sunglasses when we go see the lights every year!

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