HOW I SET UP OUR DEPARTMENT 56 SUMMER VILLAGE DISPLAY
It is OFFICIALLY summer! I can’t believe it is here. More importantly, I can’t believe that it took me until June 8th to put up our Summer Village Display!
I normally have it up in all its glory before Memorial Day but this year, with everything going on, I just didn’t have the motivation to do it. Enter yesterday! I woke up in a good mood, had my morning pot of coffee, okay two, and decided it was THE day to get my house ready for summer.
Let me backtrack a bit. I began collecting Department 56 The Original Snow Village because of my mother. As kids, we would always make our annual trip up north to Mackinaw City and Island. We would always cross The Mackinaw Bridge once on our trips to go into St. Ignace and eat at The Galley Restaurant. After dinner, we would stop at a store called The Show.
Here is where we were introduced to the magic of Department 56. My mom would pick one building and one accessory to add to our little collection year after year. The reason we liked The Original Snow Village was because the scale is the largest of the Department 56 series and also has a beautiful gloss to all the pieces.
This tradition continued for sometime. I loved it. Getting the boxes out, setting the figurines up in new ways every year. Making it come alive. Side note, I LOVE Christmas. Especially the decorating! So, it would be natural that this hobby would give me all the feels!
INHERITING THE COLLECTION
One year, my mom gave me her collection. She had grown tired of finding a place to display them and going up and down the basement steps was getting harder for her. I was so happy and honored! I couldn’t wait to get them home and continue this tradition that I have held so dear to my heart.
Sadly, my mom passed away in 2017. It was very unexpected and sudden as she was only 58 years old. It was devastating to all of us. I am a HUGE Momma’s boy so I took it very hard.
TIME TO EXPAND ON THE TRADITION
That year, I for some reason wanted to expand The Snow Village into other seasons, not just Christmas. I found through research that they made villages for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Summertime, Harvest, and Halloween! I set out to add these to my yearly decorating.
Within a few months of shopping on EBay, Facebook Martketplace, Department 56 Facebook Groups, and the few sales at our local brick and mortar stores, like Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. I was able to grow this small collection into a massive year round hobby! Sorry Hubs!
CREATING A DISPLAY
With all these new pieces, I knew I wanted to have an amazing way to display these beautiful houses and figurines. I was on a search again to find out how collectors of Department 56 made their display bases.
During this time, I found my now very good Village friend, Nichole. She is not only an incredible friend, she is an AMAZING artist. I started emailing her back and forth about how she could make the village come alive. We became, as I said, good friends and realized how much we both had a passion for this company.
I will be showing off how I have used Nichole’s displays to incorporate the different villages into our home’s decor through posts throughout the year. If you would like to take a look at her work, you can browse her Etsy shop or connect with her on Facebook! If you collect any Department 56 or even other villages, Nichole is your person to elevate your collection into a beautiful work of art!
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Our summer village has a very Patriotic feel to it. As I said, I normally set this up before Memorial Day and it stays up until the day, or week, after Labor Day. It spans three of our very American holidays – Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
As you can see, there is lots of red, white, and blue. Bunting and American Flags are on most of the buildings and are accented throughout the display.
If you’d like to add some Patriotic decor to your house, check out my Home of the Free tutorial!
We have a beach area with real sand and rocks. I even use my fingers to help create footprints in the sand.
What is summer without camping, right? Now, I don’t really camp but have family who love it. My version of camping is a motel! Lol.
We have a riverboat…
…and a Ferris wheel on the boardwalk.
There is a park with some games and picnic areas…
…a sandy swing set and a woodsy area for a campfire.
Our little town is made complete with Main Street lined with little shops for ice cream, cooking classes, TV’s, and the American Legion and Armed Forces buildings. There’s even a parade going on!
What summer village would be complete without an area for outdoor music? Here we see the pavilion and spectators listening to the upbeat tunes!
Don’t forget to get your car washed!
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
You see, this summer village display, as well as all my other holiday displays, are so fun to put up, although can be quite the undertaking. Not only has Hubs has come to enjoy them, so have the kids and even our extended family. They have come to expect when they visit at any given time of the year. It gives me great joy putting it up because it adds such character and whimsy to the house.
Do you collect Department 56? Do you have any other collections that add to your seasonal decor? Post a photo in the comment section or tag your projects on social media @thebeardedhousewife using the hashtag #beardedhousewife! I’d love to see how you show off your collecting hobby!
Happy Summer Everyone!
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