I had it in my head last year, when I was setting up my Hubby’s North Pole Christmas village, that I needed my own beach village to match my style and our home decor. I did a quick google search but was not too impressed with what I saw, plus I did not feel like buying it. If you’re an avid follower you know me well enough by now to know that I would much rather MAKE it.
Well, after finding out I was pregnant, I had motivation to make this happen this year. I knew it would be the last holiday season where I had actual time on my hands to dedicate to such an involved project so I set out to do it! Also, it was a great way for me to unwind and take my mind off stresses of real-life because…No Wine. Now that it is complete, I love it so much. Since I actually found a cheap(-ish) and easy way to make it happen, I wanted to share it so that you could make one too! I started buying things in the beginning of September, and finished just around Thanksgiving, however we traveled out of town 4 weekends in that time frame.
First of all, other than our folding table, and the wood used for the dock and bases, EVERYTHING that I used can be found at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. You may find this stuff at any craft or hobby store, but this was where I shopped. I ended up using pre-assembled Unfinished birdhouses for 8 of my buildings. I actually hand-built the other two using wainscoting before I discovered the birdhouses were cheap…and easier, however you can do a mix and it gives it a really cool look. The trick is to make them transform enough that they no longer look like birdhouses, and instead look like little beach houses.
Most of my materials consisted of various shapes of craft wood, popsicle sticks, driftwood pieces, sand, and shells that I have collected on past vacations. I used outdoor paint, acrylic paint, and paint pens. Some signs are written with chalk markers and Tombow pens as well. I used a low temp hot glue gun, Aileens Tacky Glue, Gorilla Wood glue, and Mod Podge, lots and lots of Mod Podge! The more intense tools I used were a scroll saw, a chop saw, an electric drill, and some fancy miter scissors that cut wood.
Here are some close ups and before/afters!
There had to be a bait shop in this harbor town.
What is a beach town without a rooftop bar? This one was made with the wainscoting.
No matter where you go, there should always be a gazebo on the water.
This one was fairly easy as it already looked like a house! Since it was much bigger than my little beach homes it became the welcome center and beach shops, complete with giant chair for posing with Santa as most beachy towns should have. I even made the beach walkway by hand using string, little craft wood pieces that I cut up, and tacky glue (plus a steady hand!).
The second wainscot structure is a beach hotel with a penthouse above. Every good beach hotel has its own pool, beach lounge chairs, and Tiki Bar. I put each piece of straw on that tiki roof by hand, one-at-a-time. You probably don’t have to do that but I am silly. The little bar is crafted out of driftwood and craft wood that I cut on the scroll saw.
The lighthouses are inspired by our two lighthouses in Va Beach, however the colors are inspired by Christmas! I used pebbles and tacky glue to make the landscaping.
I make smaller signs and embellishments using craft wood and paint to give my little town more character. I decorated some plain tan Christmas trees to make them more beachy and to match the other decor that the little town had!
The other structure that I built by hand was the dock. It took a lot of reclaimed wood from my parents’ old fence, and some handy scroll saw work. I did not even have to paint or stain it because it was already weathered and looked just like a dock! I used a lot of gorilla wood glue and time/patience to assemble it. The dowels were stained and I think I still want to put a whitewash over them to make them a bit more weathered. Tiny embellishments like little brads and roping helped make the cleats for the boats to tie up.
Here are some full-length views! Enjoy and feel free to ask me ANYTHING on the comments below, I’d be happy to share tips! Lights with timers will be your best friend. My Dad likes to laugh while watching me turn on all the lights inside the houses because those are NOT on timers. I will be honest after the first week, I stopped turning them on every night!
The tree right next to the table had to match the village theme of course! Merry Christmas to all my Coastal Companions!