Set your buildings at slightly different angles.

How to Set Up Small Ceramic Villages

by Michelle Ullman

Whether your small ceramic village is only on display for the holidays or you're creating a miniature world to enjoy all year long, positioning the buildings and figures to their best advantage lets you enjoy the tiny town from several angles. Don't be surprised if visitors seem drawn to the village to peer through the windows, pick up the figures to examine them more closely or rearrange a few buildings to their own satisfaction. Have fun with your village, and rearrange it periodically to bring it back to your attention.

Choose your display area. A small village works well on the fireplace mantel, a shelf on the bookcase or hutch, or a side table. If your ceramic buildings light up, select a location close to an electrical outlet.

Spread out a village base, if desired. Holiday villages frequently sit on cotton batting, white satin or faux snow for a wintery feel. You can also use green or brown fabric to represent ground, or paint wood or cardboard to resemble bricks, dirt, cobblestones or whatever other surface you fancy.

Set a small bowl underneath the fabric base to create a hill. This breaks up the village and keeps it from looking rigid or monotonous.

Position your buildings. Set one on the hill, and stagger the others slightly so they aren't lined up precisely. Have one or two angled in different directions so the village looks good from multiple angles.

Add people and animal figurines, if you have them. Set people in natural groupings. Walking, talking, window shopping and playing are all possible scenarios, depending on your figures. Your tiny people should be spaced among the buildings, not all lined up in front.

Tuck any accessories into open spots or where they look natural. Trees, wishing wells, flags, fences and bridges are popular village accessories.

Items you will need

  • Base
  • Small bowl


  • Though your miniature buildings don't need to be from the same manufacturer, keep them in the same size range and general style for the best appearance.


  • Don't run electrical cords along walkways or allow them to dangle below your village. Cords should be securely tucked away to prevent possible trips or electrical shocks.

About the Author

Living in California, Michelle Ullman is a professional writer with particular expertise in home, garden and pet/nature topics. Her work is published on many websites. She loves crafts and has a deep interest in design and DIY projects.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images