We get it – when people think of decorating for the holidays, their first instinct is to go BIG. And when using AtmosFX Decorations – heck! – the instinct is to go even bigger. And why not? Part of what’s special about celebrating the Christmas season – any holiday, really – is to bring joy to others as they encounter your display.
Longtime AtmosFAN Sue Williams of McHenry, Illinois, is a master of the Christmas Village. She has three phones livening-up her miniature village, featuring three AtmosFX Decorations: Virtual Christmas Tree, Night Before Christmas and Santa’s Workshop. These dynamic decorations take her display to another level. Read about it here in the AtmosFAN Hall of Fame.
Of course, going big isn’t the only way to bring joy to others during the holiday season. For those who construct Christmas Village displays, there is incredible satisfaction in building mind-blowing elaborate displays – in miniature. And when you add AtmosFX Decorations, you can make those tabletop displays more, uh, bigger. (In a small way, of course.)
How, exactly, can AtmosFX Decorations enhance your Christmas Village display? We have some ideas for you.
Start with Small Screens
Start by rummaging through the drawers in your house, or wherever you stash the old smartphones, tablets and other small screens that are no longer in use. These devices are perfect for your Christmas Village. Simply copy the Christmas-themed AtmosFX Decorations onto your device and you are ready to begin. Essentially, you are creating a TV Mode display that is portable, cordless and miniature.
Now, place that small screen inside a structure in your village, the screen facing a prominent window or door. For instance, in the window of a residence, you might have a scene from Night Before Christmas Decoration Collection, which makes it appear that Santa Claus is inside the house, snacking on cookies and milk that were placed near the tree. Or, perhaps you have some Victorian-era singers from Christmas Carolers Decoration standing in the doorway, singing their hearts out.
Checkout the use pico projectors on a model train and small pieces of Hollusion material in this Halloween village by Frans van Hoesel from Groningen, Netherlands.
If you have other types of buildings in your Christmas Village, take advantage of that. For instance, place Yuletide Window or Nativity Window decorations in the window of your chapel, and you’ll instantly have vibrant stained-glass displays ... that move! Or, if you have a North Pole setup, place Santa’s Workshop Decoration Collection in a window, and everyone will be able to watch St. Nick’s industrious elves hard at work. That is guaranteed to be a favorite.
Now, a couple of tips when it comes to using a smartphone (or similar) in your Christmas Village. Before you place your device in its desired location, make sure to set the display on “loop,” so it will continue to play over and over again. (You can also make playlists, so that the images constantly change.) Secondly, it is a good idea to wrap some material such as Hollusion Projection Material over the screen – It will reduce some of the glare, making it appear more authentic.
And even though we have been talking about small screens, remember that large screens work too! You can use a full-size TV showing AtmosFX Decorations as a backdrop for your village as shown above.
Small Villages, Small Projectors
Not surprisingly, small projectors work really well with small villages. Known as “pico projectors,” you can use these miniature projectors in the same way you might use a full-size projector to decorate your home. Pico projectors can be tucked inside buildings, or hidden behind objects to create the same types of effects you’d create in full size at home.
For instance, by taping the equivalent of Window Projection Material in an opening in one of the buildings, and then project onto it with your pico projector, you have a window mode display in miniature. Just like with a handheld device (as we described above), you can make it appear that a miniature Santa Claus has arrived in your Christmas Village.
If you discreetly place your pico projector somewhere amongst the small props and project onto a surface – viola! – you have a surface projection in miniature. Just think how adding a projection of a charming snowman (from Enchanted Snowman Decoration) will add some dynamism to your village. Or perhaps a brightly glowing spruce tree near the town square, courtesy of Virtual Christmas Tree Decoration.
Use Full-Size Projectors, too
Of course, using your regular-size projector has amazing applications for your Christmas Village, too. If your display is up against a wall – use that surface! (Just make sure to place the projector up high and project down – so that the Christmas Village does not cast a shadow.) Or, if you have ample space behind your village, you can hang some Window Projection Material immediately behind the display and back-project onto it. This way, you can be certain your village will not cast a shadow!
No matter how you set up your backdrop, a great choice would be Santa’s Sleigh Ride Decoration – you can create a spectacular display of Santa delivering goodies against a backdrop of a full moon, high above your Christmas Village. Others have used the contemplative winter scenes from Winter Wonderland Decoration to set the scene, creating great depth for their display.
How do others use AtmosFX Decorations in their miniature Christmas Villages? Check it out here!
David Werner’s built a facade of a fireplace around a spare television to complement his Christmas Village. The result is a joyful fireplace at the center, complete with elves who extinguish the fireplace in preparation for St. Nick’s visit, thanks to the “Holiday Hearth” decoration from Night Before Christmas. Read about it here in the AtmosFAN Hall of Fame.
Grace Dizon of San Francisco, Calif., already had a lovely Christmas Village atop her mantle. But then she made a simple addition using the “Festive Fireworks” individual decoration from Celebrations Party Time. Read about it here in the AtmosFAN Hall of Fame.
Scott Bell used a mini-projector to add a little surprise to his Christmas Village display. This live-action Santa from Night Before Christmas Decoration Collection looks terrific. Read about it here in the AtmosFAN Hall of Fame.
Spencer Edwards of Carmichael, Calif., has an outdoor Christmas village display that he builds on his front patio for his neighbors to enjoy. This year, he set up essentially a half-circle projection screen behind his village, where he can project Santa’s Sleigh Ride and Nativity Window decoration collections. Read about it here in the AtmosFAN Hall of Fame.
Do you set up a Christmas Village as part of your holiday decorating? If so, we want to see it! Send us your photos and videos using this simple online form!