January 6, 2013

Mini Winter Wonderland

Christmas 2012 at my house was the year of the
bleached and glittered bottle brush tree.  I had loved 
seeing the vintage-y looking trees on Pinterest during
the year, then when I found lots of cheap trees to 
bleach, I went cray-cray decorating with them.

This post is about how I used the little trees and 
snow village houses on the dining room table.

I copied the idea of painting the inexpensive houses
from Karen of Shabby Sweet Cottage blog.
Karen got her houses at The Dollar Tree; I just 
happened to be in Wal Mart and saw similar ones
for only a dollar too that I purchased to paint.

My Wal Mart has $1 spray paint.  I chose the
glossy white to put on the houses. It took three coats of
the cheap paint to cover up all the paint work that some 
person somewhere in the world took to put the details 
on the houses...sorry, Person! Well, one can of  $1 spray
 paint for six little houses is still a good paint job price.

After the paint dried, the little white houses came inside
to get "snowy".  When snow falls on real houses it 
shows up mostly on roofs and overhangs so instead of putting
a spray adhesive on the houses, I painted on a clear glue
 on the roofs and awnings only.
Immediately after putting the glue on, the houses 
were sprinkled first  with Epsom salt and then glitter.
Epsom salt is inexpensive and can be found in the 
pharmacy department of drug and discount stores. 
I had purchased some Martha Stewart glitter at
an after Christmas sale one year $2 for six tubes.
It was perfect "for such a time as this". 

Because the Epsom salt is more coarse than the glitter
I put it on first so it would not cover up the glitteriness.

Since the little houses and trees were going to be situated in
"snow" that I didn't want directly on my dining room table,
they got put on cake stands and trays.

I had seen a product online called  SnoWonder that claimed
 to look and feel like real snow so I ordered some.
Just a tiny amount swells up to a whole bowl full
when water is added to it.  The artificial snow got added
to the silver serving pieces acting as vignette holders.

More trees, silver ornaments, and votive candle holders
 were added to the dining room centerpiece.

The only "peeps" added to this vignette were a miniature
bride and groom to commemorate my son's upcoming wedding.

The bleached trees with silver balls were some I got 
last year from World Market.  The trees that I bleached
out this year in this vignette did not have glitter on them
but if you would like to see how to glitter the trees click here.

This pretty faux mercury votive with snowflake 
embellishement came from Wal Mart...a pack
of five with candles was only a little more than $5.

The only houses in this vignette that did not come 
from Wal Mart came from a local store that had marked
these little cardboard houses (with green bottle brush
trees even!) down to $3 because some of the glue had
turned yellow.  A quick paint job fixed that.  
The cardboard houses even had a battery operated light.

The silver cake stand was the highest element on the table.
I wanted to make sure that guests seated at the table could
see over the centerpiece.

If I had added the extension leaf to the table, I could have 
made the centerpiece larger but then the longer table cuts into
one of the main traffic paths through the house.

I like how the rusty wire running through the bottle brush
trees I bleached shows...it makes them look more vintage-y.
For info on bleaching bottle brush trees see "Bottle Brush Tree Mantle". 

The SnoWonder snow was very pretty and a fun 
conversation topic at meals as everyone wanted to touch it.
It did take a little bit of upkeep however to give it that
"freshly fallen" look.  The manufacturer did advise about
that in the information so it was not a surprize.

Since the product is 99% water, as the water evaporates,
the snow condenses.  A quick spritz of water from a 
spray bottle reconstitutes the snow immediately.

Before spritzing (a few days old snow)

After spritzing

Before spritzing

After spritzing

Only moments before, this daddy deer had only patchy snow to try to find food in.
Now after a spritz, the snow is up to his knees.
The water spritzes did not seem to affect the paint or snowy effect on the houses.

If you want "snow" that is less expensive and does not 
require any maintenance you can use epsom salt instead...
but the salt is not as really real looking.

I am sharing this post over at Debbie and Shannon's
3rd Annual All Things Dollar Tree Blog Party


  1. What a fabulous post. I'm going to go shopping tomorrow to see if I can find an inexpensive village on sale! Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog today. I appreciated it! - Suzanne

  2. What a beautiful job you did on those houses and how clever to paint them! I like the idea of placing them on trays. Great post!

  3. Your winter wonderland turned out so pretty! I love the way you have it displayed!!

  4. Kitty, your snow villages are darling. Very clever of you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow Kitty, they turned out beautiful. I love the way you've displayed them and that snow is gorgeous. Thanks for mentioning my village makeover and for linking to me,I appreciate it. To tell you the truth I like yours better!

  6. Just gorgeous - have to keep this in mind for next Christmas - love the snow!

  7. Love your village! So pretty and winter but not Christmasy! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Now this is one great idea.... Painting those houses!! I will be on the look out for small houses at yard sales this summer and if that fails, the Dollar tree has Village houses every year for Christmas....

    Thanks for the inspiration!!


  9. Boy oh boy is that beautiful! What a great idea. So glad you shared at the Dollar Christmas party. Merry Christmas to you. XO

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