Creating a Halloween village display is a ghastly and satisfying hobby. Most collectors build temporary displays but some have been known to have year-round displays. The following is an overview of what I have learned over the last six years of village building. If you have any questions, comments or tips to share, please email

To get started you should first consider four basic questions:

What should I display?
If you are just getting started with village collecting, two or three buildings are enough for a small vignette. As your collection expands (and the attic fills with buildings and accessories) the goal then shifts to deciding which buildings to use this year. You can choose by theme, coloring, or even sub-collections within the Halloween series. Rotating through your collection, makes each display unique and special.

Where should I place my display?
Consider foot/pet/kid traffic and choose a relatively quiet corner for a display. Remember that central air/heat and windows can blow around carefully placed moss and fall leaves.
Also, it's helpful to have an immediate "staging area" (like a garage or guest room) where you can unpack and repair buildings as necessary, away from the curious, slimy fingers of little ones.

On what should I set up my display?
Choose a solid surface for your village, whether a sturdy table, bookshelf, or more elaborate wood frame.
If you have the skills and a Skilsaw, making your own stand opens up infinite possibilities. My space limitations have challenged me to build multi-tier displays with minimal footprints. Adjustable metal shelving (like the ones in the pantry or garage) are a good, sturdy choice.

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