Dept 56 collections particularly lend themselves to those who have a taste for creativity. Making arrangements of any kind is an exercise in creativity, but combining artistic expression with 'city planning' is always enjoyable. After all, no one wants a boring display.
With your Dept 56 collections you can bring some of that imagination to life. For instance, what would you have been doing if you could have lived back in the wintery times of Dickens? Which shops would you have liked to visit (or own)? Where would you have liked to live?
Or how about if you lived in New England. What would you have liked to do there? Fish, watch the sea, skate,???
How invaluable are your family traditions? We all have them and enjoy them (hopefully). Of course, your Dept 56 displays can be a lasting tradition and memory for yourselves, your kids and your friends. I don't know about you, but in our house we usually get our houses out for Christmas. Then we go to great lengths to make them interesting, exciting and original!
For young children, this yearly tradition can be exciting. They can remember the fun of previous years and eagerly wait to see how this year's display will be different. After doing this for a number of years the traditions and memories set in. Of course, they might soon want to have their own Dept 56 displays!
I think we can all agree that a memorable display takes time, thought and patience, but is there any question that the effort is enjoyable and worthwhile?
This web site is here to provide you with some ideas and tips on how to make these beautiful displays.We would like to give you a few tips (or see left margin) and refer you to our e-book with many, many more display tips and ideas for displaying collectible D56 houses and what not. Whether we are old Dept 56 collectors or ‘newbies’, we have all been through it at one time or another - where do I begin? From there we gradually progress to - How do I improve the display so it looks more realistic?
Well, to help answer these questions I have written an e-book entitled “Displaying your Collectible Lighted Houses”. I wanted it to be an encouragement for both new and old collectors and wanted to spark that creative genius in us. As I mentioned above we invest a lot of time and money into collecting these houses so it’s only right that they should look their best for the holiday season - or any other time, for that matter.
In writing this e-book, I just sat down and listed everything that I do (or have done in my 19 years of collecting) and ended up with over 150 different tips for getting your display to look ‘just right’. I take you through the steps that I normally do from start to finish. I describe the initial planning, where to put your display, how to place the houses, how to place the trees, and so on, all the way until that last piece of snow is placed.
There are also 20 photographs, in the e-book, to help explain some of the different points that I make.
Everything that I suggest is easy to do. They all involve things which are easy to find at either at the grocery store, hardware store, craft store, your collectible store or from outside in the yard. I'm not going to suggest anything that the average person won't find easy.
I am a stay-at-home mom, so I've had to be frugal with the things that I put into my display. Therefore I like to use things that I tend to have around the house. I also like to make it easy to put my display up, to turn it on (because if it's hard to turn on, I'll find myself not turning it on as often) and to take it down. I have to admit that it's a bit of work to put it up every year instead of leaving it up year round, but I find that I like the variety of having it different every year.
Since I really don't have the room to dedicate that much space to my houses all the time, I take it down in January or February and usually just keep out a favorite house or two to sit on a bookshelf or table for the remainder of the year.
I'm not an interior decorator although I have taken a class in home decorating. I've tried most every crafting hobby probably known to man. The joke around my house is that I collect hobbies. I knit, crochet, cross stitch, decoupage, quilt, sew, made silk flowers, basket weave - you name it, I've probably tried it. I enjoy working with my hands and like to add my own personal touches to my house displays.
As I said above, I've been collecting and displaying for about 19 years now and I still remember that first major display thinking 'what on earth' I am getting myself into. Looking back on things, it was a friend's display that first got me hooked on collecting Department 56. My first purchase was the Sleepy Hollow Church - I was just going to collect churches. HA! That didn't last long. Now I collect mostly Dickens Village and New England Village. (I must confess to having a Christmas in the City Toy Store that I couldn't resist and I won a Marie's Doll House once. My husband won't let me collect anything else.)
However, my husband does like to brag about my displays. He’s often prodded me about going into the business of putting up displays for other people. I think that home displays can be so much more creative and personal than the... Read more...