Friday, November 15, 2013

Cordless Lights for Christmas Village...

I started collecting my Department 56 Dickens Village in 1987. I've received so many beautiful pieces as gifts over the years, I love each and every one. I don't collect them any more, but they are one of the favorite things I put out each year. It wouldn't be Christmas until the village is up.

Here are a few places where I've set up the village the past few years…

China hutch

cordless Christmas village

Bookcase

cordless Christmas village

This past Christmas, I divided up the set and placed them in smaller vignettes.

under one of the trees in our bedroom.

cordless Christmas village

and on top of the armoire.

cordless Christmas village

My biggest pet peeve of the whole village…the cords.

Come on in to see an easy solution.

The task of connecting all the cords to each house, hiding the cords beneath the snowy quilt batting, then running the extension cords to the wall gets the best of me by the end of the project.

I usually plug in the cords to a serge bar, so all I have to do is click one switch to turn on the set or I'll plug it into the outlet that's controlled by a light switch. The cords limit me to a place near an outlet.

Well, not anymore!!

I found these "flameless" battery powered votive candles at Michael's Craft Store.

cordless Christmas village

You can find them in many stores, but this was the largest box I found. It is $20 for 24 lights, but I used my 40% coupon, so it was great deal.

cordless Christmas village

They have a nice glow to them and they flicker too.

cordless Christmas village

They also come with the battery.

cordless Christmas village

Small switch on the bottom to turn on and off.

cordless Christmas village


cordless Christmas village

The hole for the regular light plug is in the back of the house. I wish it were larger to set the votive in there, but it's not.

cordless Christmas village

On this particular house it did just rest on the ledge of snow. I've been thinking of different options to secure it to the back…one dot of hot glue, small piece of electrical tape or a piece of the figurine or museum putty (the putty that secures china or porcelain figurines so they won't fall over).

cordless Christmas village

It gives off a warm glow and these flameless votives flicker, like there's a fire going in the fireplace.

cordless Christmas village

Here's a quick video from my phone to show you the flickering. I hope it works. This is the first video on my blog.

Ok, the video is lame. Lol You can't watch it before hand in the "preview mode" and if it's bad, you can NOT delete a video in blogger like you can a photo. I've just read up on it and they suggest loading to youtube first, but I realize now...this is my first and last video!!

video


When I set up the whole village, I will let you know how it goes.

I know flipping each little switch would be a pain for the whole village, but in the spots around the house where I'll just place a few and it's not near a power source, these battery votives will be great!!

Thanks for stopping by,
~Karen~

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35 comments:

  1. Yeah, I don't think it would be very fun if you had a giant collection to have to go flipping those on and off each day. But a few here or there sounds like a great solution.

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  2. Precioso pueblo, hermoso de verdad

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  3. It sounds like a great idea, Karen, but I wonder how long it'll take you to switch them all off and on especially if they're all over your house? Of course, I'm all for an easy life - aka lazy - so I'd probably just have them all plugged into the one surge socket with a switch to turn them on and off! :o)

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  4. I'm with you on the cords. I have a beautiful miniature village set that my hubby bought me years ago and I used to set it up every year on my dining room hutch. But the cords drive me crazy too! I am going to try those battery votives. That's for the inspiration ... I'm off to set up my village now!

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  5. I found some small votives like that on QVC last year but they have timers on them. :) That way I don't have to run around turning them on and off every night. They go on the same time every evening and stay on for five hours. They don't last as long as the bigger battery powered candles that use bigger batteries, but they sure are cute. :)

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  6. I am so glad you suggested them, I had some little lites with AA batteries and they just didn't glow at all.
    These will be perfect.

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  7. Check out ZOTS adhesive spots in the Scrap booking section for temporary adhesive... works great! Stays gooey and rubs off like a spot of rubber cement.

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  8. Denture adhesive; the pink stuff. I use it for light weight figures on a shelf near the door. The door opening and closing was knocking my wooden figures off the shelf. This stuff adheres, and cleans off easily with a paper towel, is super cheap and readily available. I'm pretty sure it would hold up your tea lights.

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  9. Your village collection is wonderful and I love those little flameless votives.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  10. What a beautiful collection; awesome display. The little candles are a great idea. I'll bet that's really pretty at night.

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  11. I love those little votive lights. I never use real candles anymore. I've fallen asleep before to find candle wax all over my (glass) coffee table and it scared me to death. Now I just set a flameless votive down inside the candle.

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  12. Clever idea and I am going to do this for the houses I have and want to put above the fireplace:)

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  13. That's a good idea! I don't have any Dept 56 but used to work in a gift shop and since we had all the Villages I could enjoy them there! My favorite was Dickens, with Snow Village running a close second!

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  14. They are all so pretty and the electric candles are much safer too.

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  15. This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing. I'll have to make a trip to Michael's.

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  16. Awesome & the video wasn't lame!

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  17. Oh, I am so doing this this year!!! I hate fighting with all the cords....I get so frustrated by the time I'm done, I don't want to do anything else. NO MORE decorating!! And the video was fine....it showed perfectly what you wanted us to see!

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  18. Great idea! I don't like getting mine out anymore because of those darned cords and trying to hide them. I also am in favor of setting them up in vignettes here and there but hiding the cords is still a challenge. I am going to put mine out this year trying your idea. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  19. These are mine and my kids favorite thing as well, I love the idea of doing the lights instead of plugging them in. The cords take up room and don't look good. My favorite was the buffet display ~ Lisa

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  20. I have some of those houses and thank you for the TIP!!! love it! :)

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  21. I bet it won't be long and they will have those little votives with a remote! I know they have them for pillar candles now. Love your village., And I have a video on one of my blogs that I have tried and tried to delete..............and now I know I can't, Do you think it would go away if one deleted the whole post? I may try that as every time I open the blog that darn video from last winter's horrible snow storm begins playing. I would just as soon forget

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  22. I didn't think the video was bad at all and it was good to see the effect. It's a great collection.

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  23. That is a wonderful idea. Thanks so much! Your video is just fine, too.

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  24. Can anyone tell me I am tring to simplfy the way I set up my village. I usially position my houses first then lay my snow down. I use the blakent snow that I purchase from Michael's. But I've been reading people using sheets. Is that easier? what should my first step be. I also stack stryofoam for different heights....any tips would be appreciated. I am the first generation to set up a village in our home. Hoping my daughters will carry my tradiontion.

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    1. I use long sheets of white foam (insulating panels that are used for a variety of purposes, including on the backs of garage doors). They are available for around $4 -$6 at Home Depot, etc. I do a rough cut to the size I need, using an old kitchen knife. Then I sculpt the edges. I use an old electric carving knife, but you can also use a paring knife, etc. I try to make the edges scroll-y , rounded and smooth , so it doesn't look just like a square of styrofoam.

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  25. Trying to decorate in a new house and trying to figure out where to put my village as there really just isn't a good place to put here (cords and all). I may have to give this some thought this week and see if it will solve the problem....

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  26. Last year, I found battery operated LED white lights, on a timer, at Menards. There are about 20 or 25 lights per string, and they run off 2 large (C or D size) batteries. For my bookcase shelves, I set up 3 or 4 buildings. I then "bundled" the light bulbs into little groups of 6 and put a twist-tie around each bundle. I placed the bundle inside the whole on the back (or bottom) of the village building, and set the timer to on. The lights are on for about 5 or 6 hours, then off for 18 hours, then on again the next evening. It worked great! Being LED, the bulbs stay cool inside the buildings.

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  27. Karen, funny that I came across this post. I broke the housing off ofv the votives I used so they would sit flat under the ones that the lights go in the bottom and used clear tape for those with the holes in the back. Still have to switch them on and off but they work well

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  28. great idea, we first used them in our Jacko lanterns on Halloween. Too many houses at Christmas to use them!

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  29. Yay! I found tea lights that switch on for 6 hours and off for 18. Package of 24 for $17.99 on Amazon ratings are very good. Use coin batteries one said they lasted over a month. Will let you know how they work.

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  30. Hey Guys - Putting away Christmas decorations and thought..THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY to light ye olde villages! I love this whole discussion as it's fun to see how others are making their villages better. Yes, the votives work (With some creativity as it relates to the size of the hole in the back and some tenacity on turning them on and off, or using the ones that are on for part of the day by themselves), but I might have found something better...remote control LED lights. They happen to also be submersible - and they are on sale this weekend at:
    http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/Brilliant-Submersible-Vase-Lights-Remote-Control-p/led_rmt02_wht.htm
    Use promo code TWENTY16 for an extra 20% off.
    I'll let you know what happens...(though now that the village is put away, I won't actually know til NEXT Thanksgiving, right?)
    Happy New Year!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

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