Miniature Christmas scene in a lantern!

Our Christmas decor this year has been a couple of years in the making, and I’m so excited that I finally pulled it off! I had this idea two years ago, and spent the intervening time slowly gathering all the bits and pieces I needed to make this sweet little miniature Christmas scene in a lantern!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The porcelain houses were on sale from Kikki.K a couple of years ago, and the alphabet lights were from Typo… but obviously the main centrepiece is the lantern!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

I originally wanted to have a bigger living room set-up, with a Christmas tree, but given the limited space inside the lantern, I ended up going with a little sitting-room-inspired layout, complete with a miniature tabletop Christmas tree and a couple of festive garlands! Most things are 1:12 scale (the Christmas card garland being the notable exception, but I wanted the designs to be more visible!). The lantern itself is from IKEA; the gold tinsel around the outside is from Miniature Co, and the 5m copper wire lights were from Typo. The bauble decoration on the front of the lantern was something I had in my gift wrapping box – I attached it to the top of the lantern using twist ties.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

This little lantern is a mix of purchased miniatures and pieces I made myself. It took me a long, long time to collect all the things I wanted for this scene, and I’m glad I was patient and waited to get the perfect pieces!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The mid-century-inspired chair was from M for Miniatures, and was one of the first things I bought! I made the little Christmas cushion by hand-sewing some wide tartan ribbon and stuffing it with tiny scraps of cotton batting left over from a quilting project.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The end table and cup and saucer were from Miniature Co – it’s technically a cup of coffee, but I prefer to think of it as a cup of hot chocolate or a tea latte! The tabletop Christmas tree from Dinky World was the most expensive miniature I purchased, but I really love the way it completes the scene. I made the little candle by sandwiching a frayed piece of gold thread between two pieces of white foam, which I cut from some white foam alphabet stickers. Then I glued it all down onto a wooden star that came in a past Studio Calico kit.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The Christmas card garland was made by downloading some free Christmas card designs, printing them in miniature, and attaching them to gold thread. The gold garland is just some sequin trim I had leftover from a past project. The curtains were a bit of a labour of love, though – I used some scrap silk that I had from cutting the sleeves off an old silk shirt, then sewed a hem at the bottom and a channel for the curtain rod at the top. Similar to what Mandi Johnson did for her dollhouse living room curtains, I then laid out the curtain panels on some cardboard, gathered the panels using pins to secure, and since I didn’t have any spray starch, I just sprayed the gathered panels with strong hold hairspray and let them dry. You can still see some of the pin pricks because I didn’t use silk pins, but I’m not really bothered by it. The curtain rod is just a skewer that I measured and cut to size.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

The rug is from Green Gypsies, and I love the pattern and colours on it! I made the wooden floorboards myself out of coffee stirrer sticks. First I carefully cut the stirrer sticks to size using scissors – I tried using an exacto knife, but found that scissors were much easier! To get the colour I wanted, I painted the cut sticks with a bit of black coffee to get them damp and a bit darker, then pressed the tops and the edges into a Versafine ‘vintage sepia’ ink pad. Once they were all dry, I glued them down onto a piece of cardboard cut to size, painted on a layer of ModPodge to seal everything and give it a bit of shine, then popped the flooring into the lantern. I’m so proud of how the floor turned out, even if you can only see a little bit of it around the edges of the rug!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

My sweet little miniature scene has pride of place in the centre of our huge shelving unit in our lounge room, and I love how it looks all lit up in the evenings! I spent a couple of hours painstakingly winding the copper wire lights in and out of the gaps in the top of the lantern, and I’m glad I took the time to do that – the lights look so good, as if the lantern is lit from inside as well as outside!

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

This is my favourite project of 2018 – it’s so gratifying when you can finally complete something you’ve been planning and imagining for years! I’m looking forward to making this little lantern an official part of our annual Christmas decorating – and the best part is that I can always change up the furniture and accessories to keep it fresh.

all the little happy things - Christmas lantern scene

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas!

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