Confession: I love Halloween but hate all things scary. I know…it doesn’t make any sense but it’s true! When I was growing up, we were “those” people on the block. Our house was completely decked out with ghosts, fog creeping out of large steel barrels and a graveyard filled with tombstones and skeleton bones – Halloween decorations galore! My dad always had a passion for the holiday, which then got passed down to me. Except he loves scary things and I refuse to watch any scary movies with him! I like the less spooky, more joyful parts of Halloween. The decorating around the house, carving pumpkins, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and finding the perfect costume. Like me, Bronner’s enjoys Halloween, too. Did you know that all year long we showcase the Department 56 Halloween Village? It’s big, spooky and worth a trip to see.
What’s so great about this display is that every year new things are added, making it even more spooktacular than last year.
We asked you, our loyal fans and customers, to share with us your very own Department 56 Halloween Villages. Let’s meet two of the many fans that we came across!
First is Diane Mosier. She has been collecting Department 56 pieces since the late 80s. Department 56 also carries Christmas Villages, which is what Mosier began with. She started with the Dickens Village. When Department 56 started creating a Halloween Village, Mosier decided to hold off on collecting the set.
“My dad said ‘Di, you have to start collecting this since Halloween is your favorite holiday.’ Unfortunately, I did not listen to my dad and continued to collect the Dickens Village,” Mosier said. “Three years ago I decided that it was time to start my Halloween village in memory of my late dad. With the support of my husband and 12-year-old daughter, it has now become a family hobby.”
Mosier said that Bronner’s is her happy place. She visits the store at least four to six times a year and mentioned to us that she has more inventory than we do! She said that her favorite Halloween Village piece is The Pumpkin House, which we sell both in-store and online.
Our second fan is Jason Natiello. He has been collecting Department 56 pieces for over 25 years! Natiello, like Mosier, began collecting one of the Christmas villages, The Original Snow Village. He was ecstatic to hear that Department 56 was going to start creating a Halloween village series.
“When I found out they were introducing a Halloween series, I thought that was the coolest thing,” Natiello said. “I collected every single piece and accessory for 10 years, until I started to run out of room. Now I just pick my favorites to add every year!”
He inherited a love for collecting these villages from his grandmother Katie, who used to create a Christmas display in her home and have walk-through tours.
“I now continue the tradition and build very large-scale Halloween and Christmas displays with hundreds of animated figures, multiple trees, and of course my D56 villages,” Natiello said. “The villages create a little escape from everyday life. If you can imagine putting yourself into one of them, a smile will appear on your face and you will feel like a child again!”
One of Natiello’s favorite Department 56 Halloween pieces was the first one ever introduced, the Haunted Mansion. “I have the green-roof version,” Natiello said. “The black-roof version is very hard to come by now-a-days.”
DIY Halloween Accessories
Through the years, we have added some creative do-it-yourself elements to the store’s Halloween village. One of our favorites is the slime waterfall! To make your waterfall extra eerie, you can add fake skeleton bones to it. You can see this displayed in the picture below.
Check out the video below to see how to make this extra-spooky element for your village.
Another accessory you can add to your village is a chicken-wire cloche. A what, you’re asking? A cloche! Which is a fancy way of saying “a bell-shaped cover that is placed over an object.” In the display below, we placed the chicken-wire cloche over one of our Department 56 haunted houses!
What you’ll need:
- Old Lampshade
- Chicken Wire
- Wire Cutters
- Needle-Nose Pliers
- Work Gloves (To Protect Your Hands)
STEP 1 | ROLL
Roll out chicken wire.
STEP 2 | WRAP
Measure and cut the wire down to the appropriate size(s)* for the top and around the lampshade. Wrap a section of chicken wire around the top and frame, pinching the ends around the lampshade to secure in place.
*Depending on your lampshade, you may have one large piece or several sections to go around the lampshade.
STEP 3 | TRIM
Trim any excess wire. If you have one large piece, you can connect the ends by twisting the wire together.
STEP 4 | FINISH
You can paint the wire to create a more cohesive look, or leave it natural for a more rustic appeal.
Now that’s a SPOOKTACULAR display!
We would love to hear from you! Tell us what you love about the Department 56 Halloween Village in the comments below. Or share with us one of your favorite Halloween memories.
– Bronner’s Blog Team